Book Review: In My Dreams I Hold a Knife by Ashley Winstead

“It turns out the real you is a quilt, made up of the light and the dark. The life you’ve lived in sunshine and your shadow life, stretching underneath the surface of your mind like a deep underwater world, exerting invisible power. You are a living, breathing story made up of the moments in time you cherish, all strung together, and those you hide. The moments that seem lost.”

Ashley Winstead, In My Dreams I Hold a Knife

Title: In My Dreams I Hold a Knife
Author: Ashley Winstead
Genres: Thriller, Mystery, YA
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
Published: August 3rd, 2021

My Rating: ★★★ ½
Read: 5/1/2022 – 5/4/2022


I’ve seen quite a few people talk about this book. I wasn’t sure what to expect because the reviews have been mixed. I’m not clear on if this is an official YA book or not. Whichever the case, it reads like one through the flashbacks of the group’s college days.

It took me a long time to get into the plot (around ¾ of the way through). Only after the heavy amounts of college student drama did the heart of the thriller come to light. Even then, Jessica was still an extremely unlikable character. The twist was good but the lead-up assured there would in fact be a twist. By the end, it didn’t feel like much of a twist at all. I was left feeling like there was a lot of wasted potential and a glaring lack of character growth.

Overall, I didn’t hate it. There were a few parts I enjoyed and there was a good intrigue to it. I was hooked enough to want to see how it all played out. In general, I’m not one for the college scene but this is the first book with this setting I’ve successfully read from start to finish.


Of all the characters, Coop was the most interesting to me. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if he had been a bigger part of the story rather than having such a large group. Obviously, that would be an entirely different book and a different mystery and defeat the purpose. It dawned on me while reading how my favorite thrillers are more intimate ones, usually within a family.

This is the May group read with Book Santas & Lovers on Discord.

Where to buy the book:

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