Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Never Sleep! Today I'll be sharing my review of the book - and don't forget to enter the giveaway! To follow the rest of the tour, click on the banner above.
Author: Cady Vance
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Release Date: March 15, 2015
As Thora joins forces with Aiden and Florence, two fellow insomniacs, their midnight quest will take them from the dusty bookshelves of The Strand, to the smokey underground clubs in the Lower East Side, to countless taxi and subway rides. Clues leading to their final destination are waiting for them at every turn. But so are Sleepers—a powerful core of sworn-enemies to all Insomniacs—who wish to see Thora and her friends destroyed at any cost.
Never Sleep is a gripping young adult science fiction novel that centers around the common problem of insomnia. Thora, our main character, suffers from chronic insomnia. Not knowing what else to do, her parents enrolled her in a sleep clinic - where the doctors said they could help treat Thora's insomnia. There are doctors at the clinic all right - lots of them - but all they seem to do is watch Thora and never do anything to treat her insomnia. Knowing that she can't stay at the clinic any longer, Thora escapes one night and heads to New York City, where there's rumors of an underground safe haven for people like her named the Insomiac Cafe. The Cafe offers a safe place for people like Thora to hide out and even provides some relief from their insomnia. It's at the Cafe that Thora meets Aiden and Florence - fellow insomniacs who are determined to find a cure for their disease. The three set off on a long and dangerous journey that will take them across and even below the city. They have to be careful though because the Sleepers - the powerful enemies to all Insomniacs - are hot on their trail and will do whatever it takes to destroy them before they reach their destination.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I started reading this book - the description made it sound sort of mundane and predictable. Happily, that wasn't the case at all. Within a couple of pages, I was drawn into Thora's world and her story. The world the author created is just like ours now - except for the whole insomnia "disease" crisis, the Clinic(s), Sleepers, and the Insomniac Cafe. The setting was incredibly realistic and the fact that it mirrors our world makes it easy for the reader to get sucked into it early on and probably without realizing it. The scary thing about the novel is how this could happen - or be happening right now. I can totally envision secret clinic set up around the country for the purpose of "studying and helping" people with a certain disease - like they do with insomnia in the book. A big aspect of the story revolves around the insomnia disease/crisis - and it's important to know that it's not quite the same as what we label it. In Thora's world, insomnia is a disease - with harsh side effects and stages/levels of severity, among several other aspects. I found the author's use of insomnia as such a problematic illness quite creative, even though there seems to be a growing number of books centered on the same topic.
Thora is a fantastic main character for the book. She's a Stage IV Insomniac - the worst level you can be - and she's only sixteen. She's pretty much been given a death sentence - with the severity of her case, she'll probably only live another two years or so. Thora is really easy to identify with from early on in the book. The book is told from her point of view - which I always think is the best way to write - so the reader gets to know the narrator on a deeply personal level. We are privy to Thora's inner thoughts, fears, hopes, dreams, memories, as well as seeing the events of the story unfold from her perspective. It's like being right there beside her during the whole book. She's a strong character - both physically and mentally - even though she might not think she is. She refuses to let her insomnia or the people at the Clinic break her and she refuses to give up when she has to run around New York City trying to find the Insomniac Cafe and staying far away from the Sleepers. I think she matures during the book due to all of the obstacles she has to overcome, along with the experiences she has that are new to her. I liked watching her change and grow throughout the story - it made her character feel all the more realistic to me.
The plot was well written and creative. As I mentioned earlier, there seems to be a growing number of books that revolve around insomnia in some way - so it's easy to blend them all together without any one specific book standing out from the rest. I feel that the author was able to set her story apart because of the different aspects I mentioned above - the dystopian-like world that mirrors our own, the realistic nature of the Clinic and everything else associated with insomnia, as well as the well rounded characters. I love that there's a bit of a mystery thrown into the story - where Thora has to follow clues to find her way to the Insomniac Cafe, and also trying to figure out what's really happening at these Clinics and why it's so important. There's also a lot of action, suspense, and some romance mixed in to the book, which I think makes it appealing to fans of several genres. I'm glad that this is just the first book in a trilogy - I can't wait to see what's going to happen next and where the story will take us. I highly recommend this book to fans of several genres and for readers who are looking for something fresh and exciting.
Cady Vance is the author of YA and NA speculative fiction. After growing up in small-town Tennessee, she decided to embark on a grand adventure by packing up her bags and moving to NYC. Now, she studies for her PhD in the UK and dreams of seeing the universe.
Buy Link: Amazon
Tour Wide Giveaway:
(1) Paperback copy of Never Sleep
(1) "Dreaming of New York" sleep mask