The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To, by D. C. Pierson (2010)

Genre: Science Fiction
Interest Level: 15-21
What a delightful foray into speculative fiction for young adults. In fact, the science fiction doesn’t reveal itself for quite a while – perhaps two-thirds of the way through. But when it does – whammo! Darren is a 15-year-old boy with all the typical travails of adolescence – he loves to draw, he struggles at school, he’s mortally terrified of girls, and isn’t much better at making friends with boys. Perhaps less commonly, his family consists of a borderline insane and bullying older brother, and a single dad whose conversations are almost solely by cellphone. His drawing attracts the attention of a classmate named Eric, and an unlikely friendship develops. Together they work out the plot, imagery and assorted tie-in paraphernalia for a movie series involving alien beings, superpowers and titles with too many colons. It’s quite a funny book – laugh-out-loud on the bus funny – but it’s also a touching coming of age story, as Darren discovers astonishing truths about his friend (the fact Eric doesn’t require ANY sleep is just the beginning) and painful ones about himself. When Eric’s secret is made public, the boys find themselves on the run; often by transit, and that’s not easy in the suburbs … I loved this one, a debut novel from Pierson. It’s classic YA: just a few main characters, a timeline spanning a few month, a setting around school and neighbourhood, and no helpful adult to be found. Pierson nails the social life of high school, and slowly unveils the characters while developing the storyline. He is a member of an improv comedy troupe, and has a fine touch with written humour as well.
For more discussion and reviews of this novel: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7655389-the-boy-who-couldn-t-sleep-and-never-had-to

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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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