Author: J.R. Johansson
Series: The Night Walkers
Publication Date: June 8th, 2013
Rating: 2 Stars
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, like everyone else, got pretty interested in the premise of this book. It's always interesting to see how authors twist the whole concept of dreams and how they influence reality. Insomnia reminded me of Wake in the way it makes dreaming a curse. The entire tone of Insomnia is creepy and dark, and it's easy to feel just as confused as the main character, Parker, about who the real victims and instigators are.
The beginning and end of the book were interesting, but I slogged through the middle. I didn't feel very invested in any of the characters, least of all Parker. Johansson was doing a balancing act with making the main character a possible antagonist, and in this case, I didn't think it was very well done. I never really empathized with Parker's situation or wanted to believe that he wasn't the one doing all the stalking and causing all the chaos. Most of the time, I was sick of him being melodramatic and creepin' on other people when I think there could have been more reasonable ways of dealing with his many situations. In addition, his whole issue with sleep isn't clarified enough for me to buy it completely. First of all, why is he still able to function like a normal person and play soccer (minus all the ogling of his co-captain's sister-in-law)? Second of all, how come he can take naps and not have dreams? Some of the stuff just doesn't add up. Or maybe I just missed stuff while being bored.
The other characters are equally flat. I do like the fact that Finn and Addie were so supportive of Parker, but they were just that. Neither of them did anything beyond that, and I just can't shake the feeling that they're nothing but two characters who will help Parker out of sucky situations. Mia, the girl that Parker thinks is his salvation, is nothing more than a girl who had a crappy past that she was trying to run from. In the end, I definitely felt like she didn't deserve any of the stuff that Parker or anyone else did to her, but is that all she is? The engineered subject of our pity? What happened to the spitfire in the beginning of the book, who did have a comeback or two to Parker's? That part of her seemed to disappear the moment a threat appeared.
I guess Insomnia is more contemporary and grittier than I expected, and I didn't really like that. I enjoyed Wake by Lisa McMann more, though, and it was still pretty firmly rooted in reality. Maybe my dislike has something to do with the main character, Parker, who doesn't seem to do much. There is an interesting idea that the next book will hopefully expand on more, but I don't think I'll continue with the series.
Thank you to Netgalley for giving me the chance to read and review this book.
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