Sleepers, Awake by Eden Barber

Sleepers Awake


Overeducated and underemployed, Ivy League graduate Agnes Larch spends every day steeped in failure and sleeps every night without dreaming…that is, until the unexpected death of Ian Millbrook, the boy she’s silently loved her whole life. Grieving and forced to confront her long-buried feelings for Ian, Agnes undergoes an arduous physical and spiritual journey to unearth her past and untangle her future. She walks in two worlds, the waking and the dreaming, each world filled with secrets, mysteries, and maybe, if she believes enough, miracles.


•Danielle’s 4 Star Thoughts•

I can honestly say I am spell bound by the beauty of the writing in this haunting story of unrequited love and how deeply it embeds into the soul of Agnes Larch.  If it wasn’t so beautifully written she could have come off as a stalker, but the writing captures the purity of her youthful crush and the loss she feels when it’s ripped from her world.  The details are eloquently written, although I did feel that it could have been cut down on a bit as we got to the middle of the story.  At that point I wanted the story to pick up speed and break out of the fog of details, although it was still beautiful.  I am not sure what this book has been classified as, although I assume NA because of the language and some darker elements.  I really think this would be a beautiful YA or even younger audience story with its magical dreamland and protective creatures if the language was cleaned up and the dark moment near the end where she tries to complete her task on her own was deleted.  I also think that Agnes would need to be in high school rather than college.  I think the target audience is off for this book and needs to be cleaned up to find the appropriate readers.  I LOVE YA and NA, so it worked for me, but I think the audience is limited by the NA in this case because of the “young” feel of the story, writing, and characters.  I love and hate the ending only for the fact that it was beautiful and appropriate, but I wanted the cookie cutter ending in my heart.  This story had me sad, haunted, hopeful, and heartbroken.   I would highly recommend this to everyone that likes to read young stories with a mythical edge.  I want to say this would be a great story for pre-teenagers, but only if it’s cleaned up.  If I could do half rating this would be a 4.5.  If the audience didn’t seem off I would have rated it a 5! Very creative and beautifully written!