Sleepless - Lou Morgan

Genre: Y/A/Horror
Synopsis: Young, rich and good-looking, Izzy and her friends lead seemingly perfect lives. But exams are looming and at a school like Clerkenwell, failure is not an option. Luckily, Tigs has a solution. A small pill that will make revision a breeze and help them get the results they need. Desperate to succeed, the group begin taking the study drug. It doesn’t take long before they realize there are far worse things than failing a few exams.


Review: This was a seriously fun read. Once I stopped rolling my eyes at the idea of anyone taking drugs bought on the internet, I was intrigued by the premise and excited to see where the story would go. It meanders along slowly to start, introducing quite a few characters and setting the scene for the story - the exclusive Barbican complex in London where only the elite live. Once the drugs have been taken, the pace picks up tremendously - and in a matter of a couple of pages - and it doesn't let up until the very last word of the novel. I've heard criticism of both the slow start and intense ending, but honestly I thought both were just right.

Even though this is a YA book, and the pacing and lightness of prose lend themselves well to that category, its still pretty dark!The imagery and descriptions of the inevitable violence are quite ruthless. Additionally, the narrative is told from the perspective of one of the girls who took the drug, so she is both trying not to succumb to her own hallucinations, and trying to protect herself and her friends from theirs. While there are a few standard horror tropes thrown here - making this a great introduction to horror genre for the YA crowd - there is a lot of creativity and originality too, so it's quite a refreshing read even for the older, more experienced horror reader. Additionally, Morgan's ability to portray mental degeneration is superb - I never found myself confused by what was going on, but I was immensely creeped out by the knowledge that was I was reading was someone starting to dip in and out of madness.

My only qualm with the story is the origin of the drug. The distribution seemed deliberate, and yet there is never any explanation for how or why this distribution occurred. I'm willing to overlook that, though, because I liked pretty much everything else about the book. My only wish now is that somebody turns it into a film, because it would be a wonderful horror film for teens. Highly recommended read for fans of psychological (and a bit of slasher) horror, and definitely one I'm going to read again.

Rating: 4/5

No comments: