Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Length: 352 pages
Audiobook Length: 11 hours and 18 minutes
First Published: 2022
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Liv Reese wakes up in a New York City cab and nothing is like she remembers. Strangers are living in her brownstone, her phone is missing, and her hands are covered in blood with the message “Stay Awake” penned all over them. Two years ago, she was a successful writer in a new relationship. With the news talking about a crime scene with “Stay Awake” scrawled in blood, Liv must run from a crime she doesn’t remember.
The publisher’s description is toting Stay Awake as a complex thriller, and I have to say I think it was a bit too convoluted for my taste. Liv is suffering from a condition that makes her memory reset every time she falls asleep which at times made for a great unreliable narrator but at other times just felt too unbelievable. I honestly suggest skipping this summer thriller.
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.
A complex thriller that unfolds at a breakneck speed, Stay Awake will keep you up all night.
About Megan Goldin
Megan Goldin is a former Australian journalist and the author of four novels: The Escape Room, The Girl in Kellers Way, Stay Awake, and The Night Swim. Visit the author’s website →