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Insomnia by J.R. Johansson
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I read this book a while back. While I haven't forgotten everything that happened, I can say that none of it made a very lasting impression on me. It's a simple case of a fantastic premise with a lackluster execution.

We have an MC who can jump into the dreams of the last person he made eye contact with. Sounds cool, but then when you get into the logistics, it all kind of falls apart. It doesn't help that the MC isn't very likable as he falls into mental instability.

Because the MC has purportedly not slept in four years (due to his uncontrollable dream watching), he becomes obsessed when he finds the one person whose dreams he can actually get some rest in. He then goes out of his way to try and make eye contact with this girl every day before he goes home, so that he can sleep. Needless to say, this isn't an easy task. At first, it is, but then it gets tricky. Eventually, she starts to notice that he's a fucking weirdo who is going out of his way to see her. She becomes understandably shaken to the point where she fears for her life. Coincidentally, there is an actual stalker in real life who is hounding her and everyone begins to suspect the MC.

I think that the author's portrayal of the MC's downward spiral into madness was spot on. It officially creeped me out and it was well written. That doesn't make it easier to swallow the actual events, though. He got really, really nasty for a bit there. There were also numerous plot holes that just that made the story not very cohesive.

Despite appearing to be a unique story, the conclusion was rather predictable and lackluster, making this one an acceptable, but not exceptional read.
( )
  JennyJen | Aug 14, 2014 |
"Insomnia" introduces you to Parker Chip who isn't your ordinary high school student. For the past four years Parker has been plagued with the dreams of others. Thrown into the subconsciousness of the last person he made eye contact with he is unable to fully sleep and he is afraid he won't last much longer.

That is until he meets Mia. Mia's dreams are different then any others he has seen before and to his surprise and gratitude he is able to sleep for the first time in years.

Parker quickly becomes addicted to Mia's dreams and can't stop himself from over stepping his boundaries to get his much need rest.

It doesn't take long for Mia to notice his strange behavior and she warns Parker to stay away from her. Parker's life quickly starts to spiral out of control as he begins hurting the people close to him and himself as he tries to deal with having the semblance of a cure so close yet so unattainable.

When someone starts harassing Mia, sending her anonymous death threats Parker is at the top of everyone's list of suspects. Even his own. ( )
  Ginger_reader22 | Jun 10, 2014 |
This is teetering somewhere between a 2 or 3. Definitely not what I was expecting.

The first line of the premise says that Parker hasn’t slept for 4 years. Well, I’ll admit, I’m not a pleasant person without sleep, so the idea of someone not sleeping for that long, certainly got my attention. Could you imagine doing that? How could someone even function with no sleep? Not only the not sleeping, but to see other peoples dreams too. How crazy is that?

Parker is the main character, he just a young guy, goes to school, doesn’t have many friends, but the most interesting thing about him is, he doesn’t sleep, well at least what we think of as sleep. Being a Watcher as he call himself, he see the last person he made eye contact with’s dreams. Parker is one of those characters that you just aren’t sure about. I felt sorry for him for what he was going through but at the same time, he did come off a little cocky and on the selfish side and the way her treats his mother was awful. She was actually being a parent and caring what was happening with him. Finn is his best friends, and he was so funny with his vintage t-shirts with the sayings and one liners on them. I liked him a lot and was a good friend to Parker despite all that was happening. Finn’s sister was a character that I thought was good for Parker to have a friend and maybe more. She wanted to help him in whatever she could.

The story story start out strong, and with the dreams that Parker experiences, I thought I was in for one creepy, and hauting story. Once Mia, the new girl, come into the picture everything changes, especially for Parker. Yes, he can sleep because Mia’s dreams are different from everyone else’s, but then he becomes stalkerish and just down right creepy. He has to get her to look at him, and he does this anyway he can. Then, the scary and threatening email start, and she thinks it Parker and she becomes afraid of him. There is so much evidence against him, hell, I even began to think it might be him. Through all of this Parker and Addie become closer, and he finds that his friends are probably the best friends he could possibly have and just what he needs, but doesn’t make him any less creepy. The events that lead to to the very end were anti-climatic and the big reveal of who it really was behind it all didn’t make sense, and the why made even less sense. The ending was open ended, and I’m not sure where the story will go next.

The concept was fantastic, but the execution as a whole didn’t do it for me. Just too many holes that weren’t filled. I think those looking for a book that isn’t extremely scary and a paranormal, mysterious story will enjoy this. ( )
  jeneaw | Sep 30, 2013 |
Any person that suffers from insomnia will tell you that it can be one hell of a ride. It is like a theme park that goes on and on for hours. A battle that happens with the spirit and mind. No matter how hard you try and relax, your brain refuses to turn off. So once again you lay in bed and stare at the ceiling wondering how long you can tolerate this before you completely shutdown. This story is about a young man named Parker that suffers from this cruel disorder for four long years. Tortured and exhausted, he feels that he will die if he does not find a way to sleep. Along with the gift of never ending wakefulness he is gifted with the ability to jump into the dreams of people he makes eye contact with. This ability has caused him to resent the life he is living and dread making any eye contact. Thus, making people think he is a drug addict or mentally ill. By chance he stumbles into a girl that is new in town and makes eye contact with her. For the first time in four years he discovers he can sleep. From there his obsession grows and his behavior becomes strange. The girl that is his potential savior becomes threatened and is afraid of him. Then strange visions start appearing and he feels he is starting to loose his mind.

I really enjoyed this book due to the fact that I am a fellow sufferer of insomnia. I have been battling it off and on for 5 years and I can honestly tell you it is horrible. I felt that I could relate to the frustration and exhaustion the character felt throughout the story. This book was a wild ride and felt raw in many parts. I found myself feeling sorry for Parker and wanting to shake his friends from shear anger. How could two people be so stupid at times? I loved the emotional ride that this story brought, but hated the shallow characters that occasionally showed up. I also wish there was some history thrown in about his childhood. I thought that was a little short changed at times. Even with all of my frustration I can honestly say this book was fun. I strongly recommend it to anyone who is looking for something different in the paranormal world. I find this story unique and look forward to reading the next installment. ( )
  Jennifer35k | Jul 5, 2013 |
It may seem easy to just say, "I didn't sleep last night." Yet, when Parker says it, he really - literally - means it. And every night.

"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."

It seems like I have read quite a few books recently where the main character(s) were somehow experiencing some form of sleep loss beyond the norm. What made Insomnia different - and one of the things I really liked about it - was that it's main character, Parker also experienced the effects of that sleep deprivation.

Parker's extreme sleep deprivation wasn't just a plot element used to make his character more interesting or make things quirky. In a lot of ways, his 'insomnia' and its repercussions were the plot of Insomnia. We see the full toll it has taken and continues to take on Parker's life.

Though it's been four years of sleepless nights, the book is set at really the perfect time. Insomnia introduces us to Parker at two turning or, perhaps, tipping points. He seems to be reaching that point where it's all becoming too much (or not enough) and it's also when he meets Mia who promises a possible salvation.

A possible salvation she may not be willing to offer.

The closer Parker gets to that ultimate tipping point (where his lack of sleep will kill him), the more desperate he is for the real sleep Mia can provide. It's also the more unsure he becomes of his own actions.

The struggle present within Parker -- both physically and mentally/emotionally -- is incredibly well portrayed. What he's feeling physically and the mental effects it produces fuel his actions as the story progresses. It's also enough motivation that it, along with the turmoil we see him experiencing, would stop even the most unsympathetic action from alienating him as a character. We can understand why he's doing what he's doing.

Or at least why he thinks he needs to.

I will say that the way one character was written made them seem more villainous than they were and so I kept waiting for some nefarious twist or turn involving them. It may have been a purposeful red herring deal or they may just have come across that way (to me).

How everything wrapped up though was fantastic and I am really happy that I didn't see it all coming together that way. (Although, I am happy that one of the minor characters was there for the reason I suspected and I am, thus, looking forward to Book 2.) ( )
  BookSpot | Jul 1, 2013 |
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Insomnia features an honest, youthful voice with an edge of desperation.
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Sixteen-year-old Parker Chipp spends his nights experiencing other people's dreams and getting no rest, so when he discovers that new friend Mia's dreams are different he becomes fixated on her until memory blackouts lead him to question exactly what their relationship is.… (more)

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