Friday, April 18, 2014

Review - Insomnia by J.R. Johansson

I won INSOMNIA from Freedom to Read Blog Hop giveaway at Literary Rambles last summer. It was a book of choice and at first I picked Taken, but they only had it in hardback. I'm more of a paperback girl, so I asked for a change and got this one. And I'm so happy I did! I've been wanting to read it ever since I first heard about it! And, finally, here are my thoughts.

Genres: YA / Paranormal / Thriller
Length: 351 pages
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Her eyes saved his life.
Her dreams released his darkness.

After four years of sleeplessness, high school junior Parker Chipp can't take much more. Every night, instead of sleeping, he enters the dreams of the last person he's made eye contact with. If he doesn't sleep soon, Parker will die.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that is utterly addictive. But what starts out as a chance meeting turns into an obsession; Parker's furious desire for what he needs pushes him to extremes he never thought he'd go. And when someone begins to terrorizing Mia with twisted death threats, Parker's memory blackouts leave him doubting his own innocence.

I love the cover. I think it goes very well with the mood in the book. Honestly, I'm generally not a fan of faces on the cover, but some books pull it off very well. In my mind, INSOMNIA was one of them :)

My review:
NOT disappointed! I always want to finish my books as fast as possible - I'm a rather slow reader and books keep piling up. But over a long period of time I finally found a book I not only loved, but dreaded to turn the last page of. It gripped me like no other had in a while. The sequel, PARANOIA, won't be out before summer, and the wait feels too long!

In short, our hero, Parker, is a guy that haven't had real sleep for about four years and it seems to be killing him. Instead of his own dreams, he is thrust into the person's he last made eye contact with. But when a possible solution arrives, things start to go very bad very quickly.

I loved the concept of entering people's dreams. The idea sounds simple, but good. Yet how the writer brought the story to readers amazed me even more. Like I tend to, I read a couple of negative reviews before finishing the book, and one specifically made me love it even more. No matter how much Parker tried to keep it together and be the good guy, in the end he was still a troubled youth who thought he was going to die. I love him, for he was actually strong despite everything. All in all, Parker was a very realistic character who might as well pop right out of your book! Not always composed and perfect the way we like our protagonists to be, but that's what made me like him so much. I've read little books with male leads, and they're always a lot different from the common YA stories with teen girls. INSOMNIA was no exception, and it felt so great and refreshing.

I've got no complaints on the writing nor the characters. The latter were all well-defined, the main characters loveable. I'm still a bit confused about Darkness, about who or what exactly is he, but spilling too much in the first book perhaps would've ruined it somewhat anyway. There was a bit, but not too big an emphasis on romance. It added a nice touch and didn't feel forced or self-important. And the ending - at least I didn't exactly see it coming.

There were more than a couple of times when I thought of a way Parker could've solved a problem or done something differently, and I dislike it when there are obvious answers the authors avoid simply to get their story to where they want it. But with INSOMNIA, these thoughts I had always found their place in the book eventually, showing me Johansson really did think things through. I liked that. Overall, the whole story was very well planned and I'm extremely curious as to what's going to happen in PARANOIA!

I recommend! INSOMNIA deserves all the attention it can get, and more!

Click here to see this review on Goodreads.

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