Review: Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber @katelizabee

Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website
Release date: August 1, 2017

Publisher: Gallery Books

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Serial meets Ruth Ware’s In A Dark, Dark Wood in this inventive and twisty psychological thriller about a mega-hit podcast that reopens a murder case—and threatens to unravel the carefully constructed life of the victim’s daughter.

The only thing more dangerous than a lie…is the truth.

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. 


Well guys, it’s time for me to officially topple your summer reading list. Sorry, but I’m not sorry! (Not even a little bit, haha) Are You Sleeping is a perfect addition to your TBR, it’s compulsive, engrossing and highly addictive, I loved it!

Two things that always catch my eye in a thriller is sister or twin relationships and a cold case and this gem had both. Josie and Lanie have an extremely complex relationship and haven’t seen or talked to each other in ten years. Both were the kind of character that can frustrate the hell out of you on one page and then the next they’re tugging on your heartstrings. That sense of unease and uncertainty really added to this tale of lies and betrayals. The girls moved in with their Aunt A and cousin Ellen after their father was killed and I really liked Ellen. She’s kind of bossy and overbearing, but she has a huge heart and was super endearing. 

My favorite thing about this book was how engaging it was, there is something about Barber’s writing style that just hooked me. There is a great social media addition in the form of podcast excerpts, Reddit threads and updates from Twitter and Facebook feeds that added something really unique and current. If you’ve read Six Stories there is a similarity but not completely the same, this one easily stands on its own feet.

This was one of those reads where I kept thinking I had things all figured out and then Barber would throw in a new twist to shake things up. Ultimately, I did have some aspects worked out but it absolutely did not take away from my enjoyment of this highly entertaining read. This would be perfect for readers who don’t like graphic violence, it’s on the lighter side and has very few truly dark moments, but it’s still very compelling. Pack this one in your bag next time you’re going on vacation, I think it would be ideal! 

Overall rating: 4/5 

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy. 

11 thoughts on “Review: Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber @katelizabee

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