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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.
Posted August 2, 2010
I Also Recommend:
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.
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Posted June 24, 2013
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.
Posted November 12, 2012
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 17, 2012
Posted February 28, 2012
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
Posted January 31, 2012
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 readWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 1, 2012
Well i havent read the book yet but the review says that the sandman traded places with griffin but griffin died and i think the review said eron died to..?But if so, u die and then become sandman?its confusing to me but thats probably cuz i havent read the book
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Posted December 20, 2011
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.
Posted October 16, 2011
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 28, 2011
Posted July 11, 2011
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.
Posted June 8, 2011
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 12, 2011
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!
Posted October 10, 2010
I really liked this book, I had read many mixed reviews so I was unsure when I picked this up but once I started I couldn't put it down. It was honestly a nice surprise, considering the length of the book I was sure I would come away feeling like the story was some how incomplete. But it was quite the opposite I found myself hoping for a continuation of the storyline in the feature.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 20, 2010
Originally posted at: www.aurorareviews.blogspot.com ***** Let me start off with saying: THIS IS A MUST READ. Eron is a sleepbringer- charged with the care and safety of his assigned "clientele". Julia, one of Eron's charges is in danger, big danger and the rules dictate Eron can't interfere. But, that won't stop him.
This story is amazing. I read mostly paranormal novels and this one brings a whole new edge to the regular fair of vampires, werewolves and angel books that is out there right now. Julia is blindly dealing with the death of her boyfriend-and surprisingly-she's not upset. Along with his friend, Bret, Griffin helped buffer Julia from the rest of the world. But when Griffin is killed in a car accident, she realizes she has lost her buffer and her best friends.
Eron is the Sandman assigned to her, always has been. He's watched her grow and now that he's about to become human, he wants to be in her life. But there is one problem: Griffin has agreed to be the Sandman that will replace Eron-and he will become responsible for Julia's safety.
This novel winds a tight tale that loops and wraps around itself until you are not sure which way is up and what the characters true motives are. It had me staying up half the night to untangle the web of confusion I was wrapped in. This is the first novel I have read by Ms. Balog, but I will say- I'm now 100% fan of her writing and plan on picking up all her other novels. Please check this one out!
Posted September 3, 2010
My thoughts...Sleepless has a very original plot that gives readers a fresh reading experience. The story is about a Sandman and his charge. Eron, who was a human boy about 100 years ago, became my favorite character almost instantly. His old world manners and charm made his character very enjoyable. He is in charge of putting Julia, among others, to sleep every night. Julia's character felt cold to me at times, but she dealt with her misfortunes in her own way and still maintained her dignity. I found some of the characters transparent at times, their true motives seemed to be just beneath the surface.
Sleepless was a fast paced book. It is told from several point of view which provides a good perspective of the characters. Parts of the story were predictable, but it allowed me to focus on some of the other details. The ending of the book left me feeling a bit unsatisfied, it seemed a bit abrupt and forced. However, it left room for another story about the characters. Cyn Balog has a wonderful style of writing that lends itself to great storytelling. I would recommend this book to fans of YA literature, especially if you are looking for something new and exciting.
Posted July 28, 2010
Okay, this book is great! After Julia's boyfriend, Griffin, dies in a tragic accident, things go all wrong. People are getting the wrong impression from her mourning and just wants everything to go back to the way it use to be. Bret, Griffin's best friend, begins hanging out more with Julia. Griffin now a sandman is having a hard time adjusting to his new life and that means watching Julia.
Eron has been a sandman for a century and is Griffin's mentor. He has also watched Julia for a long time. He cares for her deeply and is waiting for the training to be done so he can have a chance with Julia. But with Griffin messing in a world he longer belongs in, trouble begins to brew.
Julia has never had a dream about Griffin. Now all of the sudden he begins showing up in her dreams angry. Personal items are being misplaced and some things changed. Julia suspects she is being haunted by her dead ex-boyfriend but dismisses the idea. All she knows is something is not right.
First off, Eron was such a great character and a guy (if I was not married) I would totally date. He is respectful, trustworthy, and very gentlemanly. He is very courteous with Julia and wants nothing more but to protect her, guide her. I did laugh and felt sorry for him at the same time because of the way he was being treated. Here was a young man, who has been dead since the 1900's and has no idea of the way of the world today. I wanted badly to step inside the book and help the guy out. After all, he doesn't know what to do.
This book is everything I thought it would be. Adventurous, witty, and great writing. I love the plot and the many twist in the story. I like how she worked with two different characters, from two different worlds. The twist in the story were out of this world. Dreams to nightmares. Risking everything your worked for to protect another. Cyn did a fabulous job. I could not be happier with her book.
If you have not, check this book out. It is simply an amazing read that will have a hold on you. Cyn's unique interpretation of the Sandman was nothing that I have seen before. Sleepless is definitely a book to read this summer.
Posted July 12, 2010
SLEEPLESS, by Cyn Balog, was an entertaining and romantic tale of a Sandman and his human charge. This is my first experience with a Sandman book and I really enjoyed it! The life of Sandmen that Balog created was fascinating to read. I liked the process that these fantasy-beings used to put their charges to sleep, and that they were able to enter their dreams if they wanted.
The characters in this book were unique. Julia has a haunted past that she felt made her weak, but while dating Griffin she is able to 'get over' her problems, at least for a little while. Eron was her Sandman since forever so he knew Julia better than anyone, even her sarcastic boyfriend. I liked the connection between Julia and Eron. Since they have been 'together' for so long, it seemed like second nature for them to really understand each other. I also enjoyed learning about Eron's past and how his actions those many years ago affected his current mannerisms.
One thing that I disliked about this story was the abrupt ending. I felt like the tension was building up to this one event and when it happened, it was very out of character and totally out of left-field. I was quite disappointed with these turn of events when I was hoping for more.
Overall, this was a fun and quick read. Other than my issue with the ending, I recommend this story to anyone who is looking for a book that will keep you wide awake.
Posted July 9, 2010
In SLEEPLESS by Cyn Balog, the Sandman is not just a childhood fantasy - he, or she, is real!
Eron De Marchelle is a Sandman and his job is to protect his charges and help them get a good night's sleep. And he isn't supposed to favor one over another or become involved in their dreams. But ever since she was a little girl, Eron has been attracted to Julia. And he has to watch as her world crashes around her when her boyfriend, Griffin, is suddenly killed. Will Eron break the rules and become involved with one of his charges, or just sit by and watch?
The premise of this story is definitely new. A Sandman? I've never read anything of the like. (And where is mine? I always have a hard time falling asleep and wake up at least once an hour - so my Sandman must not be doing his/her job!) Anyway, when I saw what the story was about, I knew I had to read it.
The storyline was good and the plot was well thought out, but I didn't really like the characters. I definitely didn't like Griffin or Brett. Sorry, but they just seemed like jerks to me. Guys who laugh at anything, and Griffin and Julia never had serious conversations. I don't know; just not very likeable guys. And while I didn't dislike Julia, I didn't really care for her either, until the very end. Then she seemed to get some of her own personality. Eron was cute. The way that he was so confused in the modern world was endearing.
I liked how the story was told from alternating viewpoints between Julia and Eron. And I liked the overall plot. But I think the ending wrapped up a little too nicely and quickly. I could easily have read more and would have liked there to be more story at the end. Still a 5 star read, though.
This was a fun book on a new topic, and I look forward to reading Cyn Balog's other book, FAIRY TALE.
Posted July 7, 2010
I was VERY EXCITED when i first learned about this book last year on Goodreads. The synopsis seemed to stick out in my mind and i couldn't help but imagine what the story would tell! I got even more excited when i received an ARC from Random House Publishing! I could not to wait to read it! Well having finished reading this last night, let me start off by saying that i was VERY DISAPPOINTED.
I had such high hopes for this book! Being that it involves a Sandman falling in love with one of his charges- I mean come on! How many books have you read about that? Not to mention that it involves dreams! I was expecting a lot of dreams and character development between Eron and Julia! Oh and Julia! I had this image in my head of a lonely girl who hides her loneliness and puts on a charade in order to hide her true feelings. Especially since her boyfriend died. But nothing of the sort happened within this book!
May i also add that the synopsis for this book was EXTREMELY WELL WRITTEN. I say this because it actually fooled me into thinking that this book was going to be something serious and deep. Very misleading! Julia is not a girl with sad dreams or feels alone because her boyfriend died- she never even cried or got choked up about it! I actually laughed more then feel a connection with the characters.
This story is really about a girl who went through an accident at a very young age and has been scared by the situation. But when she met her boyfriend, he was the only one to not treat her so serious or walk around eggshells whenever he was with her. They had a nonchalant type of relationship. In the end she turned out the same way, being careless and laughing at life.
Eron is her sandman who seduces her to sleep every night and has protected her for a long time. Though she has never seen him or know of his existence he has done a lot for her in order to protect her. I really loved the character of Eron! He seemed so sweet and proper! Very caring for Julia, even though he was risking his chance at becoming Human for the sake of trying to protect her from "danger".
I am not happy with the results of this book! No character development! It all seemed like an outline rather then a story.
The author could have done so much with her idea! But she failed to do so. Being that this was an ARC that i read, i'm not sure if there are any changes in the actual story. I was surprised by how short this book is as well. It could have been longer, characters could have had more interaction, also more dreams should have been described and illustrated!