Thursday, July 2, 2015

Review: Sleepless by Michael Omer

Narrowdale #1

Michael Omer

YA Paranormal Thriller
January 10, 2015

Amazon | Goodreads

Don’t fall asleep. Don’t dream. Don’t get caught.

At the beginning of her freshman year of high school, Amy can think of nothing worse than moving to the boring, suburban town of Narrowdale. And that’s before she starts having the same nightmare over and over again, waking up every night to a creepy whistle outside her window and being haunted by a mysterious, menacing presence. Getting used to the new school becomes the least of her problems.

As she delves deeper to uncover the truth, she unknowingly edges closer to mortal danger. Terrible events that took place years ago threaten to happen again, but now Amy’s life is on the balance. Unfortunately, the one guy who is supposed to protect her, nineteen year old Peter, doesn’t believe her.

Some things seem to happen only in Narrowdale, where dark secrets hide beneath the surface…

As she confronts the mysteries of Narrowdale, Amy documents her experiences in her blog. The book contains live links to this blog.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

Billed as a YA paranormal thriller, Sleepless, reads closer to lower YA or even middle grade. The plot, the characters, and even the writing have a very young feel to them. Not surprising since the main character is a freshman in high school.

Narrowdale is an odd town where strange things seem to happen to some of the residents. One of the first scenes in the novel, when Amy was listening to an odd exchange in a clothing store, was so intriguing that I can't stop thinking about it.

I liked the story idea but felt the execution was lacking at times. The pace was lightning fast which is great for younger readers, but I felt there were times when things were just too rushed. The characters came across rather one-dimensional. Don't get me wrong, I liked Amy and felt for her, but in a superficial way. Shane, Coral, and Peter are barely developed at all.

A sense of eeriness was pervasive throughout the story as Amy loses sleep night after night. Her desperation comes through quite well, and her behavior, especially at school is well-written. I enjoyed the links to Amy's blog posts-- it added something different to the mix. In the beginning the suspense was building quite well. Toward the end, however, everything happened so fast-- like BAM, and it's over.

I think this paranormal series has lots of potential because Narrowdale seems like an interesting town. While I didn't find this read scary or creepy at all, I think young YA and middle grade readers would.

About the Author

My name is Michael Omer, and I’m a writer, journalist and game designer. I wrote and published my first novel when I was sixteen, and figured I’d keep at it. Since then, I have published two more novels, and wrote… who can even count how many? I’m happily married to a woman who keeps pushing me to write more, and have three kids who insist I should stop writing and come play with them. I also have two dogs.


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