Are You Sleeping
Author: Kathleen Barber
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre/Themes: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Release Date: August 1st 2017
Page Count: 336
Initial Post Reading Thoughts
I really enjoyed this psychological thriller! It had me guessing the entire time as I genuinely had no idea what the outcome would be. It was relatively fast paced although it had it’s dryer moments. I wouldn’t say there was anything super unique about this story, but it was another great psychological thriller to keep me entertained and intrigued.
Josie Buhrman has spent the last ten years trying to escape her family’s reputation and with good reason. After her father’s murder thirteen years prior, her mother ran away to join a cult and her twin sister Lanie, once Josie’s closest friend and confidant, betrayed her in an unimaginable way. Now, Josie has finally put down roots in New York, settling into domestic life with her partner Caleb, and that’s where she intends to stay. The only problem is that she has lied to Caleb about every detail of her past—starting with her last name. When investigative reporter Poppy Parnell sets off a media firestorm with a mega-hit podcast that reopens the long-closed case of Josie’s father’s murder, Josie’s world begins to unravel. Meanwhile, the unexpected death of Josie’s long-absent mother forces her to return to her Midwestern hometown where she must confront the demons from her past—and the lies on which she has staked her future.
What I Liked
The suspense. Are You Sleeping had me second guessing myself after every chapter. I kept trying to predict the outcome of the story and I will say that it was defintiely a surprise for me. I didn’t see it coming, although looking back I can’t believe I did! This book was super suspenseful and it was successful in keeping me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading it!
The family dynamic. I loved the Buhrman family and each and every one of their flaws. Of course, this family wasn’t even close to being perfect, but I think that’s what made them so endearing. The fact that there were quite a few family members in the story also made it fun to guess who the culprit was at the end which also helped with me second guessing myself throughout the entire novel!
The formatting. In between some of the chapters, this story was also told through a fictional podcast which I thought was really cool and unique. I would have loved to have listened to this story as an audiobook as I’m sure these sections could be really cool! There were also sections that were told through tweets and reddit posts which I didn’t love as much, but still added a cool dynamic to the story!
The pacing. For the most part, Are You Sleeping was really fast paced and quite a quick read. I love when books move at a faster pace, especially when said book is a psychological thriller and all I want is to find out the answers ASAP.
What I Didn’t Like
The pacing. While the majority of this novel was super fast paced, there were a couple of dry patches that I could have done without.
Slight lack of originality. While certain moments of this story were unique, such as the podcast element, the story itself wasn’t exactly super original. While I didn’t predict the ending, looking back at it now…it wasn’t exactly the most original outcome.
Overall, Are You Sleeping was a fast paced and intriguing read that kept me guessing throughout the entire novel while I was sitting on the edge of my seat and definitely also biting my fingernails in suspense.
About The Author
Kathleen Barber was raised in Galesburg, Illinois. She graduated from the University of Illinois and Northwestern University School of Law, and previously practiced bankruptcy law at large firms in Chicago and New York. A registered yoga teacher and incurable wanderer, when Kathleen isn’t writing, she enjoys traveling the world with her husband. Her debut novel ARE YOU SLEEPING will be published on August 1, 2017 by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. It is also forthcoming from Pan Macmillan in the UK, Corbaccio in Italy, Heyne in Germany, HarperCollins Ibérica, and Michel Lafon in France.
Thank you for reading!