Friday, March 9, 2012

Before I Go To Sleep

Before I Go to Sleep
Every time Christine goes to sleep, her memory is wiped clean. She wakes each morning next to her husband, but each day for Christine starts off with confusion. While she slept, all of her memories were forgotten. She doesn’t know the man she is sleeping next to is her husband, sometimes she thinks she is still a child, other times she is in her twenties. Each day she must relearn her past – only to lose it again when she sleeps.

I had so many problems with this book. It started being predictable almost immediately and I was able to figure out what was going to happen. Christine is a weak protagonist. After what seems like a very short time each morning where she expresses confusion and disbelief, (which starts to feel contrived) she just accepts her condition. There are no emotional outbursts or why me’s-reasonable in her position.  She spends her day reading her journal (how does she have time for anything else?). She asks no real questions and shows no real fear for her situation. Apparently not just the reader is being pulled along by their nose as Christine does a nice job of being led around herself.

The antagonist is the quintessential cliché. The secondary characters are just awful. I can’t summon an ounce of sympathy for any of them. In my harshest moments, I think they are poor human beings. How they ultimately helped Christine arrive at her current position - outrageous.  

To get the story where he wants it, the author manipulates the plot so often and so badly it becomes more and more unrealistic. Christine starts having flashbacks and memories designed to get the plot from here to there.  It is the author’s responsibility to tell the story and they know where they want it to go but when you rely on cheap plot devices and you tell the reader what to believe instead of letting the story speak for itself, you lose the readers belief in you and the story.

I can’t see how the ending can be called a twist or thrilling. It was predictable and the denouement was over the top gag inducing. Everything is tied up quite nicely and they live happily ever after. Christine never evolves.

I did not pick this book up for a long time after it was published. I thought the flap copy was intriguing but something always stopped me. I started seeing more and more blurbs about it and its rating among the top books of 2011 and I finally gave in. I should have known better. Just because it’s hyped, doesn’t mean it’s a good book. And this was not.   

No comments:

Post a Comment