A little blown away…

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HarperCollins has a “First Look” program where kids can sign up to get galleys of books and read them early. I got an e-mail earlier from Barbara Lalicki (my wonderful editor) sending me all the responses to NIGHTMARE ACADEMY that they had received from the kids in the program. Long story short, I was pretty blown away by them. 100% of the kids said they’d recommend it to a friend.

When I started this blog, I committed to posting the various reviews the book received — both good and bad. I debated for a bit over whether or not I should include these reviews here (there are a ton of them) but I finally decided that these responses are just a legit as any (if not MORE so — the book is, after all, written for kids) so here’s a few of them. I’m only going to include the ones that Harper put up on their website (because I’m not sure if all the kids gave permission) but these are pretty representative.

Please don’t feel obligated to read them all. :) Here you go:

“How many words can you use to say ‘astoundingly awesome’? I ADORED this book. It’s one of those books that suck you into them from the moment you open them. I didn’t even hear my mom calling for dinner! It’s got the perfect blend of fantasy, magic, adventure, and just a touch of creepy! It’s the first book in the series, and I, for one, will be waiting in agony for the next book! Nightmare academy is a one-way ticket to a thrilling land of adventures and monsters. Beasts more terrifying than the monster under the bed, and characters more endearing than your two year old cousin. I can think of no way to say how much I liked this book, except that I LOVED it, and will be making sure all my friends get it come its publication date! If you like fantasy, this is a MUST READ!”
Ash (Lake Elmo, MN)

“Are you feeling sleepy? You won’t be after you start to read this book. Charlie has nightmares unlike any you’ve ever had, which makes him be left out when it comes to sleepover invitations! Poor Charlie, he only wants to be normal…something we take for granted everyday! If you’ve ever been awakened by a terrifying nightmare, you can start to understand the plight of Charlie. Charlie reminds me a little of Harry Potter. They both have a problem that they find out of their control, but with a little help from friends things have a way of seeming better in the light of day. Goodnight, sleep tight and hope it’s only the bedbugs that bite!”
Karen (Ludington, MI)

“Nightmare Academy was one of my favorite books. The book did not have one dull moment. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. I read this book in two days, it was that good. I would recommend this book to all my friends. I really can’t choose a favorite part, but if I had to it would be when Charlie first meets Rex, Tabitha, and Pinch. I can’t wait till the next book comes out. The day the second book comes out I’m going to buy it at the book store.”
celina (piedmont, OK)

“A book full to the brim and almost overflowing with action and excitement that at some times may want you to scream out in terror. This book is guaranteed to put off your sleep and cause insomnia for some but it’s worth the suffering. For this book is amazing and will definitely turn many heads.”
Avi (Kingston, PA)

“This was one of the most fun books I have ever read! There was action and excitement on every single page! I loved the characters Charlie, Violet and Theodore, but I loved the creatures they encountered just as much. Everything in the book is so descriptive it was like I was actually there watching with my own eyes. I would recommend this book for children from grade school age and up, and I think many adults would enjoy it as well. I am hoping there will be more Nightmare Academy books to follow this one, I never want the stories to end.”
Amanda (Tampa, FL)

“I loved this book. It took the most basic fear of the dark and spun it into a fantastic world filled with nightmarish creatures and the most unforgettable characters. This plot was full of twist and turns that made this one of the hardest book to put down. I was fascinated by the characters and how much that I could relate to their hardships and emotions. The writer did an excellent job of describing everything that I could easily imagine this incredible world. This was an unforgettable adventure that will keep readers of all ages on the edge of their seats.”
Alanna (Ormond Beach, FL)

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  • tltrent

    Yay! Proof that you know how to give your audience what they want! I hope you’re proud. :)

    July 18, 2007 at 12:50 am Reply
    • deanlorey

      Yeah, the fact that kids seem to really love it means a lot to me. I didn’t necessarily set out to give the audience what they want, I just wanted to write the book that I would have loved to read. I’m just really glad that some other people seem to have the same taste that I do!

      July 18, 2007 at 1:18 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    What fantastic news!! Yea!! Really proud of you, Mister.
    Can’t wait to read it.
    -Ruth (the one in West L.A.)

    July 20, 2007 at 6:56 am Reply
    • deanlorey

      Re: Congrats!
      Hey there Ruth (the one in West L.A.)! I should have actual, real copies of the book soon, so I’ll be sure to get you one. See you soon!

      July 20, 2007 at 1:13 pm Reply
      • Anonymous

        Re: Congrats!
        Aw thanks, but I joyfully pre-ordered w/ Amazon. I want my “vote” to count among the millions. Sept. 1 is right around the corner! Wow!

        July 20, 2007 at 3:36 pm Reply
  • brennas_life

    Wow, Dean, that is pretty much the coolest set of reviews I’ve ever read! Congrats!
    I mean, I knew that we were going to pick up our copy, and of course we hoped that it would do well and be a big hit, but to see what those kids have to say is truly a testament to how great this book is going to be. :)
    Usually it’s not good to let your own hype get to you too much, but it seems like this time it’s really worth it!
    100% recommendation – You can’t do better than that!! 😀

    July 23, 2007 at 4:52 am Reply
    • deanlorey

      Yeah, it really gave me a boost, particularly since I’m in the home stretch of finishing the second book in the series.

      July 23, 2007 at 1:53 pm Reply

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