Saturday, October 1, 2011

My take on: Before I Go To Sleep

It took me more than a month to finish Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson. Not because it's a bad book, it's an AWESOME book. I just made the mistake of turning my attention to other books. When I finally focused on this one, I was in awe of the imagination of S.J. Watson.

A horrible accident has robbed Christine Lucas of her memory. Every day she looks in the mirror there is a stranger staring back at her. Who is she? How old is she? Did she just suddenly appear one day?  Every day she must fill in the past of the days before. Her journal helps fill in the gaps because by morning everything Christine has learned will be gone. In addition to her journal, all Christine has to rely on are her husband Ben and Dr. Nash. Both men care deeply for Christine, but she constantly has doubts about them. I did, too.

Her own writing tells her not to trust Ben. But is that the paranoia speaking or is it genuine? This man lives and breathes for Christine. Every day he suffers through the pain of his wife's illness. Isn't that love? Who would stay through that? It's torture every day. It isn't much better for Christine. She is an adult, but sometimes feels like a child playing dress up. Dr. Nash meets with Christine frequently to work on her memory. He takes her to her former home, hoping to jog her memory. It does, but retaining the memory is the problem. She can remember fragments of her past, like parties with her friend Claire and some intimate moments with her husband. The fragments don't add up to a lot. They only serve to deepen Christine's despair.

While Ben comes across as a doting husband, there are moments when I joined in Christine's paranoia. When Christine asks for details from their past, Ben isn't very descriptive. He drops little nuggets, but never the full truth. Ben tells Christine she was hit by a car, but never gives her details about the accident. Is it his form of protection? How much can he tell Christine without upsetting her? Does he even want her to remember? Or is Ben content to have Christine dependent on him? Those little details just aren't enough. Christine needs more. In order to move forward, she needs to know about the past. I'm so tempted to give away more of the book, but I won't. But I will say that Ben's lies start to catch up with him.

Memories shape who we are, if those are taken away what do we have left? What if your sanity was tested every time you woke up? I didn't see the ending coming, but thinking back the clues behind the mystery were there. The last 70-80 pages were so creepy, I was starting to speed read just so I could get to the end. The story starts out very benign. Watson slowly builds the suspense. By the middle of the book, you're hooked. I hear the movie rights have been sold. Before I Go To Sleep was an AWESOME book, and I'm sure it will be an AWESOME movie.

Rating: O.M.G.!!!

Note: I received a copy of the book from the publisher (HarperCollins) in exchange for an honest review.



  1. Wow! This sounds like an amazing book. I have to say- the cover gives me the chills! I would love to read this book- but will probably have to speed through the last 80 or so pages, like you did. I have a great imagination and tend to get myself quite scared! :)

    I found you through Book Blogs and signed up to follow you. When you have a chance- please stop by and follow the blog for my middle grade novel that I am hoping to get published.

    Take care-
    Jess- although I may show up as Fairday, the main character from my novel. I can't figure out why that happens and I can't fix it. :)

  2. This is the second time in a week that I've read about this book. Sounds very interesting!

  3. I wanted to say more about it, but I thought it would give away too much of the plot. I'll just say that Ben isn't what he seems.

  4. This story is solid and engaging, but I just never got the spine-tingling thrill I had expected. It was an interesting read, and I did enjoy it, but the lack of real tension as the book moved towarded the big denouement made it easy to put down when interrupted. I was left feeling vaguely let down and dissatisfied which is why I'm only giving it 3.5 stars.

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