The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig
Janesville, Wisconsin (cold in the sense that there is no God)1994The worst thing that's ever happened to Craig is also the best: Amy. Amy and Craig never should've gotten together. Craig is an awkward, Dungeons & Dragons-playing geek, and Amy is the beautiful, fiercely intelligent student-body president of their high school.Yet somehow they did. Until Amy dumped him. Then got back together with him. Then dumped him again. Then got back together with him again. Over and over and over.Unfolding during their senior year, Amy and Craig's exhilarating, tumultuous relationship is a kaleidoscope of joy, pain, and laughter as an uncertain future-and adult responsibility-loom on the horizon.Craig fights for his dream of escaping Janesville and finding his place at a quirky college, while Amy's quest to uncover her true self sometimes involves being Craig's girlfriend?and sometimes doesn't.Seven heartbreaks. Seven joys.Told nonsequentially, acclaimed playwright Don Zolidis's debut novel is a brutally funny, bittersweet taste of the utterly unique and utterly universal experience of first love.

The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig Details

TitleThe Seven Torments of Amy and Craig
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 2nd, 2018
PublisherDisney-Hyperion
ISBN-139781368009614
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Romance, Contemporary

The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig Review

  • Don Zolidis
    January 1, 1970
    So I may have written this book, but I will say clearly that it is the best thing I've ever done. So there.
  • Tiffany
    January 1, 1970
    I had the good fortune to get an advance proof of this title, and I'm really glad I did. YA isn't a frequent genre (age bracket?) for me to read, but given that I finished this in two days, I'd say that this was a welcome and engaging departure from my usual fare. The author captures small-town Wisconsin and all its weirdness perfectly - deer widows indeed. And the group of his friends - they're so accurate to my teenage experience that it's almost painful. I nearly laughed out loud in a restaur I had the good fortune to get an advance proof of this title, and I'm really glad I did. YA isn't a frequent genre (age bracket?) for me to read, but given that I finished this in two days, I'd say that this was a welcome and engaging departure from my usual fare. The author captures small-town Wisconsin and all its weirdness perfectly - deer widows indeed. And the group of his friends - they're so accurate to my teenage experience that it's almost painful. I nearly laughed out loud in a restaurant, reading the scene where the narrator is trying to convince his nerdy friends to let him bring his girlfriend to a D&D session. Looking back on that era of my life through these characters, it's a bit amazing any of us that grew up in that time period made it out as functional, semi-successful adults. This was a really fun read, and if I could go back to my angsty, painful teenager years and show myself this book... finding out that everyone else suffered the same awkward, insecure, obsessive feelings that I did, it would have been a game changer. Reading it as an adult, it was fun to go back and laugh at the ridiculous weight we all gave to every single look, action, and gesture. It was especially sweet to see the wisdom that the narrator gains, in spite of himself at times, via some of the... no spoilers... events of the book. Turns out it's not deer hunting that makes you a man - who knew. :)
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  • Thamy
    January 1, 1970
    The book starts with a spoiler, this is not a happy ending. And yet, you still read it all the time wondering how it will actually end.3.5, because of a loss in pace around the ending.Craig is an awkward nerd but he has finally made a move on Amy, one of the most popular girl in school. When they become boyfriend and girlfriend, Amy soon dumps Craig until then they get back together and repeat.Told in a non linear form by Craig himself starting from one of their breakups before we learn how they The book starts with a spoiler, this is not a happy ending. And yet, you still read it all the time wondering how it will actually end.3.5, because of a loss in pace around the ending.Craig is an awkward nerd but he has finally made a move on Amy, one of the most popular girl in school. When they become boyfriend and girlfriend, Amy soon dumps Craig until then they get back together and repeat.Told in a non linear form by Craig himself starting from one of their breakups before we learn how they met and got together, we can't help but feel morbidly curious where they'll go for Craig to call it a bad ending.This is surely a different YA. Though I have read one with a similar proposal, it didn't work as well as this one. Craig is a great character, and Amy isn't bad at all, I liked her, though I'm still not sure I understand her reasons.And that's one of the big falls. I thought I was reaching a good reason they couldn't be together, a bit plot twist. I didn't. On the bright side, the book felt real, as if the author had gone out with an Amy during his teenager days. I did understand there was a deep meaning to the story, it wasn't in vain. I was still a bit disappointed.Aside from that, this is a really quick-to-read book with charismatic characters, especially Craig's friends. Also, it takes place in the mid-90's. Since I was a teenager around then, I identified a lot with some of the issues, like Craig's parents' rule of no telephones after nine—even though we didn't have one that explicit back home. This nostalgic feeling is something only an older public should be able to enjoy, and that was great. Of course, it's still YA but it did speak to me as well.I'm recommending this to readers who are after some variety in light-read contemporary YA; there's some drama but nothing too heavy and this was surely entertaining.Honest review based on an ARC provided by Netgalley. Many thanks to the publisher for this opportunity.
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  • Samantha Clark
    January 1, 1970
    This is not your average YA love story, but it's a realistic one. In THE SEVEN TORMENTS OF AMY AND CRAIG, the couple are together, then they're not, then together, then not, then together... You see where I'm going with this. And this isn't a spoiler. It's on the jacket copy and the ending is predicted in the book's first line.But the brilliance of this book is not in any surprises in the plot; it's in the real look at the uncertainty of teenage years and teenage love. It's hard to give yourself This is not your average YA love story, but it's a realistic one. In THE SEVEN TORMENTS OF AMY AND CRAIG, the couple are together, then they're not, then together, then not, then together... You see where I'm going with this. And this isn't a spoiler. It's on the jacket copy and the ending is predicted in the book's first line.But the brilliance of this book is not in any surprises in the plot; it's in the real look at the uncertainty of teenage years and teenage love. It's hard to give yourself fully to someone else when you're still figuring out who you are, and yet that's exactly what teenagers want and keep trying to do.On again/off again relationships are a reality for so many teens, and there aren't many YA books that showcase them. This one does, and the author, Don Zolidis, does it wonderfully, telling the story unchronologically and showing how the characters' tumultuous relationship reflects their outside lives and growth as well.I read this book as part of an ARC tour with no expectation of a review, and I recommend it.
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  • Books and Guacamole
    January 1, 1970
    I was prepared for this book to be hilarious, which it was. What I wasn’t prepared for was for it to be genuinely touching. Craig’s journey through his seven breakups with the same girl is a thoughtful and moving depiction of growing up and recognizing your own faults.
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  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    Zolidis warned me that this wasn't an HEA kind of story, but I was hoping he lied. He did such a good job capturing those complicated feelings that accompany first love, and Craig was a fantastic narrator. Not going to lie, that seventh torment left me in tears. Full review to follow. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
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  • Rhiannon Richardson
    January 1, 1970
    Craig is a senior in high school struggling to be a nerd in the small town of Janesville, Wisconsin. He’s been an outcast at school, at home, and sometimes even with his friends; but his whole life changes when he starts dating Amy. She is the best thing in his life, proof that taking a chance can lead to success. She’s also the worst thing in his life, proof that risk-taking can land you facedown in the snow with your heart broken. This is the funniest book I’ve read in a long time. I relate to Craig is a senior in high school struggling to be a nerd in the small town of Janesville, Wisconsin. He’s been an outcast at school, at home, and sometimes even with his friends; but his whole life changes when he starts dating Amy. She is the best thing in his life, proof that taking a chance can lead to success. She’s also the worst thing in his life, proof that risk-taking can land you facedown in the snow with your heart broken. This is the funniest book I’ve read in a long time. I relate to Craig’s nerdy awkwardness, and I know what it’s like to not want to let go of a relationship that is over. Craig sees Amy as the perfect girl at school and not for the person she exposes herself to be. Amy is the valedictorian and president of Youth in Government, but she’s also a daughter and sister under a lot of pressure and struggling with the weight. She’s like us. Craig is like us too for not seeing the truth time and time again. Zolidis has created two characters who are genuine and easy to relate to and love. They will make you laugh, cringe, and maybe even cry. This book is for the hopeless romantic in all of us.
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  • Mischa Thrace
    January 1, 1970
    Don Zolidis' debut YA is destined to be a hit. By turns laugh-out-loud funny and heart-achingly bittersweet, The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig features an engaging cast of characters and the kind of realistic romance that,many teens will be able to relate to. Highly recommended!
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  • Brenda Ayala
    January 1, 1970
    Craig is an obnoxious and self-obsessed butthead who can’t focus on anything else but his own minor problems.He’s also freaking funny because he’s such an idiot and learns how to NOT be an idiot, so there’s a nice redemption arc that makes reading this book have a nice pay off.Amy was your typical teenager, acting as though no one will ever understand her and saying things like “it’s better off for you if we aren’t together,” all passive aggressive and shit. I enjoyed it for its authenticity but Craig is an obnoxious and self-obsessed butthead who can’t focus on anything else but his own minor problems.He’s also freaking funny because he’s such an idiot and learns how to NOT be an idiot, so there’s a nice redemption arc that makes reading this book have a nice pay off.Amy was your typical teenager, acting as though no one will ever understand her and saying things like “it’s better off for you if we aren’t together,” all passive aggressive and shit. I enjoyed it for its authenticity but I forgot how annoying that was—it drove me absolutely insane when my friends did it in high school. DON’T BE CRYPTIC JUST TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT TO TELL ME. And despite the book being about breakups it’s pretty heartwarming, which is definitely needed in those cold Wisconsin winters the author kept referencing.
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  • Ben O'Neal
    January 1, 1970
    As a teacher, I think the way that Don Zolidis portrays young romance is so spot on. There's none of the romanticized, sickly-sweet romanticizing that can be so detrimental to young relationships. I don't mean to say that it isn't a good story. It definitely is. It's real and down to earth in a way that I haven't seen in a while.
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  • Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsReadable and interesting, but lacking that special something. I liked reading about the nerdy parts and thought the high school heartbreak parts felt so true. But I wanted that one extra THING to happen to take this book to the next level.
  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't just like this book because I can deeply rate to '90s something nerds (although I can).I didn't just like this book because it made me laugh out loud (which it did).I didn't just like this book because it's non-linear and follows an emotional arc rather than a chronological one (and I appreciate creative storytelling like that).I didn't JUST like it for those reasons, although they were all part of why I fell hard for this book about a boy who falls hard for a complicated girl. More tha I didn't just like this book because I can deeply rate to '90s something nerds (although I can).I didn't just like this book because it made me laugh out loud (which it did).I didn't just like this book because it's non-linear and follows an emotional arc rather than a chronological one (and I appreciate creative storytelling like that).I didn't JUST like it for those reasons, although they were all part of why I fell hard for this book about a boy who falls hard for a complicated girl. More than anything, I liked it because it's just so real; rather than feeling contrived or trite, as too many YA romances can, it felt fresh and funny and relate-able. Will definitely read Don Zolidis' next book.
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  • Nancy Summers
    January 1, 1970
    Seven Torments chronicles the on-again, off-again romance of Amy and Craig over the course of their senior year. Craig, the geeky Dungeons and Dragons aficionado, is amazed to find that Amy, the beautiful and determined class president is interested in him and they start an unlikely romance. The two main characters are each struggling with trying to reconcile their pasts and figuring out what the future may hold for them. Craig, somewhat of a social outcast living in the shadow of his athletic a Seven Torments chronicles the on-again, off-again romance of Amy and Craig over the course of their senior year. Craig, the geeky Dungeons and Dragons aficionado, is amazed to find that Amy, the beautiful and determined class president is interested in him and they start an unlikely romance. The two main characters are each struggling with trying to reconcile their pasts and figuring out what the future may hold for them. Craig, somewhat of a social outcast living in the shadow of his athletic and popular twin sister, has been laying low in high school, biding his time until he can escape the small town of Janesville WI. Amy is determined to prove that her dyslexia cannot hold her back, and has been over achieving her way to the top of the class and the presidency of nearly every club on campus. Craig’s voice is sarcastic, humorous and thoroughly enlightened despite his myopic focus on his relationship with his dream girl, Amy. And though Amy breaks up with him every other week, Craig steadfastly holds on to the hope that he and Amy will prevail in the end. But Amy is not as committed or optimistic and her mother’s illness and her own self doubts keep her from being there for Craig as she breaks his heart again and again. Though things do not wrap up perfectly, their alternately touching and tortured relationship rings true. Thoughts: It is refreshing to read a realistic YA romance story with the focus solidly on the male character. A quirky and appealing read and a great choice for fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell. Thanks to NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for providing me with an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review.
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  • T.M. Hall
    January 1, 1970
    Cleverly structured book that creates a page-turner in that we know this dude is going to be dumped seven times and we need to know why. I loved the male perspective on relationships and whether you're a girl or boy yourself, you'll be entertained by this book, and gain romance tips from a unique perspective.
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    As a teacher of ELA, I'm always interested in books for my students to enjoy. Most YA "romance" books have a feminine slant and are a hard sell for my guys. The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig is a great book for guys, and girls as well. I immediately bonded with Craig. As a twin, I know what it's like to be practically the same as someone else and yet feel lesser-than. Craig has the wonderful and vulnerable quality I felt very protective of. My heart broke for him. Maybe it's because I have a d As a teacher of ELA, I'm always interested in books for my students to enjoy. Most YA "romance" books have a feminine slant and are a hard sell for my guys. The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig is a great book for guys, and girls as well. I immediately bonded with Craig. As a twin, I know what it's like to be practically the same as someone else and yet feel lesser-than. Craig has the wonderful and vulnerable quality I felt very protective of. My heart broke for him. Maybe it's because I have a daughter and not a son, or I saw some of my favorite students in Craig, his broken heart became mine as well. Great read- I am so glad I got an advance copy to read. I will definitely share it with students and friends who like YA.
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  • Matthew Black
    January 1, 1970
    The amount of love and care put into this book is so so evident. I’m so incredibly in awe of how realistic and wonderful this book is. If I could recommend one book every year, this would be the one. A+ work from one of my favorite authors. So excited for the rest of the world to experience what I did.
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  • ItsMeFray
    January 1, 1970
    Don Zolidis is a genius! He has created a realistic love story that I could see happening in real life. The best part is that you know how it will end but it still surprises you. I would never imagine Don Zolidis would make me cry, but he did. This master piece should be in everyone's TBR pile ASAP. Thank you for this amazing novel that speaks to the soul.
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  • Jakkob
    January 1, 1970
    This book is amazing in every way, the story is humorous, awesome, and funIt made me laugh so many times. Whenever you open up the book, it just fills you up with joy
  • Patriotic Bookaholic
    January 1, 1970
    This book has to be one of the most realistic YA books that I read in a long time, set in a decade that I will forever love! You start the book with just one of the seven break-up's between Amy and Craig, from there you will go on this journey of teenage love that is happy one moment and tearful the next. Craig being the nerd that he is just never imagined that a beautiful, smart girl like Amy will ever fall for him but that's where their story starts to get complicated in a way that makes this This book has to be one of the most realistic YA books that I read in a long time, set in a decade that I will forever love! You start the book with just one of the seven break-up's between Amy and Craig, from there you will go on this journey of teenage love that is happy one moment and tearful the next. Craig being the nerd that he is just never imagined that a beautiful, smart girl like Amy will ever fall for him but that's where their story starts to get complicated in a way that makes this book good.I totally get Amy's insecurity's and why Craig is such a nerd but having those two together was never meant to be and you get that by the Author explaining that this book doesn't end with a happy ending. I do have to say that ending was pretty sad but for myself, it kinda completed Amy and Craig's story even though I wished it didn't end the way it did but like I said, it's the most realistic teenage story out there! I don't want to spoil too much but this book will have you laughing out loud during certain parts, tears forming in your eyes and having this need to want to reach in the book to slap one of the characters for what is happening: totally deserves to be read by someone who loves the 90's and what being a teenagers was like back then! If only we could see this book being made into a movie, now that would be cool to see everyone come to life with all their little quirks! Thank You to Don Zolidis for this awesome debut novel that I can't wait to see what is next from you!! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from RockStar Book Tours!
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  • Laura ( Latteandbooks )
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first book that I have read by this author and I have to say.. I really enjoyed it. There was also a little something at the beginning of the book before the chapter started an I kind of like that. I feel like some more authors should do that. This book was also set in the 90’s which is amazing. I liked that it was in Craig’s POV because its usually in a female POV, so it was nice to have a male one. It was weird for me a little bit because the relationship between Amy and Craig felt This is the first book that I have read by this author and I have to say.. I really enjoyed it. There was also a little something at the beginning of the book before the chapter started an I kind of like that. I feel like some more authors should do that. This book was also set in the 90’s which is amazing. I liked that it was in Craig’s POV because its usually in a female POV, so it was nice to have a male one. It was weird for me a little bit because the relationship between Amy and Craig felt real. Like you are going on he journey with them. I mean Amy and Craig are just trying to figure themselves out, so there on and of again relationship is relatable. I really related to Craig’s awkward nerdiness. He’s sarcastic and has a great sense of humor, He is a Dungeons and Dragons fanatic.Amy is class president and determined to show that nothing is going to hold her back for the things that she wants to do. The constant breaking up and getting back together was relatable because I remember when I was in school there were kids doing the exact same thing. If not as often as Amy and Craig maybe more.* I received this book from the publishing company in exchange for an honest review*
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  • Ady Arrnett
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book! I found the humor in this writing hilarious. As a student, I can relate to this book and the characters within it. Both Craig and Amy are like highschool students, and I find this book very true. I loved reading it, and, I would recommend for any other individual to read it as well. This book has brought me much laughter, and sorrow for the characters within it. It is a rollercoaster of a book, with my emotions going everywhere. I couldn't put the book down! I found it to be I loved this book! I found the humor in this writing hilarious. As a student, I can relate to this book and the characters within it. Both Craig and Amy are like highschool students, and I find this book very true. I loved reading it, and, I would recommend for any other individual to read it as well. This book has brought me much laughter, and sorrow for the characters within it. It is a rollercoaster of a book, with my emotions going everywhere. I couldn't put the book down! I found it to be very intriguing and amazingly written. Even though the characters are older than I, and they have more life experiences, I found this book to be very touching and (somewhat) realistic to highschool life. Also, I have never dated anyone, but, have found this book to be true to what I would expect, and what I have seen, a relationship to be. All in all, I found this book relatable, humorous, and just downright good! I would totally check it out and read this masterpiece of a book. The author, Don Zolidis, has done an amazing job! <3
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  • Karen Reed
    January 1, 1970
    This book immediately felt like a John Hughes movie. Craig's voice was so authentic and relatable. I felt like I was hearing him seeing him, not just reading a character. This story is about the love and heartbreak of Amy and Craig. At the very beginning you learn that this is a romance of ups and downs, make-up and break-ups. And this is what makes this book so real. Unlike so many teen romances, this one isn't about being saved or someone knowing the perfect thing to say . Trust me, I love tho This book immediately felt like a John Hughes movie. Craig's voice was so authentic and relatable. I felt like I was hearing him seeing him, not just reading a character. This story is about the love and heartbreak of Amy and Craig. At the very beginning you learn that this is a romance of ups and downs, make-up and break-ups. And this is what makes this book so real. Unlike so many teen romances, this one isn't about being saved or someone knowing the perfect thing to say . Trust me, I love those books too but I would like my teen patrons to read this too. This is what real teen love is . Craig makes so many mistakes and Amy is so analytical that they are destined to fail...or are they? . I think they are both very likeable, as well as the side characters, in all their nerdy DD glory! This is a fun read with many laugh out loud moments and just enough seriousness wrapped in.
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  • Mitzie M Phillips
    January 1, 1970
    Oddly ComfortingDon, it was a great book. I've been reading and thinking about it all day. We just recently had our 25 year class reunion. I wasn't able to attend but thanks to Facebook, I got to see glimpes into the event. It's funny how in high school you feel like you know a person's life yet as you get older, you realize its not usually what you expected. Facebook has allowed me to reconnect with old classmates and see a little into their lives. Thank you for writing this book and sharing pa Oddly ComfortingDon, it was a great book. I've been reading and thinking about it all day. We just recently had our 25 year class reunion. I wasn't able to attend but thanks to Facebook, I got to see glimpes into the event. It's funny how in high school you feel like you know a person's life yet as you get older, you realize its not usually what you expected. Facebook has allowed me to reconnect with old classmates and see a little into their lives. Thank you for writing this book and sharing part of your life and Janesville's.
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  • Meghan
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book as an advanced reader's copy from Disney-Hyperion. This is not your typical "Love Story" this is a love story with a twist and Don Zoldis does a wonderful job reflecting that throughout the book. There are many young adult romance novels but they always have the same ending....this one did not. The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig was unlike any young adult romance book I have ever read. This book is a wonderful read for those that want a change of pace in young adult romance I received this book as an advanced reader's copy from Disney-Hyperion. This is not your typical "Love Story" this is a love story with a twist and Don Zoldis does a wonderful job reflecting that throughout the book. There are many young adult romance novels but they always have the same ending....this one did not. The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig was unlike any young adult romance book I have ever read. This book is a wonderful read for those that want a change of pace in young adult romance but for those that like the typical plot for young adult romance novel this might be a little out of left field. Wonderful read though nonetheless. 4 stars!
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  • Max
    January 1, 1970
    This sounds amazing, I am such a 'Craig'. It sounds like it will be a really realistic side on high school relationship. I have an Amy before, and it's really hard. But I really hope I can get this when it comes out because it just feels so relatable to me. You hooked me with Dungeons & Dragons. And you'll probably reel me in too!!
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Loved to read a story from the male perspective! thought this isn't a happily ever after story, it has heart and characters who are real and relatable. It was a refreshing change to read a love story from the male pov in a YA book. Loved the timeline and breakdown of chapters. Well done!
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  • Jaden Revis
    January 1, 1970
    I wasn’t a big fan of the writing but I enjoyed the story!
  • Sarah Nehring
    January 1, 1970
    Overall a good book to read. Though slighty disappointed with the ending, but at the same time I also expected it.
  • S. Whitaker
    January 1, 1970
    Hysterical read, and like Zolidis plays, the action and humor fly. Fast paced, and yet nuanced. A great read for the summer.
  • Julia
    January 1, 1970
    Got this ARC from YallWest.What felt weird: It felt like many elements of this did not take place in the 90s. The college tuition plot felt like it was from nowadays instead of almost 30 years ago when it was bad but still wasn't nearly as impossible (even for a private school). It might make it more relatable for younger audiences, but it makes it more unbelievable for me who recently got out of college. What I liked: I liked that Craig actually was able to face and recognize that some of the t Got this ARC from YallWest.What felt weird: It felt like many elements of this did not take place in the 90s. The college tuition plot felt like it was from nowadays instead of almost 30 years ago when it was bad but still wasn't nearly as impossible (even for a private school). It might make it more relatable for younger audiences, but it makes it more unbelievable for me who recently got out of college. What I liked: I liked that Craig actually was able to face and recognize that some of the things he was doing were wrong which I think will be great for audiences reading this book. I loved that the author did not apologize for the character's bad behavior, and even had the character reflect on moments they did bad things in the past. This book was also the first time I've seen DND mentioned in a YA book which was cool. Overall the read was enjoyable. :)I especially appreciated the disclaimer on the first page that (view spoiler)[Amy and Craig don't end up together (hide spoiler)]
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