Title/Author: Sleepless by Cyn Balog
Publisher/Year: Delacorte 2010
How I Got It: I bought it at PAYA and got it signed!
Why I read it: I heard good things about it!
Rating: A solid 3 stars
I will come right out and confess that I am not well-read when it comes to the paranormal romance genre. Reading YA is a new thing for me this year and I've been turning my nose up to most paranormal books because I thought they would all be overdone with vampires and werewolves. Don't get me wrong. I like those things in moderation but I get a little bored when everything seems like I'm rereading Twilight over and over again. Call me a book snob if you wish.
Upon reading the description of this book and hearing excellent things about it, I decided to shell out the money and dabble in a little bit of paranormal romance. The premise of this book is certainly unique and made me excited to get started as soon as I got home from PAYA. Instead of vampires and werewolves, Cyn Balog creates a world around those who bring sleep to humans--also known as the Sandman! *waits for you to get the "Mr. Sandman" song out of your head* Our beloved Sandman is Eron and one of the humans he is assigned to seduce to sleep is Julia--a girl who is considered an outcast by her schoolmates and suppresses her emotions by jokes and sarcasm. Eron has a strong connection with Julia--more than a Sandman should ever have with one of his humans. Eron, who was once a human, faces making the transition back to becoming a human after completing his 100 years as a Sandman. He is troubled by his new replacement as well as dangers that he wants to protect Julia from but can't due to rules that forbid it.
This book was such a compelling read. I read it in the course of one day and I just loved the idea of this world of the Sandman. Props to Cyn Balog for originality! I really liked the characters of Eron and Julia. Eron was such a charming character and I felt like Balog really created a vivid picture of him in my head. Sometimes he seemed a little too perfect but I got over that pretty quickly. Julia was a very complex character that was written very well. Her facade quickly crumbles and we learn who she really is after the death of her boyfriend Griffon (not a spoiler!). The story unfolded through alternating chapters and I was more than pleased with how Balog was able to smoothly go from Julia to Eron, as there is nothing I hate more than a jarring transition between point of views.
I was quickly on my way to slapping a whopping 5/5 stars on this and serving it to you all on a shiny, silver platter that would cause you all to be flocking to your local bookstores to make this your next read. But then--much to my dismay-- a few issues prevented this from happening.
1. The ending! I was starting to get panicky towards the end as I was realizing how few pages were left. I could not comprehend how this could be resolved with what was left. I started checking to make sure I wasn't missing pages or that this was part of a planned series. I could feel the anxiety level rising and sadly this was the end indeed. I felt the ending was rushed and some of the character's actions were too contrived, just for the sake of ending it neatly. (I'm talking about the ending with Griffon and how he went from one emotion to the next and finally gave in without a fight)
2. I felt like for the most part Balog did a really great job with Eron's transition into being a human. A few minuscule parts, however, did not feel believable. I find it hard to believe that after observing humans for a hundred years that he was so bewildered by a BUS! I mean, he had clearly seen cars before. This shouldn't have been a big deal but he sat there acting like it was a giant cheeseburger flying through the air. I understand that he didn't get some of the intricacies of how human speech had evolved or the trends but that part just didn't seem believable to me.
I really did enjoy this book and think that the concept of the book was one of the most unique out there! Had it not been for the things I mentioned above, I would have happily given it 5 stars as it really would have deserved it. Balog has a knack for writing a compelling storyline and sucking you far into it. If you are a paranormal romance fan, this is a MUST read! If you are not really a paranormal fan, I'd read a few other things and THEN read this so that you will appreciate a truly unique story in what has become a very saturated "market".
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