As I've said many times over the past few weeks, I've been in a huge reading slump. I have been trouble getting into the books I'm reading or have been overwhelmed by the choices in my personal library. I have so many ARCs from NetGalley, hardcovers from Book of the Month, eBooks that I continually buy on my Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook... it's just too much.

I think I need to look at more recommendations and to go along with the reading tides of my fellow book lovers. That's what really led me to crack open this new novel. 

Stay Awake by Megan Goldin was published on August 6th and I had an ARC just sitting on my Kindle. When I started seeing people talk about this book I knew I had to read it immediately. I was able to finish it within a week or so and it is hands down an incredible read, with a very unique and confusing plot. 

It's part psychological, part detective, part mystery and all round thrilling and exciting. 

Publisher's Summary

A murder she doesn’t remember committing. A killer she doesn’t remember meeting. Megan Goldin’s Stay Awake is an electrifying novel that proves memory can be deadly.

Liv Reese wakes up in the back of a taxi with no idea where she is or how she got there. When she’s dropped off at the door of her brownstone, a stranger answers—a stranger who claims to live in her apartment. She reaches for her phone to call for help, only to discover it’s missing. In its place is a bloodstained knife. Her hands are covered in scribbled messages, like graffiti on her skin: STAY AWAKE.

Two years ago, Liv was thriving as a successful writer for a trendy magazine. Now, she’s lost and disoriented in a New York City that looks nothing like what she remembers. Catching a glimpse of the local news, she’s horrified to see reports of a crime scene where the victim’s blood has been used to scrawl a message across a window, similar to the message that’s inked on her hands. What did she do last night? And why does she remember nothing from the past two years? Liv finds herself on the run for a crime she doesn’t remember committing. But there’s someone who does know exactly what she did, and they’ll do anything to make her forget—permanently.

A complex thriller that unfolds at a breakneck speed, 
Stay Awake will keep you up all night.

My Thoughts

A woman who is being accused of murder but her memory is erased every time she falls asleep? I've never read anything like that and it is honestly the scariest thing I could think of happening to me. It sounds like a literal nightmare and to read it was a little bit anxiety inducing.

It also made for a very unreliable narrator in Liv and that made the book pretty confusing but in a good way. You were learning with her, you were truly inside her head and seeing things from her point of view which I think is something rare in novels... it's hard to be so inside someone's head when you can see things more clearly than they can.

I felt super bad for Liv throughout the entirety of the book because like I said, it has to be scary and anxiety inducing to not remember anything from the past two years of your life. 

How did Liv get like this? What is her mind protecting her from? Did she commit the murder she is being accused of? How will she ever get out of this? All those questions are constantly running through your mind with every word of this novel. It was thrilling on every level, from start to finish. 

The writing of the book was incredible but also fell flat at times - it was more storytelling and setting up scenes than true character development and finding out the reason for things. I was able to figure out half the story, a little less than halfway through the book. 

There were multiple layers of the plot, from the detectives to Liv's life before and after she lost her memory. I wasn't able to figure out exactly what happened but that was the thrilling part... everything was very unexpected. 

If you are in a reading slump, like psychological thrillers and need something new to sink your teeth into, I think you will really enjoy Stay Awake.

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