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Insomnia, by J.R. Johansson, has such a striking cover. Seriously, click on the link and go check it out. I’ll wait.

Finished? Great. Did you like it as much as I did? Because it was that cover that first attracted me to the novel. And then I read the summary, and I found it just as striking.

Insomnia is the story of Parker, a teenager who, for the past four years of his life, has unwillingly wandered into the dreams of the last person he makes eye contact with. This means Parker hasn’t properly slept since the whole thing began. It’s slowly killing him, and Parker doesn’t know what to do about it.

I’m not sure about you, but my first thought upon reading the novel’s summary was “Wow.” First off, I have trouble sleeping myself, so I know how badly a lack of sleep can affect a person. Of course, I’ve never experienced a lack of sleep on nearly the same level as Parker. But what experience I did have meant that I would likely be able to sympathize with Parker fairly easily.

Once I dove into the novel, I was hooked. Being a Watcher – which is what Parker refers to himself as – is a great concept, and one I hadn’t really encountered in a novel before. And even though I felt Parker handled the situation fairly well, there were points when I fairly heavily disagreed with what he was doing. But, overall, I found Parker to be a believable character that I could somewhat relate to.

Both Parker’s actions and the situation going on around him had me on the edge of my seat throughout Insomnia. I had a difficult time putting it down, and even the ending of the novel has me waiting anxiously for the next installment in the series.

Speaking of endings, I loved the way this one turned out. I won’t give you any details, of course, but I will tell you it didn’t follow the exact path that I was expecting it to. Which was a good thing, to be honest. I would have been a bit disappointed if it had.

Goodreads 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.