Monday, November 15, 2010

Review: Sleepless by Cyn Balog

It used to be that if I didn’t like a book within the first fifty pages, I would stop reading and move on to the next one. It seems silly doesn’t it? I mean with some books it takes a hundred pages or more before the story really starts to pick up and things get interesting. However, there are still those books, such as Sleepless, where you try your hardest to give the book a shot, to not judge it too soon, but by the end you just wind up feeling as though the book was undeserving of your time and attention. As it was, I didn’t even make it through the whole story. I skimmed the last eighty pages, just to see how it ended. While the idea of Sleepless and sandmen is interesting, the plot was almost non-existent and the characters were irritating and unlikable.

At barely over 200 pages, we as readers learn little about the characters other than that they are impulsive, selfish, and at times violent. The story focuses on Julia, a girl in high school who recently lost her boyfriend in a car accident, and Eron, a sandman who has performed his duties for a hundred years and is ready to move onto the next phase of his life—to become human again. Certain humans who are near death are given the choice to move on to the afterlife or become a sandman, and once they have completed their service they are given a second chance at life. It is Eron’s job to train the next sandman (Julia’s recently departed boyfriend, Griffin) before he can fully transition to the next stage of his life. The one thing that both men have in common is that they are madly in love with Julia and neither is willing to let her go. That’s where the similarities end.

Griffin is a jerk who treated Julia like crud when he was alive (I love how this behavior is somehow justified when she claims that he toughened her up and gave her a thicker skin) and even worse as a sandman. You know that Griffin is truly a winner when he plots the murder of his best friend, simply because he was making advances towards his former girlfriend. As for Eron… well… he is just dull and annoying, and at times even a little bit creepy. Eron describes putting people to sleep as seducing his charges into slumber. Yuck. Helping someone sleep should not be confused as a sexual act, which is exactly what happens when Eron is trying to show Griffin how to perform his duties. As for plot, there really wasn’t much there. First Julie is in danger from Griffin’s best friend. Then Julie is in danger from Griffin. Eron has elected himself her personal hero and must protect her from both. Insert some false alarms and then throw in a little danger and wah lah, you have Sleepless!

Rating: 1/5 Stars

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