Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Stripes Publishing (5th Jan 2015)
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.
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Thank you once again, to Stripes Publishing for giving me this book for review, which is part of the Red Eye horror series being published, which contains 4 books from individual authors. The first of which is, Frozen Charlotte, by Alex Bell, the review for which can be found here.
The second book is of course, Sleepless, by Lou Morgan. Hold on to your butts for this one.
As the tale goes (well, the story, but let’s just imagine we’re sitting together at a campsite and telling stories with a flashlight). Anyway, Morgan’s story is a refreshing read, something new in the horror market, for both teens and adults alike. We follow the story of Izzy and her privileged friends who study at a private school, Clerkenwell. Exams mean everything, and there is no room for failures. Now, we all know that the revision to time ratio when it comes to school is impossible. Where do we possibly find time outside of regular school to actually revise as well as lead a normal life? Yet an opportunity arises for these teens when a friend suggests they take a pill that will allow them to stay awake long enough to cram as much revision in as they can. I mean, what could possibly go wrong by taking an unknown drug of which you don’t know it’s contents, right? Right?!
Mayhem ensues. I’m reminded swiftly of Bradley Cooper, in Limitless, in the way in which the tablet takes control and the side effects slowly creep up on them. Every character is affected in a unique way, and suddenly it’s become hard for them to keep their grasp on reality. Morgan’s writing allows for us to devour this book in one sitting, with twists and unveiling horror paving the way to an ending that will definitely make you chuck the book out the window and scream “wtfffff”. Though at times the pacing was a little slow, I persevered because I had to know what happened.
I personally had a bit of a hard time connecting with the characters, for a number of reasons, from their decision to take such measures in the first place without truly knowing what it was, to just their overall personality. Yet they are carried through by the plot, which urges you to keep reading. Set in my hometown London, I loved being able to connect with the places featured in the book, and for some odd reason, allowed me to feel an almost London/Victorian feel to the book.
Friendships are challenged. Reality is questioned. Lives are even at stake. This was a good read for me, especially in the horror category, and though it didn’t scare me, there were elements of the story that will surely provoke a few raised hairs on the back of your neck.
Also keep an eye out for further releases coming this year, Flesh and Blood by Simon Cheshire, and Bad Bones by Graham Marks are in the works for this coming March and May.
In the meantime, check out the Red Eye series trailer here.