Review–Insomnia (The Night Walkers #1) by J.R. Johansson

Insomnia (The Night Walkers #1)
by J.R. Johansson
Summary: 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.

Genre: YA Paranormal Mystery

Where to Buy: Amazon . Barnes and Noble

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Source: I received a copy of the book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Insomnia had an incredibly unique premise and the cover really drew me in. I loved the idea that a person could experience the dreams of other people and also not get any sleep and hallucinate. It seemed like there could be so many possibilities. 

I liked the premise and the overall plot for the most part. The characters were likeable, but none of them really stuck out. Parker was an interesting narrator, but he annoyed me after some time. It was frustrating to watch him constantly do the wrong thing. He was so creepy in his obsession to make eye contact with Mia and he didn’t even consider his actions. And he kept on doing the wrong things, waiting to tell someone, letting himself fall apart without at least attempting to explain it, even vaguely, to a doctor. I just didn’t buy his logic. It was obvious he liked his best friend’s sister, but he failed to do anything about it and convinced himself he wasn’t worthy of her and that it was wrong. Every single thing he did and move he made was basically annoying or terrible on some level. It was like watching a train wreck. It was more frustrating than mysterious. The idea that his decision making skills would be worse based on lack of sleep occurred to me, but it wasn’t executed well if that was the point.

I liked the idea of him going a bit crazy due to lack of real sleep, but I felt like the premise didn’t really make much sense. Even the idea of Parker walking around without having had any real sleep was far fetched and difficult to imagine. How could he possibly avoid so much eye contact in every day interactions and still be a relatively normal kid in sports with friends? I mean, of course he acted creepy regarding the Mia situation, kind of understandably so, but I didn’t believe his story or his life made any sense at any time. People who never make eye contact are shifty and I don’t think anyone would ever really open up to him or trust him at any point. And if he was finally actually sleeping after meeting Mia, why would his behavior and overall appearance be the same or worse than before? I would have imagined he would have looked and felt healthier and just been obsessed with staying that way.

Honestly, the story didn’t really make much sense at all, now that I think about it. It made sense in general, but there were so many areas that didn’t really work for me. I enjoyed it for the most part and I thought it had a lot of potential to be a cool story, but it failed somewhere along the line for me. It was choppy, without being the right kind of choppy that would have meshed with his insomnia and self doubt. I don’t know that I’d recommend the book. It was an interesting concept and I suppose if plot holes, far fetched plots, horrible decision makers, and teenager logic aren’t things that bother you on a regular basis, it’s worth a try. It was a pretty intriguing concept, after all. I really wanted to love the book and I’ve been waiting to read it until I was totally in the mood for something like it, so I’m disappointed.


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