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Erica Richardson

Clean Books to Engage and Inspire

BOOK REVIEW: I Am Sleepless, Sim 299



 "A rush of power filled his body. He opened his eyes and saw his skin flash..." -Sim 299, I Am Sleepless

Review Format: 

  • Up to 40 points are possible.
  •          Quote 
    • Cover - 5 pts "You can't judge a book by its cover, but you can judge its cover."
    • Intro - 5 pts "The journey of 1000 pages hopefully starts with a good one."
    • Main Story - 15 pts "What's a sandwich without the ham?" 
    • Ending - 5 pts "Out with a bang? Or 'I just found some new kindling!'"
    • Grammar 5 pts "Let's eat Grandma! vs. Let's eat, Grandma!" (grammar saves lives)
    • Creativity 5 pts "Hairy Pawter and the Wizard's Rock!" 
    • Note for Parents
  • 35-40 points =  Must Read!
  • 30-34 points = Amazing
  • 25-29 points = Great
  • 20-24 points = Good
  • 10-19 points = Pass
  • 0-9 points = Nope!


Okay, this cover is just BEAUTIFUL! I love everything about it. I love the color scheme and the portrayal of Aidan, the main character of the book. The characters in this book are so unique (which skin colors based on the type of Prime power they posses), and I'm so glad that the book features a character on the cover to give the reader a glimpse into what these individuals might actually look like. 



I was really excited to read this book because it is by an independent author who is local! I picked up this book from the "local author" shelf where my books are also sold at Hideaway Books. 

So if you are interested in reading books by a local Utah author or by an indie author, check out Johan Twiss! 

The first time I picked up this book and started reading, I got kind of lost in the first few pages, but once you read through the first few pages, things start coming together and making sense. Soon you have this amazing image in your mind of the unique world that Aidan's story takes place in. 



I Am Sleepless, Sim 299 is a creative book with a unique world and unique characters. Young readers who enjoy scifi, aliens, superpowers, etc. would enjoy this book. 
As an adult reader, there were a few things that distracted me from the story. There were several typos and grammatical issues, but the hardest thing for me was that I didn't feel a connection with the characters. The characters are super neat individuals who I'd like to get to know, but I felt like I never got to know them in a personal, emotional way. Aidan, the main character, is really unique and kind. He has unusual powers and a bright mind. I'd like to read more about the depth of his feelings and experiences. (TINY SPOILER) *He says he misses his parents*, but I never really FELT that. Aidan felt a little too perfect and put together for a 12-year-old kid (or for a human being). He is a Prime, so he does differ from a human in some ways, but based on the book, Primes still feel and experience emotion. I would have enjoyed seeing more of that in Aidan and the other characters.
I also felt that problems were resolved too easily throughout the book. I didn't feel suspense because the book gave me the answers right after presenting the problems. (On the flip side, this could be very helpful for young readers!! And the book is written for them!) 
Sometimes a paragraph would summarize a concept or experience that I would have liked to read a lot more about! Some paragraphs could have been pages of details, getting the reader more immersed and invested.
Anyways, as an adult reader, this story lacked character development and emotional depth. 
But for a young reader, this is a simple and exciting read. I imagine kids between 8 and 12 years old would gobble this book up and want more! It's fast paced, exciting, and imaginative. I also really appreciate that the characters are positive role models for kids! Aidan is selfless, kind, diligent, and fun! I have a hard time imagining any kid not being interested in the unique powers the characters in this book posses. It's fun, exciting, and epic for young readers. 



 There are several cliff hangers and hints in the book that leave me curious and excited to read the rest of the series! The ending of the book is both satisfying and leaves the reader with excitement to jump into the rest of the series. 



The grammatical errors and typos were a bit distracting for me. I've been reading a lot of independently published books recently, and I've noticed that indie books vary when it comes to grammar issues/typos. I Am Sleepless, Sim 299 was probably on the middle-high scale for me of well-done indie books in terms of grammar. I've read books with many more grammatical issues than I Am Sleepless. I Am Sleepless had enough grammatical issues that I noticed them, but not enough that it distracted me from the story! 



This is an extremely creative world and story, with unique characters. My only complaint in this category is that I wanted more! I wanted more details about the world, the characters, etc. I especially wanted to know more about the characters' inner worlds. What does it feel like to be a Prime? Does Masay the vigori ever feel intense, painful hunger? What is that like for him? Is healing himself painful? What does it feel like? Does Aidan ever feel isolated because he is so different from the other Primes? What are the strongest emotions that he feels on a regular basis? What does his room feel like? I got a good image of how it looks, but I wonder...does it constantly smell metallic? Does it feel lonely? Empty? Isolating? Does it feel like a safe haven or a prison? 



This book is very clean. There are no swear words, except made up curses like "batmonkeys!" (SPOILER ALERT) An adult man and an adult woman share a kiss. Some scenes are intense/violent but are not very graphic. Blood is mentioned. Some characters experience intense pain or are crushed or killed in a virtual world. The Splicers are an alien race who are ruthless killers. (SPOILER) One scene shows a Splicer chopping down civilians in a virtual reality.  


If you're looking to get into the world of reading indie books, I Am Sleepless, or any of Johan Twiss' books, would be a great place to start! He's a talented writer and creates very creative worlds and characters. I believe that I Am Sleepless, Sim 299 was written pretty early in his author career, and I can imagine that his writing has only gotten better and better! I'm looking forward to reading more of his work! 

I Am Sleepless, Sim 299 is the perfect adventure for a young reader between 8 and 12 who is interested in sci-fi, outer space, technology, futuristic worlds, and superpowers.