Thursday, October 25, 2018

Blog Tour: The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig - Don Zolidis

The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig
Don Zolidis
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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.

First and foremost, I want to thank Zolidis for warning me that though this is a love story, there would be no HEA. So, yeah, he warned me, but I just kept hoping the outcome would change, because I am the sappiest sap alive. He prepared me for it, but I still cried.

This book is called The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig, but to me, this was really Craig's story. It was the story of his first love and subsequent heartbreak, but it also chronicled a rather cataclysmic year in his life, which I guess, was his coming-of-age.

That being said, I LOVED Craig. Right from the start, I knew I was going to adore him. He was witty and wry and he made me laugh. I ached for him every time Amy broke up with him, and scolded him every time he went back to her. My heart broke for him when his family hit a rough patch, and I was proud of his personal growth throughout the story. Good job, Don Zolidis! You wrote a great character, who totally endeared himself to me.

Amy was a little tougher for me to like. The story was told solely from Craig's perspective, therefore, I really had no inkling as to why Amy kept breaking up with Craig. We slowly learn bits and pieces of her life throughout the book, but don't really get the full story until almost the end of the book. That last bit helped me reconcile my feelings about Amy and understand her a lot more, and maybe it was sort of brilliant to make me wait.

There were lots of great supporting characters in this book as well. Amongst my favorites, were Craig's D&D squad. They each had some quirks, and the group as a whole, had a great dynamic. They really rallied around Craig, when he hit some low points during his various "torments". Craig may not have had as many friends as his sister, but he had some quality friends.

I also loved Craig's dad. He goes through a lot in this book, and we see his and Craig's relationship undergo some major changes. This was one of the first times that Craig saw his dad as a fallible human. He saw his father bear his emotions and actually share his feelings. These reveals were huge, and really took Craig and his dad's relationship in a meaningful direction.

Zolidis did a fantastic job taking me through the ups and downs of this relationship. I thought laying it out in a non-linear way worked well, but my favorite thing was the way Craig told the story. I like when the characters talk to me. It's a format that works well for me with films, TV shows, and books. It conveyed this intimacy that fit the confessional nature of this story, which was very memoire-esque.

This book was mostly funny. Zolidis expertly wove the heavier bits in with lots of humor, which was probably why so many tears flowed at the end. That seventh torment was the toughest for me. I just reread the ending, and of course, I am crying. There is a part that was really sad, but the rest was more bittersweet. I liked how Amy and Craig's lives had progressed, and was happy about that, but being a hopeless romantic, I wanted an HEA.

Overall: A charming and humorous look at first love and moving on.

* ARC received in exchange for an honest review.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



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.

His first novel, The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig, will be published by Disney-Hyperion in October 2018.

He currently splits time between Texas and New York and aspires to owning a dog.


Week One:
10/08/2018- YA Books CentralExcerpt
10/09/2018- Here's to Happy EndingsReview
10/10/2018- AbellafairytaleReview
10/11/2018- Jena Brown WritesReview
10/12/2018- A Gingerly ReviewReview

Week Two:
10/15/2018- Do You Dog-ear?Review
10/16/2018- Patriotic BookaholicReview
10/17/2018- A Bookish DreamReview
10/18/2018- The Pages In-BetweenReview
10/19/2018- Bookish WispsReview

Week Three:
10/22/2018- The Clever ReaderReview
10/23/2018- Life of a Literary NerdReview
10/24/2018- A Dream Within A DreamReview
10/25/2018- We Love and Breathe BooksReview
10/26/2018- Fangirl FuryReview

Week Four:
10/29/2018- Riddle’s ReviewsReview
10/30/2018- Twirling Book PrincessExcerpt
10/31/2018- Sweet Southern HomeExcerpt
11/1/2018- The Desert BibliophileReview
11/2/2018- Cindy's Love of BooksReview

Week Five:
11/5/2018- Novel NoviceReview
11/6/2018- BookHounds YAReview
11/7/2018- Owl Always Be ReadingReview
11/8/2018- Two points of interestReview
11/9/2018- Book-KeepingReview

Is there something considered "geeky" that you love?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. You're always reading books I haven't read! Sounds like the characterizations and relationships were well-written! Great review!

    1. The author is actually a well-known playwright, and it shows

  2. I’m with you - despite being warned of no HEA, I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from hoping for different. Especially when Craig sounds like such a sweetheart. You’d obviously want his HEA. I feel like I’d go into the book predisposed to dislike Amy for stringing Craig along and breaking his heart... but hopefully that’s not really the case.

    1. There are even some developments that made me think it was going to work, but nope. Still a great coming of age story

  3. You know, I might need to read this one! I wasn't sure at first, but Craig sounds wonderful and I like the addition of humor. I like when characters in books/movies/TV talk to me too.


  4. I love the cover and title of this one. It really draws my attention. I think I’d love Craig.

    1. I commend the person, who designed the cover, because it really captures the essence of this book.

  5. Craig sounds like a sweetheart, I think I would feel bad for him with all the back-and-forth.

    1. He was flawed, but a good guy under it all, and his disastrous relationship with Amy kick-started a lot of needed growth.

  6. I really want to read this one- though I am a little bummed about the ending thing! Craig sounds amazing, and now I want to read it even more, even though I now know that it will bum me out hahah. Great review, I am so glad that you enjoyed it!

    1. I am a sappy romantic, so I wanted them to go off into the sunset, but I think Zolidis framed it well. I still suffered heartache, but it was obvious they were better as friends, because both had so much work to do on themselves.

  7. This sounds sweet and fun. thanks for the great review. And the warning about the ending:)

    1. There are definitely sweet and fun parts, but lots of deep and emotional parts too.

  8. Aww, this sounds so sad and emotional! I'm a sap as well, so I would have done the same despite being warned of a no HEA. 😅

    1. It made me think of how I BAWLED for Sam in Before I Fall. You know from the beginning that she dies, but I kept wanting her ending to change. Same here. Amy and Craig did some growing over the course of the book, and came to some significant realizations about themselves, and I thought, "maybe", but alas, Zolidis did not throw that type of plot twist in.

  9. I would've actually thought that this one was going to be a dual point of view given that they end up breaking up and getting together so much. It would seem a bit more fair when it comes to the chances of liking one character more than the other. But if there is the element of mystery around Amy in there then I see why. The fact that there is no HEA actually intrigues me! I wonder how it ends? Is it just with a final break up or something worse...

    1. I think the choice to keep it single POV was interesting and worked, because it kept Amy a little bit of a mystery. We got to see the parts of Amy that Craig wanted us to see, when he wanted us to see them, and I feel like it fit his realizations about her.

  10. This sounds like a good story. Nice giveaway!

    1. I really liked it. I mean, I would have liked it more had it been a traditional romance, but it was a funny and poignant coming of age sort of story.