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.  

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