Author: Thomas Fahy
Emma Montgomery has been having trouble sleeping. Whenever she closes her eyes, all she can see are horrible nightmares ... nightmares of gruesome murder. And she's not alone. All of the students in Dr. Beecher's secret society have been having terrible dreams and sleepwalking. Now, as their classmates start turning up dead, Emma and her friends race against the clock to keep themselves awake and find out what is causing them to kill in their sleep--before the next victim dies.
Emma is having nightmares.
Horribley realistic ones, graphically depicting herself killing her classmates in the dead of the night. Since a class trip to New Orleans to help clean up after Katrina, and the mysterious events that occured there, Emma has been plagued by these dreams, along with several other students. But soon, these students start turning up dead all over town, and Emma and her friends must figure out what's causing these nightmares before it's too late.
At first glance, Sleepless seems like a short read. Thin, with probably the coolest cover in publishing history? I'd say a good couple of hours at most, right? Wrong.
Sleepless started out decent enough, with a dream of Emma digging a hole in the backyard, searching for something. Then it fades back into reality, with her father and a phsychiatrist discussing Emma's mental health. But Emma can't focus on them. All she can think about is how someone else will die soon, someone else will die and it will be her fault. And, in her words:
"A few days after the first time you walk in your sleep, you kill someone.
And that's when the end begins."
Pretty cool, right? Should be a quick creepfest, in theory. But theory and reality often prove quite seperate with these sort of things.
The next section begins on Wednesday, six days earlier, with the third person narrative of Jake Hardale, amateur drug dealer and part-time mechanic who goes to Emma's school. He, too, is haunted with these terrifying nightmares. But it's nothing a little pot can't fix. Along with pot-dealing. And hanging with his teacher's after school group. And fixing shit. And that's about it.
The summary proves to be pretty deceptive, as most of the narrative is usually in Jake's point of view. And Jake is pretty much a stereotypical high school stoner-with-a-heart-of-gold, as far as I can tell. Oh, and he has a crush on Emma. Which eventually turns into "love"--how, I have no idea, seeing as the character's develop about as much as that old pet rock sitting in your attic. I seriously do not understand Emma and Jake's little romance at all. Niether of them have very much personality, though this could just be reflecting my hatred of Third Person point of view. They just seem to spend a lot of time thinking about their nightmares and, in the case of Jake, is one night stand in New Orleans with the popular Caitlyn. He actually spends more time thinking about Caitlyn then Emma.
As for the plot, it's pretty thinly laid out. I had a hard time getting through it because it takes more then half of the short novel to actually get to some kind of point. It just seemed very wishy-washy as it progressed. One second, it's this, the next it's that, the next they're there, the next they're there. I really had no idea what was happening until the very end. This may or may not be a good thing, but to me, it was just confusing.
As for the "horror" label--I don't really get it. Maybe more of a bland thriller, but it kind of fails at scary. Not to say that it wasn't entertaining--because it was, in it's own way--but I wasn't exactly rocking in a corner clutching my comfort blanket. The characters, I think, kind of get in the way of the horror aspect. I don't get them. I don't feel for them, don't care about them. I don't sit there and cry everytime they wake up from a horrendous nightmare. They're as thin as the paper they're printed on. This tends to be a pretty easy fate for a book written in the third person perspective, but it's still a big turn-off for me.
I'm not going to say it's terrible, because it's not; the description is lovely, and the ending is definetly unexpected. But it is a pretty big labor to get through, even at only 200 pages. I wouldn't suggest you spend all your money on it, but I wouldn't tell you to blacklist it forever, either. Genre readers will probably get it no matter what I say, but anyone who's not easily excited should probably stay away.
Rating: 5 out of 10--nothing special
Also: The New Moon movie is promising to look signifigantly better then Twilight. I'd say K-Stew has been getting a few acting lessons. And Dakota Fanning as Jane? Badass: