Review: Before I Go to Sleep

Before I Go to Sleep
Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book #13 for 2015
PopSugar Challenge Criterion Met: A book with a love triangle

This was a real page-turner, and I liked it, but it had some really significant flaws, so I’m not sure how to rate it. I did think Watson did a good job with the “Memento” aspects of this type of amnesia, and I think it was becoming clear to the reader, if not Christine herself, how much she was improving in tiny ways all the time once she started keeping a journal. At the same time, she was realistically susceptible to confabulation issues, but I wish that had been introduced much earlier in the story. I think that would have heightened the unreliable-narrator suspense and made the book less predictable.

(view spoiler)

There were also plot holes that put a damper on my enthusiasm for the story. Like the cell phone battery that lasts for weeks at a time. And I’m sure there were continuity problems with the journal itself, but it was too hard to go back and find them since I was reading this on a Kindle. I also think Christine’s adaptation to 20 years of technological advances was a bit hard to swallow, even assuming she was improving in ways she never remarked on. There were just numerous times I could tell that Watson was trying to write himself out of a corner, and he didn’t always succeed.

This book had a lot of 4-star and 5-star moments, but there were enough 1-star, “ya gotta be kiddin’ me” moments that I think I need to go with a middling 3-star rating. I might recommend this to people who find the amnesiac plot device intriguing, but with the warning to not look too closely at the story’s underpinnings.

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