Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Review: Sleep No More

SLEEP NO MORE
Aprilynne Pike
Paranormal Young Adult
352 pages
HarperTeen
Available Now
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Charlotte Westing has a gift. She is an Oracle and has the ability to tell the future. But it doesn't do her much good. Instead of using their miraculous power, modern-day Oracles are told to fight their visions—to refrain from interfering. And Charlotte knows the price of breaking the rules. She sees it every day in her wheelchair-bound mother and the absence of her father. But when a premonition of a classmate's death is too strong for her to ignore, Charlotte is forced to make an impossible decision: continue following the rules or risk everything—even her sanity—to stop the serial killer who is stalking her town.

MY THOUGHTS
Sleep No More is a dark and violent murder mystery with a paranormal twist, the visions that plague Charlotte as an Oracle ensuring (aptly per the title) sleep is as difficult to find for us as it is for her. For those readers who don’t handle gore or horror well, the descriptions of the various murders are detailed without being obscene–leaving our minds to fill in the blanks with information that’s most likely far more gruesome–and we find ourselves all the more horrifyingly engaged as a result. The fact that Charolotte is an Oracle and not simply psychic is an intriguing twist, the history of Oracles and their changing role from ancient times to present day hinted at without being fully explored, but where that might typically be frustrating, Ms. Pike balances the known and unknown perfectly to make sure we reach the last page both satisfied and yet still infinitely curious.

Charlotte is a loner thanks to the inconvenient timing of her visions and the fact that they render her immobile and unaware of anything around her for the few minutes she lives them, earning her a reputation that keeps friends largely at bay. Her loneliness, combined with the terror we feel when we see what she sees, reaches out and grabs us from the beginning, turning us from passive observers into active participants as we become one of the few very few people who know what she’s going through. Though Charlotte is guilty of the all-too common heroine-keeps-secrets-rather-than-telling-those-around-her-what’s-going-on habit, the fact that so much about her and her role as an Oracle is being deliberately kept from her by her aunt Sierra makes her decision to not entirely open up an understandable one.

The romance in Sleep No More is at first glance one that seems as though it’s going to play out in familiar fashion, Charlotte’s long time unrequited love for Linden making us root for the slow progression of their relationship every step of the way. Ms. Pike takes the path less traveled when the Charlotte/Linden romance reaches its fork in the road however, and we can’t help but appreciate her decision (as well as Charlotte and Linden’s) to do the unexpected. Their relationship is a subtle one though, the murders and the increasing forcefulness of Charlotte’s visions staying firmly front and center, but their moments together show us facets of Charlotte's character we both respect and admire given she proves just how much of a level head she has even when the boy she’s loved for a good part of her life finally shows interest.

Overall, Sleep No More is a page turner in every sense, keeping us on edge as the length of time between Charlotte’s visions and the reality of them dwindles with increasing speed, and robbing us of breath as we wonder when she’s going to run out of time to make the difference between life and death. We’re left with the murderer caught and punished and his reasoning made clear, but the aforementioned questions as to the role of Oracles and the mysterious Sisters of Delphi remain a bit more open-ended, room for further exploration a definite possibility but yet we’re also perfectly content when we close the back cover should Ms. Pike keep this novel a stand-alone.

Rating: 4/5

Find Aprilynne:

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This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

46 comments:

  1. Wonderful review Jenny and so well stated. This one was really unusual but in a good way and one that kept you turning the pages for sure.

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    1. YES! I loved how things didn't go the way I thought they would in some areas. Typically that would irritate me, but it just seemed fitting in this case:)

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  2. Wow.. so this book totally escaped me somehow. The cover looks rather boring too. But this actually sounds interesting and maybe I should give this book a try. Ever since I read (and didn't love ) Wings I have yet to pick up another book by Aprilynne Pike.

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    1. This was my first book by her and I really loved it Danny, I hope you decide to give it a try!

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  3. I'm glad you had a great time with the novel but I confess I don't really know about this one.... My problem is that I was really disappointed by Wings so I'm anxious about her other books. But maybe I should try. Thanks for the review.

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    1. I haven't read Wings, but I will say I loved this one and was impressed the mystery and the characters:)

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  4. I've read one book by this author and really enjoyed it, but I can't remember the title. It was something about a ghost and a guy. Anyway, I want to try this one too eventually.

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    1. I hope you give this a try Christy, I thought it was fantastic:)

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  5. I can't wait for this book! Great review :)

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    1. YAY! I hope you love it Keeley:)

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  6. Ohhh! An oracle? Sounds intriguing! I didn't even know that Pike had another novel coming out! This one does sound suspenseful and a page turner. I will have to add it to my TBR list. I loved the Wings series!

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    1. YES! I loved that she was an Oracle even if I wished for more information on the, and I've got my fingers crossed that this is going to be a series:)

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  7. SOLD. Dark and violent murder mystery with a paranormal twist. I don't even need to read more than that. ;)

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    1. I just had fun reading this one Amanda! Even though it definitely freaked me out in places. The murderer is disturbing on a variety of levels:)

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  8. It's almost worse if I have to fill in the blanks myself -- my brain comes up with the most awful things. You know, Oracles really seem to have it bad. That's definitely not a power I'd want. Is this one *supposed* to be a standalone or are they making it into yet another YA trilogy (that I won't finish)?

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    1. Exactly! We definitely got plenty of details, but wimp that I am, I was never nauseated. There was just enough detail to be scary, and then enough left unsaid to scare me even more:)

      And I looked and looked for info on whether or not this was going to have a sequel or sequels, but couldn't find anything. I'm hoping there will be more:)

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  9. I initially dismissed this book because none of Aprilynne Pike's books have worked for me, but your review is making me re-think my decision. This sounds morbid but I tend to enjoy gory murder mysteries. The romance sounds lovely too!
    Great review, Jenny!

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    1. I haven't read any of her other books so I couldn't tell you how this compares, but I really enjoyed it Nick!

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  10. Oooooh, this sounds intense! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

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    1. Intense is a good word for it! Definitely recommend:)

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  11. Jenny, I MUST HAVE THIS. You know how much I love horror stories! I've yet to read one of Ms. Pike's books that really worked for me, but this is my type of book completely. Charlotte sounds like a really engaging character - albeit a bit quirky - and I think I could really like reading her story. Beautiful review as always!

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    1. I think you'll like it Melissa! There were of course moments when I just wanted her to tell someone what was going on, but I understood why she didn't feel comfortable with her aunt Sierra. Overall, I thought it was great:) And creepy. Creepily great.

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  12. This actually sounds like the kind of YA that I would love. It is going on my list for 25 this year. Oh chillingly good!

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    1. I was a big fan Felicia! I would definitely NOT want her ability. At all.

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  13. I wasn't really a fan of Pike's Wings series and thought Life After Theft was okay but I may give this one a try, Jenny, because of the murder mystery. It's too bad though that the role of Oracles is rather vague.

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    1. I really liked how the murder mystery played out Z! The murderer wasn't a total shock, but I loved how everything unfolded:)

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  14. Ooo Jenny this is my kind of read, I love the sound of the murder mystery.Charlotte sounds fleshed out. Great review!!

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  15. I only read Wings by Pike and thought it was okay but never really thought to pick up her other books. I'm kinda curious about this one with the nice balance of paranormal and a murder mystery so I'll add it to my tbr pile. Wonderful review, Jenny!

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    1. I was really pleased with this one Rummanah, I recommend giving it a try! I'm so hoping there's a sequel in the works:)

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  16. Oh gosh, this sounds right up my alley, Jenny! I've only read one book so far by Aprilynne Pike (Earthbound) and I really enjoyed it. This is actually darker than I originally imagined - and that's okay, because I like paranormal/mysteries sometimes with a scary bite ;)

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    1. It's definitely dark. The murders are brutal and I would curl up into a fetal ball if I had to see what Charlotte sees! It was bad enough imagining it:)

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  17. I'm glad to hear you would be content if this were a standalone, but also that there is more that could be explored. I'm getting fatigued of first book cliffies that are just jumping off points for a larger story. This sounds like a book I'd enjoy- I'm always on board for a page turner with a cool paranormal conceit. I haven't heard anything about this book so far, so I'm thrilled to have read your thoughtful, lovely review!

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    1. I was so glad there was no cliffhanger Lauren! Yes, there are a lot of questions about Oracles that remain unanswered, but on the whole it didn't bother me. The mystery was wrapped up nicely so I was content:)

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  18. I've seen this book around a lot Jenny and the more I see it the more I want to read it. It looks and sounds amazing. It's paranormal, which I haven't read a good one for ages except Storm, but I could do with reading a lot of more of it and this is top of the list. It's coming out in the UK in the next couple of days, so I will definitely read it. Lovely review, Jenny!

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    1. YAY! I hope you love it Emma! I just blew right through it and couldn't get enough:)

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  19. Oh I like the sound of this one, I have been wanting to try something by this author for awhile and I think a good old creepy ghost story is right up my alley, not thrilled about the somewhat open ending though.

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  20. This completely caught me by surprise. I didn't know this author was publishing another book between Earthbound and it's sequel. I was waiting on the sequel. So I missed this one completely. Sounds really good. I am so curious about the romance. I think I'll have to read this one. Great review, Jenny!

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  21. It's weird how I've heard almost nothing about this book, it totally caught me by surprise when I've suddenly saw it a couple times. It sounds pretty interesting though. I'm not sure yet, but I'm thinking I might want to pick this one up in the future.

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  22. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Jenny! I've been meaning to try out this author for awhile, but yours is the first mention I've seen of this novel, so thanks for putting it on my radar. I'll definitely be checking it out soon! :)

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  23. This is the first time I've seen this book anywhere actually, and I'm definitely intrigued by its premise. I love a good murder mystery every so often, and I love how the protagonist is doomed to see the future but is not supposed to interfere. Great review! :D

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  24. Looks like we reviewed this around the same time! So happy you enjoyed the book as much as I did.

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  25. I wasn't very happy with how everything ended, it felt a little bit rushed. I am guessing that there should be sequel because so many things left unanswered. Strongest part for me is that it was a lot darker than her previous novels and more "grown up".
    Great review, Jenny.

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  26. I'm not sure about this one. I'm glad it worked for you, and I'm curious about the romance. This author doesn't always go the happy route - or expected - but I do like that this girl is level headed. I hate watching someone pine for a guy who doesn't notice her, even though it's realistic. However, the main oracle storyline isn't grabbing me for some reason. I'm feeling very undecided. hmm.

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  27. I personally like the darker side of books, that's not for everyone. But I could see this one being really good for my next read. I am finishing up Shadows of Doubt by Mell Corcoran, I recommend this one to people that like mystery with the paranormal side there. Her site has more info, mellcorcoran.com. Give me a dark, paranormal mystery any day!

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