‘Sleepless’ puts you to sleep


In “Sleepless,” by Cyn Balog, Eron DeMarche is a sandman, someone whose sole responsibility is to grant sleep to their charges. Sandmen get their jobs after they die, and must serve for 100 years to be granted a normal human life again.

He, of course, has a love interest that is one of his charges. She, of course, has a boyfriend who just died.

As if that wasn’t coincidence enough, as soon as Julia is set to be about the age Eron is, or rather was, when he died 100 years ago, when he’s to be returned to the earth. He’s not supposed to be in contact with her, forbidden actually, but no one seems to care about that. Then again, he seems to like breaking the rules majorly a few times rather than committing minor misdemeanors. All for Julia.

His love for Julia is extremely strange. He’s supposed to “love” her after overseeing her life since she was born. He’s the only one who seems to know about her scars, probably because he’s seen her from her day of birth to this point. If that isn’t strange enough, he can’t help but stalk her when given the chance.

She, a supposed grieving ex-girlfriend, does not seem to be grieving at all. A little lost, but nothing near what the death of even a friend would be like. Perhaps this is a purposeful character flaw. She claims she can’t cry because of the loss. She says it’s not something her boyfriend, Griffin, would do. She’s supposed to be detached and a little lost, but that doesn’t match with her actions throughout the book.

Their relationship lacked substance and it seems to be only now that she ever even thought critically about it.

In actuality, all of the characters lacked sufficient development. Eron’s previous life is glazed over and is supposed to suffice. He had a “beloved” that he had never even spoken to in his life. Maybe that’s just his type, since he also served as her sandman. His death was accidental, and that’s all the reader will ever learn about him personally.

When given his chance to live on earth he is confused by all the lingo and new devices available. This would theoretically make sense considering he hasn’t been a part of society for 100 years, but then again his job is to watch over three women living in a modern society. The author was grasping for something akin to personality or complexity when Eron was surprised by a woman wearing tight jeans.

The book seemed to be written to be a movie, and not a book at all. There were scenes you could see on the big screen and know they would be have more of an impact that way instead of the “okay, and?” that goes through your head reading it in “Sleepless.” This was not a book that had you so immersed that you couldn’t put it down. It wasn’t a book that kept you up wondering about the characters.

If anything, it left me wondering why the people who had to read it before it was published didn’t say anything about its obvious flaws.