Author: Megan Goldin
To Be Published: August 9, 2022
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 19-25, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
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.
Whoa! Stay Awake was quite the ride to go on! It kept reminding me of the movie Memento, with some similarities and a murder mystery. I love that movie, though it has been many years since I have seen it. It might be time to watch that one again!
Stay Awake has dual timelines: present day and two plus years ago. It also has two narrators: Liv Reese, our main character with memory issues (every time she falls asleep she forgets everything from the past two+ years. We also have a female detective Halliday as our other narrator, who is trying to figure out a murder case and putting things together.
Once I realized we have an unreliable narrator with Liz I got nervous as those novels can be hit or miss for me. But it reminded me so much of Memento, I really enjoyed it! It was fast paced, intense and everything I love about thrillers! This is one you won’t want to put down because you just have to know what’s going to happen next!
I liked both Liz and Halliday. You can’t help but feel for Liz with her memory issues and not knowing what is going on, who to trust (basically no one!) and you just want Halliday to solve the case! The two narrations and dual timelines all come together to wind everything up in an intense conclusion.
The narrators are Imogene Church and January LaVoy, both whom I have listened to previously and also enjoyed. Imogene Church portrayed Liz perfectly with her confusion and LaVoy was just as good with portraying Halliday.
If you choose to read the physical book/kindle I can see a reader doing their best to stay awake and finish this in one sitting! I really enjoyed Stay Awake many thanks to Macmillian Audio for granting me an audio arc to listen to and review!