Crime & Beyond Wiki

We had a great discussion Monday and I think a record, for Zoom, of 24!! We welcomed 1 new member, Nicole who was at the library with Cindy. I apologize but I did not get her last name and/or email. Cindy, can you help with that provided we did not scare her away! Although I do think we are calmer on Zoom than in person!!

As far as scores, the book received one 9, one eight, seven 7s, ten 6s and seven 5s, for an average score of 6.19 (sorry for the fraction Kerry).

What I found most interesting is given that several commented about the holes in the story, the weird gaps per Amy, and the little we knew about Brett and his motive for killing Amy and Marco; our lowest score was a 5. However, Jose would have lowered his 5 to a 4, but it was written on his hand, and he could not remove it! Both Sharon K. and Melissa lowered their 7s to 6s following our discussion. We did not have any DNF (Did Not Finish) or DNR (Did Not Read). But the consensus was we would not be able to recommend this book.

Gail and I were the high scores. Gail with an 8, who really liked the book, the premise and the not knowing what was happening. I gave it an 8 as well which I raised to a 9 because I emailed Megan, and she responded within 9 hours! Gail and I found it intriguing and were just along for the ride with the author.

Jose had the most trouble as he found the premise “hooky”, it was not well written, he had problems with the stories merging together, did not know enough about Brett and the book was too long. It was “definitely not a Daisy Darker”. (It is a good thing that Megan, who was secretly listening to our book club or was she??, did not hear his comments!)

Sharon K. lowered her score as she figured out Brett was the murder but did like the artistic design on his shoes.

Allie and others did not like there was the old cop who was not doing his job. But several of us did like Darcy and would even like to see her in a future book. We decided this was an unreliable narrator which was not an issue. Also, the alternating chapters and the going back and forth in time while unusual was not an issue for most and fit with the storyline. We discussed the blood analysis of the writing on the glass as well as if we thought maybe Liv, was the killer. However, that did not make sense as her mantra was “Stay Awake” not “Wake up”.

Many of us were confused, frustrated, stressed and anxious at the beginning which we assumed was the author’s intention so the reader would feel what Liv was experiencing. We liked the bartender, although a few at first thought he might be the killer, and how he was looking out for Liv. Most found the artist, Q, creepy and an unknown character. We talked about the paid stalker and how creepy or possibly helpful it would be for someone to put milk in your fridge and/or a casserole in your oven! Also, it was hard to believe that all of this happened in such a short amount of time.

Several of us did enjoy it. Kim liked it but said the audio was hard to follow and she ended up reading the book. Laura enjoyed it and has not read Megan’s other books so had no expectations. Emma really enjoyed it as well and thought that Brett as the murder made sense. Heather said it reminded her of the tv series, Blindspot, and she did not really get into the story until Chapter 25. Kelly commented that Megan in her interviews was very underwhelming and put no effort in really selling her books.

I think for those of us who have read Megan’s other books, we had high expectations and were disappointed that Stay Awake did not measure up. Joel, Jeff, Nicole (librarian), and others did enjoy the premise. We did acknowledge that she wrote this book during the pandemic while in Australia with 3 small children at home. She often wrote in her car for peace and quiet. Jose commented that perhaps she had Covid brain and that accounted for the missing details.

Personally, they were 2 comments that stuck out to me. Allie was hoping for something more dramatic, possibly that Liv would answer the phone and be hypnotized. Jay stated it was not Megan’s best work.

At least half or more of us will read Dark Corners, releasing 8/8/23, which brings back Rachel from Night Swim, who is searching for a popular influencer after visiting a suspected killer. Allie and others are going to wait as we assume it might be one of our books for next year.

Here are some book suggestions:

  • 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard
  • On a Quiet Street by Seraphine Nova Glass – which Allie highly recommends, “really good and surprising.”
  • Survive the Night by Riley Sager – Jeff was specifically asked to read this book as homework. I believe by Emma, as she would like his thoughts on the book. Jeff, we expect your review next month!
  • House Across the Lake by Riley Sager
  • Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore – Paige read and commented it is also about memory
  • All The Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham – Allie stated is about a sleep-deprived mother, who has not slept in a year or she loses track of time.

We will meet in person April 24th at 6:00 p.m. MST at the library to discuss The It Girl by Ruth Ware. Kerry will be lead and I am so excited as I will be there in person. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone.

Sharon L.