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Insomnia (The Night Walkers) Paperback – June 8, 2013

4.1 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Night Walkers Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Parker Chipp is dying. Dr. Brown confirmed Parker's suspicions that lack of sleep would drive him mad before killing him, but Parker cannot confide in anyone, because who would believe him? Johansson's adult personas are limited by their inability to accept the supernatural and understand the teen experience, both in the form of a ridiculous principal and a concerned yet oblivious mother. Before Mia moved to town, Parker was counting down the days he had left because he's a Watcher: a dream-walker. He is tortured by the dreams of the last person to make eye contact with him, but Mia's dreams offer unexpected respite from his condition; Parker can rest and dream his own dreams while inhabiting Mia's. Unfortunately, his triumph quickly turns sour when she feels violated by his attention, especially when she receives sinister emails, seemingly from Parker. This thriller embraces every conflict imaginable with horrifying results, whether Parker is battling his own good and evil halves, his friends and reputation, or an unseen foe. Insomnia is a suspenseful mystery not entirely resolved at the end, leaving readers biting their nails while waiting for the sequel.-Jamie-Lee Schombs, Loyola School, New York Cityα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journal. LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


"Insomnia is the perfect blend of everything I love in a story. Suspense, twists, characters with many levels that make me wonder just how good or just how bad they really are. I highly recommend this book to everyone and I hope a sequel comes soon!" 
-- JAMES DASHNER, author of the #1 New York Times Bestselling Maze Runner series.

"Completely unputdownable. I've decided to nickname Johansson 'Scary McScarypants,' because she spooked me in all the best ways. Who do I have to bribe to get book two now?!" 
-- CARRIE HARRIS, author of Bad Taste in Boys

"This book plunges you into the waking nightmare of one extraordinary insomniac's life. A riveting story of terror and despair that will keep you up long past your bedtime." 
-- JENNIFER BOSWORTH, author of Struck

"Cleverly written and dangerously dark, Insomnia will take you to the brink of insanity. A must read for thriller and romance fans alike." 
-- ELANA JOHNSON, author of Possession

Kirkus Review
Author: J.R. Johansson
Johansson, writing from Parker's point of view, scatters clues and red herrings about. Parker's plight will convince readers, although they will not know if he's innocent or psychotic until the final pages. The ending sets up the sequel in what promises to be an interesting new series.
The premise combines with the tension resulting from Parker's psychological quandary to keep pulses pounding(Suspense. 12 & up)

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Product Details

  • Series: The Night Walkers (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Flux (June 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738735930
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738735931
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #661,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Insomnia by J.R. Johansson
Book One of The Night Watchers series
Publisher: Flux
Publication Date: June 8, 2013
Rating: 5 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

It's been four years since I slept, and I suspect it is killing me.

Instead of sleeping, Parker Chipp enters the dream of the last person he's had eye contact with. He spends his nights crushed by other people's fear and pain, by their disturbing secrets--and Parker can never have dreams of his own. The severe exhaustion is crippling him. If nothing changes, Parker could soon be facing psychosis and even death.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that is utterly addictive. Parker starts going to bizarre lengths to catch Mia's eye every day. Everyone at school thinks he's gone over the edge, even his best friend. And when Mia is threatened by a true stalker, everyone thinks it's Parker.

Suffering blackouts, Parker begins to wonder if he is turning into someone dangerous. What if the monster stalking Mia is him after all?

What I Liked:

I knew I would like this book, but oh my gosh! I loved it so much! I do not usually read these types of books, that are horror-like and creepy. But this book was not overly creepy. If I could handle it, anyone will be able to!

I loved that this book is written completely in a male's first-person point-of-view. We only read Parker's thoughts, which is very different and very fresh, considering the amount of novels in a female'a first-person point-of-view. Parker was fun to follow, and he wasn't crazy and arrogant and cocky like most YA males seem to be.
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Format: Paperback
Actual rating 3.5

The Story:
Insomnia has two story arcs working in tandem. The main arc focused on Parker and his gift (or curse), which will hopefully carry through the entire series. Why does he have this ability? And how did he come about having it? I was so intrigued with this aspect of Parker's story. Sadly, I wasn't given the answers I wanted, which left me eager for the next book.

The secondary, smaller arc focused on the mystery surrounding Mia's stalker which is fully concluded in the first book. Johansson created an incredible amount of suspense that had me questioning what was happening as much as Parker. But, by the time I got to the ending I was a little let down because, to me, it felt rushed and a bit forced. Granted, I didn't see it coming but it didn't feel right.

The Characters:
Parker is a complicated character and since Insomnia is told in first person we only know what he knows. This allowed me to be fully immersed in the mystery and questioning what Parker was responsible for. Johansson was able to transport the reader into the framework of his world. I felt sleep deprived, just as he did, as I read. I was very impressed that she was able to capture this feeling of insanity and barely holding on to what is real and what isn't.

It was hard to keep reading as the story progressed because of how far Parker takes his need to see Mia every night before he slept. It was creepy and uncomfortable to take that journey with him. I found myself liking him less and less and wondering if he was ever going to make it out of his downward spiral. I didn't feel like I saw that much character growth from him but I think this will be addressed in the next books.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My initial draw to this book was the book cover. I love it! My second draw was to the storyline: Parker is sleepless, trapped in the dreams and nightmares of others, and his sleeplessness is hitting the point of no return. And then he meets Mia, whose dreams allow him to rest. But this solution opens up a whole other world of problems, for both Parker and Mia. And now Parker must deal with a bunch of ugliness and craziness to get to the truth, and not scare away or hurt his friends in the process, or lose his mind completely.

Insomnia is a fascinating story, and the direction the author takes is very creative and engrossing. While it could be a bit of info-dumpy in the beginning, overall the pace and plot progressed well and kept me completely wrapped up in the story. I not only wanted to know what was going on with Parker, I needed to know. The twists and turns throughout were very well played and kept me guessing. At times I felt just as crazy and confused about reality as Parker.

I liked Parker. Even though at times he could be frustrating with his trying to take-care-of-things-on-his-own bit, he had such a great heart, especially when he really opened up. I could feel his struggle and was rooting for him. Finn, Parker's best friend, was awesome. He's the best friend anyone would be lucky to have. He's witty and loyal and wears great shirts. Addie, Finn's sister, was adorable and honest and just what those two guys need. This trio of friends had their ups and downs, and I loved how the beauty of friendship and loyalty was explored throughout the story. It was a lovely thing to behold.

There's a mildly romantic element that was not overpowering, but did add a special element to the overall story, and felt authentic.
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