Good morning, bookworm, do come in. Would you like some tea? Or if you prefer something with a little more oomph, I have a fresh pot of strong coffee here. I haven’t been sleeping very well, thinking of all the things I need to do before Christmas, and the Childrens’ books have been very hard to settle lately with all the excitement. Here you go, there’s coffee cake there too if you’d like some – I’m so tired I’m even trying to get my caffeine fix through cake! Speaking of tiredness and insomnia, have you read Sleepless by Louise Mumford? Let me tell you all about it.
Here’s the blurb: Don’t close your eyes. Don’t fall asleep. Don’t let them in.
Thea is an insomniac; she hasn’t slept more than three hours a night for years.
So when an ad for a sleep trial that promises to change her life pops up on her phone, Thea knows this is her last chance at finding any kind of normal life.
Soon Thea’s sleeping for longer than she has in a decade, and awakes feeling transformed. So much so that at first she’s willing to overlook the oddities of the trial – the lack of any phone signal; the way she can’t leave her bedroom without permission; the fact that all her personal possessions are locked away, even her shoes.
But it soon becomes clear that the trial doesn’t just want to help Thea sleep. It wants to control her sleep…An unputdownable, gripping psychological thriller for fans of The One, Behind Her Eyes and Girl A!
Here’s a little about the author: Louise was born and lives in South Wales. From a young age she loved books and dancing, but hated having to go to sleep, convinced that she might miss out on something interesting happening in the world whilst she dozed – much to her mother’s frustration! Insomnia has been a part of her life ever since.
She studied English Literature at university and graduated with first class honours. As a teacher she tried to pass on her love of reading to her students (and discovered that the secret to successful teaching is… stickers! She is aware that that is, essentially, bribery.)
In the summer of 2019 Louise experienced a once-in-a-lifetime moment: she was discovered as a new writer by her publisher at the Primadonna Festival. Everything has been a bit of a whirlwind since then. Louise lives in Cardiff with her husband and spends her time trying to get down on paper all the marvellous and frightening things that happen in her head.
Her debut thriller, SLEEPLESS, will be published by HQ on 11th Dec 2020 (today!).
Here’s my review: I’ve always been someone who has periods of insomnia, usually when there’s too much going on in life and not enough hours to do it in so my brain seems to want to ‘help’ by keeping me awake until the sun starts to rise. I’m also someone who has very vivid dreams (don’t get me started on the weird stuff my mind created at night when we went into the first lockdown!) and have been known to wake up, standing with my finger on the light switch across the room from my bed, blinking in the bright light I’ve switched on whilst wandering about in my sleep… So the author’s descriptions of the effects of Thea’s sleep deprivation and some of the nightmares experienced by those in the sleep trial struck a chord with me.
Thea seemed older than her twenty-seven years at the start, but I think that was the clever description of her movements and social life whilst struggling with insomnia. She seemed much more animated during the trial, particularly when she began not sleeping at all yet feeling alert and alive.
The trial itself is ‘big brother’ gone to the extremes, not only monitoring their test subjects but influencing the sleep patterns of them too, altering behaviour, learning and achievements without the subject realising at first. Thea’s initial curiosity turns to fear and paranoia as she realises that there is too much that doesn’t ring true. Surely most sleep trials don’t involved armed guards… Uncertain who to trust, Thea struggles with wanting to escape and wanted to find out the truth.
I found there were some parts of the plot which kept me riveted, and others where my attention drifted a little but not for too long as it would pick up the pace again. I enjoyed the drip feeding of information as Thea gradually uncovers the twisted conspiracy at the heart of the trials and overall I would give this book a 4/5 stars.
If you like the sound of this, click on the book image above to go directly to the relevant page on Amazon. I don’t get anything for providing the link, I’m just being a helpful bookworm. Thank you to the author, publisher, Rachel’s Random Resources and Netgalley for the digital copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.
I feel lovely and cosy now, with the Christmas tree lights twinkling, the fire crackling softly and a couple of cats purring on me. It feels like the perfect time to have a little power nap. Just a tiny one, I promise. I don’t want to ruin my sleep tonight after all. Do take care, bookworm, farewell!