Audiobook Review: Nightmares! by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audiobook Review: Nightmares! by Jason Segel & Kirsten MillerNightmares! by Jason Segel, Kirsten Miller
Narrator: Jason Segel
Length: 7 hrs, 33 mins
Series: Nightmares! #1
Published by Listening Library on September 9, 2014
Genres: Adventure, Horror, Paranormal
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
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three-stars

Jason Segel, multitalented actor, writer, and musician, teams up with "New York Times" bestselling author Kirsten Miller for the hilariously frightening, middle-grade novel "Nightmares!, " 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.

I would be lying if I said I had any interest in Nightmares! aside from the fact that Jason Segel wrote it. Have I been disappointed in innumerable celebrity books in the past? Why, yes. Do I think that actors are necessarily talented authors? In many cases, probably not. Will I ever learn? Unlikely. But, hey, sometimes celebrity books aren’t just capitalizing on fame for a book deal; sometimes they’re good. It’s true that Jason Segel’s narration was a big part of my enjoyment, but Nightmares! is also a great middle grade story in its own right.

gif jason segel laughing

My intro was all about Jason Segel, but I am very aware that he’s not the sole author. I suspect much of the credit, perhaps most, is due to Kirsten Miller. She’s an established author and I’ve heard good stuff about How to Live a Life of Crime. Obviously I don’t know who did what, but the two obviously made a great team. Nightmares! is both delightfully silly and surprisingly deep.

I must admit that I didn’t find the nightmare landscape all that thrilling. The various monsters don’t have what it takes to scare me, despite me being a scaredy cat. The things that amused and terrified me as a kid aren’t the same as what get me now. Though the giant cockroach was still upsetting. I’ll give them that. Of course, the giant cockroach was a nice nightmare, and I would still spray it with RAID until it stopped twitching. NOT OKAY. For that reason, the adventurey parts were not hugely interesting to me.

gif shrug jason segel

However, I do love what the nightmares stand for. Sure, the nightmares are horrors and in and of themselves, especially when they can interact directly with the kids, but they actually represent deeper and more logical fears. There’s a reason that Paige is afraid of the dark and that Charlie’s witch looks like his stepmother. The book really considers the way the human mind will create a fear to mask the one that really bothers us. Rather than dealing with the sadness over a parents’ death, for example, a kid might be afraid of the dark.

Nightmares! is probably best compared to Monsters, Inc. The set up is actually really similar. There’s a whole industry built up to keep kids scared every night while they dream. However, most nightmares are actually trying to help the kids deal psychologically and get over their fears. Unfortunately, evil nightmares are trying to take over to keep kids scared. I thought that it was cool how not all nightmares are bad, except, you know, for the cockroach because they should all die and are never acceptable.

gif you shall not pass jason segel
Me, to all cockroaches

The real reason I enjoyed this so much, though, was Jason Segel. The best audiobook narrators, I think, are not only willing but delighted to sound completely ridiculous. This is why Katherine Kellgren is one of the best narrators of all time. Jason Segel, as you might guess from his performances is just such a narrator. He does all sorts of crazy voices and reads with a lot of emotion. He’s just fun to listen to. His voices for females are pretty abominable, but otherwise his performance was perfection.

gif jason segel pillow himym

Nightmares! is a sweet book about family and overcoming your fears. It’s also really awesome on audiobook.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 gif jason segel shimmy

3 responses to “Audiobook Review: Nightmares! by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller”

  1. […] Reader of Fictions reviews Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller, narrated by Jason […]

  2. Brandy says:

    I too liked what the nightmares represented but felt the resolution with the mc’s final nightmare was a little displaced. Like it wasn’t actually a nightmare?

    Bonus points for all the Jason Segel gifs! I’m really excited to see him speak at Midwinter.
    Brandy recently posted…TTT: 2014 Releases I Meant to Read But Didn’t Get ToMy Profile

  3. I am glad to hear it was a good audiobook, I am now adding it to my TBR. I can just imagine Jason Segel as a narrator and imagine it is fantastic 🙂 The premise sounds interesting as well.
    Ashley @The Quiet Concert recently posted…Top Ten 2014 Releases We Meant To Read But Didn’t Get ToMy Profile

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