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I Belong

Early Review: Insomnia by J.R. Johansson

Title: Insomnia

Author: J.R. Johansson

Genre: YA Mystery/Paranormal

SeriesThe Night Walkers (Book 1)

Publication DateJune 8, 2013

FormatPaperback, 360 Pages

ISBN-100738735930 (Flux)

ISBN-13978-0738735931 (Flux)

Reviewed by: Bridget


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?

Quick & Dirty: Great suspenseful mystery with a twist of paranormal thrown in.  The idea was fresh and original and it was a really good read.

Opening Sentence: It’d been over four years since I’d really slept, and I suspected it was killing me

Excerpt: Yes

The Review

Parker is a Watcher.  When he turned 12 years old he stopped sleeping, well at least real sleep.  Whenever he would fall asleep he would enter into the dreams of the last person he came into eye contact with.  While he is in their dreams he sees everything they see and feels everything they feel.  Because his brain never really goes to sleep he never gets the rest he needs to regenerate his body, so this insomnia is slowly killing him.  Then he meets Mia.  For the first time in 4 years he is able to really sleep.  There is something different about her dreams that when he enters them he can fall asleep in them and have his own dreams.  Because it’s the only way for Parker to survive he tries to make sure that Mia is the last person he makes eye contact with everyday and it starts to really freak Mia out.  He always seems to show up where ever she is and it feels like he is stalking her.  Then Mia starts to get threatening emails and immediately she thinks it is Parker.  Parker would never do anything to hurt anyone, but he starts to have blackouts.  Parker will do anything to help Mia, but what if it’s him that she really does need to be afraid of?

This book is told from Parker’s point of view, and I found him to be a really good character.  He is really a sweet guy, but I have to be honest at times he was a little creepy.  He is so obsessed with Mia, that it makes you really doubt him.  He is a very fleshed out developed character and I really liked him. He has kept his issues a secret from everyone for obvious reasons, but with everything that is happening with Mia he finally breaks down and tells his best friend Finn.

Finn is that funny guy that lightens the mood of the intense moments in the book.  He has been best friends with Parker since they were little kids and he is a really good guy.  When Parker finally opens up to him about what’s going on he is concerned and really wants to help in any way that he can. He is a good friend and a fun character to get to know.

Mia is new to school this year and she has quite a sad past.  She is currently a foster kid that lives with one of the boys from Parker’s soccer team.  There was a tragic accident and Mia’s parents were killed.  She already has a lot of hurt from the past and now she has to deal with a stalker.  She doesn’t know if she can handle all of it.  I really felt bad for Mia; she is a sweet girl that got dealt a bad hand in life.

This book was way different than I was expecting, but in a good way.  From the description and the cover I thought that this book was going to be more of a horror book, but while it was intense,  it’s not really scary.  I really enjoyed the idea; it was so original and new.  The plot really kept me guessing and had good twists throughout.  I really loved all the characters and found myself really caring about all of them.  The ending of the book was perfect, it wrapped up the plot line nicely, but definitely left me wanting more and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a good mystery with a paranormal twist to it.

Notable Scene

I glanced back just in time to see Mia waving at Addie and moving toward the parking lot. Jumping to my feet, I ran to cut her off. I only needed a minute, one glance, and then I’d let her go.

I skidded to a stop in front of her, my feet tingly and raw as I realized I’d forgotten my shoes back on the beach.

Mia jumped away and gave a little squeak before glaring at me.

“What on Earth is wrong with you?”

“Sorry, I … ” My mind went blank.

“Seriously, if it weren’t for Addie telling me you were just acting weird lately, I’d have you committed.”

I’d have to thank Addie for that later, although, a very strong argument could be made for a padded room and a white jacket these days. I put my hands on my knees and feigned panting, trying to buy time to figure out what to say.

“Look, I’m flattered, really.” Mia’s voice was a little softer when she spoke again. “I mean, you’re really cute, but let’s be honest. You keep showing up everywhere I go, and the way you act—you’re starting to freak me out.”

I stood up straight. “What?”

“Come on, Parker. Do you really think I don’t notice you staring at me? The way you came by my house to talk to Jeff last weekend? Am I supposed to believe you didn’t know he was at football practice?” She shuffled her feet and looked away. “And just now, I thought you were going to bore a hole through my head back on the beach.”

“I’m sorry. I just really like your … your eyes?” I’d meant it to come out as a statement, not a question. I wanted to kick myself.

She stared at me, unblinking. “My eyes?”

“Yeah, you have pretty eyes.”

The Night Walker Series:

1. Insomnia

FTC Advisory: Flux provided me with a copy of Insomnia. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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