Are You Sleeping

Suspense -
Mystery -
Are You Sleeping is a book worth staying up for
Kathleen Barber
Gallery Books
Simon & Schuster
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2017
Number of Pages

book cover of Are You SleepingI first heard of this book through Reese Witherspoon’s Instagram, and being a big fan of her recommendations, I knew I had to read it. Psychological thrillers are some of my favorite reads, and I was not disappointed with Are You Sleeping

It has plenty of mystery, intrigue, and suspense. Josie Buhrman has finally succeeded in settling down with her partner Caleb, after a traumatic childhood she would rather forget. However, Josie’s new idyllic life comes crumbling down when an investigative reporter, Poppy Parnell, creates a podcast reopening her father’s murder. It successfully catches the attention of the public. As someone who was obsessed with the first series of Serial, a true-crime podcast hosted by Sarah Koenig, this book had me hooked from the get-go.

Josie is a moody, intense character which I think author Kathleen Barber used to her advantage in writing about a how a family copes after tragedy. She’s creative in telling this story – she takes our obsession with social media and uses it to weave a compelling tale. Josie’s first-person narrative is interwoven with written extracts from Poppy’s podcast and photos of Twitter feeds, all adding to the suspense. Using these creative devices helped explain the topics portrayed without boring me with waffly background information. 

I find crime intriguing, so I cannot recommend this book enough. Barber does a fantastic job of touching on sensitive topics like murder, suicide, and dysfunctional families without being explicit or derailing the story. A warning here: while none of the aforementioned topics are described in gory detail, if I was sensitive to any of these topics, I probably wouldn’t read the book. 

I couldn’t get through Are You Sleeping fast enough and stayed up way past my bedtime rushing to the end. I was hooked from the start. It left me feeling tense, but the good kind of tense when you’ve just read a book that has blown your mind. Reese Witherspoon’s production company is creating a TV series based on the book starring Octavia Spencer and Lizzy Caplan and I can’t wait to follow the story again! If you have even the slightest interest in thrillers, read this – trust me, you won’t be disappointed. 

About the Contributor

Meet Lakin, a book hoarder and coffee addict. She has a penchant for crime and thriller novels, and her guilty pleasure is rom-coms (of the paperback variety). Her goal in life is to have a floor to ceiling library (ladder included) in her house. She lives in Dunedin, New Zealand.