Insomnia

( 10 )

Overview

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’s utterly addictive. But what starts out as a chance ...

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Overview

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’s 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 terrorizing Mia with twisted death threats, Parker’s memory blackouts leave him doubting his own innocence.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Etienne Vallee
What if you could experience other people's dreams, their memories, their terrors, and their fantasies? High school senior Parker has this strange ability, but it is literally killing him. He cannot help spending his nights visiting the dreams of the last person with whom he made eye contact. Unfortunately, it means he cannot have his own dreams, and the lack of sleep is slowly sapping his life. When he meets Mia, everything changes. Her dreams are so peaceful, he can actually sleep in them and he begins to feel better physically. Unfortunately, Mia soon begins to hate him, and events spiral out of control. Parker feels that he is losing himself, and making eye contact with Mia becomes an obsession. Dark and violent thoughts lurk around him, and events overtake him. Will Parker find a way to control his dreams before they kill him? As the first book of a new series, Insomnia sets the stage for continuous action and suspense. The main characters are well defined and fully fleshed out. Parker's inner thoughts and his battles with his own demons, as well as outside forces, are vivid and add to the story. Plot twists abound, and when Parker thinks it could not get worse, he invariably finds he is wrong. Descriptive and violent confrontations, as well as a graphic assault and death at the end of the book, make it appropriate for older readers. Readers who enjoy psychological thrillers will love Insomnia and will not be able to wait for the second installment. Reviewer: Etienne Vallee
VOYA - Ema Whipple Mckie
The deeper a reader delves into Insomnia, the more sleep-deprived she might feel. Such is the intensity that comes from this chase of cruel misunderstanding and the memory of fulfilled need. It not so much a recounting of insomnia as it is of insanity and addiction. Combined with a sad and compassionate friendship among the main character and his two best friends, Insomnia finds the balance that every human life, no matter how damaged, contains. Fans of David Levithan's Every Day (Random House, 2012/Voya December 2012), will be anxious to uncover the outcome of this first book in a new series. 4P, 4Q. Reviewer: Ema Whipple Mckie, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
12/01/2013
Gr 8 Up—Parker Chipp is dying. Dr. Brown confirmed Parker's suspicions that lack of sleep would drive him mad before killing him, but Parker cannot confide in anyone, because who would believe him? Johansson's adult personas are limited by their inability to accept the supernatural and understand the teen experience, both in the form of a ridiculous principal and a concerned yet oblivious mother. Before Mia moved to town, Parker was counting down the days he had left because he's a Watcher: a dream-walker. He is tortured by the dreams of the last person to make eye contact with him, but Mia's dreams offer unexpected respite from his condition; Parker can rest and dream his own dreams while inhabiting Mia's. Unfortunately, his triumph quickly turns sour when she feels violated by his attention, especially when she receives sinister emails, seemingly from Parker. This thriller embraces every conflict imaginable with horrifying results, whether Parker is battling his own good and evil halves, his friends and reputation, or an unseen foe. Insomnia is a suspenseful mystery not entirely resolved at the end, leaving readers biting their nails while waiting for the sequel.—Jamie-Lee Schombs, Loyola School, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
Parker has been unable to sleep for three years, ever since he began to inhabit the dreams of other people. At age 16, Parker believes that his lack of sleep will kill him soon, after it drives him into psychosis. Parker calls himself a "Watcher." Every night he believes that he sees the dreams of the last person with whom he had eye contact that day. While trapped in these dreams, he cannot sleep. One night, he meets new-student Mia and finds that her dreams are so simple that he can lie down within them and get some real sleep while she's dreaming. Desperate for more sleep, he begins stalking her. Meanwhile, Mia receives threatening emails that appear to come from Parker and grows terrified of him. Parker convinces his friends that his paranormal ability is real, and they agree to help him with Mia--but Parker begins to suspect that he may have entered the psychosis he has feared. Is the stalker real, or is he really Parker? Johansson, writing from Parker's point of view, scatters clues and red herrings about. Parker's plight will convince readers, although they will not know if he's innocent or psychotic until the final pages. The ending sets up the sequel in what promises to be an interesting new series. The premise combines with the tension resulting from Parker's psychological quandary to keep pulses pounding. (Suspense. 12 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738735931
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 6/8/2013
  • Pages: 350
  • Sales rank: 204,882
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

J. R. Johansson (Orem, UT) holds a BS in public relations and is active in the writing community, teaching classes and workshops. Insomnia is her debut novel. Visit her online at JennJohansson.com.

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Read an Excerpt

Open publication

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2013

    LOVED IT!

    Lots of great dialogue and a great writing style!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2013

    This book was not really what I was expecting. Don't get me wro

    This book was not really what I was expecting. Don't get me wrong, it was awesome. I really liked it, but it was definitely different. I liked the unique concept... it was very inventive to have someone who can' sleep but visits the dreams of the last person to make eye contact with him. So it captured my attention immediately.

    My feelings about Parker were so mixed. On the one hand, I liked him as a character, and I felt so bad for what he has to go through in his sleep-deprived state. I can't imagine what it must feel like to have gone so long without true sleep. It justifies some of his strange behavior with Mia in my view, even as I felt so bad for him that others are starting to look at him as somewhat of a freak because of the way he treats her. Here's a guy desperate for the chance to sleep, and he finds a girl whose dreams are so calm, that he can finally get sleep. I'd probably do exactly what he did. It does make him look weird to Mia herself, as well as to his friends.

    On the other hand, it was unusual place, to be inside Parker's head as he works through his strange abilities and the Darkness inside him. I thought I had the whole thing figured out. Parker had nothing to do with the strange danger, but then I began to think he did... and even he thought so too. There were quite a few twists and turns in here. It even had romance, but the author threw me for a loop on that one too. It wasn't what I expected.

    This was definitely a book that kept my on my toes. I enjoyed the darkness and suspense of it. It had a Dean Koontz feel to it that I really liked.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    On the thriller side, I enjoyed this book considerably. Not so m

    On the thriller side, I enjoyed this book considerably. Not so much for the mystery or the paranormal aspect. Considering the turn of events at the end of Insomnia, I expect to get more into these in book two.
    Parker is a good kid at heart. However, he's desperate to live after finding the one person who could save his life, and despereate people do desperate things. He learns Mia's schedule and basically stalks her in order to ensure that her eyes are the last he sees every day. He's so obsessed with her that he loses control over other areas of life, including friends, soccer, and his reputation. I hated this side of Parker; at the same time, I understand that he's not ready to die yet, and I like how the book explores Parker's mentality as he falls into this downward spiral he's on.
    I just wish that it spent more time on the outside world portraying the other characters and how Parker's life falls apart. I'd have especially appreciated seeing more of Mia and get to know her better since she plays such a pivotal role in the story. (Though, on the other hand, not showing more of her character highlights the fact that Parker doesn't care about her -- only the sweet relief her dreams bring him.) While I know that time passes, it still feels as though Parker loses everything in the span of a couple days.
    The romance doesn't play a large role in the story, for which I'm grateful. I like a story that can stand on its own without the romance overtaking the plot, and I like how Parker's love interest isn't the new girl that has something to do with his abilities. He likes this sweet girl he's grown up with. I wish that she appeared more if only because she's known him for a long time and her reactions to him show us just how much Parker changes during his obsession phase with Mia. I also wish that Finn, Parker's best friend, showed up more. He's a funny guy and never fails to lighten the atmosphere.
    The second half of the story is where things become more muddled. Part of it has to do with how muddled Parker becomes and the addition of Darkness into the equation. He doesn't know what he is anymore and begins to doubt his ability to control his life, and he doesn't trust himself to keep the people around him safe from him. Still, Parker's psychological state could have been better portrayed and the story better executed so that readers don't become confused along with Parker. I also feel as though there could have been a better resolution to the story, one that doesn't leave so many loose threads. A story shouldn't rely so much on the next installment to answer unresolved questions.
    Still, I'm curious enough about Parker and his world that I'll probably give the next installment a shot. On the whole, I did enjoy this story, and the ending has me interested in finding out what happens next.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2014

    Differnt and interesting

    Insomnia was definitely worth reading. The idea behind it is very unique. Parts of the book I feel drug on forever but over all very entertaining,

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2014

    I enjoyed Insomnia so much! I read about it on some author blogs

    I enjoyed Insomnia so much! I read about it on some author blogs and I knew from that moment on that I had to have it! And it didn't disappoint me at all, in fact it was even better and creepier than expected!
    The story is about Parker who hasn't had a good night sleep in about four years and he is slowly turning crazy because of his insomnia. What does he do at night? His body sleeps but his brain stays awake and he enters the dream (or nightmare) of the person he last looked in the eyes before sleeping. This doesn't give him any rest so each morning he wakes up feeling super tired and he knows that he is slowly turning crazy and that he will probably die sometime soon. Then he meets Mia and he can actually get some rest when he enters her dreams and so the game begins of Parker trying to look into Mia's eyes as the last pair he looks into before sleeping. Because of this he is turning into a little bit of a stalker and then it turns out that Mia is in fact also having a real stalker who might be Parker sleepwalking! Sounds exciting right? It really is!
    One of the things that I really enjoyed about this book is that Parker is slowly getting really crazy and not even he or the reader can say for sure if he is the villain or not. You don't want Parker to be the bad guy, but the blackouts and everything that is happening with and because of him makes you doubt him all the time. And because of this there is a certain type of mystery going on. One page I was so sure that Parker was in fact the stalker, the next page I was sure it was someone else but then something happened and I was sure it was another character and then another thing happened and I could almost say without a doubt that Parker was the villain! I was slowly turning crazy myself I think and at the end I was biting my nails off because of the excitement. The twists in this story sometimes almost killed me but I couldn't stop reading because J. R. Johansson has written this book in such a way that you almost (or actually can't) put it down.
    But, there is more to Insomnia than just a book with a great plot and writing style and lot of creepy stuff and doubting the sanity of the protagonist (or is he the antagonist?!). There is romance in this book that is so good because Parker isn't going for the obvious young-adult-book choice and there are side characters in this book that are so good, I cared about them so much! My favorite character in this book is probably Finn. He reminds a lot of Stiles from Teen Wolf. I love the funny best friend that helps his friend even though odd things are going on. And there is a lot of odd stuff going on in Insomnia...
    So if you are looking for a creepy read that will make you doubt the sanity of the main character(and maybe even the author...) you should pick this book up!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2014

    An amazing and thrilling piece of work! I couldn't put it down!

    An amazing and thrilling piece of work! I couldn't put it down!

    You feel for Parker and you get to know him as this normal boy, except for his insomnia. 
    But when things take a twist you and Parker are not sure about how to feel about him. 
    You feel this panic that sets over the story in your bones and there is no way to escape it but to read on.

    I can't wait for Paranoia!

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  • Posted June 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

       Insomnia brings something new and original to the table, and

       Insomnia brings something new and original to the table, and it is an addicting read. I didn't want to put it down and wanted to know what would happen next. 
       I chose to read Insomnia because I was intrigued by the concept, and jumped at the chance to review an arc ebook. I was very into this story, but its very dark. I like male pov and it was done well through Parker. It was quite an adventure being in Parker's head, and I, like him, didn't know the truth of what was going on in several instances. I didn't know if he was somehow responsible, or what was going on in those missing times. I def sympathized with him, and was confused right along with him. I think that even though insomnia brings out a darker part of his mind, good still wins out with him, even when bad things happen, he has regret, and that is the important thing for me. 
       His friendship with Finn was a high point in this story for me. I love to read about male friendships, listening to their banter, and ragging on each other. I appreciate the support and how he believed the unbelievable for his best friend. That he fought for his life and that he wanted to get to the bottom of things. 
       I also liked Finn's sister, Addie. She appeared to be a strong character, and I liked the interactions with him and Parker. 
       Mia was a mystery to me, and I wanted to know what made her dreams different from others, and what exactly was going on between her and Parker, and the secrets from her past.
        The love in this one was subtleish, and even though I thought there was going to be a love triangle, there ended up not being one. I liked that it distinguished immediate attraction with deep feelings that develop over time. 
       The world building felt well done to me, I get the information I need when I need it and the pacing was good. I was never bored, and there was always something happening to keep things going.
       The ending was an explosion of action and emotion. It caught me completely by surprise but it somehow was most of the things that I wanted, just not in the way I thought they would happen. It wrapped up the plot lines of this one very well, but threw in something that I know will be the focus of the sequel. 




    Bottom Line: Dark mystery with original concept from a well done male POV.

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  • Posted June 10, 2013

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Insomnia by J.R

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

    Insomnia by J.R. Johansson
    Book One of The Night Watchers series
    Publisher: Flux
    Publication Date: June 8, 2013
    Rating: 5 stars
    Source: eARC from NetGalley

    Summary (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?


    What I Liked:

    I knew I would like this book, but oh my gosh! I loved it so much! I do not usually read these types of books, that are horror-like and creepy. But this book was not overly creepy. If I could handle it, anyone will be able to!

    I loved that this book is written completely in a male's first-person point-of-view. We only read Parker's thoughts, which is very different and very fresh, considering the amount of novels in a female'a first-person point-of-view. Parker was fun to follow, and he wasn't crazy and arrogant and cocky like most YA males seem to be. Parker is a calm, rational young adult (most of the time), and he is not ridiculously impulsive. I really like him!

    The plot of this novel is quite fun to follow. And creepy. And fun. I was never bored while I was reading, and I didn't see some of the plot twists and turns. I usually have a good radar for crazy twists, but Ms. Johansson had me guessing throughout the novel/

    The supernatural/paranormal aspect of the book is fantastic. I don't think I've read many books with dream-watching powers, except sort of Pretty Dark Nothing, so this concept was pretty new and pretty original to me.  I like the dark twist that Ms. Johansson took with Parker's powers.

    I really like the romance in this book. It seems like it's going to be straightforward, based on the synopsis, right? Well... not really. I would not say there is a love triangle, because we know who Parker cares about definitively throughout the book and by the end of the book. But at the same time, there COULD be a love triangle. And if that were to happen, I honestly wouldn't know which way to go with it. On the one hand, I like the girl that I originally would be the primary love interest, and I do NOT like the girl that is the actual love interest. But Parker really likes the girl that IS the primary love interest.

    The ending says that the romance is settled between the pair, but that the pair isn't really together, and the secondary love interest could really be a secondary love interest. See my hesitance? I don't really know what to think of the romance. And that's not a bad thing.


    What I Did Not Like:

    As I stated before, I don't really like the primary love interest. I know that Parker really does, but she rubbed me the wrong way. She's younger than Parker, and that is obvious. She is one of those girls that act like they are better than you, but we all know that she isn't.

    By the end of the story, I could tolerate her more, but I still didn't like her.

    Otherwise, I was fine with this book!


    Would I Recommend It:

    YES! Don't let the "creepy" cover deter you (is it really that creepy? I didn't think so when I first saw it, or even now). I promise you that this is a debut you do NOT want to miss!


    Rating:

    5 stars. It's amazing how many 5-star-rated books I've read recently - usually it's not so many in even a year! But all of them, especially this one, deserve 5 stars from me!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2013

    When I was a kid, I read a lot of R.L. Stein and Christopher Pik

    When I was a kid, I read a lot of R.L. Stein and Christopher Pike. INSOMNIA reminded me of those old-school thrillers in the best possible way. Parker's predicament is delightfully creepy, but treated in a way that is still accessible to teen readers. The secondary characters were relatable and realistic, particularly Parker's best friend Finn. The mystery was compelling and the flow of the book was really smooth. Highly recommended for teen readers, or adults feeling nostalgic for a shot of Fear Street.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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