Thursday, January 3, 2013

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

Title: Before I Go to Sleep 
Author: SJ Watson 
Paperback: 368 pages 
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks 
ISBN-10: 0062060562 
ISBN-13: 978-0062060563 
Source: Borrowed from library

Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Welcome to Christine’s life.

Christine wakes up every morning in an unfamiliar bed with an unfamiliar man. She looks in the mirror and sees an unfamiliar, middle- aged face. And every morning, the man she has woken up with must explain that he is Ben, he is her husband, she is forty-seven years old, and a terrible accident two decades earlier decimated her ability to form new memories.
But it’s the phone call from a Dr. Nash, a neurologist who claims to be working with Christine without her husband’s knowledge, that directs her to her journal, hidden in the back of her closet. For the past few weeks, Christine has been recording her daily activities—tearful mornings with Ben, sessions with Dr. Nash, flashes of scenes from her former life—and rereading past entries, relearning the facts of her life as retold by the husband she is completely dependent upon. As the entries build up, Christine asks many questions. What was life like before the accident? Why did she and Ben never have a child? What has happened to Christine’s best friend? And what exactly was the horrific accident that caused such a profound loss of memory?
Every day, Christine must begin again the reconstruction of her past. And the closer she gets to the truth, the more un- believable it seems.
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[This review was discovered still as a draft in Live Writer, so seven months later, you get to read it.  My opinion of the book has not changed.]

I have been obsessed with this book since I saw it last spring.  I was looking for a new audiobook and thought I’d look for this one.  I put a hold on it at the library.  I was number 8 in line.  You can keep an audiobook for three weeks.  Do the math: that’s 21 weeks of people ahead of me…practically six months.  I got it last week!  And…
Well, first of all, I have seen Memento.  It’s action packed, balls-to-the-walls exciting.  Before I Go To Sleep is not.  So, off the bat I was slightly disappointed.  So, maybe they got it wrong to include Memento as a liken-to for this book.
It’s British.  WHICH I LOVE.  I liked being wrapped up in a world other than mine own.  I liked that it made me feel slightly out of sorts, that it likened my reading experience to the daily life of Christine.
There was a TON of build up.  The book is in three parts.  Part one is short, and sorta like a prologue.  Part two is the longest, and without giving away too much, very tedious to get through.  I kept waiting for “something” to happen, and nothing ever did.  There were hints and feelings, and things weren’t quite right, but there’s a bunch of nothing going on.  Part three is where the real meat of the plot happens. And I really wanted the entire book to be more like part three.
The description of the book that I initially saw was totally misleading.
I enjoyed it.  But it left me feeling unsettled, uncertain, and unforeseeably disappointed.
2 Moons: I wish going to sleep would help me forget this book.
Get to reading,
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  1. I still want to read this one even though I keep hearing that it's a touch slow. I hope I don't regret it.

    1. Hi, Jenny! I hope that you do enjoy it! Just because it wasn't for, doesn't mean you won't enjoy it! I can't wait to see your thoughts!

  2. Ugh, really? The summary makes it sound so great! I loved Memento too, so if I heard this was similar, and then wasn't, I'd be disappointed too. This sort of makes me think of what happened after 50 First Dates (the movie starring Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler) except I like that the movie doesn't give us much of what happens after they get married (because they live happily ever after, right?)

    Anyways, I am sorry this one didn't live up to your expectations (and you had to wait so long for it too!) and thanks for the honest review :)

    1. I always give an honest review ;) It was so disappointing! Without the comparison to Memento, I think I would have expected something different of this book!

  3. I've always wondered about this one. I don't *love* British books, first of all. And Memento is one of my favorites of all times, so I don't like things that compare themselves to it and fail. My to-read it too long to wonder any longer. Thank you!!

  4. This was one of my favorite books read in 2011 - it was just so engrossing.


Thanks so much for the comment love!