The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig

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....

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Title:The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig
Author:Don Zolidis
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig Reviews

  • Tiffany

    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. :)

  • Books and Guacamole

    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.

  • Samantha Clark

    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.

  • Don Zolidis

    So I may have written this book, but I will say clearly that it is the best thing I've ever done. So there.

  • Samantha (WLABB)

    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 gu

    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 provided in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)

    This was a beautifully bittersweet love story that was so grounded in realism and authenticity that I fell head over heels, and had my heartbroken alongside Amy and Craig.

    details the on-again off-again romance between Amy and Craig. We explo

    This was a beautifully bittersweet love story that was so grounded in realism and authenticity that I fell head over heels, and had my heartbroken alongside Amy and Craig.

    details the on-again off-again romance between Amy and Craig. We explore their lives, hopes, dreams, and fears as they keep finding their way to each other.

    I loved the writing style in the story. Everything was so realistic and clear. It honestly felt like a movie playing out in front of me. I didn’t want to put the book down. And Craig’s narration was so witty, humorous, and personal - we get so many of his random thoughts and clearly see him. It was just fantastic. Reading this story felt like connecting with a friend and just catching up. It was so good. I would have loved to get to know Amy a bit more, maybe even a POV chapter, and the other side characters were only in the story very briefly, but they did have great interactions with each other.

    is an unexpected love story about soulmates, friendships, romance, and everything in between. It’s about finding your happiness, while learning to be content in your everyday moments. It shows the messiness of life, and the joy and hope we seek in forming bonds with other people. We see that there are always new endings, and if we’re lucky there are new beginnings too.

  • Thamy

    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.

  • Gary Anderson

    Who’s ready for a funny YA book?

    is the first novel from the prolific, frequently-produced playwright Don Zolidis. This on-again-off-again romance is told from Craig’s point of view as Amy breaks up with him not once, not twice, but you guessed it—seven times. Craig is understandably tormented by all this, although his sense of humor keeps the story light and downright funny, even when the plot turns more serious toward the end. Threading through Craig’s expla

    Who’s ready for a funny YA book?

    is the first novel from the prolific, frequently-produced playwright Don Zolidis. This on-again-off-again romance is told from Craig’s point of view as Amy breaks up with him not once, not twice, but you guessed it—seven times. Craig is understandably tormented by all this, although his sense of humor keeps the story light and downright funny, even when the plot turns more serious toward the end. Threading through Craig’s explanation of his love life are other misadventures from his early ‘90s teenage existence in Janesville, Wisconsin involving deer hunting, a college visit, Dungeons and Dragons, and comic books. We can give this enjoyable book to high school readers looking for an older-kids version of

    .

  • Kelly

    This is the epitome of the kind of love story I love in YA: there's an ending that feels utterly deserved and that you're told right away would happen (it's not a romance with a capital R), and both of the characters have good and not-so-good qualities to them. Zolidis tells this story in a nonlinear fashion, taking us from the middle of Amy and Craig's rocky relationship, then to the beginning, and then through to the end. We see both characters become well-fleshed, and we see their flaws in po

    This is the epitome of the kind of love story I love in YA: there's an ending that feels utterly deserved and that you're told right away would happen (it's not a romance with a capital R), and both of the characters have good and not-so-good qualities to them. Zolidis tells this story in a nonlinear fashion, taking us from the middle of Amy and Craig's rocky relationship, then to the beginning, and then through to the end. We see both characters become well-fleshed, and we see their flaws in powerful ways.

    Craig is funny, and throughout, his humor shines through. It doesn't feel forced nor does it feel fake. This is a dude who really loves Amy but also knows he's imperfect and immature and in a family that's struggling financially, so some of his plans for the future are in question. Amy is adopted, and one of the through lines in the story is about her close relationship with her adoptive mother, as well as her toying with the idea of connecting with her birth mother.

    The book is set in Janesville, Wisconsin, which is a community I'm really familiar with. It's spot on in describing things and for hitting real great Wisconsin humor (the Perkins! The cow! Parker Pens and their layoffs! The GM plant!). It also is a love story to gaming and D&D, which began just a few miles down the road from Janesville and it also highlights Gen Con, back when Gen Con was still in Milwaukee (but after Lake Geneva, of course!). It was refreshing to see this all through Craig's eyes, especially, because I knew so many people who grew up in Janesville not too many years after this story is set, and I know how much it rings true.

    The dialog here is great, and both characters feel like actual teens. Zolidis writes plays for high school performers, and his eye for staging, for speech, and for mannerisms shines through.

    Pass along to readers who like love stories told in non-linear ways, who love books with a funny male protagonist at the helm, and who like a book that makes them laugh and feel sadness throughout. It's set in the 1990s, so it's one that'll appeal to readers who love that setting. It reminded me a big of A SHORT HISTORY OF THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, which would be a nice pairing. Readers who pick this up and love and/or are fascinated by the setting would do well with reading JANESVILLE, which highlights things like GM and the Parker Pen company and their role in building Janesville to being what it is; it'll also give insight into the off-handed comments Craig makes, particularly about how Janesville is very white (it is, and that's by racist design).

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