Thursday, March 25, 2010


Sea Cliff was a small, quiet town. Until now. A group of students went to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to build houses for Habitat for Humanity. A terrible murder occurs there, leading the students to promise to stay silent about what happened. They return home, but start to have the most horrible nightmares. As the dreams get worse, some even start to sleepwalk. Then some students start killing. Both Emma and Jake are having trouble sleeping. They are terrified that they are going to die next or maybe kill someone in their sleep. What is causing them to sleepwalk? Will they figure it out before it's too late?

This book was pitched to me by my sister (who's a YA librarian) as a Nightmare on Elm Street wannabe, which is not really true. I found out after I had read it that she hadn't even finished the book. There are some similarities, but as a whole, the two works are very different. The book reads as a teen horror flick transformed into a book. I liked the concept and liked going along for the ride as more details are revealed about the mystery. The horror aspects of the novel were pretty good. I really liked that one of the kids that ended up killing someone had violent episodes that they had no recollection of afterwards. One of them in particular came out of the blue and surprised me.

The characters are typical stock characters in a horror movie: the strong survival girl, the bad boy, the preppy cheerleader girl, etc. Unfortunately the characters don't really develop or have depth beyond that. Also, the Voodoo elements were kind of lame and obvious since they came from New Orleans. At a certain point, the mystery became really predictable and I started figuring things out before the characters. I like being surprised and having my mind blown. This was not the case here.

Sleepless was an amusing read that didn't have much depth. If it were a horror film, it would be one of those PG-13 ones that I avoid because they tend to be lame. I would recommend this to people want a fast, generally entertaining read.

My rating: 3/5 fishmuffins


Misty said...

Cover's interesting, but I don't think I'll be reading this one. Sounds too much like too many movies and books that have come before, so without great characters to make it stand out...
Not gonna waste my time.

Hagelrat said...

thorough review, it's not something I would have picked up but the cover is eyecatching.

Stewart Sternberg said...

This sounds promising. I wanted to do something about Katrina, or at least deal with a major catastrophe. I've always thought that in times like these, when resources are stressed and the common person is isolated and forced to deal with crisis on their own, that the potential for drama is heightened.