Monday, June 13, 2011

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

Publisher: Harper Collins Canada
Publishing Date: June 14th, 2011
Genre: Adult Fiction, Suspense
Pages: 336 pgs
ISBN: 9781921758157

Rating: 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

S. J. Watson makes his powerful debutwith this compelling, fast-paced psychological thriller,reminiscent of Shutter Island and Memento, in which an amnesiac who,following a mysterious accident, cannot remember her past or form newmemories, desperately tries to uncover the truth about who she is—and whoshe can trust

My Review:
I have to say this is one of the scariest books I have ever read. I can't even begin to think of what I would do if I or someone I love had to deal with what Christine is facing in this novel. Christine wakes up every morning not knowing where she is, who her husband is and thinking she is much younger than her middle aged self. She relives this every morning because she has amnesia and her short term memory is never processed into her long term memory. Many people are comparing this book to the movie Memento and while it did make me think of Memento this book is quite different. It outlines the struggles that Christine goes through but it also outlines the struggles her family and friends have with this condition. I don't want to give too much of this book away because I think you should read it but Christine begins keeping a journal at the suggestion of her doctor and she begins to find out things about her life that she has been oblivious to in the past. This is when a mystery begins to emerge and at this point you are already sucked into the plot and you can't put the book down. I love the Watson puts this book in the point of view of the character with the memory problem. Many books focus on how the family feels when it comes to amnesia and I love that this book chose to tell the story from Christine's point of view.
This book also makes you think about the idea of memories. Who are you without your memories? Without your memories do you still retain your personality or is your personality formed based off your memories? It also makes you question how reliable your memories are. Many people fabricate or slightly change their memories and also everyone seems to remember the same situation in different ways as well. I found myself asking these questions as I was reading this book. I love when a book makes you question things!
Overall, I give this book a perfect five out of five stars. Watson has an amazing writing style and I can't wait to read more by him.


  1. I loved this book as well! It's so hard to write or talk about the book without giving anything away. I think that is a sign of a great suspense/thriller read!

  2. The book didn't start getting REALLY good until I was more than halfway done. And when I say REALLY good, I mean it went from okay to AMAZING in .8 seconds. The plot was so thick, the book has sucked me in so much. The last half of the book flew by and I ended up reading the whole book in one day. It was gripping. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the end. And when it ended, I truly did not even want it to end. It was amazing. And because of that, I highly recommend it. Not only is the style and concept different, they end up gripping you till the very last page.. if you let it.