Posts By: Amy

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Review: Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller

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I received this book for free from Delacorte Press, Random House Children's Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kirsten MillerNightmares! by Jason Segel, Kirsten Miller
Series: Nightmares! #1
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on September 9th 2014
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Horror, Middle-Grade, Paranormal
Source: Delacorte Press, Random House Children's Books
Buy on Amazon

"Coraline meets Monsters, Inc. in this delightfully entertaining offering from actor [Jason] Segel and co-author [Kirsten] Miller."—Publishers Weekly

The hilariously frightening, middle-grade novel Nightmares! is the first book in a trilogy about a boy named Charlie and a group of kids who must face their fears to save their town.

Sleeping has never been so scary. And now waking up is even worse!

Charlie Laird has several problems.

1. His dad married a woman he is sure moonlights as a witch.
2. He had to move into her purple mansion, which is NOT a place you want to find yourself after dark.
3.He can’t remember the last time sleeping wasn’t a nightmarish prospect. Like even a nap.

What Charlie doesn’t know is that his problems are about to get a whole lot more real. Nightmares can ruin a good night’s sleep, but when they start slipping out of your dreams and into the waking world—that’s a line that should never be crossed.

And when your worst nightmares start to come true . . . well, that’s something only Charlie can face. And he’s going to need all the help he can get, or it might just be lights-out for Charlie Laird. For good.

I love a good middle grade book filled with adventure and fun! This is a somewhat horror, but it’s not really all that scary. Of course, it’s for kids so that makes sense. The characters in this book were great, and I loved getting lost inside their adventure along with them. It’s such a great blend of fantasy, adventure, and great lessons. I think that is what really draws me to MG books. There is usually such a great lesson for kids thrown into all the fun and fantasy of reading the story. This one is a lot about family and I thought it was done so well. This book was published last year, but since I was invited to review the second book, I needed to read and review this one first. I am so glad that I decided to. It’s such a fun series!

Charlie is a young boy, almost to teenage years, but not yet. He is also living in a big purple mansion with his new step mother, his father, and his younger brother Jack. He is miserable and can’t stand Charlotte, his step mom. His mother died because she was sick and now his father has remarried and they left his childhood home to move to the mansion. He is plagued by horrible nightmares, and tries to avoid sleep as much as possible. He soon discovers that he can enter the nightmare realm while still awake! He is convinced that the witch that keeps trying to get him is his step mother, and he is set to prove it somehow, but his father is sick of his behavior. So is his brother, who happens to really love Charlotte. He turns to his friends, then ends up in the nightmare world. He must fight his way out, but the only way to do that is to be brave and face his own fears. He helps all of his friends to confront their worst nightmares as well. Not only for them, but to save his brother who he has been horrible to lately. He was a great character who grew tremendously throughout the story. He is brave, and loyal, and full of heart. I really enjoyed getting to know Charlie.

This story was so fun to read. It’s horror, but comedy. Charlie and his friends were awesome, and I loved getting to know all of the nightmares that they encountered. Turns out that nightmares aren’t all that bad after all. They are just doing their job. The best they can in fact, so they don’t have to retire or be forgotten about and disappear. We meet Medusa, her son, goblins, clowns, and many other typical nightmares. Including a horrible one who wants to take over the nightmare world, and torture people instead of just scare them. This story was about facing your fears, and finding the underlying issue that is leading to the nightmares. It is about finding the truth in yourself and knowing what really matters. It’s mostly about family and friends, and caring about those who are close to you. I really liked this and thought it was a fantastically fun story to read with a good lesson as well. Of course I dived right into the next book after, and that review will post shortly as well.


3.5 Hot Espressos

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Posted by on 09/08/2015 • 9 Comments

It’s not often that I read a book in one day. Especially huge books like this monster. I just couldn’t put this one down though. It loved the fast pace of it, the heartbreaking story, and even the format it’s told in. I loved reading this story through instant messages, documents, and case files, along with other things as well. It was almost impossible to put down because I was so interested in what was happening, and was quickly attached to the characters. The main one being the AI. I loved getting to know it. While books have been written in documents and such things before, this one has so much more. I especially loved the pictures that are done in it as part of the story. They really help…

The Lost Girl (Fear Street Relaunch #3) by R.L. Stine

The Lost Girl (Fear Street Relaunch #3) by R.L. Stine

Posted by on 09/04/2015 • 4 Comments

As a kid I loved R.L Stine. I seriously would read his books over and over again. I had not yet gotten into any of the newer books he had written until now. I really do need to go back and read the first two books of this series, but this was fun and creepy. It’s wasn’t outright scary, but it does have a very subtle underlying feeling of doom throughout. I’m not a very easy person to scare, so it might be pretty scary to others, but I found it very enjoyable. The story was very interesting too, and I really liked how it all ended.

Michael is the MC in this. When Lizzy comes to town, he is instantly drawn to her, and his group of friends…

Review: Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins

Review: Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins

Posted by on 08/31/2015 • 5 Comments

This book was all sorts of cute, but it didn’t blow me away. I have to be honest, most of the reason I picked it up was because the cover is so adorable. I’m not even a cat person, but seriously, look at it!! Okay, so basically Nory is able to do magic, as are mostly everyone in this book. Her father is even the headmaster or something at the most elite magic school there is. Nory needs to get in. Except, her magic isn’t right. She has it for sure, but it doesn’t really work the way she wants it to. This causes her to fail the test and get put in a different school in the Upside-Down Magic class for those who can’t do their magic right. There…

Review: I Crawl Through It by A.S. King

Review: I Crawl Through It by A.S. King

Posted by on 08/24/2015 • 5 Comments

This was an interesting book. It is a contemporary, but it’s told in such a cool way. Like the synopsis says, it’s surrealist fiction. The characters are so in depth and the storyline is intriguing. The base of it is the bomb threats that they get at school every single day. I really enjoyed all of the characters in different ways. They all have issues and can’t quite figure out how to deal. They have different ways of coping and some are really quite unnerving. One’s hair grows when they lie, and they are a compulsive liar, another literally turns herself inside out. One builds a helicopter that is invisible to most people, and the main character, Stanzi is two people in one. They each have these traits about them…

Review: Violent Ends by Shaun David Hutchinson and Various Authors

Review: Violent Ends by Shaun David Hutchinson and Various Authors

Posted by on 08/19/2015 • 4 Comments

This book was really interesting. It’s about a school shooting, and told in twelve different POV’s ranging from friends, other classmates, people who knew people who went to the school it happened at, and even the gun that Kirby used. It was interesting to hear about Kirby from people who knew him in some way or another, or about the event from those who didn’t know him. It’s tragic what happened, and to see how things changed with Kirby. How premeditated it was at the end. It was something he thought about, planned, and was somewhat pushed to. In this day and age where this is a topic that people do worry about, it’s a very important book. I think how it was told was equally important too since we…

Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

Posted by on 08/10/2015 • 3 Comments

This sequel has been a very long wait to read and I had very high expectations going into it. It was a little slow going at first, but it was so good. Even though it was slow, we get all of the characters we love (and maybe don’t love so much) as well as new ones. As with the first one, the descriptiveness was amazing and I loved seeing what everyone has been up to and what the new danger is going to put them through. By the time I was nearing the end of this book I was reading frantically needing to see what would happen. And the end… ahhhhh!! I sure hope the next book doesn’t take as long as this sequel did to come out. I assure…

Review: Friends for Life by Andrew Norris

Review: Friends for Life by Andrew Norris

Posted by on 08/06/2015 • 3 Comments

This book was actually much different than I thought it would be. It was a much deeper and serious story than I had originally thought going into it. I thought it was going to be a cute MG about a boy who is friends with a ghost. In a way it is, but it’s so much more. He can see the ghost for a certain reason, and then other people can too. Jessica is actually visible because they need her help and she also needs theirs so she can move on. This was a fantastic gem of a story where I was expecting something cute. It really hit me right in the feels and I think it was wonderful.

Francis is a loner. He is different so he doesn’t…