Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Monday, May 6, 2013

Book Review: Insomnia by J. R. Johansson

**I received this book from NetGalley for an honest review**
Synopsis (from Goodreads):  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?
My Thoughts:  Imagine going to sleep but not really sleeping.  This is how Parker has lived his life for the last 4 years.  His body sleeps but his mind ends up in other people's dreams and does not get the rest it needs.  After four years of this, Parker is getting worried about how much longer this can go on before he dies.  His mom thinks he is on drugs and his doctor's only solution (to a problem he doesn't really know about) is to give Parker sleeping pills.  Nothing works and Parker has come to the realization that he may die before he even graduates.  Everything seems hopeless until he meets Mia. 
Parker doesn't just see into anyone's's the last person he has made eye contact with.  After almost causing an accident, Parker looks into Mia's eyes at the end of the day.  Not only is Mia beautiful and fiesty, she has the calmest dreams that Parker has ever been in.  They are so calm that Parker can actually fall asleep in her dreams.  After one night of actual sleep, Parker is addicted.  He goes out of his way to find Mia and make sure she is the last person he makes eye contact with at the end of the day.
Of course, this gets a little creepy.  Parker is stalking Mia and becoming a true addict.  He is not himself and will do anything to make sure that Mia is the only person he makes eye contact with at the end of the day.  He skips soccer, alienates his best friend and his best friend's sister and worries his mother to no end.  He also starts to freak Mia out.  She wants nothing to do with Parker and is terrified when he comes anywhere near her.  
Parker knows he is acting crazy but he can't help it.  Until Mia's dreams start to change.  No more is the calm dream where Parker can sleep.  Now it is a terrifying nightmare where the star bad guy is Parker.  He realizes then that he needs to leave Mia alone but finds out that Mia really is being stalked by someone else...maybe.  Parker can't tell if the mysterious stalker is really a mysterious stalker or if it is him.  He has to find out before someone gets hurt.
I liked Parker and felt sorry for him and his lack of sleep but sometimes he annoyed the heck out of me!  His mom was being a typical mom and would ask him if he was doing drugs and search his room.  You have to remember that Parker hasn't slept in 4 years.  He doesn't look so great and then after he meets Mia, he stops playing soccer and becomes a different person altogether.  What else is his poor mom going to think?  But he was just horrible to her.  I got tired of his "poor me" party and just wanted to smack him at times and say "tell someone"!  I understand why he was hesitant to tell anyone (who would believe it?) but guess what?  He can prove it!  All he had to do was watch the person's dreams and he could describe them to the person so I don't understand why he didn't do that with the doctor.  Why did he not try hypnosis himself?  His neediness for Mia is also understandable but at the same time completely annoying and creepy.
I liked Mia except for at the end during the climax.  I have a phobia of needles and yet I still get my shots and get blood drawn when I need too (heck, I had an amnio and 3 about some big needles!) but Mia was completely pathetic when faced with fire.  I was annoyed at her lack of fighting back.  Other than that though, I thought she was a great character.
Finn and Addie were the best characters in this book!  Finn is so funny and sarcastic.  I loved him and his loyalty to Parker even when Parker was a complete jerk to him.  Addie was sweet and of course, you can see the romance between her and Parker coming from a mile away.  It was sweet though and I really like her and Parker together. 
This book was very addictive and very hard to put down.  There are so many questions and you end up questioning whether Parker is the good guy or not.  The ending was a little disappointing but it led into the next book well.  It was definitely a different book for me and I enjoyed it!


  1. I like creepy... might be the read for me.
    Great review!

  2. This books sounds so odd! But I like the fact that it's something different to all the other stuff out there ... might be worth taking a look, if for nothing else than a change of scenery

  3. Oooo I love this kind of book, and I have it coming up to read! It sounds like the characters are really varied too. Great review :)

  4. I agree, very addicting, I had to know what would happen