My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won’t find me talking about style or craft, why I think this could’ve been better or what worked or didn’t work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it’s here I probably think it won’t injure your brain if you read it.
Parker is cursed to enter the dreams of the last person he’s had eye contact with. Every night, he enters intimate fantasies, horrific nightmares, and sought-after wishes of whoever he locked eyes with last. His ability is his secret, one he can’t even share with his best friend, someone who’s dreams have always offered a bizarre kind of relief. Dreaming of surfing while being half shark himself is certainly better than reliving the domestic violence nightmares of the lady working at the gas station.
And while the inroads into other’s lives can offer him chances to make differences – like discretely leaving a pamphlet about a battered women’s shelter behind – the toll on Parker is more than he can handle. Parker’s nights are filled with the emotions of other’s subconsciousness, never allowing him true rest. He calculates that he hasn’t slept in four years – and his doctor believes it may be killing him.
Right when Parker is on the edge of a breakdown, he accidentally locks eyes with Mia, the new girl in school. That night he enters her dreams, a place of such simple peacefulness and beautiful landscapes that he is able to fall asleep inside them himself. Healthy for the first time in years, Parker makes it his mission to look into Mia’s eyes every day – then avoid contact with everyone else until he can sleep.
But that kind of behavior immediately raises questions. Mia is scared of Parker, and while he’s never done anything to cause her harm there’s definitely someone who wants to. She’s been getting threatening emails that have escalated, and everyone thinks Parker is the one sending them. As Mia tries to avoid him and Parker is thrown into the violent world of other’s dreams once more, he discovers he’s been leaving his bed at night… which makes him question whether he might be Mia’s stalker after all.