Thursday, October 29, 2015

Nightmares! - Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller

Summary:  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.  Summary and image from goodreads.com

Review:  Okay, who knew Jason Segel could write?  Forget whether he could write, who knew he could write so well?  My last foray into celebrity-penned fiction didn't end well.  (Ahem, Modelland, cough, cough.)  But my son was desperate for a new book, we're always desperate to find him something fictional he's willing to read, so we grabbed this off the shelf and figured it would be worth a shot.

He didn't sleep.  One, the book did indeed give him nightmares, but fun ones, and two, it was too much fun to put down.

The whole premise of the book is that Charlie Laird has so much fear that he's opened a portal to the Netherworld where nightmares are really real.  Not only is this affecting his whole town, President Fear (the dictatorial leader of the Netherworld and principal of Charlie's school) is planning on using Charlie's fear to take over the waking world.  In order to save his friends and his town, he'll have to confront and embrace his deepest fears ... even the one he hasn't shared with anyone.

I was so pleasantly surprised with this book.  Segel's imagination and his combined writing with Miller was entrancing! Charlie's bitterness was palpable in the beginning of the book, and his perspective was difficult to read, but it was totally believable.  His time in the Netherworld was scary and nailbiting and fun and still completely believable.  The resolution?  Let's just say that I can not wait for the second book to come out.  There was no cliffhanger.  It was resolved beautifully.  I may have cried a bit.  But the writing was so much fun, I need the next one!

Rating:  Five stars


For the Sensitive Reader:  In the first part of the book, before Charlie enters the Netherworld, he's mean.  He's outright cruel to his stepmother, he belittles his brother, he is disrespectful to his father.  It's explained why very well, but it did make me wonder why I'd let my impressionable and very mimic-y nine year old read this!

2 comments:

BarbCarol said...

Great review. I probably will NOT read the book...can't handle "scary" anything. But, I will definitely recommend it to my adult granddaughter, who loves that type of book. It will make a good gift for her. Thanks!

CarrieM said...

Thanks for the review, this is on the fall Scholastic book fair, now I'll be able to give a more informed recommendation!

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