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TOP 500 REVIEWERon September 9, 2011
The story begins with Christine a 27 year old woman who wakes up one morning with a strange man by her side and in a strange bed. She believes that this strange man beside her must be a one-night-stand. She probably drank too much and can't remember.She then goes into the bathroom and looks in the mirror and finds an unfamiliar, middle-aged face peering at her. The man comes in and explains that he is her husband, Ben and that she is 47 years old and was in a terrible accident 20 years ago which left her with a head injury.

Ben is a school teacher and one day while at work, Christine receives an unusual call from a Dr. Nash, a neuropsychologist who claims to be interested in her case and has been working with her, leading her to keep a journal of her daily activities and thoughts. He lets her know that her husband is unaware of him, his calls and sessions with her She then hides her journal in the back of her closet and does not tell her husband. You wonder if Dr. Nash is sincerely interested in helping her regain her memory or part of it OR is he interested in furthering his career? She asks Ben what her life was like before the accident. Why did she and Ben not have any children? What did she work at before the accident? What Happened in that terrible accident that caused her loss of memory? Every day when she wakes up, she has no memory of what she had done the day before, until she reads her journal when Ben goes to work. She has flash backs and records every little thing and every activity. This continues until............................

This novel is paced very well and is believable. Every page holds your interest until the thriller ending. This novel has to be one of the best reads of 2011.

FELICITATIONS Mr. Watson for an outstanding debut novel.
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on November 16, 2014
A surprisingly great novel that keeps you guessing at every turn. You know that something fishy is going on for most of the book, but you have a really hard time pinning it down until the end. I love this because as the main character has anterograde amnesia and the reason you can't figure out what is going on is because she is having such a challenging time figuring it out for herself. Because the main character, Christine, has anterograde amnesia, she can't form new memories. Each day is a brand new day for her (sort of 50 First Dates-esque) and Watson is able to keep it extremely realistic instead of being hokey. You really understand how challenging and frustrating life is for Christine (the main character) and empathize with her at every turn.
I just love a book where you're rooting for the main character and you're gripped until the very last page.
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on March 26, 2017
Dragged on forever. Kept waiting for something to happen. A lousy book (I finally gave up just past half way) and now another Grade B movie by a dark and Grade B actress - Nicole Kidman. Too little time - so many great books. Pass on this one.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon September 6, 2016
I'm a fairly recent reader of psychological thrillers. I've always been a big reader, but it wasn't until recently that I dove into the genre. This book came highly recommended to me by several people who enjoy the genre, and I'm so glad that they did.

BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP tells the story of Christine, who lost her memory in an accident, and for whom each new day is a permanent surprise. Each day she wakes up expecting to be 20 years younger, and she has no memory of who the man in bed with her is, even though he claims to be her husband. A series of pictures taped to the mirror explain who she is and who the man in bed with her is, and her husband Ben leaves notes in the kitchen so she can fill her day with mundane tasks that she will likely forget to do.

But despite her memory loss, Christine still has her own secrets. She's seeing a doctor who is trying to help get her memory back but she's not telling Ben. Each day as she uncovers tiny fragments from her past, she comes closer to discovering the truth and to finding out that perhaps all is really not as it seems.

Kudos to S.J. Watson, who kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading the book. Despite the fact that I was at a beautiful cottage enjoying a beautiful view, I could not keep my nose out of this book. I was hooked. As we, the reader, are fed tantalizing pieces of Christine's lost memories, we become so sucked in to the plot and so invested in the ending. I personally couldn't wait to find out what the conclusion would be, and I was so satisfied with all aspects of it. An enthralling, entertaining, gripping read, I can't wait to read more by S.J. Watson.
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on October 17, 2016
I feel like I just read '50 First Dates' rewritten as a thriller. This book was thoroughly predictable and I just couldn't connect with the characters. I guessed the "big twist" pretty early on and the ending felt way too rushed. I can understand how this story may be a big hit for others, but it was a miss for me. 2*stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon February 3, 2015
This was an interesting thriller to say the least. The writer brings the reader along on a harrowing journey through the mind of an amnesiac. Christine Lucas was in an accident that left her with a tenuous connection to her past memories and an inability to form new ones. Written from Christine's point of view, we see what it would be like to never be able to remember what happened yesterday. When Christine sleeps she loses all of the days memories and when she wakes up in the morning she finds everything around her unfamiliar and confusing. She even doesn't recognize her own reflection in the mirror. When did she become old? When did she marry Ben, the man she wakes up to every morning?

The reader cannot help thinking about just how disorienting the experience would be and how harrowing it would feel not recognize your own house, husband and life every single morning you woke up. When our main character starts seeing Dr. Nash to help improve her memory, she doesn't tell her husband. Christine doesn't want to disappoint him with no progress and she wants to try to create something concrete for herself before sharing this new experience. When she starts writing down what happens every day and what her husband tells her of her life, she finds that there discrepancies between the two.

Real and intense moments for the reader are created by S.J. Watson as we are immersed into Christine's daily life. Every day, as she writes in her journal and discovers her history each morning by reading her writings, the reader hold their breath, wondering who is on Christine's side. Is her Doctor really helping her or is he using her for research? Is Christine's husband truly the good man he seems to be or is Christine in danger in her own house?

This book builds suspense and the reader has to really struggle to figure out how this story will end. It's a great ride, a terrifically written exploration of how memory works and a thrilling mystery that ends with a spectacular ending that the reader never sees coming. You'll love this book, it's different and twisty. Watson is a wonderful writer.
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on November 8, 2011
This book was beautifully written. It was quite interesting to read about amnesia and how it affects the lives of the victim and his/her family. I thought the book dragged on quite a bit however, I was waiting for something to happen, and had to wait until the very end. However, SJ Watson still kept readers somewhat interested with little hints here and there of what was to come, and then toward the end, baffled us with a twist.
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#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon June 20, 2011
You might have heard about Before I Go To Sleep - the debut novel of S. J. Watson. You might have heard that it's an addicting, incredibly well crafted, finely honed suspenseful tale that will leave you turning pages long into the night.

Everything you've heard? All that and more! What an amazing debut! Rights have been sold in thirty countries already and the film rights are sold as well.

Christine wakes up early and finds herself in bed with a middle aged man. One she doesn't know and can't quite remember how she got there.

"Usually I can remember how I get into situations like this, but not today. There must have been a party, or a trip to a bar or a club. I must have been pretty wasted. Wasted enough that I don't remember anything at all. Wasted enough to have gone home with a man with a wedding ring and hairs on his back."

She creeps into the bathroom, but the hand that flushes the toilet looks wrong. And when she looks into the mirror, there's a middle aged woman looking back. That can't be her - she's twenty five, that woman is at least 45... And then the man wakes up and tells her who she is - his wife. His wife who had a bad accident that left her with head injuries and severe amnesia. She literally cannot remember anything from day to day.

"You've had amnesia for a long time. You can't retain new memories, so you 've forgotten much of what happened to you for your entire adult life. Every day you wake up as if you are a young woman. Some days you wake as if you are a child."

Ben her husband goes off to work. The phone rings and she answers it - it's a man who says he is a doctor treating her and tells her to look in her closet for her journal. And along with Christine, we read what she remembers. Until she goes to sleep and forgets it all again.....

Can you just imagine waking up with no memory and reading a journal you've written with what you've learned or remembered about yourself? Every day. As we get further and further into her journal everyday, the questions arise - should Christine trust the doctor - or her husband?

S. J. Watson has done a phenomonal job at intensifying the suspense and building on it in subtle layers. I was reminded of classic Alfred Hitchcock films. The ratcheting tension is thoroughly delicious. The cover art is great too, with the fogged mirror and the woman peering through. Loved it, loved it, loved it!!

Be warned - you won't be getting too much shut eye yourself until you turn the last page of Before I Go To Sleep.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon September 20, 2011
Pros: sympathetic protagonist, good pacing, tension builds to a strong climax

Cons: some plot twists are predictable

Every morning Christine Lucas wakes up next to a stranger: her husband, Ben. An accident has robbed her of the ability to remember the past 20 years and to retain new memories.

She quickly discovers she has been keeping secrets from Ben, in the form of Dr. Nash, a doctor trying to help her regain her memories and a diary she's been keeping for the past few weeks. A diary that has, 'DON'T TRUST BEN', scratched into the front page.

This was a quick read that pulls you in from page one. The plight of a woman who has no idea who she is, who learns things each day and then forgets everything, is gut-wrenching.

Ben is alternately a sympathetic and sinister character. Christine discovers he lies to her, but isn't sure if it's to keep her from feeling grief over the events of the past or for another purpose.

I was able to guess a few things that would happen, but the climax was strong and contained a few twists I didn't predict.
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on October 8, 2014
BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP by S.J. Watson has been made into a movie which stars Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth and the book is an International Bestseller.

Before I decide whether or not to go see the movie, I thought I would read the book to see if it lives up to the hype.

Imagine losing your memory every time you go to sleep. (Think of Adam Sandler & Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates for a comedic take on this situation.)
However, seriously speaking, it would be horrible to wake up every morning with no memories. Just the thought of this makes me shudder and cringe. Basically, people could tell you anything and you would have to believe them. But, with no memories, who do you trust? Are they telling you the truth?

Christine wakes up in a strange bed with a man who appears to be much older than her. She is in her late twenties and thinks she must have blacked out the previous night from too much drinking. When she looks again at the man beside her, she notices he is wearing a wedding ring. She is horrified that she has blacked out a one night stand with a man who is not only much older than her, but is also married.

She stumbles to the bathroom and sees her reflection in the mirror. She is terrified. The face looking back at her is not familiar at all. It is the face of someone at least twenty years older than herself. She also notices that she is wearing a wedding ring.

She then notices pictures taped to the bathroom mirror. They are pictures of her and the man in the bed. There are captions with the pictures and they show a progression of years with herself aging before her eyes. The picture of the man is labelled "Your Husband - Ben".

He informs her that she had an accident at the age of 29 and sustained head injuries that cause her to have severe memory problems. She is scared and confused and Ben assures her that he will always take care of her.

She starts to keep a secret diary and adds facts each day. What she discovers is a life filled with tragedy and secrets. She has written DON'T TRUST BEN inside the cover of the diary. Why did she write it? Why is Ben lying to her? What isn't he telling her?

The reveal is terrific and readers will be kept on the edge of their seats in anticipation.

A great read - although it is repetitive, but, so is her life. She has to relearn everything every day. The author does a great job of portraying her confusion and frustration.

I rate this as 4 out of 5 stars. It is definitely worth reading.
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