Showing posts with label Kristen Miller. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kristen Miller. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Review: The Lost Lullaby by Jason Segel & Kristen Miller, illustrated by Karl Kwasny

The Lost Lullaby (Nightmares!, #3)Title: The Lost Lullaby
Author/ Illustrator: Jason Segel & Kristen Miller; Karl Kwasny 
Source/Format: Borrowed from the Library; Hardback
More Details: Middle Grade
Publisher/Publication Date: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; September 13, 2016
Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads...

Charlie Laird has a very bad feeling...

1. There’s a NEW GIRL at school, and Charlie and his friends have DEFINITELY seen her before.
2. He’s been hearing strange noises after dark, which is NEVER a good sign.
3. The nightmares are back, and they’re WEIRDER THAN EVER.

Not since he faced his fears has Charlie had so many bad dreams. Whenever he falls asleep, he finds himself in a Netherworld field, surrounded by a flock of CREEPY BLACK SHEEP.
They're not counting sheep. They refuse to jump. In fact, they don't do much at all. EVEN EERIER, THOUGH, is that it’s not Charlie’s nightmare. Somehow he’s trapped in someone else’s bad dream. And he’s pretty sure the twins ICK and INK are responsible.
Charlie and his friends thought they’d put the twins out of business, but it seems they didn’t quite finish the job. Now the WOOLLY NIGHTMARES are closing in, and INK has shown up at Cypress Creek Elementary! Charlie’s convinced that INK is up to NO GOOD. And if he’s right, it could be a very long time before anyone’s dreams are sweet again...
After finishing The Lost Lullaby, I can firmly say that Nightmares is just one of my favorite middle grade series. I love the ideas behind the stories and the lessons that the characters inevitably learn. Plus, the nightmares were some of the coolest things I’ve read about. I liked how they were incorporated into the story each and every time.

As for The Lost Lullaby, I’m glad I read it. After the end of the last book, I was curious to see where the story was going, and how the conflict would eventually be solved.

The Lost Lullaby picked up right after the end of The Sleepwalker Tonic with Charlie Laird and his friends immediately stuck knee-deep in another problem. INK is in town, the nightmares are back, and Charlie’s been hearing noises in the middle of the night. The Lost Lullaby is a fast paced story and there was a lot going on. The little clues and details placed throughout the story played into the plot, and I liked the end result.

One thing that I have especially enjoyed about this series is how involved Charlie’s father and stepmother are. It’s always nice to see the family so present in the story, and I liked how it was portrayed across all three books. The setting was also very nice. Of all the locations, the purple mansion that Charlie and his family called home was my favorite place. At first glance, it would be kind of spooky or even a bit mysterious, but its secrets made the house cool rather than anything else.

Another thing that this book got right was the characters—from the main cast to the secondary, and even the villains. There were a lot of moments where characters had to listen and learn and look past their own fears, assumptions, and biases. Those moments were gold. The end of The Lost Lullaby was fantastic. I loved how everything came together and it felt like a proper ending.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to wait over there (**points to the left**) until Jason Segel and Kristen Miller write another book.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Friday 56 (86) The Lost Lullaby by Jason Segel & Kristen Miller, illustrated by Karl Kwasny

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE
27013558Synopsis from Goodreads...

Charlie Laird has a very bad feeling...

1. There’s a NEW GIRL at school, and Charlie and his friends have DEFINITELY seen her before.
2. He’s been hearing strange noises after dark, which is NEVER a good sign.
3. The nightmares are back, and they’re WEIRDER THAN EVER.

Not since he faced his fears has Charlie had so many bad dreams. Whenever he falls asleep, he finds himself in a Netherworld field, surrounded by a flock of CREEPY BLACK SHEEP.
They're not counting sheep. They refuse to jump. In fact, they don't do much at all. EVEN EERIER, THOUGH, is that it’s not Charlie’s nightmare. Somehow he’s trapped in someone else’s bad dream. And he’s pretty sure the twins ICK and INK are responsible.
Charlie and his friends thought they’d put the twins out of business, but it seems they didn’t quite finish the job. Now the WOOLLY NIGHTMARES are closing in, and INK has shown up at Cypress Creek Elementary! Charlie’s convinced that INK is up to NO GOOD. And if he’s right, it could be a very long time before anyone’s dreams are sweet again...
"He'd only just finished when Charlotte appeared in the kitchen and gave Charlie's father a kiss. "Charlie's annoyed with me."
Charlie crossed his arms and raised an eyebrow at his stepmother."--The Lost Lullaby by Jason Segel & Kristen Miller, illustrated by Karl Kwasny
Comments: I basically binge read the rest of this series. And oh man, The Lost Lullaby was such a good book.

What are you reading this week?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Review: The Sleepwalker Tonic by Jason Segel & Kristen Miller, illustrated by Karl Kwasny

The Sleepwalker Tonic (Nightmares!, #2)Title: The Sleepwalker Tonic
Author/Illustrator: Jason Segel & Kristen Miller; Karl Kwasny
Source/Format: Borrowed from the library; Hardcover
More Details: Middle Grade; Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; September 8, 2015
Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository


Synopsis from Goodreads...

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...
After reading Nightmares I was pretty excited to get my hands on a copy of The Sleepwalker Tonic by Jason Segel & Kristen Miller. I mean, Nightmares was surprising in all the best ways. The ideas introduced were fantastic and the execution was spot on. And oh man, this series just keeps getting better and better. The Sleepwalker Tonic was so good. All the things I loved about the first book were brought back and incorporated into the continuation of Charlie Laird’s story.

Charlie Laird was pretty much enjoying life after the events of the first book. It made me happy to see how his life had changed for the better, but that peace doesn’t last long when strange things start happening. The plot was fantastic. I loved how all the dream and nightmare aspects were incorporated. There were a lot of imaginative ideas introduced in The Sleepwalker Tonic, and I loved how they were ultimately presented.

Once again, I really liked the characters. There were some new faces, but even if they were secondary, they had their place in the story. Charlie was a great narrator, and I enjoyed reading from his perspective. I liked how his character was developed, the growth that he went through, and the lessons he learned. I also enjoyed how involved his stepmother was. It’s always nice to see one or more of the characters parents involved in some way or another.

One thing that The Sleepwalker Tonic gets right is the conflict. I liked how it was set up and how it ultimately played out. The villains were suitably creepy in their own right.

The Sleepwalker Tonic was a fantastic addition to the series, and yet I have so many questions left unanswered. Needless to say, I’m definitely looking forward to the next book, The Lost Lullaby.

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Friday 56 (84) The Sleepwalker Tonic by Jason Segel & Kristen Miller, illustrated by Karl Kwasny

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE
23834589Synopsis from Goodreads...

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...
"Paige took off down the sidewalk as if she didn't have a concern in the world. Charlie swallowed again and rushed to catch up with her. Orville Falls may have been the kind of town you'd see on a Christmas Card, but it was the middle of summer and there was no one around."--The Sleepwalker Tonic by Jason Segel & Kristen Miller, illustrated by Karl Kwasny
Comments: As it so happens, I was in luck. My local library had the next two books in the Nightmares series, and I was able to put a hold on them before anyone else did.

What are you reading this week?

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Review: Nightmares! by Jason Segel & Kristen Miller, illustrated by Karl Kwasny

Nightmares! (Nightmares!, #1)Title: Nightmares!
Author/Illustrator: Jason Segel & Kristen Miller; Karl Kwasny
Source/Format: Borrowed from the Library; Hardback
More Details: Middle Grade; Paranormal
Publisher/Publication Date: Delacorte Books For Young Readers; September 9, 2014
Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads...

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...
It seems like forever since I first saw Nightmares! by Jason Segel & Kristen Miller. I think what really got my attention was the book trailer for it—which was fantastic, and now that I’ve actually read the book I can see how fitting it truly was. And since it was October, I decided to go ahead and give Nightmares! a try.

Nightmares! was a fantastic book, and from start to finish I was drawn in by the story. I already had high expectations and wasn’t disappointed in any way. I got what I was looking for—a slightly spooky Halloween story with nightmares—and then some.

Charlie Laird is having a problem, and that idea alone made for an interesting story. Part of the reason I liked the book so much was the message—everyone has something they fear. It was incorporated nicely into the story, and felt like a natural part of the plot. It was definitely one of my favorite aspects of the book. I liked Charlie as a character. He was grouchy, but that was understandable when his nightmares and subsequent lack of sleep were factored in. The secondary characters were fantastic. To me, it seemed like they were developed. Their roles were essential to the story and their personalities were different, which made them seem like individuals.

I could really sit here all day and talk about all the things I liked about Nightmares!, like, how fantastic the story was, or how much I liked the writing and world building. Instead, I’m going to end the review here. But, before I go, I just want to say that I’m glad that Nightmares! was just the beginning of a series. I’m really looking forward to checking out the next two books when they become available at my local library.

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Friday 56 (82) Nightmares! by Jason Segel & Kristen Miller, illustrated by Karl Kwasny

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE
20172134Synopsis from Goodreads...

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...
"Cypress Creek Elementary was a four-story brick box with big square windows. The whole building looked like it was made of Legos."--Nightmares! by Jason Segel & Kristen Miller, illustrated by Karl Kwasny
Comments: I've wanted to read Nightmares! for a long time. I read this book earlier in the week, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. I now want to see if my library has the next two books in the series.

What new series have you recently started?

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