Saturday, 6 July 2013

Insomnia by J. R. Johansson

Title: Insomnia
Author: J. R. Johansson
Publisher: Flux
Released: June 1st 2013
Pages: 351 (eBook)

Her eyes saved his life.
Her dreams released his darkness.

After four years of sleeplessness, high school junior Parker Chipp can't take much more. Every night, instead of sleeping, he enters the dreams of the last person he's made eye contact with. If he doesn't sleep soon, Parker will die.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that is utterly addictive. But what starts out as a chance meeting turns into an obsession; Parker's furious desire for what he needs pushes him to extremes he never thought he'd go. And when someone begins to terrorizing Mia with twisted death threats, Parker's memory blackouts leave him doubting his own innocence.

I think it's impossible to look at this cover art and not be freaked out. It's creepy as heck, but it definitely draws the eye; I was hooked before the first page, and as I began to read it, my addiction only increased. Insomnia is the first in a series that you'll have to look out for.

Parker doesn't sleep, and hasn't for the past four years. Instead, he views the dreams of the last person he maintained eye contact with, and it is slowly killing him. It isn't until he meets Mia that he realises that there may be a solution; in her dreams, he can sleep. Gradually he begins to constantly seek her out at the end of every day, and this stalkerish attitude combined with some very mysterious and disturbing emails causes Mia to become afraid of him. Needing the tranquility of her dreams, Parker is determined to find the real stalker - but it turns out that the stalker is closer to home than he originally thought.

I loved Johansson's writing style, and it was quite casual and very easy to slip into. Admittedly the pace was slow at times, and I found that the story went round and round in circles at times - for example, Parker's following of Mia made me cringe so badly, and it couldn't have ended soon enough! However, when the pace did pick up the story got very interesting very quickly, and I soon found it difficult to put down.

A lot of this book is shrouded in mystery, as neither the reader not Parker are entirely sure what his 'curse' is. By the end of the book, about half those questions have been answered - but there are still more! So although there wasn't a crazy cliffhanger, I'm eager to find out what will happen next!

I loved Parker. As protagonists go, he was pretty great. Johansson wrote him in so that a lot of the time he was addressing the reader, making it feel as if we were his best friend Finn rather than an observer. Even though I find it easier to relate to female characters, I was still able to form a bond with Parker. Finn and Addie were good secondary characters, and I'd love to see more of both of them in the following sequels. I liked Mia as well, but she wasn't as heavily involved as the synopsis implied. Not to publish any spoilers, but I'm glad that this isn't a typical boy-meets-girl-falls-in-love scenario, which was refreshing.

Overall, I really really enjoyed this book. At the end, I just couldn't seem to put it down (and it completely distracted me from watching the Wimbledon semi-finale!) The concept for this book is unique and breathtaking, and brings insomnia to a whole new level. Johansson is a brilliant author, and I'm really looking forward to reading more in this series.
Rating: 4/5

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