Publication: April 29, 2014, by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Paranormal, Mystery, Romance
Oracles see the future but are never supposed to interfere. Charlotte learned that the hard way. If she hadn't tried to change one of her childhood visions, her father would still be alive. Since the accident, Charlotte has suppressed her visions to avoid making the same mistake. But when she receives a premonition of a classmate's murder, she can no longer ignore her powerful gift.
Then Charlotte meets someone who not only knows her secret but who also has a way for her to stop the killer. He offers to teach her how to manipulate her visions to change the future. But doing so will put Charlotte in the path of the murderer.…
Aprilynne Pike's bestselling Wings series was called "remarkable" by Stephenie Meyer, bestselling author of the Twilight Saga. And her most recent novel, Life After Theft, was cheered as a "whirlwind adventure" by School Library Journal. Now Aprilynne returns with this exhilarating departure from her previous novels. Sleep No More is a psychological thrill ride that is sure to keep readers' hearts racing until the very end.
Charlotte Westing, the main character in this novel, first mentioned that oracles are a type of lore creatures that everyone has heard of in the medieval times that saved people and were associated with knights. Am I a total weirdo and mundane person for not knowing this? I have never ever heard about these creatures or anything that this book had to deal with except for telepathy, but this sure was a different, beautiful take and way that a YA author would form a story into.
Sleep No More is a creepy, thrill infested story that will literally knock your socks off. It's actually kind of scary, in a way, and in a literal, legit method that could happen in reality today. Aprilynne Pike, an author whose writing I have read many times, added a story like this into a contemporary, mystery/thriller romance bundle that is very hard to make perfect, but she did it pretty greatly. I recommend this to all paranormal readers, even if you aren't a fan, as I am not. This goes beyond the phase of the typical paranormal story that deals with vampires or some mythological creatures; this is about an ordinary teenager who just happens to have the power of telepathy but she doesn't want it, though her powers just keep getting stronger.
It's literally the opposite of most paranormal stories. Most talk about a protagonist who is willing to do just about anything to gain and strengthen her powers/form. Charlotte, here, is just trying to fall in love with the guy she's loved for years and find a way to be normal; to have an education and to not have to keep secrets from anyone, especially her mother. Most stories have annoying protagonists who just keep desiring anything—Charlotte is different and kickass.
"An incoming vision feels like a huge hand squeezing your skull, trying to dig its fingers into your brain. You have to push back as hard as you can—with every ounce of concentration you have—or it'll find a soft spot and get in. The pressure grows to a fever pitch, and then, just as it gets truly painful, it starts to fade. That's when you know you've won." (10)
You see that description above? It's pure magic. That is just a snippet of Pike's writing, and how it could make a particular reader feel like they're in a different world or universe—her writing is especially geared towards you and only you. It's rare for me to feel this way when reading paranormal, but I guess the raciness and the fast-paced action was the kind of concept I liked. Plus, there was mystery and killings, totally having to do with the powers that Charlotte herself has inside of her, and those that she doesn't even know are present.
Basically, the plot goes like this, in a general term: Charlotte Westing, from a little girl, has always been scarred because of the tragic event that hit her family, her father's death and her mother's injury that still keeps her in a wheelchair to this date. Her Aunt Sierra, who also holds her powers and is an Oracle too, blames it on Charlotte and feels that she could've stopped the catastrophic-feeling event for their family. Now, when Charlotte is a teenager, things have begun to got better before they got worse: She is witnessing more deaths, deaths of high school students that she knows. And another thing—she's falling in love with a popular guy who is not her type at all.
Of course there HAD to be that romance. I wouldn't have wanted it there if I was the writer, but it was present and there's not much I could do about it. *laughs* Linden and Charlotte's relationship seemed to have been rushed and weird all of the sudden when Linden automatically somehow found some interest in her. Out of all of these moments, he picked the one where Charlotte's life was falling apart to see her as attractive. WHY WEREN'T THEY A COUPLE BEFORE? Or why could not a good friendship been formed beforehand? The endless questions float around my mind, that is for sure.
Sleep No More had an easygoing, racing plot that just kept me hooked to the story from when I first got into it. I read it in two sittings in the same day, and it's just like Aprilynne's other books, except I love the fact that she switches between different kinds of fantasy worlds like faeries and now this—telepathy—and does it wonderfully. There's nothing I can pick and choose between and admit that she's better at writing about, because she's spectacular at every concept slash theme.
Pike's newest hit the heart and made it go up and down like in a roller coaster. I found that so many feels were flapping out of me and I just couldn't help but squirm and frown at the right moments. This novel is very, very explicit in details and I need more of this concept, but I'm not so sure if I would head out and read the sequel, as I already have so much to read. Hah.