A.L. Davroe's Reviews > Insomnia

Insomnia by J.R. Johansson
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it was amazing

I first learned about INSOMNIA when I recruited J.R. Johansson to be one of my featured authors. After learning that the ARC was available to me through NetGalley, I went ahead and looked a little further into reading it. What excited me about this book was the male protagonist – I love boys more than girls, that’s just how it is – and the idea of someone being a “dream-dunker.” (You might have noticed I like dream-dunkers).

Anyway, INSOMNIA is about a young man, Parker Chipp, who has this uncanny ability to see the dreams of the last person who he has made eye contact with. What’s exciting about this book is that he has been dealing with this issue for four years already. Unlike so many paranormal protags who just seem to stumble into their issues close to or at the beginning of a novel, Parker is “old hat.” In fact, he’s so old hat at what he does that he has already gone through the ‘ohh shiney’ aspect and the ‘this is life’ aspect and is now in the ‘this is legit killing me’ aspect.

How is it killing him? Well, if he’s in someone else’s dreams, then he’s not sleeping. Imagine going for four years without sleep. Yeah, I don’t like that idea either. Needless to say, Parker’s secret skill is catching up with him both physically and mentally. In fact, he might even be going a little nuts. At least, that’s what everyone else thinks is going on when Parker finally finds a person, Mia, whose dreams he can sleep in. But Parker doesn’t care what people are saying, he’s addicted to the calm of Mia’s mind and the restful sleep it promises.

But he should care, cause Mia is being stalked by a killer. The problem: He doesn’t know if he’s the one stalking and threatening her.

I liked Parker from the get-go, which is important when he starts to get kind of creepy. Cause he does get creepy with Mia. But, if you know anything about addiction and the kind of desperation that comes from trying to get one of the basic necessities of life, you can forgive him. What’s fun about this book is that you really can’t tell just how crazy or “evil” he is. The ending was a bit of a twist for me. Not a bad one and I guess I sort of hoped/expected something like that to happen – just didn’t figure it would end up the way it did. He’s definitely not entirely innocent (I can’t tell you what he does cause that would ruin it :P). I can’t wait to learn more about him in the sequel!

By way of secondary characters, Addie and Finn are nicely fleshed out and good friends to have on the Parker team. It’s definitely a plus for the book that this wasn’t a certainty the whole time. I like that Parker’s love interest is in Addie and not Mia -- which deviates from the standard paranormal MO.

I’m not really a huge fan of Mia and I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be. I suppose my dislike is entirely unfounded because she doesn’t really do anything to warrant dislike…she even redeems herself at the end. *shrugs*

This is definitely a novel that fits squarely in the YA department. Not too much sexy stuff or bad language, just a little bit of violence and social awkwardness.

Go read it!
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