Book Review: Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller

September 18, 2015 Middle Grade Book Reviews 0 ★★★

Book Review: Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kirsten MillerTitle: Nightmares! by Jason Segel, Kirsten Miller
Series: Nightmares #1
Illustrator: Karl Kwasny
Published by: Delacorte BYR on September 9, 2014
Genres: Humor, Middle Grade, Paranormal
Source: The Publisher
Format: Paperback
Pages: 368
Click it: Goodreads | Amazon

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 received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Also in this series: The Sleepwalker Tonic
Also by this author: The Sleepwalker Tonic

One Line: It bit too long, but fun and I loved the illustrations.

In My Opinion: Worth a try!

I am a sucker for books by celebrities that I like, especially if it’s geared towards kids. I saw this book floating around and I had to give it a try. While it didn’t live up to my expectations, it wasn’t too bad. My biggest issue with the book was the length, especially given the lack of story progression. It took entirely too long for things to move with Charlie and his nightmares. I’d say a good half of the book is just him moping around because he hates his stepmom and because he can’t sleep due to his nightmares. That’s all well and fine, but we don’t really get into it enough. There wasn’t anything that drove the story along and I was honestly bored most of the time. I seriously considered stopping, but again, because I like Jason Segel, I decided to stick it out and see if it would pay off. In the end, it kind of did.

I felt for Charlie, really I did – he recently lost his mother, his dad remarries and uproots their lives, and he can’t sleep. Everyone knows that lack of sleep makes you very cranky, and that he was. However, he was just too rude and mean at times, with a constant bad attitude, it put me off. I could understand being like that to his stepmom and even his dad, displacement of anger and all that, but I didn’t like how he treated his friends or his brother at first. Then, after we got over that boring hump that was the first half of the book, things finally picked up just a bit, making this a somewhat enjoyable read. I actually starting liking him more once he showed that he actually cared for his brother and after they began their adventures in the Netherworld.

Definitely my favorite aspect of the book was the illustrations. It was very gloomy and fit with the theme of the book, but also cartoonish and can be very appealing to kids. It helped to add character and charm to an otherwise lengthy book, which I greatly appreciated. I really liked all the creatures in the Netherworld. It was a funny way to present a lot of the most common nightmares people have and also uncommon ones as well. The highlight of the story was Charlie and his friends in this world and running into all these creatures, that’s for sure.

Overall, it ended up being an okay kind of read. I’d say, if you or your child bores easily, this might not be the right book. I know my daughter would quickly lose interest with how slow this book is. I have an open mind about this series though, and it looks like the second book is substantially shorter. I hope that, given that the framework has been laid in this book, that the second book will move along faster and hold my attention better.

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