Review: Insomnia by J.R. Johansson

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on October 28, 2013 | 11 Comments

Review: Insomnia by J.R. JohanssonInsomnia by J.R. Johansson
Series: The Night Walkers #1
Published by Flux (6.8.2013)
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Paperback, 351 pages
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon

2.5 Stars

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.

My thoughts

Writing reviews for books that didn’t give you much passion either way is very difficult. This is one of those books, sadly.

I’m having trouble pinpointing the issue here. The idea behind Insomnia was fantastic, really. Being able to see the dreams of the last person you made eye contact with? Such an interesting concept! But I felt totally ‘meh’ through the whole book. I just couldn’t connect with the story at all. Or our main character, Parker. (I already forgot his name and had to look it up!) For some reason, I have yet to find a male lead that I can connect with. 

It’s not that I didn’t like Parker. In fact, he was a very good lead for the fact that he was majorly messed up, and he wasn’t always the hero. He was far from perfect. He was human, and that made him more realistic. Actually, he was the most realistic character in the book, and I felt that he had the most depth. There were times when he truly believed he was a monster, and times when he acted like one. He felt like he was losing his grip on sanity, and in a way, it made for a chilling read.

I just didn’t feel it. Why? Why?! I can’t figure it out. I should have loved this book. I like it when the main character questions their sanity and can’t tell reality from fiction (um, Shutter Island, anyone?). It’s interesting when you can’t figure it out any more than he can. For some reason, it just didn’t work for me. Was it the delivery? I don’t think so. The writing style wasn’t bad. I didn’t care about the characters, though. I didn’t give two craps about Addie, or Mia, or Finn. I didn’t care about the romance between Parker and Addie. It’s sad, really. Maybe that’s what ruined it for me.

I honestly don’t know what else to say about this one. The concept was great, and it was totally original. I would say give it a try to see what YOU think!


2 mildIt wasn’t scary by far, but the fact that our lead couldn’t get a grip on his sanity was a bit chilling at times.

Overall Assessment

Plot: 3.5/5
Premise: 5/5
Writing style: 3/5
Originality: 5/5
Characters: 2.5/5
Pace: 3.5/5
Feels: 0.5/5
Cover: 2/5
Overall rating: 2.5/5

Jessi (Geo)

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11 responses to “Review: Insomnia by J.R. Johansson

  1. Insomnia has a cool cover but I haven’t heard very many good things about it. Mostly what you said. People had a hard time connecting with the characters. Not sure I’ll try this one or not….

  2. I’ve read more reviews from bloggers who had the same trouble. It’s always hard to feel something when you can’t connect to the main character. Despite the exciting situations, it’s just not enjoyable if you don’t care about the MC. This book sounds like it had a great potential :(

  3. Ahhhh I hate when I read a book like that where you pretty much just had no emotions evoked. You didn’t love it but you didn’t hate it. You just want to give it a big ole MEH!!!! The cover is pretty cool & the concept definitely makes it around intriguing. I also have a hard time connecting to the MC being a male. I wil say that Victoria Scott’s Dante Walker trilogy though, I have no issues while reading that one. ;-) First male lead that made me go “hey it CAN be done!” Anyways nothing makes me sadder though than a GREAT concept that doesn’t deliver! Hope you enjoy your next read more :)

    • It does need a big old meh!
      I want to try The Collector, but to tell you the truth the hype scares me. Plus, I’ve read a few quotes straight from Dante himself, and from those little snippets, I feel like I would despise him. I do want to try it out of curiosity, but I’ve been procrastinating lol!
      I can’t think of any male POVs off the top of my head that I was actually able to connect with…

  4. It sucks when you can’t figure out what about a book wasn’t doing it for you. Too bad you didn’t love this one, since it sounds like it could be so interesting!

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