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Insomnia | J. R. Johansson | Review

Image via Goodreads (side note - how horrible is that cover?!)

Insomnia tells the story of Parker Chipp, a teen who hasn’t sleep properly in four years but no one other than him knows why. Instead of falling asleep and dreaming like everyone else, Parker is a Watcher which means he views the dreams of the last person he made eye contact with that day. The dreams he sees range from the completely obscure and surreal to those that are real memories rather than fiction but no matter what secrets he finds he can’t share them with anyone, not even when he witnesses a man’s memory of murdering his wife. Since he can’t share the truth at the risk of being labelled insane Parker’s mother, unable to understand the deterioration in his looks and health believes that he is taking drugs putting an extra strain on their relationship. On top of all that Parker has discovers the worst possible news, his sleep-deprivation is slowly killing him. When new girl in town Mia starts receiving threatening emails that she believes are from Parker the story takes on a dark twist and becomes a mystery thriller.

The novel set off to a promising start with it’s intriguing and unique premise we are introduced to the idea of Watchers and just how this ability has affected Parker’s life. When the main mystery element was introduced initially it made the story even more intriguing however it quickly became quite predictable. There were of course some plot holes, more appearing as the story progressed and became more complicated, which were difficult to forgive and I personally found it difficult to believe that nothing like this would have happened to Parker before seeing as he has already been dealing with his insomnia for so long. When nearing the end of the story things suddenly became very dramatic which although led to the conclusion of the main mystery also left a handful of unanswered questions to be explored in the next book of the Night Walkers series.

As with many Young Adult protagonists Parker isn’t the most likable character in the world although he can perhaps be forgiven for some of his actions considering the circumstances – I mean, no sleep for four years, how is he even still alive?! Best friends, sibling duo Finn and Addie were much more likable although both also played fairly typical roles in the story. As Mia suspects Parker of being her threatening stalker she spends a lot of the novel avoiding him and therefore we don’t really get to learn as much about her as the others, something I hope will be fixed in the sequel.

Despite my complaints the dream concept was definitely clever and there was enough within the plot to keep me interested throughout the book but still something was missing. I will most likely continue with the Night Walkers series with an interest to see where the author plans to take Parker’s journey next and a hope for answers to some of the questions I’m left with.
This post was written by regular reviewer Erin, get to know her here.
*Review of an eARC c/o Netgalley

1 comment

  1. That cover is so creepy! It does sound like quite an interesting story, although I think I'll have to download it on my Kindle to avoid seeing that cover!


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