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
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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.

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