Synopsis: 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.
My Rating: 4.5 Stars – rounded up to 5.
Cover 4; characters 5; plot 5; pace 4; writing 5; enjoyment 4
My Review: Megan Goldin is solidifying her place as a mystery/thriller queen in my books!
STAY AWAKE while sounding like it may feel a bit hokey with a main character who forgets the last two years of her life every time she falls asleep, actually delivered with an unreliable narrator that didn’t piss me off. Liv’s condition was triggered by a horrifying tragedy and re-triggered by a very upsetting time in her life and a lack of sleep.
This is a dual time line AND dual POV. We get Liv’s past and preset and we get (female detective) Halliday in the present. For me, who struggles at times keeping time lines in order when they’re too mixed, I actually found this one pretty easy to follow. I liked both characters and both POV’s.
One thing I love about Goldin is the way she weaves in our societal and cultural issues into her plot. This book dealt with the trouble stalker victims often have at getting law enforcement to do anything to help them without them actually being hurt first. It felt right with the story.
I’d say I guessed who the bad guy was half-way through: the who and the why. But honestly that didn’t hurt my enjoyment any. Because the best part of guessing while you read is finding out if you were able to put it together or not!
If you like thrillers, I definitely recommend this one! And if you like Audiobooks, this one was fantastic!
I received an eARC and an audioARC of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in Exchange for an honest review.
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To see more of my reviews, head over to the reviews page on my website.
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