Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson

Before I Go To Sleep is an exceptional debut novel by S. J. Watson. It is an international bestseller and the movie rights has been bought by producer, director Ridley Scott, recognized for producing Hannibal, Black Hawk Down, and Body of Lies. Substantiating, it is a book that will captivate readers.

Nevertheless, before investing invaluable time into a novel, I invariably read a sample of a book, at least the first chapter. Most novels recently publish novels, provide a chapter or two for prospective customers. Barnes & Noble and Amazon both have a feature that provides a peek inside the book called See Inside and Look Inside.

Before I Go To Sleep is an epistolary psychological suspense novel. Christine an amnesiac who is unable to retain her memories narrates it in the first person perspective. As the day ends, Christine must sleep, which is when her memories are effaced leaving her dependent on Ben. Her journal entries reveals and associates her past igniting flashbacks causing her to question what she has been told by Ben and question her own beliefs.

Through Watson descriptive sentences conveying a women's bewilderment, it is easy to empathize with Christine. Although she is a dynamic character, at times the story seems to be repetitious and slow paced, but possibly this approach is used to illustrates and coincide with her amnesia.

If this premise brings to thought the movie 50 First Dates, it does share the similarity of a protagonist with amnesia, but Before I Go To Sleep is suspenseful and eerie. It is a page turner with tension building slowly and a concluding revelation.


Nocturne by Syrie James

By Syrie James

I have never read any of Syrie James books before Nocturne, which is her fourth novel. Los Angeles Magazine calls her “the queen of nineteenth century re-imaginings.” Her previous novel Dracula, My Love refashioned the beloved characters Dracula and Mina Harker, and her first two novels weave a fictional story of the eminent authors Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë. Unlike her other novels Nocturne is based on original characters.

At Borders bookstore, I noticed Nocturne on the shelves of the horror section. Reading the front flap of the book, it appeared to be a romance, but since it has a supernatural element, to my dissatisfaction, it is designated to the horror genre. There is nothing frightening about Nocturne.

In a romance only two people are necessary, and there is only two characters in this short story told by the female character. Love flourishes after Nicole car spins out of control trying to get home in a blizzard on a desolate Colorado mountain. She is saved by an attractive, mysterious man, who is discontent to have a houseguest. In time, Nicole and Michael hearts thaw as they uncover similar interests. Sexual tension burgeons, but is that enough when Michael’s identity is revealed?

I would recommend Nocturne as a fulfilling sentimental, short love story on a cold night. Cuddle up to a warm fire or a soft blanket, and know, that love heals.


It by Stephen King (25 Anniversary Special Edition)

Lazily reading in bed on an overcast Monday morning, my phone chimes. The distinct chime is a notification that I have received an email. Grabbing my phone and swiping, I become excited when I glimpse on the subject from Cemetery Dance Publication, "It by Stephen King Limited Edition". Cemetery Dance Publication makes beautiful limited edition books for the horror genre. I knew that this was an opportunity to add a signed book by Stephen King to my book collection, and it is not just any book; it is It!

I rush to my Macbook. Go to my email account and I click on the link provided. To my alarm, Cemetery Dance Publication website is taking long to load. I get an error message page. Uneasily, I utter, "What is going on?" After numerous refreshing, about twenty-five minutes, I was able to preorder a copy, the deluxe oversized hardcover signed limited edition. Only 750 will be printed, and it cost $475. The deluxe oversized hardcover signed letter edition is sold out; only 52 will be printed, and it cost a steep price of $2000. The slipcase oversize hardcover gift edition is unsigned costing $125, and only 2750 will be printed. The books should be shipped this fall. 

This is a great opportunity to own a signed Stephen King novel.


The House Next Door

The House Next Door
By Anne Rivers Siddons

Anne River Siddons is a contemporary writer better known for her fictional novels set in the south. However, her second novel The House Next Door is an exceptional story for the horror genre. It is said to be one of Stephen King’s top ten favorite horror novels. Any book Stephen King mentions as noteworthy I heed and read.

There are so many haunted house novels on the shelves of bookstores waiting to be plucked, but with limited time, it is necessary to distinguish the remarkable from the trite. Indeed, The House Next Door is an original story with a shocking revelation. Envision a haunted house; labyrinth of dark passage ways, stain glass windows, dusty ornate Victorian furniture, creaky floors that moan in pain is the conventional image of a ghastly house that bring dread to its occupants. Fear creeps into the hearts of neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy cause by a beautifully modern constructed home on a lush greenwood plot. The house is alluring, bright, illustrating the promise of a foundation to start a family, to sustain a family, but the house preys on weaknesses to achieve its ultimate goal, bleeding the happiness out of people; soon that will not suffice its desires.

It is obvious that the story is dated circa 1970s. For instance, there are no mobile phones. Social norms are apparently different giving a snapshot of the life in an affluent society of do-gooders. Siddons draws the reader into the world of the Kennedys. Mrs. Kennedy, Col narrates, informing the couple’s status quo and their psychological lucidity that dwindles in the peering eyes of their coequals.

Throughout the story, I ponder what is the cause for the house to have a baleful presence. It is this constant inquiry and the unfolding of dreadfully sexually charged events in each part of the book that kept me reading. The end is surprising and alarming that ultimately answers my question.

In 2006, The House Next Door was adapted to a television movie for the Lifetime network. It has received mix reviews. I have not seen it, but as many novels adapted to film, there has been significant changes to the plot. It will be airing on June 29th, at 6 p.m. on Lifetime.