Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
Published by Harper Paperbacks, an imprint of HarperCollins
Review copy provided by the publisher in conjunction with TLC Book Tours

Every morning Christine wakes up and has no memories of her life whatsoever. She doesn’t even know her own name. The one person she can count on is her husband Ben, who every morning reminds her of who she is and gives her details of their life together. But when she begins seeing a therapist who recommends that she keep a journal, she begins to see inconsistencies in what Ben tells her on a daily basis. The one person who she can rely on may in fact be lying to her, and the only way to find out is to investigate this on her own.

Before I Go to Sleep isn’t exactly a thriller, but it does have that creepy/things are not what they seem vibe to it. To go into this book expecting a thrill ride would be a mistake, because it’s much quieter than your typical thriller – but to be honest, I was kept at the edge of my seat almost the entire time I was reading this novel. From the first page, I was sucked into Christine’s life and desperate for answers, just as she was. It’s clear from the very beginning of the book that someone is not telling the truth to Christine, and I was absolutely frantic to find out what was really going on – I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

What was strange for me about Before I Go to Sleep is that since the main character doesn’t really know herself, it’s difficult for the reader to get to know her. Despite that, I found myself drawn to Christine. Although I knew very little about her life – only the little she knew, or thought she knew – I felt a deep sympathy for what she was going through and I truly cared about her finding out the truth. I can’t say that I felt a real connection with her character, it was more that I cared for her at arm’s length, but still I did care for her and wanted desperately for things to work out in her favor. I was so hoping that this memory loss thing would be temporary and that one day, she would wake up and suddenly begin remembering things again.

I have to say that the twists in this novel were appropriately placed and I at least did not see most of them coming. When all is said and done, the ending wasn’t exactly perfect – actually, it was a little too perfect, which makes it not my favorite – but I was still very happy with the book overall. I loved the pacing of the novel and I was fully invested in it as I was reading. Before I Go to Sleep was a book that I simply couldn’t put down and one that I would absolutely recommend.

14 thoughts on “Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson”

  1. Totally agree with you on this one. The ending was just a little too neat, and with a book as twisty as this, I expected something more. All in all though, a book that was very easy to read.

  2. I did think that the ending was a little too pat as well, but I was really eager to wind through the narrative and find out just what was going on. I think that part of my problem was that I listened to this one, and the narrator and I didn’t get along. I am not sure if this is because I prefer male narrators, but something about her calm delivery felt weird to me. I don’t think I would have felt this way had I read it in print though. Very wonderful review today. I enjoyed it!

  3. I too thought the ending a bit too simplified and pat. I enjoyed the twists and often had a hard time keeping up with what happened day to day, reading the journal etc, but it was interesting, and oh so twisted!!

  4. Yep. The ending wasn’t my favorite. I was completely enthralled while I was reading it. But, I don’t think it would stand up well to a reread, since it was primarily the anticipation (rather than the characters) that kept me reading.

  5. Sounds really cool! I just read a book about memory, and I think this would be rather a good companion read. Amnesia is fascinating to read about and sounds like it would be the most terrifying thing to experience.

  6. I can’t imagine losing my memory like that … definitely NOT fun. But the book sounds great – especially the fact that it grabbed you from page 1!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour. I’m featuring your review on TLC’s Facebook page today.

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