The Insomniacs After School, Vol. 1

Viz. (The Insomniacs After School). Mar. 2023. 192p. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781974736577.
Gr 9 Up–Nakami and Magari suffer from similar things: they’re cranky constantly, judged by their peers as standoffish, and insomniacs. While helping prepare for the school’s festival, Nakami discovers the door to the supposedly haunted old astronomy tower is unlocked. He goes in searching for cardboard but finds a relaxing hideout in which to take a nap. But, he also discovers Magari doing the same! The two confide in each other and decide to make a secret club devoted to celebrating the nighttime they can’t sleep through and stolen daytime naps in the astronomy tower. Despite this being about two teens with a pretty severe and untreated illness, it is overall sweet and satisfying to see them get a modicum of the peace they’ve been longing to have. This might turn into a romance later, but it’s refreshingly pretty platonic in this first volume. Ojiro uses plenty of soft lines and calming settings in this book’s illustrations, conveying the elusive peace our protagonists continuously seek.
VERDICT This story is a comforting read and incorporates a disorder that is becoming all too common amongst teens. Recommended for all libraries serving teens.

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