Stay Awake

Thank you, St. Martin Press, for the gifted copy of Stay Awake 👀 {partner}

Genre: Thriller
Trope: Memory Loss
Format: 📖
Pub Date: 8.9.2022
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆


“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.”


“There is no such thing as being an observer. Doing nothing is doing something. Being passive has consequences.”

Stay Awake was one of my most anticipated thrillers of the summer, but did it live up to my expectations? Yes, and no.

Here are a few things that didn’t work for me – I felt as if Liv were way too relaxed about her memory being gone. If I woke up with writing all over my body telling me to stay awake and not trust anyone, I don’t think I’d find myself wandering into my place of work pretending to attend meetings. The writing style sometimes felt choppy or difficult to follow, and the ending seemed rushed after all the lead-up.

I think that Megan Goldin did an outstanding job highlighting why stalking cases are so hard to investigate and prosecute; many perceived threats are easy to explain, thus making the threat seem less imminent to outsiders. It often leaves the stalking victim looking paranoid.

The cleverly placed red herrings throughout Stay Awake kept me guessing, and just when I thought I’d had it all figured out, the author led me in another direction. So, this, paired with the short chapters, kept me hooked and reading until the very end.

✌🏼Dual Perspective, Dual Timeline
👀 Red Herrings
💨 Rushed ending that felt too easy
📖 Short chapters that keep you reading

❌ stalking

Read Stay Awake if you enjoyed reading The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian or Watching You by Lisa Jewell.

Format: 352 pages, hardback
Published: August 2022
ISBN 1250280664 (ISBN13: 9781250280664)

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