Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was highly recommended by a number of my bookish friends and the concept sounded amazing. This book is a thriller built around a woman who has a form of amnesia that causes her to wake each morning with no idea what happened before that morning. The concept alone was fantastic.
I found this book to be uneven - at times it was riveting and contained the kind of tension that you want in a thriller. However, at other times, it was slow and repetitive. Perhaps its inevitable for it to be repetitive, given the subject matter. But, for me, that aspect made the novel less successful than it could have been. The structure of the novel is one of the most impactful things about it - when it was GREAT, it was GREAT. When it was slow, it was excruciatingly slow. The lack of balance in those areas made this a less successful novel.
I think that S.J. Watson is a good writer and I liked the reading experience (with the exception of the slow bits and pieces). I liked the characters and felt compelled to see their journey through. I was eager to get to the 'big twist' which I think was done fairly well. It didn't come out of nowhere for me, it was fairly predictable. But, its predictability didn't make it bad for me. I still enjoyed the twist. I did feel that the book, after the twist is revealed, seemed to lose steam. The rest of the novel felt forced to me. It felt as if the author just wanted to get on with it already or something.
All to say, I did enjoy this novel. I don't think it's a great novel but certainly worth reading if you like thrillers, particularly psychological thrillers. This isn't an action filled thriller but it is an examination of identity that is worth checking out!
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