June 3, 2014

Review: Before I Wake by C.L. Taylor


To the outside world Susan Jackson has it all – a loving family, a successful politician husband and a beautiful home – but when Charlotte, her fifteen year old daughter, deliberately steps in front of a bus and ends up in a coma Sue questions whether any of it was real.

Desperate to find out what caused Charlotte’s suicide attempt, she is horrified by an entry in her diary – ‘Keeping this secret is killing me’. As Sue spins in desperate circles, she risks everything to discover the truth and finds herself immersed in a shady world she didn’t know existed. The deeper she delves the darker the world becomes and the more danger she puts herself in.

Can Sue wake up from the nightmares that haunt her and save her daughter, or will ‘the secret’ destroy them both?

add to goodreadsBefore I Wake by C.L. Taylor
Publication Date:  June 10, 2014
Publisher:  Sourcebooks

Available for Purchase:

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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

MaryAnn-2013Before I Wake by C.L. Taylor is one of those books where readers will embark on an emotional roller coaster ride. The story flips from main character, Susan Jackson’s, past to present day. The main objective is to figure out why her daughter, Charlotte, jumped in front of a bus.

As a devoted and loving mother, Susan does whatever it takes to unravel the mystery of her daughter’s incident, even if it means re-visiting a past that she ran away from a long time ago.

There were many elements in Before I Wake by C.L. Taylor that I enjoyed. I love when books go back into the past to give readers that background needed for the book. In this case, it was going by using a diary that was kept by the main character.

The story was written in such a way that the reader (aka me!) was doubting their own judgment. I, for one, honestly thought that Susan was going out of her mind and was witnessing her downward spiral.

I struggled with some of the things I was reading in the book, but only because I have never personally lived through anything that Susan lived through. I couldn’t understand why she just wouldn’t leave her douchy, abusive boyfriend. I couldn’t understand why she kept forgiving him when all his actions and words were so obviously a warning!

As a mother, I can completely understand her hardheaded ways when trying to get the information that she needs to try and figure out the mystery behind her daughter’s accident. But would I be ballsy enough to do what she did? Like go to a club and be embarrassed by the very people who hold the answers?

The writing was pretty solid, and the characters were believable. I will admit that the author does a fantastic job of convincing readers of just how crazy and manipulative James is. The more the story goes on, a little more of his mask is revealed and in the end, you are 100% in hate with this character.

I would recommend Before I Wake by C.L. Taylor to fans of psychological thrillers. Although a little predictable, readers will appreciate the intense relationships in the story, and the undeniable love of a mother for her daughter.



C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and young son. She started writing fiction in 2005 and her short stories have won several awards and been published by a variety of literary and women’s magazines. Cally works in Higher Education and has a degree in Psychology, with particular interest in abnormal and criminal Psychology. She also loves knitting, Dr Who, Sherlock, Great British Bake Off and Margaret Atwood and blames Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected for her love of a dark tale.

Her dark psychological thriller THE ACCIDENT was published in the UK by Avon HarperCollins in April 2014 and as BEFORE I WAKE in the US in June 2014 by Sourcebooks.

Her second psychological thriller LAST GIRL STANDING will be published in June 2015.

Her international bestselling romantic comedies (written as Cally Taylor), HEAVEN CAN WAIT and HOME FOR CHRISTMAS were both published by Orion in the UK. They have been translated into 14 different languages, and her debut was voted ‘Debut Novel of the Year’ by and

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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