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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Stay Awake

ISBN: 978-1250280664

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: 08/09/2022

Format: Audio and e-book

Narrators: Imogen Church and

January LaVoy

Macmillan Audio

My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC)

A murder she doesn’t remember committing.

A killer she doesn’t remember meeting.

Megan Goldin’s Stay Awake is an electrifying novel that proves memory can be deadly.

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 claims to live in her apartment. She reaches for her phone to call for help, only to discover it’s missing. In its place is a bloodstained knife. Her hands are covered in scribbled messages, like graffiti on her skin: STAY AWAKE.

Two years ago, Liv was 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, similar to the 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. 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.


New York Post's "Best Books of Summer"

“An adrenaline-fueled thriller…Shocking twists and resourceful, well-drawn female characters keep the pages turning as the clever mystery unfolds. Goldin reliably entertains.” –Publishers Weekly

“Misdirection has always been a key tool in [Goldin’s] toolbox, and she uses it to perfection in this beautifully conceived and executed thriller.”


My Review

Megan Goldin returns with her third psychological thriller following The Night Swim (2020) and The Escape Room (2019)—STAY AWAKE.

An intense, propulsive tale of a woman who has lost her memory. A killer she doesn't remember meeting. A murder she doesn't remember committing.

Liv Reese finds herself in a cab in Manhattan. There are handwritten messages above her knuckles: STAY AWAKE. Above this she finds and name and address, Nocturnal. A bar.

With no keys, phone, or wallet, and then upon arrival at her apartment there are strangers. A bloody knife in her pocket. Then she wakes up on a park bench. Nothing is as it appears.

She also has the words WAKE UP. The bartender tells her she is afraid of what she does in her sleep.


A news report airs a murder where the killer wrote WAKE UP on a window in blood. Could she have done this?

She attempts to leave notes for herself. She tries staying awake but her ongoing lack of sleep only amplifies the amnesia.

In addition to her apparent issues, Liv ends up a suspect in a murder of a man that she has no recollection of knowing. There's a knife in her pocket, surveillance of her coming out of the building, and a note she wrote to herself tells her not to trust the police.

Frantic, she begins her search for the truth. The author alternates between the present with NYPD Detective Darcy Halliday and the investigation with flashbacks of two years earlier.

Liv Reese was a journalist for Cultura Magazine in New York City and shares an apartment with her best friend Amy Decker, who is a doctor. They are dating two guys Marco, an ex-lawyer, and Amy's boyfriend Brett another doctor.

What happened to her life? Two years had passed, and she remembers none of it. Someone wants her to forget, not just after she sleeps, but to forget permanently.

In the vein of Before I Go to Sleep, Memento, and 50 First Dates, the author cleverly unwinds the events both complicated and compellingly hypnotic.

Fast-paced, twisty, and multi-layered with cliffhanger chapter endings, I alternated between the digital e-book and the audiobook. The audiobook was INTENSE and often over-the-top dramatic by Imogen Church (Liv). A lot of writing was repetitive due to the nature of the story. I enjoyed January LaVoy (also a favorite) and her narration of Halliday.

A special thank you to #NetGalley #StMartinsPress #MacmillanAudio for an advanced reading copy and audiobook.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: ✨✨✨✨

Pub Date: Aug 9, 2022

My MG Reviews:

Check out my #AuthorElevatorSeries Interview with Megan and THE ESCAPE ROOM (2019) Where we go 'behind the scenes of the book' and the talented author with her debut novel. Interview

About the Author

MEGAN GOLDIN, author of THE ESCAPE ROOM and THE NIGHT SWIM, worked as a correspondent for Reuters and other media outlets where she covered war, peace, international terrorism and financial meltdowns in the Middle East and Asia. She is now based in Melbourne, Australia where she raises three sons and is a foster mum to Labrador puppies learning to be guide dogs.







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