Stay Awake!

Happy October, my bookish ghouls and goblins! For this month's book review, I picked a thriller from a popular author who is new to me. It is just the book to usher us into the spooky season. What is not to love about a thriller? The pages practically turn themselves, and a clever author can keep you guessing until the end. There is nothing quite like the gasp at the end of the book when it unexpectedly comes together. We need to think of a word for that. "Ending gasp" seems too long. Help a sister out! 

New this August from Megan Goldin, Stay Awake, is a psychological thriller focusing on the main character Liv, an insomniac who loses her memory completely every time she falls asleep. You know the feeling deep in your bones when you are past the point of exhaustion? It is a nauseating battle to function at your highest state when your mind repeatedly begs you to crumble into rest. Goldin does a great job painting Liv so intricately that anytime we are with her in the present day, you can feel the unraveling toll the fatigue is taking on her body. 

The book opens with a groggy and frayed Liv being dropped off by a taxi at her apartment only to find new tenants have replaced her. In a frenzy to find her cell phone and piece together her reality, she discovers that she is in possession of a bloody knife. Scrawled over her hands and arms, she finds reminders written in black ink. Notably... STAY AWAKE. We then find out that the exact words were written in blood across the mirror at a crime scene. 

To keep the reader guessing and to give us a glimpse into Liv's life before the knife, the book jumps two years in the past to when she was a thriving food writer for a fashion magazine in New York City. She lives with her best friend Amy and is dating an Italian hunk named Marco.

A far cry from the girl who cannot remember if she was a murderer before she went to sleep. Goldin takes us back and forth in the past and future, digging deeper into Liv's relationships and memories to help the reader unearth clues as to who is involved and how she got here. 

"There's no such thing as being an observer. Doing nothing is doing something. Being passive has consequences."― Megan Goldin, Stay Awake. 

I want to keep this brief because I do not want to give anything away. I changed my mind every chapter on who I believed was the murderer and still did not see it coming when Golding tied it up neatly at the end. This is just the book to keep you up late at night and a little spooked. Here is hoping you do not forget everything you know and wind up with the knife in your hand. STAY AWAKE! 


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