Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Insomnia by J.R. Johansson

Insomnia by J.R. Johansson
Release Date: June 8, 2013
Publisher: Flux

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? - Goodreads.com

This book was not really what I was expecting.  Don't get me wrong, it was awesome.  I really liked it, but it was definitely different.  I liked the unique concept... it was very inventive to have someone who can' sleep but visits the dreams of the last person to make eye contact with him.  So it captured my attention immediately.

My feelings about Parker were so mixed.  On the one hand, I liked him as a character, and I felt so bad for what he has to go through in his sleep-deprived state.  I can't imagine what it must feel like to have gone so long without true sleep.  It justifies some of his strange behavior with Mia in my view, even as I felt so bad for him that others are starting to look at him as somewhat of a freak because of the way he treats her.  Here's a guy desperate for the chance to sleep, and he finds a girl whose dreams are so calm, that he can finally get sleep.  I'd probably do exactly what he did.  It does make him look weird to Mia herself, as well as to his friends.

On the other hand, it was unusual place, to be inside Parker's head as he works through his strange abilities and the Darkness inside him.  I thought I had the whole thing figured out.  Parker had nothing to do with the strange danger, but then I began to think he did... and even he thought so too.  There were quite a few twists and turns in here.  It even had romance, but the author threw me for a loop on that one too.  It wasn't what I expected. 

This was definitely a book that kept my on my toes.  I enjoyed the darkness and suspense of it.  It had a Dean Koontz feel to it that I really liked.


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