Recently, Insomnia got a new trade review from ForeWord Reviews. They are a review journal distributed quarterly to 7500 librarians and booksellers across the US. They're also available at most Barnes & Noble newsstands and by subscription.
They're prestigious and awesome and I'm thrilled they reviewed Insomnia and even happier about what they had to say:
J. R. Johansson
(Jun 8, 2013)
Supernatural young adult thriller creates a real sense of tension, anticipation, and dread. Parker Chipp hasn’t slept in four years. Every night, he’s an involuntary witness to the dreams of the last person whose eyes he looked into before going to sleep. Sometimes this means a night full of talking ponies or whimsical adventures; other times, he’s tormented by nightmares of endless domestic brutality or the guilt-wracked memories of wrongdoers who escaped all justice except that delivered by their own conscience.
Either way, he doesn’t get to sleep properly, and the stress is taking its toll, perhaps even killing him. Beside this, the more mundane problems of a typical high school junior—trying out for athletic teams, navigating conflicted friendships and budding romantic attractions, and dealing with the absence of his father and the consequences of a stressed-out mother—seem tame and manageable.
When Parker inadvertently glances into the eyes of a new arrival in town, he’s startled to find that, for some reason, he’s able to sleep peacefully in her dreams. Why? And can he enjoy the peace of her dreams without making her think that he’s a deranged stalker?
J. R. Johansson’s debut novel has an intriguing, original premise and an engaging first-person narrator/protagonist. It’s refreshing to read a supernatural young adult thriller that, for once, does not involve zombies, werewolves, vampires, or some other familiar trope. Parker’s curse (or gift), the rules that govern it, and the effects it might have on him and the people around him are mysterious and unknown, creating a real sense of tension, anticipation, and dread as the reader, along with Parker, tentatively explores his ability’s parameters without knowing what he will find or what the consequences will be.
The plot inevitably expands outward from Parker’s own problems to those of the people around him. High school social drama gives way to more visceral dangers, both real and imagined, as Parker finds reasons to question his own motivations and even his own sanity. Mysterious links to Parker’s father suggest that there’s more to his peculiarity than he knows, and his untutored explorations suggest that it may be much darker and more powerful than he dares contemplate.
Some of the plot threads of Insomnia are tied up a bit too neatly and suddenly, but Johansson’s first book lays the groundwork for an intriguing series based on an original premise.
Bradley A. Scott
Have you ever wanted to wrap yourself up in words? What am I talking about, you're all readers...of course you have. That's how I feel about this review. I want to cuddle with "intriguing, original premise and an engaging first-person narrator/protagonist." I want to get the words, "Supernatural young adult thriller creates a real sense of tension, anticipation and dread," tattooed on my forehead...that wouldn't be awkward or off-putting at mix & mingles, would it? :)
Anyway, happy day! I survived another trade review!
Also, here are the rafflecopters for the two blog tour giveaways (signed copies of Insomnia & 10-pg critiques) I have going on right now. You can go ahead and enter here if you'd like...because I'm nice like that. What did you think about this new review?
Tomorrow is the big day! I'm going to try my best to not injure or break myself before then. I've been known to do that...