Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson

Genre: Psychological Thriller
Author: S.J. Watson
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Publisher: Harper Collins
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Where to Purchase:
Amazon || Kindle || Audible
Reviewed by: Aimee
Source: Audiobook purchased at
Rating: Epic Win! 5 out of 5

I reach for the soap, but something is wrong. At first I can’t work out what it is, but then I see it. The hand gripping the soap does not look like mine. The skin is wrinkled, the nails are unpolished and bitten to the quick and, like the man in the bed I have just left, the third finger wears a plain, gold wedding ring.

I stare for a moment, then wiggle my fingers. The fingers of the hand holding the soap move also. I gasp, and the soap thuds into the sink. I look up at the mirror. The face I see looking back at me is not my own. The hair has no volume and is cut much shorter than I wear it, the skin on the cheeks and under the chin sags, the lips are thin,

the mouth turned down. I cry out, a wordless gasp that would turn into a shriek of shock were I to let it, and then notice the eyes. The skin around them is lined, yes, but despite everything else I can see that they are mine. The person in the mirror is me, but I am twenty years too old. Twenty-five. More.
This book made me a nervous wreck! But considering the genre, that's a good thing. Be forewarned, though, it caused me adrenaline fatigue in the last third of the novel. My heart was racing and my nerves were shot. It's a good thing I don't bite my fingernails, or I would have chewed them off.

S.J. Watson's Before I Go To Sleep is the story of a lady suffering from an unusual form of amnesia. Every day she wakes up, she has to start her whole life over again. Everyone is a complete stranger. Remembering no one, not even herself, she wakes up believing she is much younger version of herself. She's only able to retain what little she's learned about herself and her life throughout the day. But once she goes to sleep at night, she loses everything learned in that brief 24 hour period. Upon the suggestion of a doctor she's working with, she starts a secret journal to try and help break through her amnesia. What follows is a mildly mysterious and suspenseful ride that builds upon itself, until finally snow balling into an intense psychological thriller that has you drumming your fingers nervously and pacing the floors. Which is probably only possible if your listening to the audiobook (I was).

My one and only problem with Before I Go To Sleep is that it left me hanging a little at the end. But when I try to think of how the author could have ended the story differently, I realize he did the best he could while keeping things as believable as possible. Any attempt to explain too much might have made for a hokey, unrealistic ending. Leaving a few things untouched is probably the best option in this case. Some things are better left alone.

My final verdict? Before I Go To Sleep is full of so much mystery and confusion, you'll be spinning like a yo-yo and completely disoriented without a clue what's happening. It's a psychologically jarring and suspenseful read. Despite my minor beef with the ending, it's still an Epic Win for me. I'd recommend this book to anyone! It's that good.

Note: The narrator for the audiobook version of Before I Go To Sleep, Orlagh Cassidy, did an excellent job. I tend to be very picky when it comes to narrators, but I give her a 5 star rating as well.
ratingFiction Fool

Other Reviews:
Lou Pendegrast - 5 stars
Life in Review - 5 stars
Fired and Ice - 4.5 stars
Goodreads Reviews - 3.94 avg rating

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