Summary From Goodreads:
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.
Insomnia is the first book in what feels like ages that I have torn through without pausing. I completed it in an afternoon stopping only to tweet a couple things before diving back in. The story was as addicting to read as Mia’s dreams are to Parker in the book. I simply couldn’t stop.
Parker was an amazing main character. Johansson made sure that the reader really feels his suffering, his pain and how difficult it is to go through life without ever achieving that blissful sleep. She also refuses to fall into cliches, he isn’t some model of innocence or someone you always feel sympathy toward. Parker has an edge to him, a darkness and it doesn’t always play nice. He acts like a jerk, doesn’t always do the right thing even when he knows better, he’s human, but maybe the more primal version of one at times. When you are that sleep deprived your nerves would be shot, it’s not that the reactions he has at times are surprising, it’s just beautifully realistic that he has them.
The secondary characters are fabulous as well. Finn, the best friend, brings the humor that is so needed to lighten up some of the more serious scenes. He’s got great energy and being a bit of a dork works perfectly to contrast the rest of the cast. Addie has a sharp wit of her own despite being reserved a lot of the time. Her character is one that is slowly fleshed out rather than all at once which as she is the main romantic interest (more on that in a sec) is refreshing.
Which brings me to Mia. That point I just brought up? Ya, that’s right, the main character’s savior is NOT the main love interest! *cheers and applause rain down from readers everywhere* No cliches here folks! Mia is a tortured soul. She tries to hide it but her armor quickly falls and reveals her true character. You can’t help but feel bad for her. I can’t reveal too much about her without spoiling the book but I certainly hope she has a brighter future ahead of her after this book, she deserves it. We really don’t find out too much about her personality outside of a few glimpses, and I look forward to seeing her more fleshed out.
The plot is fascinating. This journey you take with Parker as he combats his inner darkness along with the physical and mental strain of never sleeping is amazing. His pursuit of Mia really was chilling. I was never sure of how his character would turn out and if he could survive the next day. We learn more about his powers over dreams and what he can and can’t control. Oh and if you want unexpected twists this is DEFINITELY the book for you. I can’t even. That ending was pretty shocking. You just have to read it.
The world building is a little harder to describe. While the regular one isn’t overly special, the dream world that Johansson shows us is as intricate as they come. Layers upon layers of different possibilities remain even by the end of the book and it will be very interesting to see what new things could be revealed in later books. Will Parker gain more control over the dreams he inhabits? Will he be able to really help people or will this darkness take control? Each dream, and consequently dream world, is as unique as the person having it, the options are endless.
The romance is very slow building. No insta-love here! I enjoyed it as the pairing wasn’t completely obvious throughout the book and it didn’t overpower the cool (and creepy) elements Insomnia had to bring. It was sweet and I’d love to see it continue but you never know what will happen with teenage romance…
My only issue with Insomnia was the very end. Like…the last couple chapters really. The reader gets dumped on with a bunch of loose ends that clearly have to be tied up in a later book. While I completely understand needing aspects near the end to keep the reader excited for the next installment, it felt a bit forced. Could the transition into these new plot points have been a bit smoother? Perhaps. It was the only point in the book where I was like “eh, I’m not sure I love this part” which really is unfortunate because I was thinking five stars for Insomnia all the way as I was reading until then.
Overall I really enjoyed Insomnia. As I said there was only real flaw and that was throwing some info dump/loose ends in the last couple chapters. Otherwise just awesome. Characters were wonderful. Romance was sweet. The plot was intriguing as were the dream worlds and the twists thrown in were wonderful. The creepiness of Insomnia felt very real and I can’t stress how important that was to this book’s success, the believability and execution of all that sleep deprivation could do to a person were excellent and vital. The most impressive thing? This is Johansson’s debut! How amazing is that?! She is sure to impress with her coming books in the future and I can’t wait to read them. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #102/200
Wicked Wildfire Read-A-Thon
The Wicked Wildfire Read-A-Thon is a time when we all get together to dedicate the days of June 7-14 to as much reading as possible. You read as much as you can in order to get yourself a little further through that huge to-read pile! We know real life gets in the way and even if you can’t participate more than one day, you’re welcome to join in on the fun!
That’s right! Frodo’s Blog of Randomness is back in full force starting this weekend, I know I’m excited and I hope you are too! If you follow the blog or my twitter @1FantasyFanatic then you know all about how work has scheduled me 50+ hours every week, well that has FINALLY come to an end and I have time to get back into blogging and the community that I love so much. I missed all of you! Hugs and happy dances for all! What better way to get back into the swing of things then to join a readathon and stock up some books to review for you guys, sound like a plan? Not like I could resist anyway, but the folks at My Shelf Confessions host a fabulous readathon and I really enjoyed the last one (Wicked Valentine’s Read-A-Thon) so all the more reason to sign up!
Last time I read over 1,500 pages, and while I don’t have nearly the amount of free time I did then I still plan to read at least a few books and post some reviews as I get back into blogging on a regular basis. I’m mixing up my reading list a bit from the last couple that didn’t go so well in hopes to have some better success and get a bit more motivated! As always I don’t plan to read ALL of these books, but they are at the top of my current list. Stats at the bottom.
Insomnia by J.R. Johansson
The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan
Grimspace by Ann Aguirre
Outpost by Ann Aguirre
Storm by Brigid Kemmerer
Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton
The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
Legend by Marie Lu
Currently Reading: Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan, Blood Winter by Diana Pharaoh Francis
Pages Read: 304
Amount of Time Spent Reading: 2hr 45min
Snacks Eaten: Pepsi (1 can)
“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by the fantastic people over at Breaking The Spine that highlights upcoming releases that we are excited about.
For this week my pre-publication selection that I can’t wait for is:
Insomnia (The Night Walkers #1) by J.R. Johansson
Summary From Goodreads:
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?
Can you believe this is a freaking debut?! When I found out about Insomnia during a twitter chat (as well as a bunch of other fantastic debuts) I had to pre-order it immediately. My initial reaction to the summary was “this seems like the reverse of David Levithan’s Every Day with a darker edge to it, awesome!” so that’s already a step in the right direction don’t you think? Now thinking about it there are some similar elements here to Ethan’s character in The Brightest Kind of Darkness series, so that’s another potential parallel for you. I guess I’ve been reading a bunch of mind-bender type books lately, I can’t wait to read this one too! By the way, I don’t do this in my WoW posts normally, but if you want to pre-order this like I did it is available on Amazon for only $5.55!
Does Insomnia appeal to you? Do you already have it pre-ordered or will you now for that crazy low price? What book are you “Waiting On”? Let me know in the comments and/or leave a link to your own WoW post and I will make sure to stop by! Thanks for checking out my Waiting On Wednesday!