Mo Shah's Reviews > Before I Go to Sleep

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
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Jul 13, 2011

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bookshelves: read-in-2011
Read in August, 2011

Argh. What a frustrating book. I want someone else I know to read it so I can discuss it with them, to see if they agree with my conclusion. Sarah, you should read it and let me know what you think.

I really really liked this book in the beginning. The concept, while not strictly novel (I can recall maybe half a dozen stories where amnesia like this features prominently) is utilized to great effect. The mystery is initially built quite satisfactorily, and you're drawn in as a reader.

Fairly soon, however, the concept frays a bit and you have to suspend a little bit of disbelief to get through the book. There were holes that I saw - not insurmountable ones, but still distracting. I saw the ending (I won't ruin it) coming from a mile away, only because you know with a book like this it *needs* a twist of some sort, and there was only one particular twist that made sense. Even so, the ending was a let down, because what should have been something emotionally laden was handled like an afterthought.

With a bit of editing and some revision, this could have been a much more engaging book. The first half works really well, and then it sort of deflates for me. Too bad it didn't finish as strong.
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02/09/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-31)




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message 31: by Erin (new) - rated it 2 stars

Erin I agree 100% with your review!


message 30: by Mo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mo Shah Erin wrote: "I agree 100% with your review!"

Thanks! :-)


Beverly I also agree with your review.
My thoughts exactly!


Karen I agree with you. I liked the premise (kind of a psychological version of Groundhog Day!) and stuck with it but it does get tedious. I also figured the ending early on.


Michael This sums up my feelings nicely. I left the book feeling it had been an adequate diversion, but that the plotting was little more than an amalgam of themes and stories that have been done before (and done better). A review quotes on the inside cover says the book is like Memento on crystal meth, but I think that reviewer has got them flipped--it's almost a toned-down version of the amnesiac plot. Fine, but I won't be recommending it to friends.


message 26: by Iska (new) - rated it 4 stars

Iska I completely agree with your review. And like "Doug Bradshaw's" review says, I also became the protagonist and wanted to figure out who "I" was. But the ending came and I was so disappointed to learn that we are not going to find out whether or not Christine was going to remember anything the next day. How depressing...


Shynna I completely agree, I thought the beginning was great and was really disappointed that it ended like it did. It left me feeling a little frustrated


message 24: by Gina (new) - added it

Gina I agree with this review as well. I just finished and had to come online to see what others thought. I couldn't believe it ended the way it did. it felt like so many "indie" movies these days the just end abruptly where they, I don't know what you to decide for yourself what happens. I think that's a cheap way out. This story definitely needed a more proper ending.

It was a quick read and kept me interested though, so it had that going for it.


Mercedes I agree with your review. The first few chapters were interesting and suspenseful. I wanted to read more and couldn't put the book down! After that, I pretty much knew how the book would end. There was nothing left to the imagination. The last 2 chapters reminded me of The Da Vinci Code; rushed ending with a Harlequin romance explanation/ending. Nothing left to ponder or leave the reader to question meaning of story. Overall story receives 3 stars.


Carla You pointed out everything I noticed about the book as well. Couldn't agree more with your review. Started out great but just didn't follow through. . .


Kelly Wholeheartedly agreed with your review! I wanted more....


Rhonda Gidney I couldn't agree more, confusing and lots do holes in the story line.....like her discharge from Waring House, come on!


Alicia I have to say I COMPLETELY agree with this review.


message 18: by Ania (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ania I totally agree with you. The first half was good and created a lot of expectations, and then in the second half it sort of fell flat for me.


Tracy FRUSTRATING is also a word I'd use for this book. Save for the awesome English accent on the reader (I "read" on audio tape) and the fact that it's for my book club, I wouldn't have read this book


Nancy Gabor Agree with this review


Denise I agree as well. Could've been better.


Piper I agree. For me it was a really slow beginning and a predictable ending.


Oddny Friðriksdóttir Exactly what I wanted to say


Tania Pinto Like all the others I agree!


message 11: by Aiza (new)

Aiza I loved the start and the book keeps u intersted but the end left a lot more to be desired , it was all abrupt , an hasty exit


message 10: by Tara (new) - rated it 2 stars

Tara  Niland I have to say I agree with you x


Tara  Niland I have to say I agree with you x


Sadie-jane (sj) alexis nunis took the words outta my mouth.
I'm about halfway through. .


Jacqueline Schroeder I agree with wholeheartedly with your review, while I am looking for the right kind of words to sum up my own review


Jacqueline Schroeder I agree with wholeheartedly with your review, while I am looking for the right kind of words to sum up my own review


Jacqueline Schroeder I agree with wholeheartedly with your review, while I am looking for the right kind of words to sum up my own review


message 4: by Ann (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ann Perfect review. Enjoyable book but it could have been so much better!


message 3: by B (new) - rated it 3 stars

B Janie I used the word "frustrating" too while giving this book a review!!


message 2: by Dee (new) - added it

Dee Aisha Argh! That's exactly what I thought.


Jodie Keith I can't believe so many people guessed the ending - I had absolutely no idea that was coming. I had my sights set on a different ending which I thought was going to be the plot twist, but I thought the actual twist was amazing! Just me?


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