About the Book:
Ingrid can’t sleep.
She can’t remember, either.
A competitive diver, seventeen-year-old Ingrid is haunted by what she saw at the pool at a routine meet, before falling off the high dive and waking up concussed. The only thing she remembers about the moment before her dive is locking eyes with Van—her neighbor, former best friend, and forever crush—kissing his girlfriend on the sidelines. But that can’t be all.
Then one sleepless night, she sees Van out her window…looking right back at her. They begin not sleeping together by night, still ignoring each other at school by day.
Ingrid tells herself this is just temporary, but soon, she and Van are up every night piecing her memory back together. As Van works through his own reasons for not being able to sleep, they’re both pulled into a mystery that threatens to turn their quiet neighborhood into a darker place than they realized.
Although I enjoy Young Adult books, I have not read much in this genre for a while. ‘The Insomniacs’ was a beautiful story of trauma, healing and romance, with an added dash of suspense. Overall I found this book to be a very compelling story and Van has my heart forever!
Described as the story of “two teens who discover the secrets of their neighborhood after everyone else turns out the lights”, this book is told from the point of view of Ingrid, a competitive diver who has suffered a concussion from a dive gone wrong. She is now suffering from insomnia and sees that her neighbor Van is also up all night, too. Van and Ingrid used to be best friends, but Ingrid pulled away from their group after a traumatic event that was witnessed by the whole neighborhood. The humiliation was too much for her to bear, and she and Van began to completely ignore each other.
Van is also troubled by something that happened one night recently when he might have been drunk. He is struggling to remember what happened to him, and racked with guilt that he might have harmed his girlfriend Caroline.
Because Ingrid cannot not practice with her high school dive team for a month, she feels adrift and unmoored. She begins to notice strange events at night at the abandoned house next door to her. Eventually she and Van reconcile and begin hanging out again, and soon he joins her in staying up all night, watching the house and waiting for clues as to what is going on.
Ingrid is secretly in love with Van but since he has a girlfriend she holds her emotions in check and struggles to keep their relationship on a platonic level There is plenty of chemistry between them and soon it becomes very obvious that there is more than meets the eye with his seemingly perfect, popular girlfriend Caroline.
I found ‘The Insomniacs’ to be deeply engaging and suspenseful and a wonderful entry in the Y/A field. I did find the plot to be a little busy in some points and felt the story became mired down in too much extraneous detail towards the last part. Nonetheless, I highly recommend this book for its wonderful descriptions of the pressure of competitive sports as well as the beautiful character development. Ingrid is a strong protagonist and an intelligent, brave young woman. Van is a sensitive love interest and very open about his emotions. I found these two characters to be very refreshing and original.
So often books set in high school turn out to be unrealistic and cartoonish in their character depictions. The main protagonists here grow emotionally over the course of the story and while neither may have a picture-perfect life, they both learn to deal with their families and the eventual fall-out from the central mystery of the story.
Ingrid and Van’s relationships with their families was depicted in a very sweet, yet sometimes harsh way. This book was a complete surprise to me and I could not put it down once I started. And can talk about this gorgeous cover? It is a perfect depiction of what’s inside! If you love enemies-to-lovers and Y/A romance, then you will love this book. While there is an element of suspense to the story, the main plot is focused on Ingrid and Van and their slow-burn relationship. This book deserves all the accolades and I loved the author’s style of writing. ‘The Insomniacs’ should be a must-read for all lovers of the Y/A romance genre.
(Thank you to the publisher for providing an advanced copy via NetGalley in return for an honest review.)