Nightmares! &The Sleepwalker Tonic by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller

Title: Nightmares!
Author: Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 9th 2014
Source:Copy provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review (Thanks Random House Childrens!)

Summary from Goodreads:
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.


Nightmares! has been on my radar since it was released but I typically do not read middle grade books simply because I do not typically enjoy the younger voice throughout the book.  Charlie is a young boy who faces nightly traumatizing nightmares.  Not once did I feel that the voice was too young for me!  Segel and Miller do a great job of making Charlie a character who is true to his age with a personality that flawlessly suited the plot and themes of the book.

The themes and story line are a bit heavier than I was expecting but in a surprisingly great way. Charlie's nightmares have a key person in them, his stepmother.  He believes she is a witch; throughout the book he has to conquer and face his fear of her and her role in his life.

Ultimately, I recommend Nightmares! for both adult and children! (Don't worry it is not too scary!) The illustrations throughout the book are a fun addition and let the reader really visualize the nightmare and spooky scenes.  Nightmares delivers a cute story with an important messages focusing on family, friends, and facing fears.  

Title: The Sleepwalker Tonic
Author: Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 8th 2015
Source:Copy provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review (Thanks Random House Childrens!)

Summary 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 loving Nightmares! I was excited to jump right into the next book.  Sleepwalker Tonic brings back Charlie's team of friends to save his town from sleepwalking zombies.  The friendships are again a big and great aspect of this book as well. The team gets to work with the nightmares they conquered in the last book. I really enjoyed the different dynamic between the old enemies now new friends.

Charlie's family is also in a better place in terms of relationships but not financially.  There is a new guy in the area putting his stepmom out of business with his new potions.  Charlie has to figure out what is drawing the townspeople to this new potion and try to defeat it.  

The Sleepwalker Tonic is an action filled, illustrated, adventure story.  It was enjoyable but lacked some of the spooky unique appeal that Nightmares! did and  it also stayed away from the heavier themes.  The mystery was entertaining but a tad predictable.  The ending did leave an opening for another fun book.  I do recommend this series, the illustrations are great and the friendship is cheer worthy.  


Ten Books To Read If You Like ...

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's Top Ten list is
"Ten Books To Read If You Like This Super Popular Book/Author"

If You Like Stephanie Perkins

When it comes to the Contemporary genre, it doesn't get much better than Stephanie Perkins. When reading her books, one can expect to find charming characters, adorable romances, memorable settings and lots and lots of growth. Here are a few other books that I happened to love that share some of those characteristics:

If You Like Laini Taylor

When I think back on Daughter of Smoke and Bone I picture a strong female lead taking on a crazy adventure with fantasy and supernatural aspects weaved into the story.  The series takes place in various locations but overall I get the darker, Gothic, and edgier vibe to the settings. Here are a few books that I have enjoyed that have a darker setting with an awesome female lead and supernatural aspects. 

What are your top ten?


Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Title: Dumplin'
Author: Julie Murphy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: September 15th 2015
Source:ARC from BEA 2015

Summary from Goodreads:
Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine— Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.


Goodness, Willowdean is a fantastic female protagonist.  She has spunk, a vibrant personality, a love for Dolly Parton, and a range of insecurities.  Willowdean has to work through self image issues, potential boyfriend drama, an awkward family dynamic, and struggling friendships.  

As I write this review, I know it sounds like a lot is going on in her life but really it  felt like an honest, tough high school experience.  Even if her struggles were/are not the same struggles you faced, Willowdean is still so relate-able.  I wanted to be there cheering her on through the whole book.  Aside from the body issues, she gets in a big fight with her best friend which can also be taxing and a major downer.  Will is not without flaws but she learns from her choices. 

Dumplin' truly is a great character driven story.  With a group of rag tag unique friends, Will decides to take on a beauty pageant.  A pageant that is not exactly used to Will and her friends.  But by working together and building strong friendships, anything is possible.  Dumplin' is full of surprises that won't seize to bring a smile to your face.  

I highly recommend Dumplin'; it is wonderful, feel good story about a girl who faces her fears, takes control of her insecurities, and learns how to start to feel good in her own skin.  


Stacking the Shelves (143) - Sept 26th

Stacking the Shelves - hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews - features books that you bought, borrowed, rented from the library, received for review, etc.

What I'm Reading

What books are stacking your shelves? 


A Whole New World by Liz Braswell

Title: A Whole New World
Author: Liz Braswell
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: September 1st 2015
Source: eARC from Publisher (thanks HarperCollins!)

Summary from Goodreads:
Welcome to a new YA series that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways. Each book asks the question: What if one key moment from a familiar Disney film was changed? This dark and daring version of Aladdin twists the original story with the question: What if Jafar was the first one to summon the Genie?

When Jafar steals the Genie’s lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish.To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed Princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war.

What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again.


A Whole New World takes the classic story of Aladdin and puts an interesting twist on it.  It is darker and heavier than the original focusing primarily on Aladdin and Jasmine saving Agrabah from Jafar's tyranny.  I was immediately intrigued by the plot since it took such a unique stance.  I really needed to know would a happily ever after come from this magic heavy story line.

This was not my favorite retelling, I am a huge genie fan and he plays a very different role in this book.  I missed the genie-Aladdin dynamic and the magic carpet's role which carried a lot of the movie's humor.  The beginning of the book starts off quite similar to the original then a huge dark cloud comes over Agrabah, a cloud full of war, death, and black magic.  The romance plays a secondary role to the war on Jafar, and humor is virtually missing from the entire book.

Once I stopped trying to compare this book to the classic Disney movie, I started to enjoy some of the other aspects of the story.  Friendship and teamwork are a critical component in the plots to overthrow Jafar and save the city.  Aladdin has a fantastic group of friends with great backstory that help him along the way.  Even though the genie belongs to Jafar instead of Aladdin, he is not without his trusty side kick, Abu! A Whole New World was not exactly what I was expecting but it takes different and unsuspecting twists, keeping me on my toes through the whole book.



Storm Siren & Siren's Fury by Mary Weber

Title: Storm Siren
Author: Mary Weber
Series: The Storm Siren Trilogy #1
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: August 19, 2014
Source: Copy provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review (thanks Wunderkind PR and HarperCollins!)

Summary from Goodreads:
“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.


Umm, why aren't more people talking about this book? Because this book, my friends, is amazing. And it has everything - endearing characters, an engaging plot, an interesting world, lots of depth, and one hell of an ending.

I expected to like Storm Siren but even still, it exceeded my expectations. From the start of the book - with Nym on the auction block - I was instantly hooked and things only got better from there. As a fan of magic, I LOVED the world of Elementals that Weber created. I thought the kingdoms-at-war backdrop and the complexity of Nym's situation - being asked to fight for the very people who enslaved her - made for a compelling storyline. And I just LOVED the characters. My heart went out to Nym, at the life she's been forced to endure as a slave and the deaths that weigh on her conscious from the power that she fears. She was such a layered character and grew in so many ways over the course of this book. I absolutely adored Colin - his humor, his kindness towards Nym - and eventually warmed to Eogen too, once his behavior was explained away. And let's not forget the villains in this book. It's always fun to have a host of bad guys to fear/hate and there are no shortage of bad guys (or girls) in this story. And the good guys didn't always win in this one, which is something I tend to appreciate.

Nym leanring to control her power was a large focus of this book as the war was developing in the background. I loved her training sessions with Colin and the victories they did have. But that ending. THAT ENDING. Damn. It was one hell of a ride and all I can say is thank goodness I had the second book already. It wasn't an easy ending - I can understand why everyone had their panties in a bunch - but the good ones aren't always. If you love surprises, you can expect a good many in this book.

There is so much about this book that I could talk about. It really was phenomenal.

Title: Siren's Fury
Author: Mary Weber
Series: The Storm Siren Trilogy #2
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Source: Copy provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review (thanks Wunderkind PR and HarperCollins!)

Summary from Goodreads:
"I thrust my hand toward the sky as my voice begs the Elemental inside me to waken and rise. But it's no use. The curse I've spent my entire life abhorring—the thing I trained so hard to control—no longer exists."

Nym has saved Faelen only to discover that Draewulf stole everything she valued. Now he’s destroyed her Elemental storm-summoning ability as well.

When Nym sneaks off with a host of delegates to Bron, Lord Myles offers her the chance for a new kind of power and the whispered hope that it may do more than simply defeat the monster she loathes. But the secrets the Bron people have kept concealed, along with the horrors Draewulf has developed, may require more than simply harnessing a darker ability.

They may require who she is.

Set against the stark metallic backdrop of the Bron kingdom, Nym is faced with the chance to change the future.

Or was that Draewulf’s plan for her all along?


Siren's Fury was a solid follow-up to Storm Siren. It wasn't better than Storm Siren, in my opinion, but it was still a great read that expanded upon what we were introduced to in book one.

I thought it was a great twist to have Nym lose her power after wishing it gone for most of her life. I also thought it was great that she took on a dark power that started to change her - just like the enemy she was fighting against. These two developments really put things in perspective for Nym (and readers) which furthered her growth as a character and made for some interesting reading material. My only complaint is that this book largely focused on Nym and Draewulf's strange back and forth battle as they advanced on a neighboring kingdom and lacked the same action and suspense as book one. But I loved getting to spend more time with these characters - new and old alike. I only wish there were a couple more :( (those who've read this book know who I'm talking about).

And what appears to be Weber's style, the ending was epic. So much action and chock-full of surprises but also not without loss. That being said, I really like where things ended and cannot wait for the the last book. This series so far has been a huge success and I really think more people should  be falling in love with it. It definitely adds something to the YA fantasy pool.


Top Ten Books On Our Fall TBR


Signs Point to Yes by Sandy Hall

Title: Signs Point to Yes
Author: Sandy Hall
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: October 20 2015
Source: BEA15

Summary from Goodreads:
The author of A Little Something Different brings you the most adorkable romance ever.

Jane, a superstitious fangirl, takes an anonymous babysitting job to avoid an unpaid internship with her college-obsessed mom. The only problem? She’s babysitting the siblings of her childhood friend and new crush, Teo. 

Teo doesn’t dislike Jane, but his best friend Ravi hates her, and is determined to keep them apart. So Teo’s pretty sure his plans for a peaceful summer are shot. His only hope is that his intermittent search for his birth father will finally pan out and he’ll find a new, less awkward home. Meanwhile, at Jane’s house, her sister Margo wants to come out as bisexual, but she’s terrified of how her parents will react.

In a summer filled with secrets and questions, even Jane’s Magic 8 ball can’t give them clear answers, but Signs Point to Yes.


Well, color me surprised. I don't think I could have had a more opposite reaction to two works by the same author. Having LOVED A Little Something Different, I went into Signs Point to Yes with eagerness and an expectation to finish this book feeling just as smitten. However, as you can tell by my rating, that is not what happened.

Signs Point to Yes was, sadly, not what I would consider a strong contemporary. The story itself - the search for Teo's father being a central theme - erred on the side of predictability and even ridiculousness to such an extent that I am actually shocked that I read what I did. As for the characters, they were very much one-dimensional and unmemorable. I found it a little disconcerting that Jane was considered an idiot by almost everyone around her, including herself, and that her character arc involved several moments of "see, you are smart after all!". And when it came to the dialogue, it was in large part, tiresome and uninteresting. The amount of time these characters spent thanking each other is akin to the amount of staring that happens in the Twilight movies.

There were a few cute moments here and there and a small amount of swoons but overall, I was just not impressed by this story. I wasn't really feeling the romance. I thought the overabundance of Magic 8 ball usage was a little childish and outdated. And I was troubled by Jane's relationship with her mother without really getting resolution there. I DID, however, enjoy Jane's relationship with her sister, but even that was not executed to its full potential.

I don't know what happened with this one. I am befuddled and sad. I can see a MUCH younger audience having more success with this one but I don't know how much.

But hugs to Danielle @ Love At First Page for buddy reading this one with me!


Stacking the Shelves (142) - Sept 19th

Stacking the Shelves - hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews - features books that you bought, borrowed, rented from the library, received for review, etc.


This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

Title: This Monstrous Thing
Author: Mackenzi Lee
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: September 22nd 2015
Source: eARC from Publisher (thanks HarperCollins!)

Summary from Goodreads:
In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits.

His brother, Oliver—dead.

His sweetheart, Mary—gone.

His chance to break free of Geneva—lost.

Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead.

But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship.

Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay…


Steam-punk, moody, gothic-ly picturesque. 

This Frankenstein re-telling captures the classic from its origin, This Monstrous Thing tells the story that inspired Mary Shelly to write her world famous Frankenstein.  The characters in this book parallel the lives of both the creator and the inspiration of the classic novel.  The setting was one of my favorite aspects; I loved all the steam-punk technology within a Gothic Europe.  I could visualize the dark blues and blacks, cloudy skies, and soot covered buildings.

The technology was a huge area of political unrest.  Alasdair is a Shadow Boy, he repairs humans with steam punk body parts.  Even though he is helping people, many townspeople believe that to do such a thing would be to go against God's will.  There is a moral debate that follows the plot as an under lying theme.  Adding a subtle but interesting facet to the story.

The character development was very well done, each character was well rounded with a multi-dimensional personality and moral compass.  My one reservation was the pacing of the plot.  The plot just seemed to fall flat for me, even though I enjoyed the characters, I did not feel a strong pull towards the actual story and action.  I was not jumping to finish it nor did it leave lasting emotions. This Monstrous Thing was engaging enough with some added danger and mystery to make it an enjoyable, middle of the road,  read!


Queen of Shadows Blog Tour: This One's For the Girls

I am so incredibly honored to be a part of the #MassThirteen and to be participating in this blog tour for the second year in a row. I have been championing this series for 3 years now and will continue to do so as it only gets better and better. Sarah J. Maas is my queen and I will swear a blood oath to her. Also, a huge thank you to Alexa, Jaz, Judith, Katie and Rachel for creating this unofficial street team and a way for us to share our love of this series with you all.

The Book...

Title: Queen of Shadows
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #5
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Pages: 665
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Summary from Goodreads:
Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past...

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | Book Depository | Kobo | iBooks | Audible

About the Author

Sarah J. Maas is the author of the New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling Throne of Glass series–Throne of Glass, Crown ofMidnight, and Heir of Fire, and the series’ prequel, The Assassin’s Blade–as well as the New York Times and USA Today bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses. She wrote the first incarnation of the Throne of Glass series when she was just sixteen, and it has now sold in twenty-three languages. Queen of Shadows, the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series, will release worldwide on September 1st, 2015.

A New York native, Sarah currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hamilton College in 2008 with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Religious Studies.

Author Links: WebsiteBlogTwitterPinterestTumblrInstagram

For my stop on the tour... 

Last year I listed 5 reasons why I love this series and they all still stand. This year I wanted to do something different and decided to highlight some of the many wonderful (secondary) female characters in this book and have y'all vote on your favorite, if you can choose! We all know that Sarah is pretty skilled at creating swoon-worthy males, but she is as equally skilled at creating inspiring females, all of whom will stay with me forever. So without further ado, her are some of the badass ladies we have the privilege of reading about and why I love them...


Time to choose!

I didn't know who I was going to choose as I was making this list, and I still could go back and forth between all of these characters because they are all amazing, but right now I am leaning towards...

*drum roll please*


Love and loyalty are two of the things I value most in this world and Asterin is the epitome of both. I also love that she was willing to stand up for what she believed in even if it would cost her.

Now, it's your turn!

Which secondary female character is your favorite?

I'd rather die than choose!
Please Specify:
Poll Maker

Giveaway (International)

Tour Schedule

September 7 - Judith @ Paperiot
September 8 - Jaz @ Fiction in Fiction in Fiction
September 9 - Kelly @ Belle of the Literati
September 10 - Andi @ Andi’s ABCs
September 11 - Gillian @ Writer of Wrongs
September 14 - Kim & Wendy @ The Midnight Garden
September 15 - Mel @ The Daily Prophecy
September 16 - Gina @ Behind the Pages
September 17 - Nicole @ The Quiet Concert *waves* 
September 18 - Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner
September 21 - Katie @ Polished Page-Turners
September 22 - Rachel @ Hello Chelly
September 23 - Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books

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