Thursday, May 3, 2012

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

Book: Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
Genre: Mystery- ish/ Psychological Thriller
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
For: Fun
From: the library

I went to a library thing awhile back and at that thing the staff took turns raving about some of their favorite books of the year. It was fun trying to determine from that presentation which books I would really run out to read.

As it turned out, this book happened to be one that rose to the top in my mind of "must reads" after that fun book talk presentation. So I was excited when it actually came to me after putting it on hold.

But I must say, it wasn't as great as I expected it to be. Maybe they talked it up TOO  much at that library thing? Maybe my expectations where just messed up? I don't know. But it was a bit of a disappointment, sad to say.

So there's this girl who wakes up and doesn't know her life. Her body is too old, her husband is a stranger, her house is unfamiliar and so on. We get clues, along with her, that she has been in some sort of an accident and that every night, after she sleeps, she goes back years to her 20s or sometimes even childhood. She remembers things during the day, but each night, she has to start over again. And again. And again.

She has this doctor dude who suggests she start writing a journal, which she does. He then calls her everyday to remind her about the journal and where she's hidden it. So every day, she re-reads what she's written and then adds to it. This process allows her to discover some things that just don't make sense.

And thus we have the mystery!

Yes, the premise is awesome! But I got bogged down in the repetition, which due to the nature of the story, is quite inevitable right? We see everything from her point of view, which makes sense because it adds to the whole "I wish I know what's going on" feeling, but that meant that every day, we had to repeat everything, along with her, that had been happening. That got old, and I started getting anxious for the "real" stuff.

Also, this book has some language and other "stuff" thrown in that just seemed so jarring and unnecessary. I can handle stuff if it seems relevant to the story, but this just didn't. At least to me. If you read it, what do you think? Did it make sense to be in there for the story? Or was it just shock factor? At any rate, whether it did or didn't, it bugged me.

And, as we always seem to say, you need to connect to the character in order to feel the story, and I just didn't connect....which in turn meant I just didn't really connect to anything else. Know what I mean?

That all being said, I still give it three stars, which means I liked it, yes. The end did start to get pretty page-turning and breath-holding, once things finally started to happen. Of course, I was so very curious as to what was REALLY going on that despite the problems I had with patience, I wanted to keep reading to find out.

Bottom line: It was okay for most of it, pretty good for some of it, and plain stupid for bits of it.

Other Reviews:

Jenny's Books
Book Journey
Book Addiction
Life...With Books


  1. I still want to read it. I'm OK with repetition in books like this. Did you read Before I Fall? Same thing and it didn't bug me. Still, I doubt I'll get to it any time soon.

    1. Jenny, I haven't read BEfore I FAll yet. Yeah, take your time. And thanks for commenting. Sheesh, sometimes I wonder where everyone is, you know?

  2. Oh this is so weird! I read this book! I never see a blogger review a book I've read before, so it was exciting to see this!

    With that said, I can't believe you didn't like it all that much!! I really enjoyed it!! But the thing that bothered me...WOW this has been an overdone theme...I see it all the time on Lifetime (television network). The other thing I didn't like was the ending. WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?? DID SHE WAKE UP REMEMBERING OR NOT??

    Those were the only two points that bothered me, other than that, I thought the repetition helped the book and the reader. I thought it gave us a spooky connection to her brain and how it connected.

    1. Nicole: Seriously? This is the first review for a book you've read? Well, that IS cool! :) Yeah, the end was weird. And I do agree, it was spooky about feeling disconnected as she must feel.

  3. I loved this one :-) I liked the slow unraveling through the journals, and although there were a few minor bits that bugged me here and there, overall, it was one of my favorite books read last year.


    1. Tanya: I know it was a favorite for lots of people, that's why I felt disappointed because I seemed to have missed it!

  4. I agree with your review... I did not love this. I thought it had potential, but it was never met.

    1. Sheila: Our reviews are quite similar, aren't they.

  5. I've heard of this book recently - and I think based on your review, I will skip it. I hate the extra "stuff" tossed in for no apparent purpose. And sometimes for apparent purposes too :)

    1. Melissa: You won't miss too much, so no worries.

  6. I actually really enjoyed this one when I read it but I went into reading it with no expectations. I hadn't hear much about it so most of the book was surprise to me. There were parts that drew me out of the story but for the most part I was completely engaged. I had a hard time putting this book down!



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