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Before I Wake by C.L. Taylor

My rating: 4 of 5

e-book, 339 pages
Published June 1st 2014 by Sourcebooks Landmark
Available on: Paperback US, Paperback UK

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If you follow my reviews you know how much covers influence my decision in terms of choosing books. I know, some might say this is lame, but I can’t help it. Before I Wake by British author C.L. Taylor was one of those books whose cover I saw and I knew I had to read it. I am such a teal (turquoise, robin’s egg and all those shades) freak, and this book’s cover is a teal lover’s paradise. It may be the prettiest cover on my bookshelf this year. And who knows, it might make it to my top 5 pretty book covers ever list.

But the cover is not just about the color. The image design I think is great and it suits the story perfectly. It looks like someone is cleaning a misted or fogged glass window, trying to reveal the image/person/thing behind. To me it represents what Sue is doing throughout the book: uncovering “secrets”, her daughter’s and her own secrets.

The premise is great. Sue’s teenage daughter apparently tried to kill herself by running in front of a bus. Her suicide attempt leaves her comatose in a hospital. Sue, did what every mom in her situation does, she’s trying to find out the whys of her daughter’s decision. She finds an entry in her daughter’s diary that talks about a secret. Sue takes the mission of trying to find out what this secret is.

From the get go I was hooked and intrigued by the “secret”. The way the story unfolded makes you want to find out the mystery behind the “secret”. I liked how Sue put all the clues together and how the truth started coming out. In a way, it is an eye opener for parents, in the sense that this book makes you wonder if you know your kids, or how much you think you know your kids.

As Sue is uncovering the events that led to her daughter’s “accident”, secrets from Sue’s own past start coming out. Secrets that may or may not have to do with her daughter’s suicide attempt. *SPOILER ALERT* Secrets regarding Sue’s ex-boyfriend. I didn’t think she was crazy or paranoid about the ex-boyfriend. Yes people move on from abusive relationships but the fear never leaves. Anyone would react the way Sue did after going out with an abusive freak like him. *END SPOILER*

Sue is a likeable character from the start. I can’t say the same about Sue’s husband. He wasn’t the supportive husband you would expect anyone in Sue’s situation to have. In my opinion, he didn’t react like a father whose daughter just attempted suicide. He was to “tranquil” about the situation. He seemed to just accept what his daughter supposedly did without even trying to find out why. I didn’t like how he was acting like Sue was a lunatic for her attempts to find out why, he was trying hard to have her committed. And he had lied more than once to Sue. Those were red flags for me and made me not trust him, I thought he was hiding something *SPOILER ALERT* especially when I read the part where he deleted Charlotte’s text. That was a shady move from his part and it made him a suspect in my book. Surprisingly he redeemed himself in the end. *END SPOILER*

Before I Wake is a page turner. It can be read in one sitting. The more you read, the more secrets keep being unveiled. In the end, I thought Sue did such a good job of unveiling the secrets. Even though her methods would be considered precarious or elemental, she should definitely consider a job as a private investigator. She was no Sherlock but she got the job of unveiling the secret done.

Even though the ending had a couple of loose ends for my taste, Before I Wake was definitely an entertaining, captivating, read. If you’re in the mood for a fast paced mystery, this is the book for you. Before I Wake is CL Taylor’s debut novel published in the UK as The Accident. I look forward to her next books.

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I read this book so fast that I didn’t take enough time to highlight memorable quotes, and there were no unknown words for me in this book.


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I received a copy of this book but was not financially compensated in any way nor obliged to review. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my personal experience while reading it. This post contains affiliate links as stated in my disclosure policy.