Thursday, June 13, 2013

Insomnia book review + giveaways

Today's post is a little different than my usual posting.  The Author follows several teen fiction writers.  We were given the chance to review Insomnia, the debut novel for J. R. Johansson.
“Completely unputdownable. I’ve decided to nickname Johansson: Scary McScarypants, because she spooked me in all the best ways.” –Carrie Harris, author of BAD TASTE IN BOYS

We thought it would be fun to do a little question and answer session about the book. (Just to clarify, this is with my daughter, The Author, not J.R. Johansson, the author of Insomnia.  I would hate to confuse anyone there.)

Amy: We’ll start out with a question to make you think.  How would you describe Insomnia in 5 words or less?
The Author: Creepy ride with great characters.

Okay, now can you give us a quick plot summary for Insomnia?
Parker Chipp has not slept in four years. He’s pretty sure it’s killing him. Instead of sleeping, he goes into the dreams of the last person he makes eye contact with.
This all changes when a new girl appears in town. Mia’s dreams are peaceful and calm. Parker is able to sleep in them.
But then Mia is in danger from a real stalker… And everybody thinks it’s Parker. Parker isn’t too sure of his innocence once he discovers that he’s been leaving his room at night and finds himself near Mia’s house.

Who is your favorite character and why?
I loved Parker’s best friend, Finn. He wears cool T-shirts. He’s a great guy with a fantastic sense of humor. Finn has great development, too; I love well-developed characters!

Which character experienced the most growth?
Parker. He has to come to grips with his odd scenario, the fact that he’s acting very creepy just to catch Mia’s eye, and that he’s not exactly being the best friend for a time.

What did you learn, as a writer, from reading Insomnia?
I loved the characters. Everybody had a story and a part to play; they all had lives outside of Parker’s dilemma. I also loved how you had to keep guessing at who the villain was, as the plot twists changed your guess at the stalker just as you were certain it was someone. I’ll be able to look to that as reference in one of my books where I want to do that. Parker’s voice also felt natural. That’s not easy to pull off.

Fill in the blank:  If you loved ___________, you’ll like Insomnia.
The Author: The closest thing I can think of is Supernatural, the TV show. Both Supernatural and Insomnia are creepy, well-done horror that is not stereotypical. Insomnia has no ghosts, zombies, or serial killers and still manages to be a scary ride.

What do you hope to see in the future from J.R. Johansson?
The Author: The sequel to Insomnia comes out next year; it looks like Parker will be learning more about his unique ability and controlling it. I really want more non-stereotypical horror from Jenn, because that’s a genre that is being neglected in YA that she absolutely nailed.

What do you think?  Are you itching to get your hands on a copy?  Well, this would be your lucky day, because Jenn is giving away 10 signed copies.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
But wait, that's not all! Have you ever had the secret dream of being an author yourself?  I used to dream about becoming famous with my debut story about a penny and a nickel that got separated when the nickel was taken from the cash register drawer.  They each had their separate adventures until they finally got reunited in a coin purse.  Yep, it was going to be the next best thing before Harry Potter. Anyway, if you or someone you know is a budding author on the verge of stardom, you will love this giveaway.  Jenn is offering 10 first ten-page critiques.  So, you can find out if you have the next big idea.  Just remember, I called the penny and nickel adventure first!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! 
** Disclaimer -- We received a free ARC copy of Insomnia to review.  All opinions are our own.


Bobbie Gould said...

the giveaway is my favorite part!

J.R. Johansson said...

This turned out so fun! Thank you both so much for hosting this stop on the tour! :)

Mime said...

Ooh! Giveaway! :) I LOVE giveaways! Thank you for hosting this!