Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Review: The Sleepwalker Tonic (Nightmares!, #2) by Jason Segel & KirstenMiller

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date: September 8, 2015
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 5 Stars

Nightmares! The Sleepwalker Tonic is the sequel to the hilariously scary New York Times bestselling novel Nightmares! by multitalented actor Jason Segel and bestselling author Kirsten Miller. You thought the nightmares were over? You better keep the lights on!

Charlie Laird has a dream life.

1) He has a weirdo stepmom who runs an herbarium.
2) He lives in a purple mansion with a portal to the Netherworld.
3) Since they escaped from the Netherworld, he and his best friends have been sleeping like babies.

But Charlie can’t shake the feeling that something strange is afoot. Charlotte’s herbarium used to be one of the busiest stores in Cypress Creek. Now her loyal following is heading to Orville Falls for their herbal potions.
Weirder, though, Orville Falls is suddenly filled with . . . zombies? At least, they sure look like the walking dead. Rumor has it that no one’s sleeping in Orville Falls. And Charlie knows what that means.

Things are getting freaky again.

Praise for Nightmares!, book one

A New York Times bestseller

"Charlie Laird, who learns fear will eat you alive if you feed it, makes an impression, and...readers will want to accompany him again."— The New York Times Book Review

"A touching comical saga...about facing things that go bump in the night."— US Weekly "Coraline meets Monsters, Inc. in this delightfully entertaining offering from actor [Jason] Segel and co-author [Kirsten] Miller."— Publishers Weekly

"[Nightmares!] succeeds at scaring and amusing in equal measure...[It's] sweet, charming, and imaginative."— Kirkus Reviews

"Segel...and Miller build an entertaining, cartoony world full of scary (but not too scary) monsters, silly jokes, plucky kid heroes...with a promise of adventures to come."— Booklist

"An engaging and creative story...woven with a generous amount [of] humor."— VOYA

"There's humor and a fairly high ick-factor."— School Library Journal

"Cleverly crafted...This novel presents just the right mix of 'scary and humorous.'"— ILA Literacy Daily

I don't think there's anything in the world Jason Segel can't do. Not only is he is one of my favorite shows of all time, he's written a book that borders on a hilarious version of Goosebumps. Minus all the cheesiness. After the first book, Nightmares!, Charlie has officially faced his fears after being thrown into (technically he walked into...) the Netherworld. What I loved about this book was the fact that it had "zombies". And who in their right mind doesn't love a good zombie book? Especially when it's written in a clever and funny way. 

People in the town over, Orville Falls, are having trouble sleeping. In turn they start taking a sleep tonic that doesn't really put them to sleep... Instead, they turn into mindless zombies. Sounds like a job for Charlie, his little brother Jack and their stepmother. They must find a cure and they need to find it fast. Will the family be able to do what they need to do in order to save the day (night)? I had so much fun diving deep into Charlie's world again. It's been awhile since I've been able to go into a book and completely immerse myself in the exciting, fun, and "scary" story that I never wanted to end. 

Overall, The Sleepwalker Tonic is definitely a book every child and grown-up alike should read. Jack and the gang prove to be just as fun as they were in the first book, if not more in this one. Also, I have to make note again on the illustrations. They're absolutely fabulous. I love being able to have visuals throughout the book; it makes it all the more magical. Parents, don't pass up these books to read with your children. It will have you both laughing as you follow Charlie on his amazing journey!

*Thank you to the author for providing a coy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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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.

My Thoughts:
I shouldn't have feared not liking this. The book pretty much had me at JASON SEGEL. The book was very engaging and I believe children of all ages (even adults) will enjoy the fun and "spooky" tale of a boy whose nightmares turn to reality. Everyone has them; in fact, I had one just last night. But unlike our dear boy Charlie, mine don't scare me as much. 

Charlie's nightmares stem from a haunted old house and his wicked step-monster, also known as is step-mom. See, Charlie thinks she might be a witch that may or may not (unlikely) be out to get him. Soon, Charlie makes it to the Netherworld, where his brother has been taken by an evil witch. In this little "nightmare" world, all scary things are possible and getting out is proving to be very hard indeed. If he doesn't make it out in time, he could die. Yes, you read that right, die. Because in the Netherworld, sleeping children usually go there while asleep. Nothing can truly hurt them when they are in the dream state, even if everything feels real. Charlie on the other hand, goes in there while not asleep.

See how that could be a problem?

The reader is taken on a magical ride as Charlie tries to overcome his fears and save his baby brother. Along the way, we meet some amazing characters. Overall, I think that this will be a great family story to read aloud. The illustrations are simply wonderful, the writing, just like a movie in my head. I could totally see this as a blockbuster hit.If you're looking for a story that;s entertaining and funny, make sure you pick this one up!

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

4.5 Stars
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About the Authors:
Jason Segel- New York Times bestselling author Jason Segel used to have nightmares just like Charlie, and just like Charlie, he's learned that the things we're most afraid of are the things that can make us strong...if we're brave enough to face them. Jason likes acting, writing, making music, and hanging out with his friends. Sometimes he writes movies. Sometimes he writes songs for movies. Sometimes he stars in those movies and sings those songs. You might know him from The Muppets and Despicable Me. Your parents might know him from other stuff. Nightmares! is his first novel.

Kirsten Miller-  
I'm the author of the Kiki Strike book series (All Ages) and the Eternal Ones book series (Ages 13+). My latest novels are How to Lead a Life of Crime (Razorbill, 2/2013) and Kiki #3 The Darkness Dwellers (Bloomsbury, 1/2013). 

About the Illustrator:
My name is Karl Kwasny. I draw pictures for a living. I'm Australian, but I currently live in Brooklyn, NY.
I am represented in Australia by the Jacky Winter Group.
For commission enquiries, please contact:
The Jacky Winter Group

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