Before I Go To Sleep

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Title: Before I Go To Sleep
Author: S. J. Watson
Pages: 358
Genre: Pyschological Thriller
Harper (Harper Collins)
Pub. Date: June 14, 2011

Before I Go To Sleep is one of those thrillers that will addict you to reading to find out what's really going on. Author Dennis Lehane called it "Memento on Crystal Meth" and a host of other popular authors have great blurbs on the cover and back of the book as well. Because really, this book was great! They've even sold film rights already... to Ridley Scott!

Every morning, Christine wakes up not knowing where she is or who she's with. Her memories have been taken from her so her husband, Ben, has to explain who she is and what happened. A terrible accident stole her memories or her ability to maintain her memories after going to sleep at night. After Ben leave for work, however, a phone rings in Christine's purse. A doctor tells her he's been studying her and to check the closet for the journal she's been keeping.

The majority of the novel is the journal entries Christine has been keeping over the prior couple weeks. In that way, the reader (including Christine!) has revealed to them a little at a time the various truths that Christine had been learning. For those who do not like epistolary novels, no worries! Even though the majority of the book is written as though they are journal entries, they are still written normally, as though Christine is remembering what happened. We, the readers, merely know that this is supposed to be a journal entry. But I thought it was a very clever way to reveal some secrets. And, of course, the more Christine learns, the more dangerous everything becomes because everything is not as it would seem...

I really enjoyed the reading experience and found myself yearning to read more to figure out the truth. I had a couple of gasping-out-loud moments. That being said, as great as the book was I didn't necessarily love it as much as the mounds of bloggers who are saying this was one of the best books of the year. In its favor, though, it is one of the best of its genre that I read this year. But I guess for me, even though parts of the book shocked me, the other parts didn't come completely out of the blue. I didn't necessarily guess what was happening, but it didn't all surprise me when it did. I hate to minimize how good the book was, though, because I still really enjoyed reading it , but I guess my gripe is that the end didn't absolutely blow me away which I was hoping it would!

All that being said, I would absolutely recommend this to others!

Follow the tour here:

Tuesday, June 14th: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Thursday, June 16th: Life In Review
Monday, June 20th: A Bookworm’s World
Tuesday, June 21st: Colloquium
Wednesday, June 22nd: Bibliophiliac
Thursday, June 23rd: The Infinite Shelf
Tuesday, June 28th: Jen’s Book Thoughts
Wednesday, June 29th: Helen’s Book Blog
Thursday, June 30th: Drey’s Library
Tuesday, July 5th: Booking Mama
Wednesday, July 6th: Musings of an All Purpose Monkey
Thursday, July 7th: a lovely shore breeze…
Monday, July 11th: Lesa’s Book Critiques
Tuesday, July 12th: My Life in Not So Many Words
Wednesday, July 13th: My Two Blessings
Thursday, July 14th: Take Me Away
Friday, July 15th: Crazy for Books


Mel (He Followed Me Home) said...

I love the sound of this one, bummer it didn't blow you away at the end though. I can't imagine lossing my memories!

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

I've read a few reviews of this and it sounds like a thriller I would enjoy. I am reading NEver Knowing right now because of you!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Yes, I remember reading a couple of reviews of this one, and it sounded intriguing. This plot device has been used (maybe overused) but hey if it keeps you up at night reading, you can't ask for better entertainment. Memento on crystal meth? That is an awesome blurb!

Helen's Book Blog said...

I read this a couple weeks ago and really liked it. I keep thinking about the character and the plot, which is a good sign

Marce said...

I have read some amazing reviews on this one, I think I will love it.

Glad to see you enjoyed and consider it one of the best for a thriller which is my favourite genre.

reviewsbylola said...

I think I am going to read this one as soon as I finish my current book. It sounds so good!

Zibilee said...

If you liked this one, I think yo would also like Turn of Mind. It also had an unreliable narrator, and dealt with mental issues. This sounds like a book that I really need to read. I love suspense when it is done really well, and it seems like this book has got that covered. Great review on this one. I am glad that you enjoyed it and had some gasp aloud moments!

christa @ mental foodie said...

I agreed that I was hoping for a better ending, something that'd blow me away, so I was disappointed in that regard. Here's my review if you're interested:

Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

thanks for the review. there are many books I'd not be reading had it not been reviews such as yours.

Jenny said...

Ugh I totally commented and replied to everyone's comments but I don't see that here! I guess it didn't save?? Anyway, thanks for the comments! I do think you all will like this book. Those of you reading it soon (and Michelle with Never Knowing) I can't wait to hear your thoughts!! Heather: it's funny b/c I never understood the concept of an unreliable narrator so I didn't even think of this book like that so that's interesting! Now I have a new way to look at it. I did have the netgalley of that book you suggested. I'll have to see if I can re-download since I'm sure it expired, LOL! Nana: thank you, that was so sweet. =)

Audra said...

Sounds crazy good!!! I must find this one -- thanks for the review!

Booksnyc said...

I used to really like thrillers but I moved away from them because they tended to stay with me and I was freaked out living alone (pathetic I know!). If I go back to them I will keep this and those by Chevy Stevens in mind.

heathertlc said...

The best of it's genre isn't a bad thing at all! Thanks for being a part of the tour.

bookmagic said...

Sounds interesting though a lot like that Adam Sandler movie though it wasn't a thriller. I might give this one try.

Marlene Detierro said...

Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson definitely goes down as one of my favorite books this year. The story is incredibly suspenseful. It was so gripping that I read the majority of the book in one day. There is an intensity and uniqueness to the novel that will keep me praising this one for a while.

Marlene Detierro (Cash Advance Business)

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