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Inspiring Insomnia

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Insomnia (The Night Walkers)

Insomnia - J.R. Johansson This review and others are posted at Read, Rinse, Repeat.

The story of Insomnia is one of the more unique I've come across. Parker is haunted by other people's nightmares. Each night, he enters into the dream (or nightmare) of the last person he saw that day. He fears being viewed as crazy, so Parker keeps his ability hidden, even as his physical and mental well-beings deteriorate.

Everything changes the day he meets Mia. That night, for the first time in four years, Parker is able to fully sleep. Parker becomes an addict, seeking out Mia every day for the chance to look in her eyes so that he may have a restful sleep. But Mia's plagued by nightmares, and Parker soon learns that she has tragedy in her past and that she's currently the victim of an unknown stalker. As Parker becomes increasingly intent to look into Mia's eyes each day, Mia and others begin to wonder if Parker is her stalker. By the way, bravo to an author who depicts stalking as the awful crime that it is, and not as a demonstration of love. (I can't believe it's necessary to type that!) No one is going to mistake Parker's behavior for anything other than frightening, and possibly criminal, behavior, but Johnansson keeps him sympathetic. Really, he did not have a lot of options.

It's not only Mia who questions Parker's intentions. His best friend, Finn, and Finn's sister, Addie, begin to wonder if Parker is cracking. Parker has a bit of a spark with Addie, but he's not helping his case as a possible boyfriend with his possible stalking of Mia. The love triangle with the two girls is nicely done. It didn't feel forced or contrived, and I could see Parker with either one of the girls. And THAT is how a love triangle should be done!

The only thing I didn't enjoy was the final confrontation with the villain. The villain delivers a speech explaining his/her motivations that had too much of that mustache-twirling feel. But the ending leaves lots of great possibilities for a sequel, and Johansson has given us a great debut novel.

Note: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.