Before I go to Sleep by S J Watson (Book Review)

Since the release of Before I Go to Sleep, I had my eyes on this book. Last night I decided that it was finally time to get started. I always love psychological thriller books and really like reading a book that would keep me guessing. What do you think? Did “Before I go to sleep” delivered what I wanted? Well, let’s just say I started reading the book at 7 pm and I was up until 2 am. That’s not only because this book is unputdownable, but also because it’s a little hard to turn the light off and go to sleep while reading the book! You never know what’s waiting for you when you wake up!

Synopsis: Before I go to Sleep by S J Watson

The starting “Before I go to Sleep” will get you into a hook. It is about a woman called Christine who wakes up every morning with no memory of who she is, where she is and what happened so far in her life. With the help of labeled pictures and her husband, every day she pieces together her life and learns of the accident that made her life like this. But, one day a mysterious doctor visits her and that leads her towards the private journal she has been writing to herself. This journal tells her that things might not be as they seem and  she should not believe anyone.

Book Review

Personally, I found this book so thrilling. I loved almost everything about it. Christine was a complex and interesting character – I was pulled so far inside her mind that the novel’s events literally made my heart pound. I love how creepy the novel is and I very much enjoyed almost but not quite figuring out the reveals at the end.

I believe, the best kind of thrillers are those where the story is strong enough that it isn’t ruined by an astute reader. In other words – if you guess what is going to happen, it doesn’t really matter. And I think this is one of those books. Towards the end, I started to figure things out, but rather than being disappointed, it made me hang on the author’s every word in anticipation and horror.

Also, the reveals are multi-layered. So there is not just one big twist/reveal, but many things to discover over the course of the book. I like this much more.

Criticism

The biggest complaints from people who didn’t like this book are:

1) The rare type of illness of Christine is not realistic.

2) The book gets a little repetitive around the middle.

Both are true, but neither bothered me. I’ll tell you why.

It is true that the author could have a different approach to get forward with the climax of the book. The story gets a little repetitive, because Christine must first read her journal every day to understand everything. I think that’s why some people did not like it. I actually didn’t mind. In fact, I thought it dragged out the suspense even more. And it didn’t repeat every details again and again. That’s how it had me mentally freaking out over what would come next. Honestly, I was never bored for a second.

As for being realistic, there are some issues you will find out with the illness of Christine. The author manufactures a fictional type of amnesia in order for the story to work – an amnesia in which Christine remembers almost nothing of her short term memory, but is able to retain her short term memory for the length of her waking hours. It is reset overnight. But, to be honest, I absolutely love reading about weird rare illnesses, particularly psychological ones. And there are so many strange, unbelievable illnesses out there that it wasn’t difficult for me to suspend disbelief and imagine that a rare amnesia of this sort could exist.

Final Words

You will definitely like this book if you think like me. Actually, I don’t see why you wouldn’t like this. Everything about this book is very much unique that you didn’t read ever, not even thought of it. It is very different, very unsettling, and very much enjoyable.

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