Book Review: Sleepless by Lou Morgan

Sleepless (Red Eye)

Sleepless by Lou Morgan
Release Date: 1st October 2014 (eBook) 5th January 2015 (Paperback)
Publisher: Stripes Publishing
Buy: Paperback  Kindle
5 star


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.



The pupils at highly prestigious school, Clerkenwell, are staring to fear their up-and-coming exams. They know that failure is not an option, which is why Izzy’s friend and fellow pupil Tigs decides to get hold of some FokusPro pills to help her and her friends out. It’s all completely above board; the pills are just ‘a bunch of vitamins’ which will help improve their concentration and memory.
The pills do their job and Izzy and her friends survive the rigorous bout of exams and are free to enjoy the whole summer that stretches ahead of them. Or at least they would enjoy the summer if any of them could get a good night’s sleep…
However, a peaceful nights rest soon turns into the least of their worries, when one by one, Izzy and her friends start losing the plot. Are they being watched? Who’s that hiding in the shadows? Is someone after them? More and more weird things start to happen to the group of friends and before they know it, what started as a simple study-aid has now turned into a fight for survival…

After enjoying Frozen Charlotte (the other Red Eye book to be published by Stripes Publishing this January) I had really high hopes for Sleepless too. It sounded completely different to Frozen Charlotte and more of a psychologically creepy story…and it certainly lived up to all of my expectations and THEN SOME!
I couldn’t put Sleepless down. At first I wasn’t sure that I’d find it all that scary; after all the things that were happening to Izzy and her friends aren’t real – and you know that. They’re all side effects from the FokusPro. When the hallucinations first begin you can almost believe that there is someone watching them in the bushes, but things spiral out of control so quickly and it makes for a very exciting, tense and exhilarating ride. However, when some seriously grizzly things start happening to everyone who took the pills, it’s almost as if they’ve all turned on one another.
Lou Morgan’s writing is something very special. The way that she builds tension is brilliant and had me on the edge of my seat more than once or twice. I love Young Adult, but Horror is a genre I’ve not really read much of. I always assume that I’ll have difficulty believing what I’m reading but this most certainly is not the case with this novel. Lou Morgan brought all of Izzy’s hallucinations to life (that nurse!) and I could picture the Barbican where Izzy lived perfectly (and it creeped me out no end.) I am sat here shuddering just thinking about it.
Sleepless follows the storyline of your perfect teen horror movie. A bunch of rich kids decide to cheat their way through their exams by taking some pills which nobody really knows anything about, they don’t have a proper label and came off the internet (this is the point where you scream at the TV!) They might get through their exams, but can they get through the summer afterwards?
I felt almost as tired and wrung out as Izzy towards the end of the novel – it was that tense! I was so scared for her and hoping desperately she’d survive, but there are moments when it doesn’t look good.
I really liked Izzy and the dynamics of her friendship group. There are quite a few characters within the group which I was worried I may struggle to keep up with, but things turned out alright on that level as all of the characters are quite distinct. There’s queen bee Tigs, twins Mia and Dom, super brainy Noah, cool and handsome Grey, Juliet, Kara and of course, Izzy.

Lou Morgan strikes the balance between a realistic yet completely horrifying tale that will make you squirm, shudder and not be able to stop reading until you’ve read the very last word. You literally will be Sleepless during AND after reading this tense, gripping novel…

 A huge thank to you Stripes Publishing and Jennifer Cooper for having me as part of the blog tour for Sleepless.

Don’t forget to visit  tomorrow for the next stop on the tour…


Lou Morgan pic smallLou Morgan is an award-nominated fantasy and horror author, whose short stories have appeared in several anthologies. Her first novel, Blood and Feathers – an adult urban fantasy – was shortlisted for the 2013 British Fantasy Awards in both the Best Newcomer and Best Fantasy Novel categories.



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Dare you read a Red Eye?

 The highly anticipated new horror series for teens

January 2015 is guaranteed to be a scream


Featuring award-winning authors and rising stars, Red Eye is the killer new YA series from Stripes Publishing. A fusion of pop culture, violence and technology, Red Eye gives horror a frighteningly contemporary makeover that teen readers will love. For fans of all things gruesome and ghastly – prepare to be scared out of your wits….


A further two new titles in the Red Eye series will be available in 2015. Flesh and Blood from Simon Cheshire, the award-winning author of the Saxby Smart and Jeremy Brown series, will be published in March and Bad Bones from Graham Marks, the children’s publishing guru and award-winning author, will be published in May 2015. And watch this space for more spine-chilling titles in the series…


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