Insomnia - J.R. Johansson




1.5 Stars

The story is about Parker, who hasn't actually slept in 4 years, and is an invisible bystander to the dreams of the last person he made eye contact with. As things get progressively worse he can only trust his best friend, and his friend's sister, to help him uncover what is wrong with him, and help the girl that he found out he can sleep with (har har).

For such a wholly original idea (to me anyway), this book sure wasn't anything special. I mean, watching the dreams of the last person you made eye contact with?! I've never read a book like that, and I was so hyped up for this one to be amazing, but it's actually the same thing I've read over and over. Spoiled brat MC, absent parent, another with the audacity to care, funny BFF, crush on BFf's sister, and solves the case.

Parker annoyed the crap out of me from the get go. He's a selfish, spoiled brat! His father left and his mother actually cares about him which annoys him to no end. He looks like shit and his mother has been looking for/asking about him taking drugs, because why else would he be changing the way he is, but Parker can't handle it: I had enough problems right now. Why did she feel the need to add to them?

"Do you have a better explanation?" She waited a moment before continuing. "Because, believe me, I don't want to find drugs ... but I don't know what else to think."
"I've told you." I shook my head and looked back at her. "I don't sleep well."
She lowered her chin and raised her eyebrows.
"Parker, you sleep all the time."
A hot wave of anger flowed over me. Why did she keep bringing it up? She never believed what I said, anyway. I stood up from the table and turned back toward the hall. "Well then, guess it must be drugs."


His mom forces the issue after this and points out that if it's just sleep then go to the doctor! He breaks down but thinks about how he's been avoiding it because he doesn't want anyone to think he's crazy (eye roll), but I'm thinking, it's been 4 fricken years since he slept and he hasn't already gone crazy?! Of course, the doc also thinks it's drugs and Parker gets all bent out of shape again, but then asks him what happens to people who don't sleep; the doctor tells him how eventually the person would die, and now suddenly Parker has a time limit left on this earth. "The person would become psychotic, experiencing a variety of dangerous psychological symptoms, and then ... well, then the person would die." It wasn't like the doctor told him a person would die in x-amount of time, and considering that Parker hasn't slept in 4 years, I don't get why he kept going on and on about dieing fast (he goes on and on throughout the book about how he doesn't have long to live, but yet his whole issue spans months). Just, this whole aspect of the story was dumb to me.

Enter Mia, Finn, and Addie. Finn is his best friend, who always has funny one-liners on his t-shirts (this is relevant only because we get to read what most of them say), and Addie who is his gorgeous sister but Parker can't date for fear of the "brocode", and Mia whose dreams were the first Parker had ever been able to sleep in. When Parker was thirteen he told Finn about how he watches other people's dreams, and naturally Finn didn't believe him, and Parker dropped it, but not before making sure to get all broody about it for the rest of his life. His bitching over how mistreated and misunderstood he was got on every single nerve I have. Another little irritant was Parker saying things like Finn's dreams were the closest I could get to what I thought my own dreams might've been like. He had twelve years worth of dreams before this started, so he aught to know what kind of dreams he had! He is also a fan of judging people on their dreams. One of the hottest cheerleaders wasn't worthy of dating because she once had a crazy dream about her cat, and the most popular kid at school wasn't worth idolizing because he was a "momma's boy".

Having sworn off girls because ...girls were so much work. It wasn't worth wasting the time I had left on them. And at one point Finn asks (sort of) if he wasn't into girls, but guys, and Parker got super pissed off. There was a lot of this girls-are-less-than crap in here too. The boys soccer team was like, the best thing eva, but the girls sucked (but the coaches talked training together). But it was ok because the boys let them practice and taught them some skills. "A few more joint practices, they might stand a chance." **massive eye roll**

And Parker, who is the co-captain (the most popular kid at school was the captain), thinks he has another ability along with his dream watching, that he refers to as "maneuvering" people. Spoiler alert--it's just paying attention to body language!!! That's it!! He mentions how he uses this ability in soccer and how it makes him like, the best eva, and even the coach was in awe over him always being so awesome. Because nobody else has heard of body language but Parker. I swear every time I had to read about this as if it were special I wanted to punch him.

There's more, but as you can see Parker got on my nerves a great deal. He was a jerk to him mom, but then turned around later and said how she didn't deserve it, he was an ass to his best friend, but later said it wasn't fair, he was crazy with Mia, but turned around and swore to protect her after he put her through hell. Nothing about that made any sense to me. He was being so crazy with Mia, and she was actually afraid of him, but then he makes it his life's mission to protect her because of it?! And in order to protect her, he has to keep stalking her?! It just..what?!

The big reveal about who the big-bad is wasn't all that surprising in my opinion. We have this big showdown, and afterward everyone fawns over Parker some more, even though Parker had been stalking Mia, he was still the hero. It just didn't work for me.

There's a scene in here in which Parker is watching the dreams of Mia's therapist, and in the dream he kills him by beating his head in with a paperweight. The weight of taking a life--it would always be there. I shit you not, Addie tells him he's not really a murderer. Even though the guy died in real life because of his actions. The way she was justifying that whole thing was sleazy. She squeezed my hand. "Even if you did kill him, you can't change it. All you can do is make sure it doesn't happen again." --What?! Ok Addie.

Basically, nothing worked for me in this entire book. The writing was very choppy (always having short sentences, repetition, ect), I didn't believe anything, and considered not even finishing it. This might be one of those book that has people either loving it or hating it, but not many in the middle. The idea was amazing, but the execution fell miles too short to make me like it.