Last night, I finished one of my favourite reads of the summer (so far!)
Are You Sleeping, by Kathleen Barber, was one of my most anticipated psychological thrillers for August and I had been reading rave reviews about this one all over the place. Now that I finished, I completely understand why. Fast paced and intricate, this one had me on the edge of my seat.
Josie and her boyfriend Caleb are living a blissful life in New York when a podcast, investigating a decade old murder case, begins to shatter everything. Josie, the daughter of the victim, has spent most of her life trying to escape her family’s reputation and move past this tragedy (even going as far to changing her name) but old wounds are torn open rapidly as the podcast’s popularity increases and, soon, Jo finds herself back at home confronting her past. As Josie begins to question everything, she finds herself colliding with her twin sister Lanie, a girl whose sole testimony put a man in jail. Has Josie’s life been built on a lie? And can she move past them?
From the first few pages, I loved loved loved everything about the beginning of this book; it sort of had the same vibe as Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski and Making A Murderer series on Netflix. Barber brilliantly incorporates Twitter feeds, chat pages and podcast transcripts to make the story come alive; I found myself, several times, wanting to Google the characters and try to research the murder for myself before remembering that I was reading fiction.
Barber creates a whole series of characters that were memorable and developed and created such an elaborate world for them; even the smallest detail was given time to develop and I loved all the small touches. From Aunt A to the cult-joining mother, I wanted to know more about all of them. I think there is something to say about an author when the reader cares just as much for the smallest character as they do for their lead protagonists.
The ending was 100% predictable and I had it figured out within the first few chapters; however, I was compelled enough by Barber’s prose and by the characters to continue reading and was still completely entertained throughout.
I felt like this one was the perfect read for summer; it wasn’t too heavy or too dark, just pure addictive fun. I would highly recommend throwing this one into your beach bag.
It releases today!!