Tuesday, August 09, 2022

{I've Been Reading} Stay Awake

Stay Awake by Megan Goldin

After waking up in the back of a taxi with no idea how she got there and discovering that her apartment has been completely refurnished and is occupied by strangers, Liv Reese is in a panic. She doesn't have her purse or phone with her, only a knife stained with blood and written warnings on both hands telling her to stay awake. Two years have passed since the last thing she remembers and none of her loved ones are answering their phones.

The plot cuts between Liv in the present and Liv in the time period she remembers from two years earlier, alternating with chapters from the point of view of New York police officers who are investigating a murder where STAY AWAKE was written in blood on the victims apartment window. I really enjoyed this one. Some of the  time jumps were a little confusing, but I think that was because Liv herself is so confused. The author does a great job making it all work, but a couple of times I found myself asking why people who knew Liv from before didn't realize that something was very wrong. 

One of my biggest complaints about the domestic thrillers I've read lately is that I don't care enough about the characters to car what happens to them. The more I learn about Liv through her own interactions with others and through the police investigation, the more I wanted her to be okay and hoped she wasn't responsible for that bloody knife. 

Such a Good Mother by Helen Monks Takhar

Rose O'Connell still lives in the neighborhood where she grew up. The place has evolved around her. She didn't fit in when she was young, and she definitely doesn't fit in now. She gets her young son a coveted spot at the Woolf Academy, a school located in a building that was once the  public school where she spent her own childhood. After a member of the Circle, an elite group of mothers who control everything that happens at the academy, dies, Rose somehow manages  to get herself a spot in the group. The other women are not welcoming and Rose's son is deeply unhappy at the school, but she refuses to let go or consider any other options for her family. I didn't like Rose at all and felt that the plot dragged. By the very end, I was starting to understand the point of the thing but, for me,  it was too little, too late. 

Disclosure -- The publishers provided me with advance review copies. This post contains affiliate links. 

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