Book Review: Nightmares! The Sleepwalker Tonic by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller


“I suppose you could say that nightmares and dreams help you clean out your brain. Every day you pack it full of thoughts and fears and hopes. At night, your dreams help you sort through the mess. Even when they don’t seem to make any sense, dreams and nightmares are helping you figure things out. That’s why the Waking World always seems so much brighter in the morning.” – Nightmares! The Sleepwalker Tonic

The Sleepwalker Tonic is book two in the Nightmares! series by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller. I read the first book for last Halloween, so it seemed appropriate to pick up book two for this Halloween. I loved this book! I read it in two days. Yes, it’s a book for young readers and most older readers like myself will be able to get through it quickly. But I finished it so quickly because I just couldn’t put it down. I really enjoyed the first Nightmares! book because of the underlying message to kids about the importance of facing their fears. Well, book two offered up a new lesson. The importance of dreams.

In The Sleepwalker Tonic, young Charlie Laird is back. He still lives in the purple mansion on the hill with his father, little brother Jack, and his stepmom Charlotte. Only now he knows that Charlotte is not a witch as he had feared in the first book. In fact, Charlie and Charlotte have developed quite a nice relationship. This is because they share a secret together – the purple mansion holds a portal to the Netherworld, where nightmares really exist. They must guard the portal together to keep Nightmare creatures where they belong, out of the Waking World!

One day, a mysterious tonic promising to stop your nightmares starts circulating around a nearby town. It sounds like the perfect solution for many sleepless citizens. But before they know it, all of the citizens of Orville Falls are walking around like zombies. It turns out the tonic stops not only nightmares but ALL dreams.

I don’t know about you but I’ve often woken up in the morning thinking, “What the heck was that all about?” Dreams can be weird. There’s no doubt about that. But they can also be helpful. I think dreaming is crucial to sorting out everything you just can’t or don’t want or don’t know how to deal with. Or, as Charlie’s mom puts it in the quote above, dreaming helps “clean out your brain.”

Charlie and his friends, along with Jack and Charlotte, learn just how important dreaming is. They must find a cure for the Sleepwalker Tonic before all worlds – the Netherworld, Dream World, and Waking World – are all destroyed!

This book was a fun adventure! It had an original story and, like the first book, was packed with creativity. I would recommend this book for kids and adults alike who need to be reminded of the importance of facing our fears, being brave, and looking a little deeper into our dreams.


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