4.1 53
by Cyn Balog

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Eron DeMarchelle isn't supposed to feel this connection. He is a Sandman, a supernatural being whose purpose is to seduce his human charges to sleep. Though he can communicate with his charges in their dreams, he isn't encouraged to do so. After all, becoming too involved in one human's life could prevent him from helping others get their needed

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Eron DeMarchelle isn't supposed to feel this connection. He is a Sandman, a supernatural being whose purpose is to seduce his human charges to sleep. Though he can communicate with his charges in their dreams, he isn't encouraged to do so. After all, becoming too involved in one human's life could prevent him from helping others get their needed rest.
But he can't deny that he feels something for Julia, a lonely girl with fiery red hair and sad dreams. Just weeks ago, her boyfriend died in a car accident, and Eron can tell that she feels more alone than ever. Eron was human once too, many years ago, and he remembers how it felt to lose the one he loved. In the past, Eron has broken rules to protect Julia, but now, when she seems to need him more than ever, he can't reach her. Eron's time as a Sandman is coming to a close, and his replacement doesn't seem to care about his charges. Worse, Julia is facing dangers she doesn't recognize, and Eron, as he transitions back to being human, may be the only one who can save her. . . .
Even once they've become human again, Sandmen are forbidden to communicate with their charges. But Eron knows he won't be able to forget Julia. Will he risk everything for a chance to be with the girl he loves?
Cyn Balog's follow-up to Fairy Tale has more wit, more supernatural delights, and more star-crossed romance! Teen girls will love this story of a Sandman who falls in love with his human charge.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
There can be a fine line between romantic pursuit and stalking, and Balog's (Fairy Tale) enticing supernatural story of star-crossed love hovers right on the edge. For nearly a century, Eron DeMarchelle has served as a Sandman, lulling his charges to sleep; lately, he's developed a crush on Julia Devine, a teen with a tragic past. Since Eron's service is ending and he will transition back to mortality, he must train his replacement: Griffin Colburn, Julia's recently deceased boyfriend, with whom Julia shared an ambivalent, emotionally detached relationship. Griffin's best friend Bret also develops an unwholesome interest in Julia, aggravating Griffin, who threatens to default on his Sandman duties if Eron doesn't protect Julia from Bret. Griffin's plan backfires when Julia is charmed by Eron. With three guys, living and dead, out to claim her heart, the battle for Julia's fate is decided in her dreams and in the real world. Julia and Eron share a gentle chemistry that will appeal to paranormal romance fans, but readers drawn to the fantasy concept may wish for a more in-depth exploration of the Sandmen's world. Ages 12–up. (July)
Children's Literature - Amy McMillan
Eron DeMarchelle has been a sandman for the last one hundred years. He has charge over three mortals whom he seduces to sleep each night. He's not supposed to feel any attachment to them, but Julia is different. A lonely seventeen-year-old girl, Julia has put up barriers to protect herself from real emotions, a carryover from being kidnapped when she was younger. When her so-called boyfriend Griffin is killed in a car accident she struggles to figure out where she fits and what to do next. Eron, however, is struggling with Griffin himself. Chosen to take Eron's post as sandman Griffin is supposed to be learning his new duties, instead he is busy flaunting his new powers and taking an obsessive interest in Julia to the point of haunting her. It is up to Eron to convince Griffin of his new state of being and warn Julia of danger in his moments of mortality as he slowly transfers back to the human world to finish his life. The promising idea falls flat with a lack of development and depth, particularly with the characters. Griffin is completely unlikable. His interest in Julia isn't much more than lukewarm when he's alive but inexplicably blossoms into obsession with his death. Eron has spent years observing the humans in his charge, yet when he begins to re-join their world he is flummoxed by slang and fashion. While the predictable conclusion comes a bit too quickly and neatly the intriguing premise may be enough to draw readers needing another fix for their paranormal romance needs. Reviewer: Amy McMillan
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—An interesting, quick-paced, and compelling paranormal romance. Eron DeMarchelle has known Julia all her life. As her Sandman, it is his duty to lure her, and his other charges, to sleep each night. Now, Julia's boyfriend has passed away and just when she unknowingly needs Eron the most, he may be unable to help her. Sandmen are contracted for 100 years after their deaths and then they are able to become human again. Eron has begun training his replacement, who just happens to be Julia's ex, Griffin, an impulsive and obsessive young man. As he begins to break the rules trying to stay forever with Julia, Eron must fight to save both her and himself. Julia is a smart heroine surrounded by flawed, yet mostly lovable boys and involved in a star-crossed romance. It's a surefire formula. Told in chapters alternating between Eron and Julia, the story includes some teenage drinking, some sexually mature scenes, and stalking, but it is definitely recommended for public library collections.—Jessica Miller, New Britain Public Library, CT

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Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Griffin Colburn knew something was wrong the moment he slid into the driver's seat.  

It was a twinge. Nothing more. He shook his head, blinked. Pushed it off.  

His Mustang started fine, like always. He revved the engine a few times, like always. He always said it was to keep it from stalling, which it sometimes did in cold weather, but really he loved to feel the power behind the car. It was old, but still fast and dangerous.  

He wouldn't know how dangerous, though, until that night.  

As he backed out of the driveway, Julia blew him a long, exaggerated stage kiss, as if he were shipping off to war. As if she knew she'd never see him again. Then she wiped some nonexistent tears from her eyes and pretended to sob hysterically into her hands. His headlights illuminated her slight, pale body, crowned with long reddish hair. She squinted in their glow and then smiled toothily, like a preschooler.  

He fed a Sinatra disc into his CD player and grinned back at her, then listened as Ol' Blue Eyes crooned, "Someday, when I'm awfully low." The tinkling of the piano keys drowned out the screeching of his tires, and as he began to sing along, he felt it, fiercer now. It started in his temples, trailed behind his eyes, the momentary shiver that comes somewhere between wakefulness and sleep. Twinge. Twinge. For a second, he felt as if he were falling. He blinked again, gripped the steering wheel to steady himself.  


This time, he squeezed his eyes closed, only for a moment. In that moment, the image of the beautiful young woman appeared.  

Whoa, he thought. Too many late nights. He sat up in the driver's seat, stretched his spine. Usually when his mind wandered, it went to NFL playoffs. Or to the scantily clad, Playboy Playmate type of beauty. And yet, when he blinked again, he could see her, as plainly as if she were sitting in the passenger seat next to him. She was dressed in the pink silk of a fairy-tale princess, braiding her black waist-length hair. When she batted her heavy lashes, a slow smile spread on her face.  

Then her eyes focused on him. Shark's eyes, two emotionless black buttons.  

He shook his head, rubbed one temple with his free hand, checked the seat beside him again. Nothing but his baseball glove and a grease-stained fast-food bag. I definitely need more sleep, he thought as he sped out of the neighborhood. He was halfway down Peasant when he felt a slow, warm caress run up his neck, down his chest—twinge. His whole body lurched forward. It was almost like he skipped forward a few moments in time. He must have driven right through that stop sign on Peasant, because he couldn't remember coming up to it. Instead, he found himself on Main Street, at an amber light, which normally he would have sped through, but sensing something was off, he slowed. Suddenly—twinge—he blinked and it was green again, without ever having turned red.  

"What the . . ." He gripped the wheel tighter.  

He thought about turning back, but only for a second. Griffin Colburn didn't have a reputation for spinelessness.   Just a few more minutes. Just a few more minutes and I'll be in bed. He pressed down on the accelerator, thinking of home.  

He blinked again. Twinge.  

And she was there.  

This time, clearer.  

Beckoning to him.  

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Sleepless 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 52 reviews.
acsimps More than 1 year ago
My sandman must be a little too good at his job. I have to be his best charge. I love sleep and he has no problem dowsing me with sand each night (too the point where I struggle to get out of bed each morning)...wait, doesn't that mean he's not good at his job? Darn it! I bet Griffin is my sandman! lol As you can see, this story stuck with me. It was fun and sweet. I had a little trouble getting started with this book, but I will blame that on my busy schedule and not the story itself. Sleepless is about Sandmen (incase you couldn't tell from my tangent above. Eron De Marchelle is a Sandman and he has been one for 100 years. This is the term that each Sandman must fulfill his duties before he (or she) can return to a human life and complete their unfinished business. Eron has always followed the rules, been a model employee. That is all about to change when he starts to train his replacement. Griffin Colburn is dead, leaving behind his girlfriend, Julia. He was offered a chance to return to his human life after he completes 100 years as a Sandman. He is to be Eron's replacement. Griffin is having a difficult time letting go of his life and Julia. When his best friend Bret sets his sights on Julia, Griffin is determined to prevent his advances. Eron now has bigger problems then inserting his 1910 experience2010 world. Eron will have to make sure than Griffin fulfills his duties as a Sandman so that Eron can become human while protecting his charge, Julia (whom he loves) from Griffin's tirade. But spending time in both worlds is difficult and Eron never knows when or for how long he will be able to exist in human form. Julia is dealing with the death of her boyfriend. She is once again in the spotlight. Her boyfriend's best friend is suddenly making passes at her and now an incredibly hot stranger has popped into her life. Why is it that Eron seems so familiar to her? As her curiosity and attraction grows for Eron her life becomes more confusing and more dangerous. The story is told from two points of view, Eron and Julia. I really liked this book, but I wish it had been a little longer. As I mentioned before I have been a little busy lately, but I had a hard time getting through the first 70 pages or so, which is a third of the book. After those first 70 pages I was hooked, but some might lose interest before then. Cyn Balog had a great plot for this book and I feel like in the end it turned out to be a great read, but she could have bulked this story up.
TaraDGoodyear More than 1 year ago
Eron DeMarchelle has waited one hundred years to be human again, but his transition isn't going as planned. Eron is a Sleepbringer, also known as a "Sandman", and he has to train his replacement before he can get back to the life he left behind. The problem? His replacement and his boss are doing everything they can to mess up his plans.  Meanwhile, Julia Devine has spent most of her life being Front-Page Julia, instead of just a normal girl. When she was seven years old, something bad happened to Julia and ever since then the world has treated her differently. Except her boyfriend, Griffin. Then, when he dies in a tragic automobile accident, Julia is back to being that girl again.  Julia tries to move on, but once again she is under a microscope. In fact, the only person who doesn't treat her like a freak is the mysterious Eron DeMarchelle. Little does Julia know, Eron treats her the way he does because he's known her since she was a baby. Will Eron manage to tame his unruly replacement in time to become human again, or will he remain a Sandman forever? It's worth the time spent reading this quick-paced novel to find out.  I first read Sleepless in 2011 and immediately fell in love with this book. I've read it several times since then because I think the premise is both clever and unique to the other re-told fairy tales out there. The young adult novel is an easy-read with great world-building between Eron's Sandman life and Julia's human existence. But above all else, Sleepless is a great love story. If you're looking for a fun and imaginative read this summer, pick up a copy of Sleepless and set your sights on a fun, romantic read unlike any other. 
LovesAllThingsBooks More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. This is the third time I've read Sleepless and every time I find myself tapping my nails in nervous anticipation. Definitely a must read. Sleepless follows the lives of Julia and Eron. Julia is a high school student and has recently lost her boyfriend. Eron is a sandman whose time as such is almost up. He must train up the newest member before he can be human again...his new trainee is none other than Julia's deceased boyfriend.
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
    I devoured this one. It is such a neat concept, and I was drawn into Julia's life. I could relate with her on some levels, and enjoyed the banter between her and Griffin. The writing is good, and it kept a good pace and my attention.     I did feel like Julia changed herself when she met Griffin but I don't know how much of that was self preservation against the spotlight because of what happened when she was younger (I was also curious about this because it doesn't tell much, just that she has scars). But I feel like she got tougher and more able to handle things because of him, so I don't mark that down. I don't like how she is with Bret, and was so glad when that plot thread was settled.      Eron is awesome. I loved that he kept his mannerisms and morals and how he watches out for Julia and even more so when he finds himself in her life in ways he never really imagined.      The ending felt rushed to me though, and I was a little confused as to what exactly happened.  Bottom Line: Great premise, well executed with compelling characters. 
FOXCANDY More than 1 year ago
I loved how this story played out. Eron DeMarchelle is a sandman granted his life back after 100 years of sandman services. It is so cute how charming he is and how innocent his view of Julia is... Too damn cute <3 I can totally see this making it in the movies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
cute book.refreshing after all those vampire and werewolf books.a must read! i gave it 5 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Everything is a joke to Griffin Colburn from the usual pranks and hijinks right down to his relationship with his girlfriend, Julia Devine. So, really, maybe it isn't so surprising when Julia thinks the news of Griffin's death is a practical joke. Maybe it isn't so surprising that he seems to be playing mean pranks on her . . . after, well, you know. Julia is used to being the center of attention for all the wrong reasons. She's used to the whispers and the gossip. Eron DeMarchelle knows all of Julia's secrets. He knows what happened to her as a child. He knows her dreams. Eron is a Sandman, a Sleepbringer, who has been watching Julia since the day she was born helping her sleep and find rest. No longer human, he shouldn't feel a connection to Julia. But he does. As his time as a Sandman draws to a close, Eron has a chance to see Julia as a human. To talk to her and maybe have something more. That is, if he can keep her safe long enough to actually talk to her in Sleepless (2010) by Cyn Balog. At 215 pages (hardcover) Sleepless is a quick read with a lot of appealing elements. The book is written in chapters alternating between Julia and Eron's first person narrations. Sleepless is also a strange book to review because I really did enjoy it even though there were a lot of issues with the story. Eron is a charming character. Though naive and initially stiff, he quickly grows on readers. Even his lack of understanding about simple, rather ubiquitous, slang eventually makes sense considering Eron spends most of his time in the human world watching his charges sleep. Once you can get past the initial creepiness of Eron's job as a Sandman (and about putting his charges to sleep being called a "seduction"--ew) he is actually very well-meaning and not creepy at all. Julia, unfortunately, is less endearing though she does have her moments. She talks a lot about not wanting to be "Front-page Julia" or be seen as a victim anymore and how Griffin (and his best friend Bret) helped her develop a thick skin while acting as her buffers to the rest of the world. The thing is, Julia kind of is a victim. She mentions learning to give as good as she got from Griffin, but he still comes across as a verbally abusive boyfriend.* Who proceeds to profess his undying (er, figuratively) love for Julia upon his demise. That might be possible to overlook as banter gone wrong, except that Julia also lets another character forcibly kiss her (twice) against her will because she wants to be nice. Then, when someone stops this character, she defends his actions since he's such a "good friend" to her. There are a lot of reasons Julia could be so misguided, most of them even work with the story although nothing is ever stated explicitly. I'm not even sure why the troubling aspects of this story bothered me so little. Maybe it has something to do with Eron being the main character and beyond reproach and the good guy and there to protect Julia? I'm not sure. Some of the writing is also awkward.** There's a thing called "willing suspension of disbelief" (I learned about in a film studies class, maybe you've seen it attached to literature) where basically for a premise to work you have to temporarily surrender your logic.*** Sleepless works if you have enough willing suspension of disbelief. If you can get past some of the fundamental problems mentioned here (by suspending that disbelief) and
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the characters in this book, and the way they formed as the story went on. The plot was good but alittle complicated. Over all this book has to be one of the best books i have ever read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bolgai More than 1 year ago
I read the ARC of this book so don't know what will end up hitting the shelves but based on my copy I can say that it's a nice read. I really liked the idea of a Sandman falling in love with one of his charges and breaking rules to protect her. I am generally a fan of incorporating folklore into contemporary fiction and building stories around it so here Ms. Balog did well as far as I'm concerned. What I was much less fond of is how from a perfectly satisfying middle of the book where the story developed at a good pace we jumped to the conclusion that felt cut short and rushed and where the main trouble-maker acted completely out of character. I literally turned the last page and wondered "What? That's it? Aren't there supposed to be more chapters?" The characters are interesting, each with their own voice, and you can see how they change and develop over the course of the story. It would have been great to learn more about them. With the book being as short as it is I feel we've been given a glimpse but there's more to know about every one of them and since I think Ms. Balog does a good job with her characters I bet it would've only made the story better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story was very refreshing. I enjoyed the characters very much. I don't like reading reviews and there being a spoiler alert so I am not going to do that. The plot was very good and I recommendthis to anyone who enjoys paranormal stories as I do.
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danibookworm91 More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars In a genre dominated by vampires and werewolves, Sleepless was a refreshing and unique read. Cyn Balog takes the commonly known legend of the Sandman and adds to that legend with her own twist. I loved the alternating point of views in this book. A lot of times, I feel, that alternating point of view takes away from the story, but I believe in this case it enhanced the reading of the story. I loved reading Eron point of view and seeing what it was like to be a Sandman, and learning from him, the difficulties of being a Sandman. Cyn Balog did an excellent job of making me want to read more about these characters and the plot. There were many small mysteries, such as what happened to Julia when she was seven, that made me want to continue reading. The threat of danger to Julia also kept constantly shifting, making me want to keep reading to see who was actually the one who wanted to hurt Julia. My only complaint was that this book was too short! I wish it was longer! Towards the end I felt the plot was a bit rushed and I just wanted to read about these characters and the world Cyn Balog created with the Sandman. I also must say too that at times I was frustrated with Juila for not seeing that her boyfriend was not as good as she thought he was and that he was a bad boyfriend. Overall though, Sleepless was a book that kept me turning the pages until the end and left me wanting more, always a good sign.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Balog. She's such a great writer. Everything was written well and with great voice. It was well-paced and a fun read full of creativity and thought. I really don't know which book to pick up next because it was really good and I don't want to part with it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tawni More than 1 year ago
My first impression of Sleepless was that it was going to be awesome, because it has a unique story between a girl and a sandman. Yeah, it sounds pretty great, right? It was a very good book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Eron is a sandman and has three charges, which are whom he seduces to sleep. Eron is totally sexy for a boy who lived in the early 1900s. The way he speaks properly and has great mannerism is attractive, so it was really easy to get into him. He's been with Julia her whole life, being that he's been a sandman for almost 100 years. Once Eron's hundred-year sandman service is up he has two options: continue being a sandman or move on. Unfortunately, Julia's boyfriend is his replacement and he's not cooperating. Eron is stuck between worlds and decisions, but his main priority is protecting Julia - no matter what! After her boyfriend dies Julia's not sad, but she's not happy. She's confused about her feelings, mostly because she's refrained from feeling too much since she was a little girl and expressing sadness is hard for her. She would much rather make a joke and laugh it off. I feel like there was still some developing for Julia by the end of the book. I would have liked to get more into her thoughts and feelings, instead I felt like we were just skimming the top. I enjoyed Cyn Balog's writing. It flows and is easy to follow, but it has feeling. The book is read in the perspectives of Eron and Julia, which I loved. It's always nice to read from a couple of perspectives, because you can understand the feelings of each and it brings to life a whole other aspect to the storyline. Sleepless lacked a little in character development, especially with Julia, and the first few chapters were slow. Overall, though, I really enjoyed reading this unique story and can't wait to pick up another book by Cyn Balog!
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