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When the Lights Go Out

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A woman is forced to question her own identity in this riveting and emotionally charged thriller by the blockbuster bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica 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 numb A woman is forced to question her own identity in this riveting and emotionally charged thriller by the blockbuster bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica 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?


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A woman is forced to question her own identity in this riveting and emotionally charged thriller by the blockbuster bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica 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 numb A woman is forced to question her own identity in this riveting and emotionally charged thriller by the blockbuster bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica 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?

30 review for When the Lights Go Out

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melisa

    Mary Kubica. Girl. You are so very incredibly talented, your writing is absolutely superior and I have read and always will read everything you write. I don’t write negative reviews, but I have to keep it real for the sake of integrity - your readers are gonna be mad over this twist, girl! I read a review before picking this book up that said, what a great book, but not sure why that last twist was there. And I was all like pshhhh, I got this! I love all the twists! I am personally the queen of su Mary Kubica. Girl. You are so very incredibly talented, your writing is absolutely superior and I have read and always will read everything you write. I don’t write negative reviews, but I have to keep it real for the sake of integrity - your readers are gonna be mad over this twist, girl! I read a review before picking this book up that said, what a great book, but not sure why that last twist was there. And I was all like pshhhh, I got this! I love all the twists! I am personally the queen of suspension of disbelief, I love everything readers seem to hate. Behind Her Eyes and #wtfthatending? Loved it. Bring Me Back? Gave it 5 stars. I can suspend my disbelief like no other, but this ending. Oh this ending. I want a new conclusion. It was such a beautiful, slow burn - the writing like a lullaby that slowly lulls you into understated anxiety. Then we hit the crescendo - the climax of all climaxes - and I was thinking, YES, this is it! This is it! Then boom. The twist. This is not a negative review. 5 stars for the writing alone - like I said, absolutely gorgeous. I just want a new final 10% of the book. K? 3.5 stars. Thank you to Harlequin for the advance copy.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

    I KNEW IT!! When 18-year-old Jessie’s mother Eden dies, her whole world collapses. She learns she might not be who she thought to be as she doesn’t have a social security number or birth certificate. She never knew her father, and wonders why her mother tried so hard to keep her identity a secret. She begins t piece together little clues about her true identity. At the same time, she is suffering both physically and mentally from her mother’s death. She hasn’t slept for days and her insomnia is c I KNEW IT!! When 18-year-old Jessie’s mother Eden dies, her whole world collapses. She learns she might not be who she thought to be as she doesn’t have a social security number or birth certificate. She never knew her father, and wonders why her mother tried so hard to keep her identity a secret. She begins t piece together little clues about her true identity. At the same time, she is suffering both physically and mentally from her mother’s death. She hasn’t slept for days and her insomnia is causing her to hallucinate. She is stuck in a place where she cannot distinguish between reality and fantasy. Jessie's story is juxtaposed with her mother's, which is recorded in a journal. The reader learns of Eden’s desperation to have a child and the extremes that she might go to get what she most desires. Jessie and Eden’s narratives take the reader on a mysterious journey that slowly unfolds. I enjoyed Jessie’s narrative much more than Eden’s. There was something about Eden’s character that didn’t feel complete to me. When all was revealed, I was let down. Not so much by the BIG TWIST, but more so regarding Eden’s story. There were some other elements that left me with questions, but I am not going to nit-pick over each and every one. I can’t say much more without giving too much away. I avoided reading this for a long time due to the number of negative reviews, but in the end, I am glad I gave it a shot as I found this to be a twisty and interesting read. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and HARLEQUIN - Hanover Square Press in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Susanne Strong

    4.35 Stars* (rounded up). Wild Perfection. My oh my, this was a compelling and heartbreaking read my friends! Mary Kubica is the master of suspense and sure knows how to keep the reader on their toes. Like a spider caught in a web, I couldn’t pull myself away from “When The Lights Go Out.” 1996: Eden and Aaron are happily married: they hold hands, sit outside and cuddle in each other’s arms, content. Eden, however is desperate for a baby. Completely consumed with need, she can’t eat or sleep. Fe 4.35 Stars* (rounded up). Wild Perfection. My oh my, this was a compelling and heartbreaking read my friends! Mary Kubica is the master of suspense and sure knows how to keep the reader on their toes. Like a spider caught in a web, I couldn’t pull myself away from “When The Lights Go Out.” 1996: Eden and Aaron are happily married: they hold hands, sit outside and cuddle in each other’s arms, content. Eden, however is desperate for a baby. Completely consumed with need, she can’t eat or sleep. Fertility treatments, IVF, you name it - Eden will stop at nothing to accomplish her goal of having a child of her own. Present Day: Jessie is all alone in this world. She hasn’t slept for days and is now having trouble functioning. To make matters worse, she discovers that her social security number is invalid and since she doesn’t have a driver's license or a birth certificate, she can’t get one. Therefore, Jessie, begins to question her own existence and the foundations upon which she was raised. “When The Lights Go Out” gets a little crazy, my mind was spinning like a vinyl record. I couldn’t keep track (pun intended, ha ha) of everything Eden and Jessie were going through. My stomach was in knots and my nerves were on edge. Now, this is a novel I’d heard a lot about prior to diving in, you know why - that Ending!! Mary Kubica - you got people talking!!! While I was waiting for it, I had an inkling …perhaps because it made sense? Or well, maybe because I had recently had a conversation with my book buddy about another book we just read which we thought would have a similarly ending?! That said, I personally think this ending fit the story really well and I loved it folks! So there you have it - Mary Kubica’s tale grabbed me from the get go. It’s brilliant, captivating and downright heart-wrenching and I highly recommend it. Thank you to Edelweiss, Park Row, NetGalley, Harlequin - Hanover Square Press - Park Row, and Mary Kubica for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Published on NetGalley, Goodreads and Twitter on 9.8.18.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lala BooksandLala

    EXCUSE ME?!?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    4.5 Startling Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟💫 WOW! Whether intentional or not this book definitely has an ending that has caused some controversy... for me the ending was absolute PERFECTION! It made every piece of the puzzle in this book fall into place and make complete sense....I’ve read other reviews and people described their reaction to the twist as a gasp, or frustration, or pure hatred... not me... my reaction was.... AHA! now I understand..... now I get what ____ was,And why ____ happened! This is not to sa 4.5 Startling Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟💫 WOW! Whether intentional or not this book definitely has an ending that has caused some controversy... for me the ending was absolute PERFECTION! It made every piece of the puzzle in this book fall into place and make complete sense....I’ve read other reviews and people described their reaction to the twist as a gasp, or frustration, or pure hatred... not me... my reaction was.... AHA! now I understand..... now I get what ____ was,And why ____ happened! This is not to say I don’t understand why this ending did not appeal to everybody, because I do... but I think everyone needs to read the book and figure out if it works for them or not.... This was my very first Mary Kubica Book... and I’m not sure why, but I can guarantee I will remedy that real quick.... her writing was so beautiful and smooth, almost lyrical.... even though this was a slow burning suspense I found the pacing perfect... The characters were so well drawn and relatable... I empathized with Eden’s struggles and felt Jessie’s grief.... all the little hints sprinkled throughout this book that made that ending so perfect for me, were just brilliant.... Told from Jesse’s point of view in the present and Eden’s point of view in 1996.... Jesse is a young 20-year-old grieving the loss of her mother and trying to figure out who she really is... literally trying to figure out who she is, after finding out that her Social Security number belongs to a dead girl... eden is a young wife struggling with infertility.... my mind ran through so many scenarios as to who Jesse really was and what Eden had done.... both mother and daughter had tremendous love and respect for one another... you just wanted there to be a good answer for all of your questions.... Absolutely recommend to those who enjoy a good suspense thriller filled with some surprising twists.... *** many thanks to Harlequin for my copy of this book ***

  6. 4 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Mary Kubica has taken a foray in an unusual direction from her usual psychological thrillers with this mystery featuring Jessie Sloane set in Chicago. She is a young woman who has spent so much of her life caring for her dying mother, Eden, afflicted with a debilitating form of cancer. There has only been her mum and Jessie, for as long as Jessie can remember, with her mother being less than forthcoming as to the identity of her father. Before she dies, her mother tells her to find herself and f Mary Kubica has taken a foray in an unusual direction from her usual psychological thrillers with this mystery featuring Jessie Sloane set in Chicago. She is a young woman who has spent so much of her life caring for her dying mother, Eden, afflicted with a debilitating form of cancer. There has only been her mum and Jessie, for as long as Jessie can remember, with her mother being less than forthcoming as to the identity of her father. Before she dies, her mother tells her to find herself and forge a new path in her life. Jessie has found somewhere new to live, with plans to enrol on a college course, a path that is derailed when the college contacts her to inform her that her social security number belongs to a long dead 3 year old child called Jess. Along with a story narrated by Jessie, there is a parallel narrative from Eden in a journal from the 1990s, with a happy home and marriage to Aaron, but racked by a desperate plight, her inability to have children. Where will her terrible predicament take her? Burdened by a grief and sorrow that is tearing her apart, a shell shocked Jessie embarks on a mystery quest to determine who she is, as she questions every aspect of her life. She is further hampered by a never ending insomnia, resulting in chronic sleeplessness, her mind wanders, her memory is atrocious, her emotions are all over the place and she is suffering from hallucinations. Her escalating paranoia makes Jessie an unreliable narrator as indeed is Eden. Jessie and Eden's stories run separately through the book until they finally connect in the end. There are twists, some exasperating, leaving you feeling up in air, wondering whether it was worth reading this book, but in a tale of family, love, loss and what it is to be a woman experiencing the urgent primeval need for a child, these themes are paramount in making this a thought provoking read. Mary Kubica's writing is beautiful and engaging, sustaining my interest throughout, alleviating my disappointment in other more flawed aspects of the storytelling. Many thanks to Harlequin for an ARC.

  7. 5 out of 5

    (Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas

    WOW! I was riveted as I read this book. My mind was racing and suspicions were at an all time high. This book is definitely a slow burn. It simply simmers as you read. You are seeped into anxiety right alongside the main character, Jessie. The story is told from two main viewpoints and alternating timelines. We experience Jessie's story firsthand, in the present. While also uncovering her mother, Eden's story, told from the past. Their's is a relationship built on a secret. Secrets always have a WOW! I was riveted as I read this book. My mind was racing and suspicions were at an all time high. This book is definitely a slow burn. It simply simmers as you read. You are seeped into anxiety right alongside the main character, Jessie. The story is told from two main viewpoints and alternating timelines. We experience Jessie's story firsthand, in the present. While also uncovering her mother, Eden's story, told from the past. Their's is a relationship built on a secret. Secrets always have a way of finding their way into light, don't they? It's the journey to the revelation that Kubica so expertly pens. She opens us up to so many questions, so many possibilities. Then, we get to the big reveal. I'm almost sorry to admit what a letdown it was for me. After all those enticing possibilities - it was the lamest of them all! I truly enjoyed the book - right up until the ending! Personally, it didn't work for me but I will say it was unexpected and different. I just felt there was so much more potential for the ending. Given all the twists the book took, I was simply expecting a much juicer culmination to it all. Thank you to Mary Kubica, Harlequin - Hanover Square Press & NetGalley for the advance copy.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    4 smoldering, shocking stars to When the Lights Go Out! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Mary Kubica is a go-to author of mine for a smoldering, slow-burning fix. I can rely on her storytelling to be emotive and easy to fall into. When the Lights Go Out has a rather controversial ending! Read on to see how I felt about it (without spoilers, of course!). When the Lights Go Out is told in alternating timelines: Jessie in the present day and Eden in 1996. Eden desperately wants to be a mother. Her narrative is focused on tha 4 smoldering, shocking stars to When the Lights Go Out! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Mary Kubica is a go-to author of mine for a smoldering, slow-burning fix. I can rely on her storytelling to be emotive and easy to fall into. When the Lights Go Out has a rather controversial ending! Read on to see how I felt about it (without spoilers, of course!). When the Lights Go Out is told in alternating timelines: Jessie in the present day and Eden in 1996. Eden desperately wants to be a mother. Her narrative is focused on that side of things. Jesse, Eden’s daughter, in the present time is struggling with caring for her mother and in the aftermath of her loss, as Eden has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and is nearing the end of her life. After years of caretaking for her mother, Jessie is faced with rebuilding her life. On a leap of faith, she applies to college but quickly discovers there might be a problem with her registration due to identity. What does this mean for Jessie? The mystery of figuring out just who she is takes her down an unbidden path. She is extremely fatigued and overwhelmed with insomnia, and it is affecting every aspect of her life while she also tries to figure out who she is. The lines between truth and fiction become blurred, and the fact that Jessie’s judgment is unclear makes it even harder for her to see straight. I quickly came to know Eden and Jessie because Kubica’s character-building is on point, and not only did I know them, I empathized with each of them and truly felt emotional about the issues they were individually facing. As for that ending, I did not see it coming. Even with all of the reviews I had read, I never expected that. And I have to say, in all the thrillers I’ve read, I’ve never witnessed that before, so it was completely original. I was so shocked, I remember gasping out loud. I think that fit with the storyline, though it was a big risk. Overall, I found When the Lights Go Out to be another page-turning suspense novel from Mary Kubica, more on the domestic suspense side than thriller. It is well-written, slow-burning, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget that ending. Thank you go Harlequin/Park Row for the ARC. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog along with pretty pics! www.jennifertarheelreader.com

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kendall

    KUBICA.... GIRL!! After all that?!! You've got to be kidding me! Ok..... here we go. This was my first experience with this author and my goodness was it an experience. I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this author... so I can't compare anything since this was my first read by her. By all means.. please don't let MY own opinions stop you from reading this book... especially if you're a fan of this author. I tend to be on an outlier island like usual with all my books :). Let me just KUBICA.... GIRL!! After all that?!! You've got to be kidding me! Ok..... here we go. This was my first experience with this author and my goodness was it an experience. I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this author... so I can't compare anything since this was my first read by her. By all means.. please don't let MY own opinions stop you from reading this book... especially if you're a fan of this author. I tend to be on an outlier island like usual with all my books :). Let me just put it this way... I didn't enjoy this novel. And that ending?! What the fuc........... that was some bull to my horns. NO way.... I can't haha. I threw my kindle across the room after finishing this one. I struggled to even get through this book because nothing was happening. When the Lights Go Out is a very slow burn of a book. I usually don't do well with these kinds of books unless if the ending delivers. And.... this ending did not deliver at all. I feel like this is going be a huge buzz... especially with a lot of her readers feeling disappointed in the ending. 2 stars Thank you so much to Netgalley, Harlequin/Hanover Square Press for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my honest thoughts. Published to GR: 7/30/18 Publication date: 9/4/18

  10. 4 out of 5

    Norma * Traveling Sister

    4.5 Stunning & Insomnia Inducing Stars! Having read all of Mary Kubica’s books to date and enjoyed them, I jumped at the chance of reading her latest, When the Lights Go Out. She is a go-to author of mine and always has me eagerly awaiting for her next release. I have seen some mixed reviews for this one and some not so favorable thoughts on that ending but for me that ending totally worked. I was tickled pink that Mary Kubica totally shocked and floored me with that unexpected ending! These t 4.5 Stunning & Insomnia Inducing Stars! Having read all of Mary Kubica’s books to date and enjoyed them, I jumped at the chance of reading her latest, When the Lights Go Out. She is a go-to author of mine and always has me eagerly awaiting for her next release. I have seen some mixed reviews for this one and some not so favorable thoughts on that ending but for me that ending totally worked. I was tickled pink that Mary Kubica totally shocked and floored me with that unexpected ending! These types of books are what I seek and when little snippets of the mystery are hidden so well in the narrative, when the reveal comes and falls all into place, leaving me gasping out loud in awe, then I’m pretty much elated and totally satisfied. WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT by MARY KUBICA is a riveting, suspenseful, and an emotionally gripping tale that had me totally glued to those pages and swiping at breakneck speed. I was immediately drawn into this story and totally intrigued in the storyline which had me totally bewildered pretty much right up to the very end. MARY KUBICA delivers a clever, twisty, unpredictable and thought-provoking story here with well-developed and interesting characters told between Jessie’s perspective in present tense and Eden, Jessie’s mother in past tense. I enjoyed both of these characters perspectives equally and had empathy for both of them, especially Jessie as some things that Jessie endured with her insomnia was very relatable and scary for me to read. The path that Eden’s character chose wasn’t without some pondering on my part though. Publishing Date: September 4, 2018 Norma’s Stats: Cover: Intriguing and a fitting representation to storyline. Title: Love the title! Extremely fitting and brilliantly ties into plot. Writing/Prose: Well-written, beautiful and engaging Plot: Interesting, held my attention, and a little different Ending: Totally unexpected and shocking! But, maybe a little controversial but in my opinion fit the story well and ended just the way I wanted it to. Overall: A fantastic and an all-consuming read! Would recommend but my advice is to go into this one blind as I did and always do. Thank you so much to NetGalley, Harlequin/Park Row, and Mary Kubica for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review. Thoughts in this review are all mine! Review written and posted on Two Sisters Lost In A Coulee Reading book blog: https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mackenzie - Traveling Sister

    Dark, twisted, and emotional—this book haunted me! I couldn’t put it down and I couldn’t look away. I have heard wonderful things about Mary Kubica, but I must admit this is the first book I read by her. The clever way all of the clues were in the story and how they unlocked the twist was wonderful. And that twist! It has been quite the controversy in the book world because I can tell you, of all the twists you can imagine it probably won’t be the one that occurs. And that in and of itself deser Dark, twisted, and emotional—this book haunted me! I couldn’t put it down and I couldn’t look away. I have heard wonderful things about Mary Kubica, but I must admit this is the first book I read by her. The clever way all of the clues were in the story and how they unlocked the twist was wonderful. And that twist! It has been quite the controversy in the book world because I can tell you, of all the twists you can imagine it probably won’t be the one that occurs. And that in and of itself deserves a ton of credit! I have read a lot of thrillers and I love a good twist and I did NOT see this one coming! About the Book Jessie Sloane is trying to rebuild her life. For years she cared for her mother who suffered from what eventually became terminal cancer. Jessie and her mother are incredibly close—best friends. Jessie is lost without her. The night her mother passes away Jessie is wracked with stress and finally gives into her exhaustion, sleeping through her mother’s passing. Jessie is unable to forgive herself for missing her mother’s final moments, and she is terrified to go to sleep. Riddled with insomnia, and with no real friends, Jessie is lost. She tries to get her life on track by enrolling at the local community college. But they reject her application, saying that her social security number flagged. In a state of confusion, stress, and exhaustion, Jessie stumbles down the rabbit hole of her past. Her mother’s last words to her, to find herself take on more weight as Jessie realizes she is not Jessie Sloane. But how does she go about finding out who she really is?? Reflection There was so much emotion in this book for a thriller. Really without certain elements of the book (okay without a lot of elements of the book) this could have been rewritten as a standalone fiction book. The relationship between Jessie and her mother and between Eden and Aaron are both so beautiful. There is so much pure love in this book, and you’ don’t always find that in a psychological thriller. Of course, this book IS a psychological thriller and it has the twists and psychological breakdowns to prove it! I can’t imagine being in Jessie’s position and losing her mother so young. Jessie is introverted and keeps to herself, and her mother is her best friend. And her mother loves her so deeply. Her mother is also imperfect, we learn. Keeping things from Jessie. It is hard to tell at first if she lies to protect herself or to protect Jessie. But that is all part of the twisty tale so I won’t divulge that aspect of this novel any more. And then Jessie finds out her social security number is tied to someone deceased. How can this be? Is it a mistake, or is there a bigger conspiracy behind Jessie’s identity. And if Jessie isn’t Jessica Sloane, and if her only family she knows is gone, then who is Jessie? Jessie’s pain and confusion became my own. I loved her so much. She’s like this wounded bird, and she’s struggling. Her insomnia is so understandable. The last time she truly slept, she missed the most important moment of her life. She can’t bring herself to relax and it takes a toll on her mental health. Finding out what is going on and digging into Jessie’s past had me completely hooked on this novel! And then that twist… Well it is polarizing for sure! When I first read it I was so confused. Was that…? Did I just read that…? But yes, dear reader! You did just read that correctly! I can promise that whatever I thought the twist would be, it wasn’t that one. But it was positively mind-blowing and I enjoyed it. And then the very ending was completely perfect for me. I can’t say even a bit more on that because there is NO way I’m spoiling this book. I hope you enjoy this one, book friends! I read this with a few of my Traveling Sisters! Be sure to peak around goodreads for their reviews! Many thanks to Harlequin books for my advanced copy of this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay - Traveling Sister

    4.5 stars! Addictive. Emotional. Gripping. Tension-filled. I’ve heard so many fantastic things about Mary Kubica. This was my first experience reading her work and it definitely lived up to the hype! This story revolves around Jessie Sloane, a young woman who loses her mother to cancer after many exhausting years battling the disease. Jessie feels alone in the world and needs to push herself to focus and move forward. While applying for college, Jessie stumbles across a mysterious detail from her 4.5 stars! Addictive. Emotional. Gripping. Tension-filled. I’ve heard so many fantastic things about Mary Kubica. This was my first experience reading her work and it definitely lived up to the hype! This story revolves around Jessie Sloane, a young woman who loses her mother to cancer after many exhausting years battling the disease. Jessie feels alone in the world and needs to push herself to focus and move forward. While applying for college, Jessie stumbles across a mysterious detail from her past that she can’t understand or accept. She becomes solely focused on figuring out the missing pieces of her childhood hoping to get answers that will help her move forward in life. This suspenseful and twisty thriller packed quite the punch! Not only did this book have me sitting on the edge of my seat, hanging on every word, it had me an emotional wreck! On one page I would be holding my breath in tension-filled anticipation of what would happen next, and then the next page had me with tears streaming down my face, broken hearted at what the characters were facing. Wow! This was a fantastic mix of perfection! This was a Traveling Sister read. There were a mix of reactions to that ending. For me, it was fantastic and suited the story fabulously. To find this review, along with the other Traveling Sister reviews, please visit our blog at: https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com/2... A big thank you to NetGalley, HARLEQUIN – Trade Publishing and Mary Kubica for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review! When The Lights Go Out is available now!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Janine

    Well, that was some bullshit. I should have known better than to give this a try after reading Every Last Lie, which was a story where (view spoiler)[ literally nothing actually happens (hide spoiler)] . So I don't know why I'm surprised that in this book (view spoiler)[literally 86% of the book is a dream and didn't actually happen (hide spoiler)] . I was really invested in the (view spoiler)["plot" (hide spoiler)] and stayed up all night to find out what happened, only to find out that again, (v Well, that was some bullshit. I should have known better than to give this a try after reading Every Last Lie, which was a story where (view spoiler)[ literally nothing actually happens (hide spoiler)] . So I don't know why I'm surprised that in this book (view spoiler)[literally 86% of the book is a dream and didn't actually happen (hide spoiler)] . I was really invested in the (view spoiler)["plot" (hide spoiler)] and stayed up all night to find out what happened, only to find out that again, (view spoiler)[nothing actually happens because all of it is a dream (hide spoiler)] . I actually almost screamed in fury when I got to the end but my husband was sleeping so instead I just quietly threw my kindle to the floor. I feel deceived. It's one thing to lead the reader in one direction and then throw in a big twist, but it's quite another thing to (view spoiler)[tell a story and then 91% of the way through the book say, "just kidding none of that happened, this story you are invested in isn't even real, it was all a dream!" (hide spoiler)] The publisher's blurb promises a "bizarre case of stolen identity" but (view spoiler)[the only case of stolen identity is imagined in a dream so what the fuck? (hide spoiler)] . The ending to the book might as well have been: (view spoiler)[Jessie's identity wasn't actually stolen because she's a robot from the future, the end (hide spoiler)] . Actually I think that would have been more satisfying. Sorry. I hate to leave such a negative review on an ARC but this really feels like a complete waste of time.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    Needing some time to think on this one and process... But reader, go into this blind. Full review to come. *I received a review copy via the publisher.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rose (Traveling Sister)

    Well, that was definitely a book! There were words, pages, and even some characters. A few things happened, for sure! 2.5 stars. When The Lights Go Out is kind of like if you could turn IHOP into a mystery novel. They technically deliver food, thereby providing your body with calories, but there's no ambiance. You don't hate it, but you don't love it either. And much like an IHOP meal, the ending of this book felt pretty cheap. "If I was standing at street level, the ledge would feel plenty wide. Well, that was definitely a book! There were words, pages, and even some characters. A few things happened, for sure! 2.5 stars. When The Lights Go Out is kind of like if you could turn IHOP into a mystery novel. They technically deliver food, thereby providing your body with calories, but there's no ambiance. You don't hate it, but you don't love it either. And much like an IHOP meal, the ending of this book felt pretty cheap. "If I was standing at street level, the ledge would feel plenty wide. But up here it's not. Up here it's a thread and on it, I'm trying to balance my two wobbly feet." The book opens with Jessie Sloane sitting vigil in the hospital next to her dying mother, who is the only person she has in life. After she passes, Jessie has to move on all alone, finding a cheap carriage house with a spooky landlord and getting all of her documents in order. The problem is that she doesn't have any documents. Her social security number belongs to a ghost. Helping things NOT EVEN A LITTLE is the fact that Jessie hasn't slept for days and will continue to not sleep. Interesting premise, right? BUT! HOWEVER! THE THING IS! Kubica goes about telling us that Jessie's insomnia is worsening kind of like this: Jessie: "I see something over there in the corner." Jessie, a page later: "Whoops, there's nothing there actually. I'm just sleepy." That happened dozens of times. Whether people, lights, shadows, or the music of Gladys Knight + The Pips, the "plot" of WTLGO seemed mainly driven by Jessie asking herself what that thing was and reminding us that she still can't sleep so she must be hallucinating. "I make light of the insomnia. I say that sleep is a waste of time. That there are so many more productive things I could be doing instead of sleeping." Okay? Except there aren't. Because you don't DO anything. Anyway, Jessie's present-day timeline is woven alongside that of her now-dead mother, Eden, 20+ years prior. Eden and her husband Aaron struggle to conceive, and their lives quickly become about nothing more than having a baby. There's also a third timeline, at a different stage in Eden's life, but I can't really explain that one without giving some stuff away. Regarding the "controversial" ending: it was just a way to end a book...just kinda there. It didn't feel implausible, but it also didn't feel like Kubica really wanted to surprise the reader. Like I said, it felt cheap. I wouldn't call it a twist, even, unless you categorize someone buying you ice cream and then taking that ice cream away from you as a "twist." It seemed more like a prank. I'm not sure a different ending would've added a whole star, but it would've at least felt worthwhile. My problem wasn't just with the wishy-washy plot; The narrations of both women were so self-absorbed that I didn't get a sense of who any of the other characters were or why I should care about their relationship(s). The dialogue was boilerplate, and everyone was incredibly two-dimensional. (Yes, they're on paper, but you get what I'm saying.) However, Mary Kubica paid enough attention to detail to have me (and, it seems, most other readers) completely fooled until the very end. I might not have loved any of the characters, but I did feel empathetic towards Jessie and her situation. I also appreciated the scenes of Chicago on a personal level. I sped through this to get to the "crazy twist at the end," which didn't deliver, but it must've been a pretty good sign that the pages kept turning at Mach 1 speed. This is what kept me from rounding down to 2 stars. "Only in daylight do I give up my perch, I rise to my feet, arching my back from the stiff muscles that come with three or four hours of lying on the hardwood floors. I creep across the room slowly, deliberately, one step at a time, my legs half-asleep. And I'm jealous of them because at least some small part of me still knows how to sleep." ----------------------------- BOYSTOWN, CHICAGO - 2012 IHOP - 3 A.M. Rose (blitzed): Yess hi I wanna choclit chip pancak, two slices bac'n, an egg ovrr medium (but issokay, I know it'll be ovrr EZ), umm. A hashbrowns an freshfroot. Thenkyew, Marla. Annndddd *scene.*

  16. 5 out of 5

    JanB

    Mary Kubica gets so much right: the effects of sleep deprivation, the manifestations of grief, the physical symptoms of impending death in a person with a terminal illness, as well as the emotional turmoil of infertility and its detrimental effects on a marriage. I appreciate how much she researches her topics and gives her readers an accurate portrayal of these issues. Told in a dual narrative, I found both story lines compelling. The current day story revolves around Jessie who is grieving her Mary Kubica gets so much right: the effects of sleep deprivation, the manifestations of grief, the physical symptoms of impending death in a person with a terminal illness, as well as the emotional turmoil of infertility and its detrimental effects on a marriage. I appreciate how much she researches her topics and gives her readers an accurate portrayal of these issues. Told in a dual narrative, I found both story lines compelling. The current day story revolves around Jessie who is grieving her mother’s death. She has plans to move forward with plans to go to college, but finds out she has no birth certificate or valid social security number. Mired in grief, and suffering from chronic insomnia, she goes days without sleep. As she investigates this turn of events, her mental state deteriorates and the line between reality and imagination blurs. The reader is left wondering if what is happening is real or is she hallucinating due to lack of sleep? The second narrator is set in the past and tells the story of Jessie’s mother, Eden, who is grieving her inability to carry a baby to term. The devastation and the desperation she feels is palpable. Her inability to have a baby weighs on her mind constantly and her marriage suffers. The author does a great job detailing the emotional toll and consequences of infertility. I was also left unsettled and wondered just how far Eden would go in her quest to have a child. By now, most readers have heard about The Ending. Some readers were surprised in a good way and loved it. Others felt cheated and hated it. Me? I had to mull it over for a while and decided I liked how there were hints throughout the story which made sense once I got to the end. I thought I had the story line all figured out multiple times but then as more pieces of the story were revealed I’d change my mind again. Was it my favorite ending of all time? No. But neither was it the worst. I fall somewhere in the middle. I was definitely surprised! I can understand why some people weren’t happy with it. It did remind me of (view spoiler)[ the infamous Dallas episode whe Bobby Ewing is suddenly brought back to life and you discover the previous season was all a dream (hide spoiler)] * many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carol (Bookaria)

    This novel had an unexpected ending which you may love or hate. In my case, it upset me but then I made peace with it. It is the kind of ending that will make you say to the book: Are you serious? you cannot possibly do this to me! And after all those emotions I concluded it was still worth the read. Jessica Sloane is a 17-year old who applied for college and was informed her social security number does not belong to her. From then on we follow the main character trying to unravel the mystery of This novel had an unexpected ending which you may love or hate. In my case, it upset me but then I made peace with it. It is the kind of ending that will make you say to the book: Are you serious? you cannot possibly do this to me! And after all those emotions I concluded it was still worth the read. Jessica Sloane is a 17-year old who applied for college and was informed her social security number does not belong to her. From then on we follow the main character trying to unravel the mystery of her identity. There’s also alternating timelines and point of views. I picked up this book because I enjoyed the author’s other two books THE GOOD GIRL and DON’T YOU CRY. Just like this novel, those were absolutely engaging page-turners. The author has a talent for writing relatable characters that make you want to root for them, at least that’s how I’ve felt about them. They have been put in difficult situations which keeps you wondering how are you going to get out of this one? Overall, I had a good time reading this novel and recommend it to readers of thrillers, mysteries, and contemporary fiction. Received ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

  18. 4 out of 5

    Felicia

    I'm a huge fan of Mary Kubica and this is the fourth book of hers that I have read. While it's not my favorite of hers, it still kept me awake all night with the familiar chant of "just one more chapter" until I found myself at the end of the book as the sun was rising. From the beginning you know what's happening as it doesn't appear that the author is trying to hide a twist from you... or is she? This could have been a five star from me if not for the out-of-the-blue plot twist towards the end I'm a huge fan of Mary Kubica and this is the fourth book of hers that I have read. While it's not my favorite of hers, it still kept me awake all night with the familiar chant of "just one more chapter" until I found myself at the end of the book as the sun was rising. From the beginning you know what's happening as it doesn't appear that the author is trying to hide a twist from you... or is she? This could have been a five star from me if not for the out-of-the-blue plot twist towards the end of the book. I don't get it, I don't understand why Kubika decided to go this route and, in my opinion, ruin an incredibly paced story that had so much potential to end in an extraordinary climax. I was provided an ARC of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Having read two of Mary Kubica's previous books and thinking that they were fantastic, I was excited to have an opportunity to read her latest, "When the Lights Go Out." I finished it a few days ago but needed time to digest the book and it's ending. I am torn. I feel that Kubica gives us the makings of something great but misses the mark at the end. It reminds me of people that rave about an amazing meal they had a particular restaurant you want to go to. Your excited and anticipate a mouth wate Having read two of Mary Kubica's previous books and thinking that they were fantastic, I was excited to have an opportunity to read her latest, "When the Lights Go Out." I finished it a few days ago but needed time to digest the book and it's ending. I am torn. I feel that Kubica gives us the makings of something great but misses the mark at the end. It reminds me of people that rave about an amazing meal they had a particular restaurant you want to go to. Your excited and anticipate a mouth watering meal from the first course until dessert. It starts off superb and smooth, followed by a satisfying main course but when the dessert comes, the waiter tells you that the dessert you wanted is not available but offers a substitution that is nice but reduces the perfect meal from outstanding to good. The mystery of Jessie Sloane is the crux of the storyline. Jessie Sloane is a young woman who has spent several years caring for her cancer-stricken mother, Eden. It's only been the two of them and after her mother dies, Jessie has to start a new path alone. Jessie must not only find her path now, she also has to find out her identity as well, since she finds out that her social security number belongs to a dead three year old named Jess. While Jesse's story dominates the book, Eden's story is paralleled. Kubica's writing is smooth and effortless. She reels you into Jesse and Eden's lives, as you are anxiously turning the pages to see what happens next. I truly felt like that passenger on the rollercoaster as it made that gradual creeping along climb inching closer and closer to the top, scared for the drop you know is coming. Only this time the drop isn't that terrifying stomach in your throat feel. It's the feeling of "oh that's all this ride is, are you sure there isn't anymore?" I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley. #Netgalley #WhentheLightsGoOut

  20. 5 out of 5

    Pauline

    Mary Kubica is one of my favourite authors and I was delighted to receive an advanced copy of her latest book When The Lights Go Out. I have read all her previous books and loved them and this book was excellent. I was hooked from the first page to the last. I read this book in one day because I could not put it down. I felt great sympathy for the characters and Eden's story was extremely emotional. I would never have predicted the ending. I can't wait for her next book. I would like to thank NetG Mary Kubica is one of my favourite authors and I was delighted to receive an advanced copy of her latest book When The Lights Go Out. I have read all her previous books and loved them and this book was excellent. I was hooked from the first page to the last. I read this book in one day because I could not put it down. I felt great sympathy for the characters and Eden's story was extremely emotional. I would never have predicted the ending. I can't wait for her next book. I would like to thank NetGalley and HQ for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    When the Lights Go Out...... Kinda like "last call" at your local bar. You feel definitely woozy as you slide off that bar stool, but there's never been a drop of liquor in your glass after all. Mary Kubica has truffled with our truffles here. Kubica presents the story of Jessie Sloane, a young twenty year old, who faces the heaviness of her mother's last days after a diagnosis of cancer. Jessica fights sleep with a troublesome case of insomnia. In a zombie-like state, she keeps watchful vigil ove When the Lights Go Out...... Kinda like "last call" at your local bar. You feel definitely woozy as you slide off that bar stool, but there's never been a drop of liquor in your glass after all. Mary Kubica has truffled with our truffles here. Kubica presents the story of Jessie Sloane, a young twenty year old, who faces the heaviness of her mother's last days after a diagnosis of cancer. Jessica fights sleep with a troublesome case of insomnia. In a zombie-like state, she keeps watchful vigil over her mother. The nurse encourages Jessie to take a sleeping pill that the doctor has prescribed for her. Jessie battles the on-coming slumber, but it soon envelopes her. Hours later, she is awake. In a shocked state, Jessie realizes that her mother has passed away without a last goodbye. When the Lights Go Out is told from two alternating perspectives: one being Jessie and the aftermath of her mother's death; the other is the voice of Eden from 1997 who tends to fill in gaps in which there are plenty. Kubica's writing style is not the truffle-shaker here. She delivers her usual page-turning flow. I've been a fan for years and will still be. But it's the skeletal bones that don't quite fit together as the anatomy dictates. As you near the final ending, it will become apparent that this engaging storyline has become disjointed. The desired twist that Kubica was going for curves off the highway in smouldering flames... smoulder than flames. The exit ramp came too soon and too abruptly and the engine stalled. I would encourage you to take this one out for a spin. You may have a totally different reaction. The reviews are split and are varied like so many of those aforementioned truffles. As in all things, let your inner truffle be your guide.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brenda - Traveling Sister

    Norma, Lindsay and I read When The Lights Go Out with three of our Traveling Sisters and this one made for such a great discussion for us. We all were drawn in right away to the lives and struggles of our two main characters here with Jessie in the present dealing with insomnia and grief from losing her Mother Eden and in the past with Eden dealing with infertility issues that start to unravel her life. When both women's lives start to unravel they both become unreliable leaving us with so many qu Norma, Lindsay and I read When The Lights Go Out with three of our Traveling Sisters and this one made for such a great discussion for us. We all were drawn in right away to the lives and struggles of our two main characters here with Jessie in the present dealing with insomnia and grief from losing her Mother Eden and in the past with Eden dealing with infertility issues that start to unravel her life. When both women's lives start to unravel they both become unreliable leaving us with so many questions as the suspense and tension increased.  We raced through the story as fast as we could, entertained and excited to get to that final reveal.  Well wow, that was an ending to talk about.  So many mounting questions and tension built up and that ending left some of us cheering in our coulee and for one sister she felt let down by that ending. This is definitely one we recommend.  Whether that ending leaves you cheering or feeling let down, it's guaranteed to provoke some kind of reaction from you. Thank you so to NetGalley, Harlequin/Park Row, and Mary Kubica for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review. 

  23. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica is a thriller that is told through again using alternating timelines and alternating points of view. Jessie is our character from the present timeline and Eden from the past. The story begins with Jessie at her mother’s bedside as it seems along battle with cancer is coming to an end. Jessie has put her whole life on hold to be with her mother in these last few years as the battle went back and forth and now that it’s coming to an end Jessie needs to find out When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica is a thriller that is told through again using alternating timelines and alternating points of view. Jessie is our character from the present timeline and Eden from the past. The story begins with Jessie at her mother’s bedside as it seems along battle with cancer is coming to an end. Jessie has put her whole life on hold to be with her mother in these last few years as the battle went back and forth and now that it’s coming to an end Jessie needs to find out who she is on her own. In the past Eden is a newly married wife with whom she and her husband are excited to begin working on their own family. However, as the months begin to pass without that second little line Eden starts feeling the pressure of not being able to conceive a child. First I would start with there’s no doubt that Mary Kubica is a talented author even if my rating for this one doesn’t necessarily show that well. The story is one that is easy to read and follow along and I did find myself engaged rather quickly. However, the downside for me with this particular title really came with the wrap up. I had a feeling it was going to go where it did and I wasn’t a huge fan. Really though some may like this one and I would definitely still read more from this author. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    SUMMARY Jessica Sloan’s mother has just died of cancer. She spent the past several years caring for her mother and now it’s time to move on. She puts their house up for sale, rents a carriage house apartment and applies for college. But her Social Security number has raised a red flag with her college application. Jesse is mystified and begins a crusade to determine who she really is. With the shock of her mother’s death and the question of her identity she finds herself unable to sleep. As days SUMMARY Jessica Sloan’s mother has just died of cancer. She spent the past several years caring for her mother and now it’s time to move on. She puts their house up for sale, rents a carriage house apartment and applies for college. But her Social Security number has raised a red flag with her college application. Jesse is mystified and begins a crusade to determine who she really is. With the shock of her mother’s death and the question of her identity she finds herself unable to sleep. As days pass and her insomnia continues Jessie‘s judgment is blurred. She begins to have trouble telling the difference between what’s real and what’s imagined. In the meantime, twenty years earlier and miles away another woman, Eden, struggles with infertility. A split second decision by Eden may hold the key to Jesse identity. REVIEW The writing was good and easy to read, but the story failed to hold my attention. It lacked substance and interest. Part of the story’s focus is on a woman’s struggle with infertility and a miscarriage and the devastating impact it has on her behavior and her life. Chapter after chapter we read about an overwrought woman who becomes obsessed and repeatedly reacts irrationally. Wouldn’t it have been nice to read about a woman who is strong in the face of adversity and turns her struggle into something good. Both Jesse and Eden were weak, self-centered and immature characters. Perhaps it’s just me, but I really don’t enjoy books that characterize women in a negative light.  Such books are certainly not conducive to enhancing society’s perceptions of women in general.  Thanks to Netgalley for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Publisher Harlequin Books Published September 4, 2018 Review www.bluestockingreviews.com

  25. 5 out of 5

    Marialyce

    4 tragic but loving stars My review can be seen here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres... In this well written drama, Mary Kubica confronts two issues that have plagued women, that of infertility and that of insomnia. Statistics say that 12.1% of women suffer with infertility problems while 6.7% are actually infertile. Sixty million people suffer from some level of sleep disorder. While there is medical treatment for infertility, it can cost in upwards of one hundred thousand dollars. Insura 4 tragic but loving stars My review can be seen here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres... In this well written drama, Mary Kubica confronts two issues that have plagued women, that of infertility and that of insomnia. Statistics say that 12.1% of women suffer with infertility problems while 6.7% are actually infertile. Sixty million people suffer from some level of sleep disorder. While there is medical treatment for infertility, it can cost in upwards of one hundred thousand dollars. Insurance will cover some of the costs but most insurances have a maximum amount that they will cover. For women who so want a child, and will try anything to conceive, they and their partner encounter an enormous amount of debt trying to become pregnant. In the book, When the Lights Go Out, Ms Kubica introduces us to Eden, a young girl happily married to her spouse who decide to have a child. However, they experience much difficulty and explore all options, acquiring massive debt and eventually wrecking their marriage. Years later, Eden's daughter, Jessie Sloane, confronts her own problems. She is an insomniac, her mother is dying of cancer, and after Eden's death, Jessie needs to find out about herself. She tries to enroll in college but then finds out her social security number belonged to a three year old child who had died. Jessie embarks on a mission to find out who she is, but her insomnia plagues her, opening her up to chronic sleeplessness, memory issues, and hallucinations. She is on a road to paranoia. Told in two concurrent voices, that of Eden's and Jessie, this story confronts the issue of family love, the overwhelming desire for a child, and finding oneself among the chaos of life and its many problems. It is a sensitive story, one that is written about so well, by the author. At times, the two unreliable narrators of this story relate things that seem murky and at times some of the details are slightly unrealistic. However, I do recommend this book as a worthwhile read and one many will enjoy as you ponder the issues these two women faced. Thank you to Mary Kubica, Herlequin-Hanover Square Press and NetGalley for providing an ARC of this thought-provoking novel. Thank you also to the Traveling Sisters group on Goodreads who read along with me. We had quite a discussion about this book and as always, it made the story ever more intriguing.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jess ☺️

    When the lights go out is the second book by Mary kubica that I've read and I'm not sure why I've missed a couple because this is better than the first book I read. It's page flipping addictive, but saying that it's a slow pace book which when you reach the ending you can't quite believe you've finished but then has one of those endings which makes you feel 'OH MY GOD' that just did not happen,you can proberly finish in one sitting (which I wish I had the time to do 🙁) I highly recommended this b When the lights go out is the second book by Mary kubica that I've read and I'm not sure why I've missed a couple because this is better than the first book I read. It's page flipping addictive, but saying that it's a slow pace book which when you reach the ending you can't quite believe you've finished but then has one of those endings which makes you feel 'OH MY GOD' that just did not happen,you can proberly finish in one sitting (which I wish I had the time to do 🙁) I highly recommended this book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kristy

    Jessie Sloane's mom has passed away, but before doing so, she encouraged Jessie to find herself. Jessie decides to apply to college, but the college flags her social security number. Apparently it belongs to someone who is deceased. As Jessie attempts to unravel the bureaucracy behind her application, she becomes more and more convinced that something is up with her past. Even worse, her thoughts are jumbled by the fact that she hasn't slept well since her mother's death. She's no longer able to Jessie Sloane's mom has passed away, but before doing so, she encouraged Jessie to find herself. Jessie decides to apply to college, but the college flags her social security number. Apparently it belongs to someone who is deceased. As Jessie attempts to unravel the bureaucracy behind her application, she becomes more and more convinced that something is up with her past. Even worse, her thoughts are jumbled by the fact that she hasn't slept well since her mother's death. She's no longer able to tell what's truly happening around her. What's the story with her identity? And is she crazy or is something sinister going on in her life? "Find yourself, Mom told me. One of two wishes she had for me before she died. Maybe she didn't mean for me to apply to college. Maybe it was far less esoteric than that. Maybe it was quite literal. Find yourself, she said, because Jessie Sloane isn't you." Well, I'm not so sure about this one. The novel goes back in forth in time between present-day Jessie and her story and a woman named Eden, whose story mainly takes place in the 1990s. Eden's timeline varies a bit though, which makes it hard to keep track of. (At least for me.) A lot of Eden's storyline revolves around infertility, which I thought was handled very well. As someone who has struggled with that, I identified with her and probably liked the book a bit more just because of that. As for Jessie and her tale, it was definitely creepy at times, which is something Mary Kubica can do very well. With her sleep deprivation, Jessie is the ultimate unreliable narrator, and it's very hard to tell if she's crazy or what on earth is happening. At times, it seems as if the book is leading you down a particular path, but you're never exactly sure who or what to trust. And then, of course, there's that twist. I'd heard a lot about it, so I was expecting something, but with Kubica, it's hard to know what. I'll admit, it wasn't this. I had sort of figured out where things were leading, but it didn't diminish how cheated I felt by the ending. I've seen a lot of reviews where folks loved it and others where they didn't--I just felt letdown. I won't go further so as to avoid spoilers, but know that it did diminish my overall enjoyment of the book. And while I wasn't loving it entirely--it's sort of a jumble of confusion and weird characters--the ending deflates what I did enjoy. Overall, this is a creepy book in many ways, with a story that befuddles but intrigues you. It's compelling but the ending diminishes a lot of the early drama and excitement. 3 stars. I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and Netgalley/Edelweiss in return for an unbiased review (thank you!).

  28. 5 out of 5

    DJ Sakata

    Favorite Quotes: I told her that we’re trying. Trying to have a child, trying to start a family. An odd choice of words for creating a baby, if you ask me. Trying is how one learns to ride a bike. To knit, to sew. To write poetry. The frustration over my identity boils inside me until I feel myself begin to lose it. All this red tape preventing me from getting what I need, from proving who I am. I’m starting to question it myself. Am I still me? It’s an insidious way to die, I think, from lack of Favorite Quotes: I told her that we’re trying. Trying to have a child, trying to start a family. An odd choice of words for creating a baby, if you ask me. Trying is how one learns to ride a bike. To knit, to sew. To write poetry. The frustration over my identity boils inside me until I feel myself begin to lose it. All this red tape preventing me from getting what I need, from proving who I am. I’m starting to question it myself. Am I still me? It’s an insidious way to die, I think, from lack of sleep because there is nothing gory about it, no blood, no guts, and yet the effects are just as gruesome. I know because I’m living it. As the sun begins to rise on the eleventh day, it’s only a matter of time until I die. This is what it feels like knowing you’re about to die. My Review: What clever sleight of hand, and I totally fell for it. This engrossing book was a minefield of intriguing and heart squeezing storylines. Ms. Kubica’s excellent storytelling was expertly woven with flawless word choices, bringing forth vivid and sharp visuals and several instances of chicken skin. I was quickly under the influence of her powerful word voodoo and keenly felt the characters’ frustrations, discomforts, confusion, and fatigue. Written from a dual POV, the two main characters and narrators were difficult to hold in positive regard, as they were often exasperating and repellent. Jessie was struggling with a conundrum while she was also not the brightest bulb in the pack. And as Jessie was suffered from extreme sleep deprivation and experiencing hallucinations, her observations and thoughts were untrustworthy and increasingly erratic; while her mental and physical decline and descent into madness were fascinating. I steadily grew to despise the character of Eden and found her obsessive and all-consuming drive to reproduce to be horrendously irresponsible and selfish. Ms. Kubica’s well-crafted storylines and writing style were compelling yet taut with tension and angst. I was so caught up in their apprehensions that I am in dire need of a relaxing spa day. Until I can work one of those into my schedule, the next best plan would be a generous scoop of Ben and Jerry’s while trolling my TBR in search of an amusing comedy and lighter fare for my next read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Erin Clemence

    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel. When Jessie Sloane’s mother dies, she is suddenly thrust into adulthood. When she tries to apply for college funding, her application is denied, stating that there are problems with her identity. She attempts to apply for identification and here too, she is greeted with red flags. As she continues to research her background, she finds out about a little girl named Jessie Sloane, who died three years before Jessie, Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel. When Jessie Sloane’s mother dies, she is suddenly thrust into adulthood. When she tries to apply for college funding, her application is denied, stating that there are problems with her identity. She attempts to apply for identification and here too, she is greeted with red flags. As she continues to research her background, she finds out about a little girl named Jessie Sloane, who died three years before Jessie, and shared the same birthdate. Now Jessie has more questions than answers- what was her mother keeping secret? Why is she unable to get identification or prove who she is? Was her identity stolen or did she, inadvertently, steal someone else’s identification? What other secrets was her mother hiding? “When the Lights Go Out” by Mary Kubica is a gripping, suspenseful tale of grief, loss, and finding out who you are (literally, in this case). Kubica is one of my favourites, hands down. I thoroughly enjoy and devour anything she puts to paper. Each novel of Kubica’s is better than the last, wrought with twists, turns and constant suspense. “Lights” is no different. This novel is told from the current perspective of Jessie, and from the past perspectives of Eden (Jessie’s mother), allowing a reader to develop a quick relationship with both women. Both characters are well-developed, as is Kubica’s way, and the story is creative and highly addictive. I read through the entire novel in two days, which is not unusual for me and Kubica stories. “Lights” definitely had a twist, and it was most definitely unpredictable and unexpected. The jury is still out on how I feel about the twist though- I think I would’ve liked the novel better if it continued along the way it was going. I was a little taken aback by the twist, as it seemed highly improbably and completely dramatic and (without spoilers), a few questions were left unanswered. That being said, I cannot give Kubica any less than five stars. I keep waiting for a subpar novel from Kubica (as happens with many of the greats) but it never comes. Ms. Kubica is a creative storyteller, hands down, and she continues to power out one suspense-fueled novel after another. I can never read her books fast enough, and there is always too long of a wait until her next novel comes out. Hands down, one of the best.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Judy Collins

    An avid fan, from her smashing debut, THE GOOD GIRL (acquired for film), PRETTY BABY, DON’T YOU CRY, EVERY LAST LIE to her latest, psychological thriller—WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT. Everything this bestselling author (a favorite), Mary Kubica writes is solid gold. A slow-burning twisty psychological suspense. A heart-pounding, a tale of one woman's desperate search for answers. From an array of emotions —grief, disbelief, anger, fear, and confusion. WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT is yet another sup An avid fan, from her smashing debut, THE GOOD GIRL (acquired for film), PRETTY BABY, DON’T YOU CRY, EVERY LAST LIE to her latest, psychological thriller—WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT. Everything this bestselling author (a favorite), Mary Kubica writes is solid gold. A slow-burning twisty psychological suspense. A heart-pounding, a tale of one woman's desperate search for answers. From an array of emotions —grief, disbelief, anger, fear, and confusion. WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT is yet another superb addition to her "collection of girls". (cover crush). As I have mentioned previously, she deserves her own Chicago billboard. Hope you enjoy as much as I did. I was drawn into this tale on many levels. In her fifth novel, a woman is forced to question her own identity in this riveting and emotionally charged psychological suspense thriller. Totally Unpredictable. THAT ENDING! Talk about "the twist!" Cleverly crafted, an ending you do not see coming. Q&A with the Author My first interview with one of my very favorite authors! I am thrilled for everyone to dive into her new book WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT. Set in Chicago and Wisconsin, WTLGO is written from two women’s perspectives (mother and daughter) as well as dual timelines and locations. I enjoy this style, allowing the reader to experience the character’s emotions first-hand. The author gets into their heads. From the past: Eden is a young wife obsessed with having a baby. They are in love. She is desperate. She has hidden secrets. She wants those secrets to remain buried. Time is running out. Jessie is her grown daughter in a desperate search of her true identity. She is sitting with her mom in a hospital room. Her mom Eden is dying of terminal cancer. Her mom sleeps next to her in a drug-induced daze that keeps her both pain-free and fast asleep. Jessie suffers from severe insomnia. What she would give to sleep like her mom. With the lack of sleep, brings emotional instability. Crying and laughing for no reason. Behaving erratically. Losing concept of time. Seeing things. Hallucinating. She is unable to take sleeping pills, and she does not want to miss a thing. Her mom is so close to the end. There are still unanswered questions. She is running out of time. She continues to run into dead ends. It has always been just she and her mother. They are close. There are things Jessie wants to know. Who is her father? Her mom never wanted to discuss. The author takes us back to 1996 where we meet Eden and Aaron. Egg Harbor, WI. (a beautiful idyllic area). A young couple deeply in love. They purchased a lovely cottage overlooking the bay. Their dreams. A garden, and high hopes for a family. Aaron wants a family, and at 28 and 29, they decide they are ready. However, soon their dreams turn into a nightmare. Miscarriages. Invitro. Their relationship is strained. Draining their finances for a chance at having a baby. Aaron is busy working at a restaurant, and he wants Eden to stay home (since she soon would be pregnant). They soon grow apart. However, staying at home brings more time for Eden to dwell on her situation and obsess. She stalks other mothers and daughters. If only she could be a mother. Plus her neighbor (Miranda and Jack) have kids, and she is pregnant again. She does not even want to be a mother. How could fate be so cruel? Soon her marriage is destroyed due to the obsession to conceive. She thinks of kidnapping a child. She is selfish. Aaron thinks they should stop the madness. Now at the end of her life, she only has a daughter. A secret life. A mysterious photo and journal. A lone wolf. She was diagnosed with cancer when Jessie was fifteen. Jessie has taken care of her. Jessie's mom always wanted her to find herself. However, what did this mean? Soon she discovers she may not be the person she thought she was. When she goes to apply for a community college, her social security number belongs to a person who is deceased. From past to present, now her mom is gone, and she is left with insomnia and unanswered questions. She is losing her mind. Determined to find her true identity. Surely there are clues somewhere. Eleven days with hardly any sleep, she feels like she may go mad. What is her mom hiding and who is the mysterious man in the photo? Will she be able to find the answers she desperately needs? INTENSE! A page-turner you cannot put down— until you learn the mystery behind Jessie and Eden. (I loved Aaron and Jessie). Jessie is experiencing acute, chronic insomnia. I enjoyed this topic and her character, especially the mystery behind her mother’s past and how this impacted her daughter Jessie. I was drawn to her storyline for many personal reasons and recently tore through my mom’s house after her death (cancer) — searching for clues about her secrets and my own identity. Plus. I have experienced insomnia my entire life. It is horrible. I also loved the cottages. I have lived in some quaint historic cottages over the years and carriage homes. They have so many stories. Kubica explores many highly-charged female themes. From marriage, motherhood, in vitro, stolen identity, abduction, obsession, grief, cancer, death, insomnia, financial, moral ambiguity, and of course dark secrets of the past. Throughout all her books, the author is in tune with these powerful and provocative issues of women, and the human mind. Attracting women of all ages to the ever-growing intriguing domestic suspense genre. Each of her books is unique. The characters have an urgent need to belong —allowing society to dictate their version of happiness. All her books are plot-driven as well as character-driven, and WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT is another perfect example. As well as addictively suspenseful and tautly written. Among her signature qualities, is the uncanny ability to write "hypnotic" thrillers about women placed in stressful situations and their intensely inner turmoil. When reviewing my favorite books over the years, Mary Kubica and Karin Slaughter are the only two authors landing on my Top Books of the year for five consecutive years! (started my blog in 2014). Check out my List: 2014 2015 2016 2017 and 2018 (coming soon). I loved WTLGO on so many levels! I realize the ending is quite controversial; however, in this genre, it would be quite dull if everything was tied up in a neat bow. I liked it! Highly Recommend. I would have to agree with Kirkus Reviews. “Kubica is a helluva storyteller." A special thank you to Park Row Books and #NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. Also pre-ordered the hardcover and audiobook. JDCMustReadBooks Thank you, Mary, for a great interview! Cannot wait to see what is next.

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