When the Lights Go Out – Book Review

When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica
Published by: Park Row Books
Publish Date: 2018
Genre(s): fiction, mystery, thriller
HB&W Rating: 1
View on Goodreads
Buy on Amazon: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

There was no blood.  I would have expected there to be blood, and yet the internal damage was no doubt worse than that which I could see from the outside, evidence of the great lengths some mothers will go to protect their children.


Jessie Sloane is on the path to rebuilding her life after years of caring for her ailing mother. She rents a new apartment and applies for college. But when the college informs her that her social security number has raised a red flag, Jessie discovers a shocking detail that causes her to doubt everything she’s ever known.

Finding herself suddenly at the center of a bizarre mystery, Jessie tumbles down a rabbit hole, which is only exacerbated by grief and a relentless lack of sleep. As days pass and the insomnia worsens, it plays with Jessie’s mind. Her judgment is blurred, her thoughts are hampered by fatigue. Jessie begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what’s real and what she’s only imagined.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier and two hundred and fifty miles away, another woman’s split-second decision may hold the key to Jessie’s secret past. Has Jessie’s whole life been a lie or have her delusions gotten the best of her?

[Book cover and synopsis source: www.harlequintradepublishing.com ]


Okay. What to say about this book…I waited almost a month after reading this to give myself time to come up with what to say about it, but I can barely get beyond the point of saying that it was boring, tedious, and had a let down so huge that I was actually kind of mad for several days afterwards that I wasted my time with it.

Insomnia and the tricks it will play on your mind, how far a woman might go to become a mother, possible child abduction, and the chilling feeling that someone is out to get you but you’re not sure that it isn’t just your mind playing tricks on you…the idea had so much potential. While I had my issues with The Good Girl (the typos and poor editing were AWFUL), it was still a good enough story to get me excited to read this book.  But while my biggest issue with The Good Girl wasn’t present in When the Lights Go Out, I just had a hard time with it.  It started pretty strong, but there wasn’t really much build after that. It just kind of meanders through the side effects of insomnia to the point that an insomniac could read it and sleep peacefully after.

The end…..oh my gosh.  The end.  REALLY? Clearly a month later and I’m still irritated by the ending of this book.  It was such a cop-out, and to be honest, far beneath the abilities I would expect from the author of The Good Girl.  To say I was disappointed is putting it lightly.  Not only would I NOT recommend this book to anyone to read, I would (and have) gone so far as to say, don’t bother reading it.

In conclusion, I am giving this only 1 star, which really says how much I disliked it.  I usually reward at least 3 stars for all the effort and what it takes to put yourself out there as a creator of any kind, 2 if the book was just bad.  But I can’t in good conscience recommend this book to anyone at all, I’m sorry to say.

Moving on to the next book in the pile now. Until next time, happy reading!

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The opinions and recommendations given in this post are entirely my own. I wouldn’t suggest anything to you that I have not tried and done myself. I earn nothing from my recommendations, I’m simply passing on a little information.

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