Stay Awake by Megan Goldin
8/9/22; 352 pages
St. Martin's Press
Stay Awake by Megan Goldin is a highly recommended thriller/mystery involving memory loss.
Liv Reese wakes up in a taxi and doesn't know where she is. She
gets back to her apartment only to discover strangers living
there. All she knows are the messages written on her hands, with
STAY AWAKE featured prominently. She has lost her phone and her
bag and has a bloody knife in her pocket. She is lost and
disoriented in NYC. Meanwhile the police have discovered a
murdered man and are looking for who did it.
The narrative alternates between Liv in the present day, Liv two
years earlier, and NYPD detective Darcy Halliday’s current
homicide investigation, slowly leading up to answer what
is happening to Liv. Liv thinks it is two years earlier, but
clearly it isn't. She is disoriented and trying to run from
something or someone but she can't remember. What she does know is that she must stay awake and avoid sleep at all costs.
Liv's character is developed, but more so in the chapters that
deal with her three years before the present day memory loss. She
has a stalker and feels very threatening. Her present day
chapters are much more repetitious and a little off-putting. I did
wonder immediately, before there was much information revealed, why she
more detailed notes to herself. She can't trust anyone. Her
confusion and memory loss put her at a great disadvantage. She is
a bit annoying as a character, but much of this is due, in my
opinion, to her not
writing more detailed notes to herself.
The final denouement is satisfying and wraps up the novel quickly. I predicted the perpetrator ahead of time, but the journey there was interesting, and full of tension and suspense. Liv is an unreliable narrator, but her search for the truth will have you supporting her and wishing for the best.
In order to enjoy this novel about memory loss you have to
suspend disbelief while reading it. Trust me on this one. Next,
you have to skip over all the repetitious phrases and whole
paragraphs that are used in association with Liv's memory loss. If
you can do both of these steps, you are going to enjoy the novel
and figuring out the mystery of what really happened and what is
going on with Liv. Honestly, there have been better memory loss novel and this one has an uneven start until Liv's
history of memory loss was revealed. 3.5 rounded up.