Staff Review: The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had to

The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had to book cover

The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had to by DC Pierson

Darren is ambivalent about a lot of things, but he does have one serious ambition: to write a series of comics/novels that will turn into a hit movie. Although Darren spends a lot of his “doodling” between note taking and in his free time, he hasn’t really taken this dream seriously until he met Eric. To some of his classmates, Eric is seen as a weirdo and, unfortunately, has been compared to a potential school shooter. Why would anyone say this about him? Darren hasn’t a clue. However, Eric and Darren develop a solid friendship based on their passion for comics and Eric’s faith in Darren’s stories. When most teens are out at parties, causing trouble, or doing “teen” things, Darren and Eric dedicate their time to making Darren’s Dr. Praetoreous adventures a lucrative success before they graduate. When Darren is approached by a girl named Cecilia Martin, who is a bit of a freak herself, she tells him to be careful around Eric. Although Cecilia has no right to tell Darren that Eric is weird, he starts to wonder why she would say that. One night, Darren’s idiot brother confesses to Darren that he and his friend, Alan, actually spotted Eric walking down the street at 3 a.m. and decided to beat him up. Outraged, and upset at Eric for not telling him, Darren and Eric decide to repay the favor by egging Alan’s house. Unfortunately, that plan didn’t doesn’t work out and sends the both of them running through the streets on Halloween night. When they make it to Eric’s house, Darren’s world is totally turned upside down when Eric makes a startling confession as to why he is the way he is. Moreover, Darren starts to realize the reason behind Eric’s brilliance and just how awesome it is to have a friend like him. Unfortunately, things take an awkward turn when Darren meets Christine, which creates a whole new set of problems that could threaten his friendship with Eric. On the other hand, girls are the least of his problems because if the world finds out Eric’s “thing,” the two of them have to a quick decision: fight or flight.

This story is absolutely h-y-s-t-e-r-i-c-a-l!! As a fellow nerd, and lover of “draw-ers,” I absolutely loved the dialogue and ideas that Eric and Darren come up with. Moreover, the dynamic between the two of them resembles the classic superhero duo where one is the brains and the other the brawn. Although Darren and Eric are like day and night, they share quite a few similarities that make this partnership almost enviable. Given the fact that Eric, right off the bat, is able to trust Darren with his secret, Darren’s willingness to keep this secret is extraordinary. Teenagers, in many ways, have a hard time adjusting to things that are very different. It’s not that it’s a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of being totally unprepared to deal with situations that is above their capabilities. For Darren, despite having Eric prove that he is what he is, he is able to move past his doubts and take a chance on his friend. Deciphering truth and lies is hard even for adults, but knowing that two teens can put absolute faith in each other is a feat in itself. Another great aspect of this story is the illustrations. I just loved seeing a representation of each character especially the Tilnar soldier and Tilnar vulture. Despite all the glorious geek-dom, this novel does a beautiful job of conveying the ups and downs of adolescence where two teens discover the power of friendship, betrayal, adventure, and success.

-Deb T., Linda Vista and Santa Catalina Libraries