Reading Challenge: Before I Go to Sleep Review

Book Review:
Before I Go To Sleep
S.J. Watson

Imagine waking up each morning and not knowing who you are, or where you are, or who the man sleeping next to you is. That's the way Christine lives her life. After experiencing a traumatic attack in her twenties, Christine suffers from amnesia. Each morning she wakes up and is in a different place in her life. Some days she thinks she's a child, sometimes a young adult, but never anything beyond that. Now middle aged, Christine has to be told her life story every morning by her husband, Ben, whom she never remembers. She embarks on a treatment plan to help her trigger memories and to lead a more normal day to day life, this treatment includes keeping a daily journal of her life and any memories that come back to her. But one day she opens her journal and finds that it says "Don't trust Ben", she's left not knowing what's real or who to trust, including herself.

I read this book for my book club, it was on the Ames Public Library book club list so we chose it because not only did we find the description very enticing but we knew they'd have a lot of copies. For book club, we usually allow at least a month to read a book but it never takes me that long so I typically wait until the week before our planned meeting so that the story is fresh in my mind. It was harder to do that this time because everyone else started reading it before me and were so enthralled that they couldn't stop talking about it!

It's a quick read for two reasons, it's suspenseful and the chapters are long so if you're like me and don't like to stop in the middle of  chapter you wont be able to put it down. Overall, I really liked this book. A lot of my book club friends kept telling me how great it was and how the ending has such a great twist so going in to it I think I had high expectations. Too high I guess, because even though I did like it I didn't find the ending to be as shocking as others. Also, since the main character suffers memory loss and a big portion of the book is her journal entries, there is a lot of repetition which started to wear on my patience (another reason to read fast, get past all the repeats to the good stuff). The last 80-100 pages is where the action really is and at that point you don't want to put it down because it's actually good!

I wont tell you the twist so you can read it yourself, but I will tell you why I wasn't shocked. Throughout the story I kept thinking to myself that something was off and I thought I knew what, but then I would talk myself out of it. About the time the action picks up I was pretty sure I knew what was happening and I turned out to be right (everyone in my book club thought this too, so you'll probably start to figure it out around this point too and you'll probably be right). What I was surprised about was some of the reasoning and details surrounding the night that Christine was attacked which is what brought on her memory loss and is the key to the resolution of the story.

I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who likes mysteries and suspense. It will be a quick and entertaining read!

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