A sharp and romantic novel about two suburban teens who can’t sleep uncovering the secrets of their neighborhood by night. Think The Summer I Turned Pretty with flashes of Rear Window!
When seventeen-year-old competitive diver Ingrid freezes up and sustains a head injury at a routine meet, her orderly life is turned upside down. Now housebound and sedentary on doctor’s orders, Ingrid can’t sleep and is haunted by the question of what triggered her uncharacteristic stage fright.
The only thing she remembers about the moment before the dive is seeing Van, her neighbor, former best friend, and forever crush, on the sidelines. Then one sleepless night, she sees Van outside her window...looking right back at her. They tentatively begin “not sleeping” together every night but still living separate lives by day.
Ingrid tells herself this is just temporary, but soon, she and Van are up every night together, increasingly intertwined in helping each other put pieces of memory together. As Van works through his own reasons for not being able to sleep, both of them are pulled into a mystery that threatens to turn their quiet neighborhood into a darker place than they realized.
Ingrid Roth is a born diver. Just like her father. The very same father that walked out on her and her mother years ago and never bothered to looked back. All he left behind was his debt and a massive house that is quickly falling to ruin. That doesn’t matter, because for Ingrid, her real home is on the board.
There she can forget how hard her mother works, how training to be the best never left her any time to make friends and about the boy who sole her heart at the age of five. All it takes is one slight miscalculation to rip it all away.
In the light of day, I was embarrassed even thinking about the crazy surge of jealousy I’d felt when I first saw Van at the dive meet, there to support his girlfriend. Still, it shouldn’t have mattered if Van was there. Diving was the one thing I could do, where I was safe and could control everything. I was always able to shut out the outside world.
Van and Ingrid have been neighbors ever she can remember. Not only was he her first real friend, he was also her first heartbreak. Now after terrifying dive accident steals Ingrid’s ability to sleep, she and Van find a strange sort of comfort in their shared affliction. Each night brings them closer to each other and closer to finding out what’s really going on in the empty house next door.
But can the fragile love that they forged while the rest of the world was asleep, survive the harsh light of day?
Van had taken the place of diving. He wasn’t some dumb distraction like I’d first thought when I’d renounced him as my crush, blaming his presence for my fall. He’d become something even worse in the time since. He’d become my adrenaline thrill. Diving was something I controlled. This was even more dangerous because it involved another person.
Marit Weisenberg redefines the Young Adult genre with The Insomniacs. Everything about this story feels more emotional, more significant – just so much more.
The tender relationship that develops between the main characters made my heart ache in the very best of ways. It’s Van’s fearless honesty and willingness to lay himself bare that had me falling head over heels for him. While Ingrid possesses the kind of bravery and sheer determination that is usually reserved for someone far older. Simply put, they are both old souls. And the literary world is better place with them in it…
For Ingrid and Van ~