Source: Delacorte Press
Grade: 3 stars out of 5
Eron is a Sandman, one who lightly murmurs sweet nothings into the ears of his charges and lightly dust them with sand for he helps them sleep at night. Or shall I say, the one who makes them fall asleep. It's been almost a hundred years since he died and became a Sandman and now his time is almost up. Eron finally has a chance to become a human again and tackle any unfinished business. But first he has to has to train Griffin to become a Sandman and take over his charges. Now Eron is balancing being a human and a Sandman.
Julia is somehow in the middle of this. Julia has always been one of Eron's charges since she was a child. The only thing is, Julia was Griffin's girlfriend when he died.
Griffin is having trouble dealing with this new sort of rules of not touching, no talking, and definitely no more interacting in her life outside of her dreams.
Sleepless was a novel that I was wanting for to be released ever since I read Fairy Tale (previously know as Fairy Lust), which was quite some time ago. Sleepless had a synopsis that was strange, though in a good way, that immediately made me curious and definitely excited after having a taste at Balog's debut novel; which I found to be a fun read so I expected a wow book from Sleepless. Yet Sleepless irked me in some way or another. It hit some spots on the nail, but many times the hammer missed and struck the thumb.
Reasons why I liked Sleepless:
1. Originality. Like I said previously, Sandmen is an uncharted area that I had never read about. That alone would make me curious enough to pick up Sleepless.
2. A flare for the dramatics. Balog tries to push to the extremes in most cases. Kudos for trying.
3. The format of the novel. I realize that this has nothing to do with the actual story, but the novel alternates between Eron and Julia. For Julia's point of view, there would be the flower (same as the cover flower) at the bottom right hand corner of the first page (like the cover). For Eron's point of view, there would be a moon (same as the cover moon) at the top left hand corner (like the corner). This is awesome, you guys, in person.
4. Usually when a novel tries to be mysterious I usually try to solve it and am about 70% right. It was not the case with Sleepless. Was so wrong and so many counts for Sleepless.
Reason why I had trouble liking Sleepless:
1. I found both Julia and Eron naive. Not in the adorable, child-like way, but a frustrating way that I would have thought experience would teach. (In a irreverent note: Julia wears Crocs. Not my prefer sense of style shoe, but it was hot back a couple years ago so it would make sense in the novel. Read right now, it's outdated for teens to wear Crocs.)
2. Griffin is a giant brute. Any redeeming quality or any quality worthy of sympathizing with is thrown out of the window. First person narrative is extremely frustrating because I needed to know what made Griffin, Griffin. His hostility, his anger, his attitude of "telling it how it is" was constant throughout the entire novel made it odd when he, out of no where, becomes vulnerable. Is there a deeper sense to him than meets the eye? I am not sure because there is nothing about Griffin that is explained.
3. It was strange how Eron has spent the last century in the world and somehow not managed to pick up any of the technology, clothing trends, or colloquialism. Was there an explanation about this because I do recall that it was mentioned that Eron follows his charges around in case they are in need of a nap. If so I must have missed the middle line.
4. I found the ending unsatisfying. It was anticlimactic (anyone else wanted someone to throw a punch of two?), a bit unbelievable, and a bit unclear. It was like blowing up a balloon and instead of exploding, it just deflated.
P.S. I wonder why is that male Sandmen have female charges whereas female Sandmen have male charges....