On My Bookshelf: The Insomniacs by Marit Weisenberg

September 21, 2020

The Insomniacs by Marit Weisenberg has a wide appeal with its diverse characters and building suspense. Students who enjoy realistic fiction or mystery/thrillers will be engrossed in this book. Sports fans and student athletes will relate, especially those who have ever suffered a sports related injury. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.
The basic plot from Amazon: 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.

The Insomniacs by Marit Weisenberg has a wide appeal with its diverse characters and building suspense. Students who enjoy realistic fiction or mystery/thrillers will be engrossed in this book. Sports fans and student athletes will relate, especially those who have ever suffered a sports related injury. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.Why I liked it: I appreciated the diverse cast of characters in The Insomniacs, which were a range of racial and ethnic backgrounds, some more defined than others. The characters' families also ranged in their composition, with few of them considered "traditional." The character that intrigued me most was Caroline. She had it all: the looks, the smarts, the boyfriend, success in a sport, and yet she didn't seem satisfied. Like Ingrid, I questioned Caroline's motives. Was she threatened by Ingrid's diving skills or Ingrid's relationship with Caroline's boyfriend Van? Was she just looking out for Ingrid? Was she trying to develop a friendship with her?

I also appreciated the novels' depictions of the perils of recreational drug and alcohol abuse. The characters involved in substance abuse were everyday kids who took things too far. Any scenes depicting drug or alcohol use felt gross and not at all glamorized. I also loved that Ingrid was a junior (in eleventh grade) and just then having her first kiss despite being a very attractive girl. It made for interesting juxtaposition with the inappropriate relationship between Caroline and her coach.

Classroom application: I would recommend this one for high school and up due to drug and alcohol use as well as mild sexual content. The Insomniacs has a wide appeal; students who enjoy realistic fiction or mystery/thrillers will be engrossed in this book. Sports fans and student athletes will relate to the amount of time spent dedicated to a sport. Student athletes who have had a concussion or other serious injury will especially connect with the threat to participation in their life focus.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of The Insomniacs for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here.

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The Literary Maven is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

The Insomniacs by Marit Weisenberg has a wide appeal with its diverse characters and building suspense. Students who enjoy realistic fiction or mystery/thrillers will be engrossed in this book. Sports fans and student athletes will relate, especially those who have ever suffered a sports related injury. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.

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