Series: The Night Walkers #1
Published by Flux on June 8, 2013
Genres: horror, thriller, young adult
Source: ARC from publisher
Buy it: Amazon • Add it: 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?
I can sum this book up in one word:
I honestly thought this book was going to go in a completely different direction than it did. The fact that it didn’t? This is not a bad thing. Insomnia is the story of Parker Chipp – soccer all-star, everyday good guy, resident psycho. Ok, maybe he’s not psycho (debatable) but I don’t know how not because Parker is an insomniac. And he hasn’t slept in four years. He’s a Night Walker – he’s cursed to see and feel the dreams of the last person he makes eye contact with each day. Sometimes the dreams aren’t so bad. Other times they’re incredibly terrifying or painful. But they never, ever let Parker sleep.
Then he meets Mia. Mia’s dreams are different…and even though he’s there, conscious in her dreams, he finds he can fall asleep inside them. Suddenly, everything is different. Suddenly, Parker has a chance at life. And after four years of sleeplessness, after accepting that his fate was to die without ever really living, Parker will do anything – anything – to hang on to this hope.
Suspension of disbelief. You’ll need it, because HOW ELSE IS PARKER STILL FUNCTIONING LIKE A SEMI-NORMAL HUMAN BEING AFTER FOUR YEARS WITHOUT SLEEP??! I have severe insomnia – it was one of the things that drew me to this book. But I’ll be honest…it hasn’t been four years since I’ve had sleep. As a matter of fact, I’ve slept every night this week so far but I’m still struggling to act like something other than a zombie because all those nights I didn’t get much or any sleep? Yeah…the effects of that never fully go away. So I found it a little hard to believe that he was still functioning…attending school, playing soccer, hanging out with friends. Can I be a book character please? Because, seriously. I’M FALLING APART.
But uh, anyway. Parker has kept his secret for years, thinking no one would ever believe him if he seriously tried to tell them about his ability/curse. But when Mia comes along, all that changes too. Because someone is after her. And since Parker is being a complete
weirdo psycho stalker creeper, people start to believe it’s him. Including his best friend, Finn, and Finn’s sister Addie. Mia’s feelings toward him go from mild annoyance to absolute terror and when that terror starts showing up in her dreams, Parker knows he has to do something. What he doesn’t know is if he believes in his own innocence.
Determined to figure out what’s going on with Mia, and what’s going on with himself in the process, Parker reveals his secret to Finn and Addie. With their help, Parker tries to convince Mia that she has nothing to fear from him. But when his plans continue to fail, he finds himself drowning in the darkest night he’s ever seen; full of secrets and horrors and terrible things that go bump in the night. Suddenly Parker’s life isn’t the only one at stake…and maybe Parker isn’t even who HE thought he was.
This book was an absolutely refreshing foray into the world of insomnia, psychosis, and terror. Johansson has a masterful way of drawing the reader in and making sure they can’t leave, even though they’re scared to death. There are so many great things in this book, twist and turns and questions – ALWAYS THE QUESTIONS. You’ll be left guessing, I’m just going to go ahead and spoil that for you. Don’t expect answers. Because J.R. is playing those cards close to the chest…and she’s not ready to reveal her hand yet.
Sadly, this makes for a complaint for me. I didn’t like the ending. There. There it is. I said it. I didn’t want to say it, but honesty is my policy and that ending grated on my nerves. The culprit was all wrong and there were so many questions left unanswered that I didn’t get that amazing adrenaline rush when I turned the last page. This made the book feel more like a long novella leading up to the actual story, which hasn’t been released yet. The good thing about this is that it’s very possible that Johansson won’t fall victim to the very contagious sophomore slump.
All in all a great debut from an amazing author. Plenty of action and adventure, mystery, comedy, and even romance. You don’t want to miss this one.
Just be sure you read it with the lights on.