Summary: Janesville, Wisconsin (cold in the sense that there is no God). 1994
The 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.
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
The Seven Torments of Amy & Craig is easily one of the most underrated releases of 2018. Set in 1994 Wisconsin, this book features so many heartwarming and heartbreaking moments that may make you want to join in on Craig and co.’s Saturday Dungeons & Dragons tournaments. Unless Kaitlyn has anything to do with it.
As the title may suggest, The Seven Torments of Amy & Craig has a lot to do with Amy and Craig’s relationship- and their many breakups. The book is told from Craig’s perspective, which I liked having a male main POV for a bit of a change, and flips between the couple’s breakups and their get-back-togethers. I liked learning about Amy’s past and own struggles, although I wish we got to experience them more before the end.
Additionally, I really enjoyed how the book isn’t all about Craig’s relationship with Amy. In between, we learn about Craig’s past, his family life, and his friends (including the absolutely hilarious Groash).
“I looked at Groash, who was rotating slowly in his chair. “We’re screwed,” I whispered.
“These chairs are awesome,” he whispered back.” (197)
The Seven Torments of Amy & Craig is really a story about growing up. From gearing up for college to family struggles, Craig and his friends are all dealing with something in their lives that made the book feel all the more real. While they were often cringe-worthy, for example, I really liked the chapters spent with Craig and his dad or Kaitlyn. Craig’s family had a ton of funny back-and-forths, but they demonstrated that no matter how different they each were, they all cared about each other.
And if you need another excuse to stay inside with some tea and a blanket as the cold weather approaches, 1994 Wisconsin will give you plenty of reason to! I found the moments where Craig just flopped in the snow a bit hilarious. I think the ‘90s more or less came into play when it came to the fact that these characters obviously didn’t have social media or cell phones, which made letter-writing really convenient. The setting just felt so unique for YA, and the snow and cold felt very atmospheric to the story.
Overall, The Seven Torments of Amy & Craig is a funny book that provides much insight on relationship and family dynamics. If you’re in need of a cozy read this fall or winter, make sure to pick this one up!
This book was provided to me by the publisher. By no means did this affect my thoughts or opinions.
FIND THE SEVEN TORMENTS OF AMY & CRAIG
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Originally from Wisconsin, Don Zolidis is a novelist and one of the most-produced playwrights in America.
His 102 published plays have received more than 12,000 productions and have appeared in every state and 64 countries.
He currently splits time between Texas and New York and aspires to owning a dog.
3 winners will win a finished copy of THE SEVEN TORMENTS OF AMY & CRAIG, US Only.
FOLLOW THE TOUR
10/22/2018- The Clever Reader– Review
10/23/2018- Life of a Literary Nerd– Review
10/24/2018- A Dream Within A Dream– Review
10/25/2018- We Love and Breathe Books– Review
10/26/2018- Fangirl Fury– Review
Is The Seven Torments of Amy & Craig on your TBR? Share in the comments!