Friday, 7 June 2013

Review: Insomnia by J.R. Johansson

Title: Insomnia (The Night Walkers #1)
Author: J.R. Johansson
Release date: June 8th 2013
Publisher: Flux
Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Format: eARC
Pages: 361
Source: NetGalley

It’s been four years since I slept, and I suspect it is killing me.

Instead of sleeping, Parker Chipp enters the dream of the last person he’s had eye contact with. He spends his nights crushed by other people’s fear and pain, by their disturbing secrets—and Parker can never have dreams of his own. The severe exhaustion is crippling him. If nothing changes, Parker could soon be facing psychosis and even death.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that is utterly addictive. Parker starts going to bizarre lengths to catch Mia’s eye every day. Everyone at school thinks he’s gone over the edge, even his best friend. And when Mia is threatened by a true stalker, everyone thinks it’s Parker.

Suffering blackouts, Parker begins to wonder if he is turning into someone dangerous. What if the monster stalking Mia is him after all?

Insomnia isn't just another YA thriller. It's pretty different from anything I've read before. The premise is kind of similar to Every Day by David Levithan, but in this case, Parker enters people's dreams instead of their bodies. And this one is a whole lot more enjoyable, in my opinion! I loved the mystery aspect in this book, and the fact that it's so unpredictable most of the time.

Parker isn't your average teenage boy. Every night, he enters the dream of the last person he had eye contact with before sleeping, and spends the night in that dream. His brain never sleeps, and it's slowly killing him. I mean, can you imagine going years without your brain ever shutting down? Anyway, when he actually gets to sleep for the first time in four years, he knows it's because of Mia, the girl he just met. Her dreams are calm, serene. Parker can actually sleep in them. And he loves it. So he goes out of his way to make sure Mia is the last person he sees every day before bed. But that has a lot of complications, especially when Mia gets a stalker. And Parker doesn't know if it's him or not.

I loved getting into Parker's head. He's definitely one of the most interesting YA protagonists I've seen, and I haven't read that many books from a male point of view. I think that was done really well. I could hear Parker's voice loud and clear. He's a likeable guy, sweet and talented. I felt really sorry for him, on account of the fact that his lack of sleeping is killing him, and making him psychotic before that. Parker really is a good guy, and that's the worst part about it. He starts doubting himself, and it's so convincing that I start doubting him too. I can't even imagine everything Parker goes through, just so that he can get a reprieve from the terrible nights he has.

From the book description, you'd think Mia was the love interest, right? Wrong. Mia is just a girl Parker meets who he's definitely impressed by and kind of obsessed with, but his heart belongs to someone else - Addie, his best friend Finn's little sister. At times I liked Mia more than Addie and was hoping she'd end up with Parker, but as I got to know Addie, I grew to like her a lot. Addie sees the best in Parker no matter what, and I think she's really good for him. She believes in him when no one else does, and Parker wouldn't have been able to handle everything if not for her. She's strong even though she doesn't seem like it, and she's like a pillar of support for Parker. So yeah, Addie's pretty awesome.

And Finn. Definitely my favourite character of the book! From the beginning, he's freaking hilarious. Parker describes him as weird, and even his dreams are weird. And his t-shirts, oh my god. They have all these really cool phrases on them, and they're basically Finn's signature. A couple of ones I really liked said, "I'd flex, but I like this shirt," and "I'm schizophrenic. And so am I." I mean, how cool is this guy? Moreover, Finn is unfailingly loyal to Parker. It's admirable how much. Him and Addie both, they care so much for Parker and do so much for him. He really is lucky to have friends like them.

Insomnia is definitely creepy, but I loved it. If you're a fan of Gretchen McNeil's Ten or any thriller novel, you'll really enjoy this one. The premise draws you in right from the start, and it doesn't let go. I found myself so absorbed in this world, and caught myself imagining what it would be like to be a 'Watcher'. This is the first book in a series, so I'm intrigued about what the sequel would be about. Most plot threads are wrapped up in this one, so if you have a certain hatred for cliffhangers, Insomnia will please you! J.R. Johansson has done an amazing job with her debut novel, and I'm really looking forward to more from her.

*Thank you to Flux for providing me with an ARC for review*

Rating: 4/5


  1. Thank you for taking the time to read and write this awesome review! :) I'm thrilled you enjoyed it!

    1. Aw, I'm glad you approve :) And it was my pleasure!

  2. Thrillers are so much fun to read when they're done right. And since you recommend it for Gretchen McNeil fans, I'm pretty eager to read this. I ended up really enjoying McNeil and this premise sounds awesome!!

  3. i like YA thriiler and mystery..thx u so much for a honest revie..
    i will put insomnia on my TBR list :)


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