Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Review: Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson





Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 368
Source: Personal Copy
Rating 5/5




Christine wakes up every morning with no recollection of her recent life.  The man laying in bed beside her is a stranger, pictures are placed around the bathroom mirror to help her adjust each morning, she can't help but notice her hands are much older. When looking into the mirror, the woman staring back at her is not the person she remembers. She’s much older, apparently the man next to her in bed is her husband, she’s married to a man she doesn’t remember loving. Each new day, Ben gently reminds Christine about their life together. When Christine begins secretly working with a therapist, he encourages her to start a journal. Their meetings are kept from Ben, after many unsuccessful attempts he doesn’t want to put Christine through the pain of failed treatment again. Perhaps, not wanting to put himself through the same pain. Surprisingly small memories begin to come back to Christine, although she may not remember them the next morning, she has her journal to help jog her memory. Unfortunately, each new day she also has to relive her devastating memories. When she opens her journal and discovers a note “Don’t trust Ben” written in her handwriting Christine is very confused. She has no one in her life besides Ben. 

Before I Go to Sleep has received rave reviews, and initially I wasn’t sure what to think about it. The concept of memory loss is not new, and I wasn’t too keen on picking this one up. When I started reading the book, I was quickly caught up in the story. As the story shifted to journal entries, I became very nervous. Journal entries from an amnesiac could potentially be very repetitive, and fortunately they were not. Each journal entry is a clue that builds on Christine’s backstory. This book is rated as a thriller, but it’s not really mysterious until half way through. At the end of the book, I couldn’t help but think “this would be a great movie.” 

Christine’s character was very believable, her emotions were real and her circumstances were heart wrenching. The first person narrative is excellent. Christine isn’t a very reliable witness, readers are carried on the journey with her. She has skeletons in her closet, and is shocked to figure out where her life took her. When it becomes clear that Ben hasn’t been upfront with her, we all begin to wonder why. Is he protecting her, making the answers easier for himself, after all tomorrow will be a new day with the same set of questions. Ben seems to be the perfect, patient husband and readers begin to question Christine. Why can’t she trust Ben? S J Watson has written a real page-turner, one that will keep you thinking long after you close the book. Highly recommended!

18 comments:

  1. O this sounds exciting and different. You're right it sounds like it would be a great film. You've got me very curious about Ben. So does it have a happy ending or good resolution?

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  2. I feel like I heard that the film rights were bought for this film. I likes this book a lot, though the end wasn't a big surprise to me.

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  3. Sound really good! Great review!

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  4. This sounds great! I am adding it to my TBR list. I have never read a book that deals with memory loss and I am intrigued by what happens with Ben!

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  5. I've read other fiction on memory loss and would pick this one up in an instant! Good review.

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  6. I am glad that you liked this one! I listened to it on audio, and wish that I had read the print version instead. The twists and turns of this book were excellent, and like you mentioned, it would make a great movie! Very nice review today! Thanks!

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  7. This reminds me a little of Memento (which I loved!). I've been hesitant to pick it up, but I think I'm going to have to give it a shot now!

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  8. I've been VERY curious about this title--wow, 5 stars! I can't wait to check this out. Thanks for the review. And ps, I really like this new cover, I hadn't seen this one before!

    ***

    Author Gail Carriger shares her favorite romantic book scene at The Midnight Garden!

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  9. Ooooo I love when the narrator is unreliable! It's so much fun for me to question them and try to figure out if I can believe their account of events or if I should try and read between the lines and take away new meaning. And now I'm all curious about Ben. I want to know what's up with him. Thanks for the review Jennifer!

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  10. I don't usually read books like this, but I may have to make an exception. This sounds fantastic! Great review!

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  11. This does sound good. Makes me think of that movie The Vow although this sounds vastly different in circumstances following the memory loss. The mystery of it all has me intrigued!

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  12. I've seen this around and I've been in two minds if I should buy it. But now I'm so curious to know why she shouldn't trust Ben?

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  13. Oh my gosh, this book gives me the shivers just thinking about! I can't IMAGINE what it would be like to wake up with no recollection to what's happened in your past -- that would be terrifying to never be able to make new memories!

    Awesome review, Mrs. Q! My aunt read this book a while back too and loved it, so her recommendations with your shining one make me really intrigued to pick this book up! :)

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  14. I'm glad this one exceeded your expectations!

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  15. I loved this one too! It sure kept me on the edge of my seat.

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  16. This one got me really curious. I want to find out more about Christine and Ben.

    Thanks for this wonderful review and for putting this book on my radar!

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  17. 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.

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  18. This sounds fascinating! You've sold me, I can't wait to read it. I will be entering your giveaway for sure. Fingers crossed that I win a copy:)

    Marlene Detierro (Business Cash Advance)

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