Megan's Reviews > Before I Go to Sleep

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
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's review
Aug 15, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: not-mine-library, mystery, fiction
Read from August 09 to 11, 2011

Amnesia, mystery, debut author… I’m a cynical girl and was expecting this combination to go wrong, but I was pleasantly surprised by Before I Go to Sleep. It is the story of Christine, a woman who wakes up everyday not realizing she is middle aged and married. Sometimes she wakes up thinking she is still in her twenties, sometimes a child, sometimes she wakes up not really knowing anything. Every day her husband explains to her that they have been married for many years, and that she lost her memory due to a hit and run accident when she was in her late twenties. We meet Christine shortly after she has started seeing a therapist who encourages her to keep a journal in an effort to regain her memory and sense of self. As Christine reads and records in her journal everyday she is learning the real value of memory and figuring out what really happened to her, and who to trust.

This book kept me absorbed and captivated. It took a little suspension of belief to feel that this was a real journal. That is, the passages read like a very well written novel (which, okay, it was) but this “journal” was filled with detailed observations, prose and complete conversations. Good move on author S.J.Watson’s part making Christine a writer. Even so, this journal isn’t very journal like. But it is still an exceptional book.

I rated this 3 stars simply because I can’t see myself re-reading this more than once. Even though it is well written, a lot of this story consists of Christine lamenting a life without memories. It for sure helps set the tone of this novel, but I imagine would become repetitive with multiple readings. This novel, as excellent as it is, isn’t really plot driven or character driven, it is all about the mystery and suspense. Even though I had an idea of what the big secret was Watson had me guessing the entire time. I definitely recommend this and am looking forward to more from this author.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Miriam (new)

Miriam I feel like in her condition I would have thought right away of keeping a written record for myself.

Megan Right! I would have totally made myself a list in the front of the journal with important info like name, age, etc.

But, on the verge of giving away spoilers... not everyone in her life wants Christine to regain her memory. There is more to the story, but we see why she hasn't always had a record she kept herself.

Alexandra Haven't read your review yet because I am terrified of being spoiled in even the slightest way. I AM ENTHRALLED by this book. But I will read it as soon as I finish. But I looked up book trailers for this book and this came up and I about DIED laughing.

Ahahahaha I can't even

Megan OMG that video! lol

Alexandra Ahahaha he's like "whose bed's this?!"
It was creepy but sort of funny. Anyway great review and I felt the same way about the journal. Sometimes I'd have to step back and be like wait am I reading the journal or is this the book? But I don't think it would have had the same effect if the journal was written in shorthand lmao
I did not really expect the ending. It creeped me out. -shudder-

Megan Yeah, if it had been written in journal form, it wouldn't probably be as good of a book! The ending was really good, I was also a little shocked by it

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