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Sleepwalking

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  1,611 ratings  ·  265 reviews
The debut novel from New York Times–bestselling author Meg Wolitzer, a story of three college students’ shared fascination with poetry and death, and how one of them must face difficult truths in order to leave her obsession behind.

Published when she was only twenty-three and written while she was a student at Brown, Sleepwalking marks the beginning of Meg Wolitzer’s accl
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 25th 2014 by Riverhead Books (first published 1982)
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Average rating 3.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,611 ratings  ·  265 reviews


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Kat
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-favorites
i honestly don’t know if this is objectively a five star book, but it completely captured me while i was reading it and after i finished i went for a walk in some woods and cried a little and if that reaction doesn’t get a five idk what should
monica kim
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the part of me that sat on tumblr in 2013 until 4am reblogging sad quotes felt so seen and understood by this book.
jv poore
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
Reading this was a bit like taking a trip wherein the journey is, hands down, the best part. There was just a certain je ne sais quoi to Ms. Wolitzer's writing that captured me and carried me right along and it really didn't matter where we'd end up.

Of course, Goodreads friends do give the best happiness gifts. Huge thank you to my friend, Leslie, for turning me on to yet another new (to me) author.
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Maria
Jul 31, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was so excited for this book. Thought I was going to read The Bell Jar all over again. The characters, the story everything was going perfect but halfway through the book I lost it. Idk, but it wasn't what I expected. ...more
Anjal
May 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
it seems like im the only person on my friends list who has read this. dare i say, people have been sleeping on this book lol. *drum roll* (im going to jail bye)

if an indie art house movie were a book then this would be it! that’s the only way i can describe this book.

meg wolitzer was merely a student when she finished writing this book and by reading this you wouldn’t even know that it was her first book that’s how well written it is.

the book is only 270 pages long but so intricately deta
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Niki
Sep 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
(Yes, Kat [paperbackdreams on Youtube] brought me here too)

Why is my 2020 reading list filled with books I thought were going to be about [x thing], but turned out to be anything but? This is the fourth one by now; The Glass Hotel (we barely even set foot in the hotel), Supper Club (more about the narrator's internalized misogyny in which she brags about being fuckable because she's skinny, less about the titular Supper Club parties), And I Do Not Forgive You (less than half of the stories were
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Sheila
I'm giving this book 5 stars, but that doesn't mean it's an amazing book. In fact, it's overwrought and dated. However, I love this book--mostly because I read it over and over again when I was 13 or so. It's one of those books that really spoke to me at that age, and so it gets 5 stars for nostalgia.

I thought being a "death girl" (sort of a pre-Goth; this book was published in 1982) and staying up all night in college, reading poetry around a candle, would be so cool. Claire, the protagonist, s
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Julie Ehlers
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
As Meg Wolitzer explains in an interesting new preface to this 2014 edition, Sleepwalking is her first novel, written while she was still an undergraduate at Brown. I have to admit that when I first started reading, the novelty of this was foremost in my mind, and I kept trying to decide if the book was genuinely good, or just good for someone who'd written it as an undergraduate. Ultimately the book became so interesting as to distract me from such thoughts entirely. The blurb for this novel is ...more
M.L. Rio
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sleepwalking was not what I expected, but nevertheless impossible to put down. Wolitzer does a remarkable job showing the different forms and functions of grief, and how profoundly the loss of loved ones (literally or metaphorically) can change a person's outlook and approach to life. But she avoids the trap of being sentimental--Sleepwalking tells it like it is, and is all the more poignant for its refusal to slip into melodrama. ...more
Beatrice
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Meg Wolitzer writes darkly and with precision, communicating themes subtly yet powerfully. The three characters followed in Sleepwalking are similar and distinct -- their stories are told almost interchangeably, but with intricate detail. I thoroughly enjoyed the attention paid to language in this novel, as well as the intuitive manner through which its characters came to life in my mind. I'd recommend this read particularly for those who enjoyed Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. ...more
che
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
did not expect to love this. but i did, because it was like this book tore open my brain, took my inner demons, and pasted them onto the pages. don't think this is an objectively good book, nor is it for everyone—but it was for me. ...more
Savannah O'Hare
This took me so long to get into (and finish). I usually love Wolitzer's work but this just failed to "go" anywhere. Wolitzer's writing was the only thing that kept me reading as, at the ridiculously young age of 23, her writing is already poetic in her debut novel. Maybe I missed the point of the book but I felt like it was just a 244 ramble about relationships (something I usually enjoy) that simply failed to coalesce into something concrete. ...more
Hazel
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
Kat/paperbackdreams (one of my favourite booktubers) described this as a cross between everything I never told you by celeste ng and dead poet's society so I had to stop everything else and pick up this book but it turned out to be a huge disappointment. ...more
Lolly K Dandeneau
eh... I just couldn't get into it. It wasn't terrible, just really dragged me along and the three girls relationship just seemed juvenile for college aged young women. ...more
Mackenzie
Jan 30, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
2.5 stars. Super overwrought and reads like a book of long winded metaphors, but homegirl wrote this in college so I've got to give her props. ...more
Ashley
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a weird little novel. The Bell Jar meets Looking for Alaska? This book was so depressing to read but idk it did something for me. Good, not great (for me). Grief novels aren’t my favorite thing but this was... unique and artsy and I vibed with it at times. Interested in more from Meg Wolitzer.
sarah✨
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
going through every single character’s grief was an emotional whirlwind. i loved this so much. i felt very seen by this in a way i wasnt expecting.

tw: suicide, suicide ideation, death of a loved one, self-harm
emi
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dark-academia
a heartwarming and poetic novel about death, grief, and finding solace in words. when pursuing an undeniable obsession is the only way to reconnect with your own feelings and pain
Sara Morelli
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I know this is a very personal and subjective rating: I believe that only if you feel a certain degree of relatability will you appreciate and get caught in this book. If you don’t find yourself in a similar mental space, or if you can’t relate with characters/situations/thoughts, there’ll be very little for you to hold on to, and the entire thing will simply go over your head because the story/plot itself isn’t the real backbone of the book. I found a big piece of myself in Wolitzer’s words lik ...more
ren
Jul 23, 2020 rated it liked it
7/23/20: I need to let this one marinate before I give a rating. Definitely not what I expected.

7/24/20: After some thought, I've decided to give this book 3 stars. As I said above, the story was unexpected based on all of the synopsizes I read, but that's not necessarily a bad thing for other people. The book itself is pretty strong. I don't think I've ever read a fictional book that focuses so primarily on introspection, and I applaud Wolitzer for her ability to keep it so well-paced. This was
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briical
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020, disappointing
I was suckered in by this being described as a dark academia and akin to Dead Poet's Society (and the pretty cover) but am left feeling very empty and disappointed.

I think this is being marketed all wrong; it really doesn't focus much on the "death-girls" at all. It is more a book about parents struggling to deal with grief and everyone being sad and having undiagnosed depression. I read it eagerly looking forward to a tale revolving around three women grappling with identity and university, but
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Claire Hardwick
3.5/5
I don't really know how to feel about this book. The topic intrigued me at first and the fact that meg wolitzer wrote it while she was a student at brown, but I think that really shows in her writing. A lot of the dialogue was very wooden and some of the plot points were very unrealistic, but I also feel like the character development is saying something very important and relevant. It'll be interesting to read her newer works and see how her writing style has changed and developed.
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María
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dark-academia
**4.5 ★** This might be one of the most beautiful things I’ve read this year, and definitely one of the saddest (and the two things are probably very connected). I finished it this morning and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since then.
I feel like every word has been thought and written with so much care, but not in the way that it’s too much or that the book is more about the writing than the plot. Just the perfect amount.
It’s not sad in the way that there’s something tragic that happens
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madeline ♡
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
i adore meg wolitzer’s writing, and the process of reading sleepwalking was utterly entrancing. i also loved that we got to see multiple perspectives beyond claire’s. this is a book that i want to reread so that i can soak in the details and connect the beginning to the end. it’s not what i expected it to be; i expected secret history level pretentiousness (which i love,,but there’s a time and place) but what i got was a quietly self-aware, conscientious story, sensitive in its portrayal of deat ...more
jasmin • febrvaryfriday
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020
i‘m so unsure about what i thought of this but oh well.

this definitely gave me severe throwbacks to my times on tumblr in 2013 hahah. if you know, you know. i think that‘s the only thing i liked about this book; the overall subject matter and themes definitely resonated with me (or rather my 2013 self)

it was fine. it was okay. i didn‘t actively dislike it, but it didn‘t really do anything for me either. kinda reminded me of everything i never told you by celeste ng, and i didn‘t love that one e
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Gail
Jan 11, 2019 marked it as to-read
Bought this on iBooks when it was on sale over the holidays so it's my current "phone" read. I love Meg's books and since I've only read a few of them, and she's one of my favorite authors, I thought it might be nice to try this thing where I read all of an author's work. This is her first, written as her thesis in college, so here goes .... ...more
Sushma Chowdary
I think I had my share of sad books this year.
J
Sep 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
“It seemed to Claire that there was no place you could ever go to isolate yourself from the world—there were always peripheral noises, distractions calling you back.”
Malak Souama
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know how to review this yet, but I know this is the book missing from everyone's shelf. ...more
Amal
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
this book is whatever 2.5 stars but i cant tell you how much i wish swarthmore college was actually crawling with brooding sylvia plath fangirls like meg wolitzer thinks it is
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Meg Wolitzer is the New York Times–bestselling author of The Interestings, The Uncoupling, The Ten-Year Nap, The Position, The Wife, and Sleepwalking. She is also the author of the young adult novel Belzhar. Wolitzer lives in New York City.

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