Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson | Book Review

September 5, 2014 Adult Fiction, Book Review 8 ★★★

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson | Book ReviewBefore I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
Published by Harper on June 14, 2011
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Pages: 359
Format: eBook
Source: Bought from Amazon
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3 Stars
'As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I'm still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me...'

Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love — all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.

Welcome to Christine's life.

Every once in a while I have a hankering for a really great mystery or psychological thriller. I had seen Before I Go to Sleep popping up around the Internet, and was very intrigued by the concept of a woman who wakes up every morning with no idea who she is, where she is, what year it is, and who is sleeping next to her in bed. How scary would that be? I dove right in, and turned the pages as quickly as I could! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. This book is CREEPY. Christine is at the complete mercy of others. She has to decide whether or not to believe Ben, the man who tells her every morning that he is her husband. He has this routine he goes through, where he tells her the basics of her life so that she understands what she is going through. She is also secretly seeing a doctor on the side who is trying to help her regain her memories and her ability to remember memories. Every morning he calls her on a cell phone she had no idea she had so that he can remind her of things Ben is not telling her.

This doctor has Christine write a journal of her every move and experience so that she can read it the next day and remember more things more quickly. As she continues to write and he continues to call her and tell her where she hid it and that she needs to read it, Christine begins to find this new power that enables her to make her own decisions. She also begins to have flashes of memory. As she remembers she starts to realize how many questions have been left unanswered.

2. I was a little turned off by the bluntness of some situations. Christine discovers the flaws of her older-than-expected body, and I was left uncomfortable by her bodily explorations. I felt very icky when I read about her longings for intimacy, and later the descriptions of her intimate encounters with Ben. Things were just very detailed with nothing left to the imagination and, since I was already creeped out by the story itself, I guess I was just extra sensitive. I mean, she is taking the word of a stranger and sleeping with him because she feels she has to. *shudder*

3. I never felt like I trusted anyone. I was just always on edge, wondering if anyone was telling her the truth. This book really lives up to its description of psychological thriller. My mind was going every which way.

4. There were several slow moments, where I just wanted to get done with the details and learn who the bad person here is! The problem with Christine forgetting everything every night is that every morning she gets up, we have to read about her and her journal-reading and her epiphanies over and over again. I just wanted to move on.

5. Just when you think you’ve figured it all out, you’re given something that makes you question your thinking. The plot is twisted and complicated, and you will really probably just want to jump ahead to the end to put yourself out of your misery. Luckily I was reading on a Kindle, so I could not just jump to the end. Stick with it, though. No peeking! You’ll be happier. The ending is pretty exciting. :)

All in all, Before I Go to Sleep is creepy and intriguing, if not a little slow in places. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone in the mood for a thrill!

 

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8 Responses to “Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson | Book Review”

  1. Inge @ Bookshelf Reflections

    I agree with your review. I absolutely loved it back when I read it (two years ago maybe?) I’m just really intrigued by memory loss, and this was such a creepy premise. If you can’t even trust the person you’re living with…

    Haha, I love your comment about not being able to trust anyone. I have the same thing when I read psychological thrillers. Anyone could be a bad guy!

    Have you seen the movie trailer?
    Inge @ Bookshelf Reflections recently posted…Review: The Prediction by Darren Sugrue

    • Jana

      For me, memory loss is usually intriguing if done in a unique way. It seems like so many heroines in mysteries/thrillers have amnesia, so when an author can do something different with it, I always love that.

      I had no idea this book was being made into a movie! I’ll have to go look for the trailer! Thanks for letting me know. :)

      • Inge @ Bookshelf Reflections

        These days, it’s usually that the main character has had an accident and then she needs to figure out what happened to have caused the amnesia, with some shocking events. I like the idea but it’s a bit overdone nowadays.

        The trailer looks really good, in my opinion! With Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth. I’m definitely excited.
        Inge @ Bookshelf Reflections recently posted…Review: The Prediction by Darren Sugrue

  2. Becky

    I agree with your review tremendously but I think that because of all the confusing parts and finding it hard to trust anyone its the whole reason why I adored this book and THAT ENDING.
    I can’t wait to watch the film either omg
    Becky recently posted…Jacqueline Wilson Madness!

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