Customer Reviews for

Before I Go to Sleep

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

50 out of 60 people found this review helpful.

Great thriller (from Book Twirps)

Every morning when she wakes up, Christine has no memory of who she is, where she is, or who the strange man lying next to her is. She has amnesia, and is unable to form new memories, or retain her old ones. Some mornings she wakes up thinking she is in her twenties, ot...
Every morning when she wakes up, Christine has no memory of who she is, where she is, or who the strange man lying next to her is. She has amnesia, and is unable to form new memories, or retain her old ones. Some mornings she wakes up thinking she is in her twenties, others she believes she is a child. Most mornings she tip-toes to the restroom, and is surprised to find a middle-aged woman staring back at her from the mirror. It is there she finds pictures of herself and others taped to the wall. The pictures have names and identities below them. All left to remind her of who she is.

Christine lives with her husband Ben who, every day, has to tell her that she lost her memory after her accident 20-some-odd years ago. One day Christine receives a phone call from a neuropsychologist who tells her he has been working with her to help her retrive her memory. He gives her a journal that she has been keeping and on the very first page the words "DON'T TRUST BEN!" are written in her own handwriting.

This book is a psychological thriller that will have you turning the pages well after bedtime. It is obvious in the first few pages that something isn't quite right. Should she, or shouldn't she trust her husband? A majority of the book is Christine's Journal and to say anymore would give away the details, and I don't like to give spoilers. Though it does feel the author tends to spend a little too much time drawing things out, the ending packs such a punch that it's easily forgiven.

(Review based on an ARC courtesy of Netgalley)

posted by OtotheD on May 17, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

51 out of 97 people found this review helpful.

It's "Okay"

I honestly found this book VULGAR, tasteless, and PREDICTABLE! I've read enough amnesia stories to see the final result halfway through the book! The worst part was the language!! I just don't think it's necessary to have the F word in every other sentence.

posted by Tmrvica1225 on July 11, 2011

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  • Posted July 11, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    It's "Okay"

    I honestly found this book VULGAR, tasteless, and PREDICTABLE! I've read enough amnesia stories to see the final result halfway through the book! The worst part was the language!! I just don't think it's necessary to have the F word in every other sentence.

    51 out of 97 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great thriller (from Book Twirps)

    Every morning when she wakes up, Christine has no memory of who she is, where she is, or who the strange man lying next to her is. She has amnesia, and is unable to form new memories, or retain her old ones. Some mornings she wakes up thinking she is in her twenties, others she believes she is a child. Most mornings she tip-toes to the restroom, and is surprised to find a middle-aged woman staring back at her from the mirror. It is there she finds pictures of herself and others taped to the wall. The pictures have names and identities below them. All left to remind her of who she is.

    Christine lives with her husband Ben who, every day, has to tell her that she lost her memory after her accident 20-some-odd years ago. One day Christine receives a phone call from a neuropsychologist who tells her he has been working with her to help her retrive her memory. He gives her a journal that she has been keeping and on the very first page the words "DON'T TRUST BEN!" are written in her own handwriting.

    This book is a psychological thriller that will have you turning the pages well after bedtime. It is obvious in the first few pages that something isn't quite right. Should she, or shouldn't she trust her husband? A majority of the book is Christine's Journal and to say anymore would give away the details, and I don't like to give spoilers. Though it does feel the author tends to spend a little too much time drawing things out, the ending packs such a punch that it's easily forgiven.

    (Review based on an ARC courtesy of Netgalley)

    50 out of 60 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 29, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Read

    I loved reading this wonderful book! It has a story that keeps you entertained for hours. Truly excellent!!

    44 out of 55 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Profound and completely captivating!

    "Before I Go to Sleep" is a brilliant and profound piece of fiction, a psychological thriller that will captivate the reader about a traumatic brain injury that when the main protagonist wakes up she can't remember anything about herself. I can't imagine too many things as frightening as that! The premise was different from anything I've read before. This is a remarkable job of taking us through Christine's mind as she learns about events and people in her past and the frustrations involved in not being able to remember. She keeps a journal, at the suggestion of Dr. Nash; the idea being that she progressively remembers her life before the accident that caused her amnesia. The first part of the book tells about her meeting her husband and her psychiatrist calling her, telling her that she needs to read the journal she has been keeping. He gives it to her and tells her to contact him if she wants to continue her treatment. What a pulse-pounding thriller! It's suspenseful throughout and the pacing is brilliant. The thriller ending is not predictable so don't bother. Profound and completely captivating, yes, but the intrigue will keep your eyes glued. Madison Pridgen, A member of Between the Lines book club

    31 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    Suspenseful Debut Novel!

    Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson definitely goes down as one of my favorite books this year. The story is incredibly suspenseful. It was so gripping that I read the majority of the book in one day. There is an intensity and uniqueness to the novel that will keep me praising this one for a while. The book begins with Christine waking up one morning thinking that she is 20-something and not remembering how she ended up in bed with an older married man. She tumbles into the bathroom, only to find her hands appear older than she feels. When she looks in the mirror, she does not recognize herself. She is not 20-something but instead 47. Soon she finds photos of herself and the married man from the bedroom. There are notes on the photos identifying the man as her husband, Ben. Christine is soon advised by Ben that this scene happens every day. Christine has a rare form of amnesia that prevents her from remembering the last 20 years. She only retains memories for a 24-hour period. After a full night's sleep, she wakes confused and thinks she is still a young woman. Christine receives a phone call from a man identifying himself as her doctor, a psychoneurologist named Dr. Nash. Christine does not remember Dr. Nash, but he alerts her to a journal that she has been keeping. The story then switches to journal format, where Christine spends each day learning about her life anew, primarily by reading her journal. As time goes on, the journal allows her to form a more complete picture of the last 20 years. She is able to build on the things she learned and wrote down on previous days. Before I Go To Sleep is the story of a woman who spends each day confused and scared, not knowing who she is or who she can trust. The reader becomes engrossed in the story, wondering themselves who is trustworthy - Ben? Dr. Nash? Who is telling her the truth about her past? S.J. Watson finds ways to keep the daily memory loss interesting and fresh, rather than repetitive and boring. The ending of the novel felt a bit rushed and trite, but it did not change my opinion of the novel as a whole. This is S.J. Watson's debut novel, which is hard to believe. I will certainly be in line for whatever comes next. I know I am gushing here, but if you are a fan of suspense novels, you absolutely must read Before I Go To Sleep. Many thanks to the publisher, HarperCollins, for providing me with a free e-Galley for review, via NetGalley.

    20 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic suspense

    At twenty-nine year of age Christine Lucas survived the car crash, but her ability to store short term memories was shattered. She can only recall 24 hours and no more. Dr. Nash recommends Chrissie keep a journal so she can scan what has recently happened, which she diligently maintains.

    Every morning she awakens as if her brain was an etch-o-sketch. She has no idea who the man living with her is or if she has children. When she looks in a mirror she sees a middle aged face not the youthful one her mind says. Her journal and pictures on the mirror enable her to know the man is Ben her husband and that she is published novelist. However, she wonders why Ben conceals truths from her and what Nash wants from her.

    Although there is an obvious connection to 50 First Dates, Before I Go To Sleep takes a much darker with no humor look at the loss of short term memory; making the story line more aligned with Memento but in a domestic setting. Chrissie holds the plot together from her opening awakening in bed with a married man she fails to recognize and never slows down as she begins to question those who allegedly care about her. Filled with twists, readers along with the beleaguered heroine will wonder why her loving husband hides truths from her.

    Harriet Klausner

    18 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2011

    Great Suspense Read

    Before I Go To Sleep is a must read for suspense thriller fans. The story of a woman who wakes up every morning unable to remember her life and finding an ominous note in her journal not to trust her husband sets up a thriller with the tension building up to a head in the exciting climax. If you have seen Vertigo and felt the building tension, especially in the second half of the film, you will experience that same kind of suspense in this wonderful book. The book is paced brilliantly and fascinatingly puts you right in the mind of the troubled character. If Hitchcock were alive he would have loved this story. Don't miss out on one of the best suspense novels I have ever read.

    17 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Book!

    While I had read other reviews that thought this was going to be another 50 First Dates, it definitely isn't! There is so much suspense in this book. I found myself trying to figure out what the ultimate twist was going to be, and I never did figure it out. I like that it went a different direction than I could even anticipate--it made the book more intriguing. Better than if I had been able to predict the ending, as that could have been a bit, well, predictable.

    I tried to put myself in Christine's shoes while I was reading this. I cannot imagine forgetting essentially my whole life every night while I was sleeping.

    To realize that this is a debut novel is amazing. I hope that the author writes more books. I understand that this has already been picked up for a movie and I cannot wait to see it!

    13 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    PULLED OFF BRILLIANTLY!

    What a premise! Imagine that every morning when you wake up you remember nothing that happened yesterday or the day before that. Imagine that the man you wake up beside every morning is a complete stranger. That should make you want to buy this book, alone. This is a true condition that exists, mostly from a severe head injury. That aside, there are many, many, many surprises that will completely catch you off guard. This is just brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    Fast-paced and brilliant!

    Once started, you won't be able to put the book down until you reach the end. The text flows as if you are living the life of the main character; the reader will ride with her on an emotional roller coaster, simultaneously praying the ride will stop, but hoping that it will go on and on. The outcome is not obvious and the reader is kept guessing until the final pages where everything falls into place. It's been awhile since I read such a tense, exciting story. I look forward to other novels by S.J. Watson!

    12 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2013

    This book grabbed my interest from the first page and I had trou

    This book grabbed my interest from the first page and I had trouble putting it down. It was a fascinating psychological thriller. However, the ending was implausible and very disappointing. 

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2012

    Okay

    This book was a bit repetitive. I did have the urge to skip chapters while reading it. it was a alright book but I would be thrilled to read it again. I suggest that you get a sample of the book first before buying it because they way the first chapter starts is pretty much how every chapter starts in this book.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2011

    Great well written thriller ...

    Loved this novel, the writing is taut and the story flows well. There is no filler, this book is a great read from start to finish. It will keep you in suspense, with various twists and turns and a character driven narrative that lets you experience the protagonists world. So glad to read a story that is well written. After just finishing a poorly written suspense thriller, "Explosion in Paris", this book made me believe in pure great reading and the great authors who write these kinds of books. Thank you S.J. Watson...! We need more authors like you...!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2012

    Don't bother, this book is TERRIBLE

    Awful...Disturbing...One of the few books I have not been able to finish in the last 2o years. The plot of the book is awkward and distasteful.The prose is boring, repetitive and absolutely horrendous.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2011

    Could have been so much more...

    Overall, I can only give this book 3 stars. The writing is good and the suspense builds with each page. But about 1/4 of the way through, I was pretty sure of what was going on. I kept reading, hoping I was wrong, because the author could have done something totally unexpected with the story. But I wasn't wrong. Then the plot goes from eerie to sordid. It's very easy to relate to Christine when she is suffering from memory loss...you understand the paranoia and confusion. But as she regains memory little by little, it is difficult to relate to the past Christine. The choices you realize she made are never fully explained and it was hard for me to understand why she did the things she did. The whole thing concludes too quickly...all that mounting suspense deserved more action and elucidation. And I was really hoping to see Christine gain some independence and save herself. But she doesn't and the ending is weak.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    suspenseful thriller

    S. J. Watson's debut novel is a stunning suspense thriller. I could not put this book down.
    Each morning when she wakes up she has forgotten who she is, who she loves, her past. The only people she can trust are her husband Ben and her DR. Ed Nash....or can she?
    This novel will grab you in the first few pages and hold you tight, as you and Christine try to reassemble the missing pieces of her past.
    i will be looking for more work by this fantastic new author.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2011

    Couldn't put it down!

    This book was incredible. I am a huge Stephen King fan and have tended to be closed minded about reading other authors. However, I have recently decided to be more open minded, and I am so glad I did. I finished this book in less than a week, which is very fast for me because I have a limited amount of time to read. I absolutely could not put this book down. I found myself fighting my sleep just to read a few more pages. There were constant surprises, not a dull moment. If you are considering this book, READ IT! You won't be disappointed!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Intriguing mystery

    This book was a fast read. I reached a point about two-thirds of the way through and had to finish it in one sitting. I enjoyed the character development and found the climax unexpected. I wouldn't say this a terribly challenging read, but definitely perfect for the summer.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    Surprise ending

    I found the book to be quite repetitious but decided to hang in and kept reading. It was worth it for the end.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2012

    You won't go to sleep

    At least not till you've finished this--it's a true page-turner. It's also well written, enough so that I was willing to suspend disbelief as much as the plot required (which was a lot). Even though I figured out what was going on well before the end, I had to know exactly how things would play out. The ending was a little bit of a disappointment--a fizzle rather than a bang--but overall this was a terrific read, and I look forward to S.J. Watson's next book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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