Series: The Night Walkers # 1
Published by Flux on June 8, 2013
Her eyes saved his life.
Her dreams released his darkness.
After four years of sleeplessness, high school junior Parker Chipp can't take much more. Every night, instead of sleeping, he enters the dreams of the last person he's made eye contact with. If he doesn't sleep soon, Parker will die.
Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that is utterly addictive. But what starts out as a chance meeting turns into an obsession; Parker's furious desire for what he needs pushes him to extremes he never thought he'd go. And when someone begins to terrorizing Mia with twisted death threats, Parker's memory blackouts leave him doubting his own innocence.
Everything changes the day he meets Mia. That night, for the first time in four years, Parker is able to fully sleep. Parker becomes an addict, seeking out Mia every day for the chance to look in her eyes so that he may have a restful sleep. But Mia’s plagued by nightmares, and Parker soon learns that she has tragedy in her past and that she’s currently the victim of an unknown stalker. As Parker becomes increasingly intent to look into Mia’s eyes each day, Mia and others begin to wonder if Parker is her stalker. By the way, bravo to an author who depicts stalking as the awful crime that it is, and not as a demonstration of love. (I can’t believe it’s necessary to type that!) No one is going to mistake Parker’s behavior for anything other than frightening, and possibly criminal, behavior, but Johnansson keeps him sympathetic. Really, he did not have a lot of options.
It’s not only Mia who questions Parker’s intentions. His best friend, Finn, and Finn’s sister, Addie, begin to wonder if Parker is cracking. Parker has a bit of a spark with Addie, but he’s not helping his case as a possible boyfriend with his possible stalking of Mia. The love triangle with the two girls is nicely done. It didn’t feel forced or contrived, and I could see Parker with either one of the girls. And THAT is how a love triangle should be done!
The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the final confrontation with the villain. The villain delivers a speech explaining his/her motivations that had too much of that mustache-twirling feel. But the ending leaves lots of great possibilities for a sequel, and Johansson has given us a great debut novel.
Check out my interview with J.R. Johansson.
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Review posted at Goodreads.