Monday, 23 April 2012
Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson
Before I Go To Sleep is the very definition of a page-turner. I started it on Saturday morning and by lunch time on Sunday I had finished it. Watson cleverly gives you just enough clues in each chapter to keep you guessing and reading on to see if your guess was correct. He also makes things deliberately ambiguous so it's not too easy to guess where the plot is going (although I certainly had a vague idea of what might happen at the end). I've not read too many thrillers but have the feeling that the structure and pacing was perfect in this one.
Christine's condition was dealt with very well too. In the hands of another writer the repetition of each day, of Christine waking up and not remembering anything, could have become very tedious. But Watson manages to keep the writing fresh and you end up feeling very sorry for Christine and rooting for her as she makes more discoveries.
Despite all these strong points, I found Before I Go To Sleep to be only an average read. The majority of the book is written in diary entries and I just couldn't suspend my belief enough to accept that Christine would write dialogue, pages and pages of it, word for word in her journal. Watson told me it was a journal, but it read like a normal story so I never really bought into the concept. The end of the book annoyed me too, after all the horror and violence of the preceding events everything just fits together conveniently and nicely like nothing bad had ever happened. Life just isn't like that. And without going into spoilers, there were quite a few plot holes, especially surrounding Christine's release from a mental health institution.
Verdict: Before I Go To Sleep is a fun, addictive read. Just don't think too much when you read it!
Source: Library (reserved)
First Published: 2011
Score: 3 out of 5
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I have this on my TBR pile and have been considering picking it up recently. One of my friends recently read it and loved it but she's not a regular reader. I am curious about it though - I think I'll try picking it up soon! :)ReplyDelete
Mel, it's a quick read and it's definitely one of those books perfect for a non-reader as it's hard to put down. It's a great way to spend a few relaxing hours.Delete
You make a really good point about the journal being mostly dialogue. I think I was so wrapped up in reading that I didn't realize that the journal had been set up like that.ReplyDelete
Little things like that really bug me - who writes their journal like that? It is a story that's easy to get wrapped up in though.Delete
Great premise on this one. I'm sure I'll try it sooner or later! Thanks for an honest review, Sam!ReplyDelete
Hope you enjoy it, Andi. It's a relaxing way to spend a few hours.Delete
I thought this was entertaining but there were certainly many holes. I think she remembered to read her journal more than once without someone contacting her. Weird, right?! I also found it hard to believe that she would document conversations with such detail. She was wholly unreliable so I guess it worked in her favor. I agree that it was an entertaining and quick read.. perfect for a little vacation!
You're right, there were definitely holes - why would the hospital allow her, an amnesiac, to check out without checking who she was with? It's a perfect holiday read though, a great story that doesn't demand too much of the reader.Delete
I agree with you, about the dialogue and the plot holes. I read avidly, but the more I thought about the book after I finished the more I realised that it didn't quite work.ReplyDelete
I really liked this one, but I agree with most of your criticisms too. When I was reading it, in a single day, I was enraptured, and I'm okay suspending disbelief when I'm loving the book. I actually loved the ending, but I can certainly see why some wouldn't.ReplyDelete
I just recently grabbed a copy of this. Now I would like to start reading it immediately wouldn't it be for other reading commitments. Thanks for the review.ReplyDelete
I was just enthralled with this one. I agree about the abruptness of the ending, but I still chewing my nails. To me, the sense of menace grew and grew and grew. Starting with that "Don't trust Ben" note. Glad this one was good for you. I look forward to seeing what this author will do next, don't you?ReplyDelete
Marlene Detierro (Business Cash Advance)