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 now lives in her apartment and forces her out in the cold. She reaches for her phone to call for help, only to discover it’s missing, and in its place is a bloodstained knife. That’s when she sees that her hands are covered in black pen, scribbled messages like graffiti on her skin: STAY AWAKE.
Two years ago, Liv was living with her best friend, dating a new man, and 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, the same 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 as she tries to piece together the fragments of her life. But there’s someone who does know exactly what she did, and they’ll do anything to make her forget―permanently.
In the vein of SJ Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep and Christopher Nolan’s cult classic Memento, Megan Goldin’s Stay Awake is an electrifying novel that plays with memory and murder.
-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.
Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.
(4 / 5) What a ride! Liv’s memory resets each time she wakes. It’s a coping mechanism from an earlier trauma.
Liv’s POV jumps back and forth from 2 years ago to the present, to one day ago. While that sounds confusing, it was done well. As long as I read the chapter heading I knew exactly what was going on. We also had the POV of detectives researching her case. I loved being able to see where they were in tandem to what Liv was experiencing.
At about 80% the repeated info got a bit weary when she woke up again but beyond that it was good. It gave me bits of info throughout each chapter that I was slowly piecing together. It’s a complicated way to write a book and Goldin handled it well!
And better yet? The content was near minimal. I didn’t even notice until almost the end but there was hardly any language, no intimacy details, corpses and murders but the information was just enough without any details. I’m not sure how she achieved that but props to her!
General content summary F: 2, very minimal language, alcohol, drunk driving death, poisoning/drugging, murdered corpse (few details), blood (minimal), murdered corpses (few details), stalking, stabbing death (no details), infidelity (no details), shooting, kidnapping.
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the gifted copy!
The book releases August 9, 2022.
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