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What happens when the lights go off after what might truly be an end-of-the-world event? How do you stay alive? Who do you trust? How much do you have to sacrifice? 'After the Lights Go Out is a terrifying yet hope-filled story of disaster, deceit, love, sacrifice and survival.' - Fleur Ferris Seventeen-year-old Pru Palmer lives with her twin sisters, Grace and Blythe, and t What happens when the lights go off after what might truly be an end-of-the-world event? How do you stay alive? Who do you trust? How much do you have to sacrifice? 'After the Lights Go Out is a terrifying yet hope-filled story of disaster, deceit, love, sacrifice and survival.' - Fleur Ferris Seventeen-year-old Pru Palmer lives with her twin sisters, Grace and Blythe, and their father, Rick, on the outskirts of an isolated mining community. The Palmers are doomsday preppers. They have a bunker filled with non-perishable food and a year's worth of water. Each of the girls has a 'bug out bag', packed with water purification tablets, protein bars, paracord bracelets and epipens for Pru's anaphylaxis. One day while Rick is at the mine, the power goes out. At the Palmers' house, and in the town. No one knows why. All communication is cut. It doesn't take long for everything to unravel. In town, supplies run out and people get desperate. The sisters decide to keep their bunker a secret. The world is different; the rules are different. Survival is everything, and family comes first.


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What happens when the lights go off after what might truly be an end-of-the-world event? How do you stay alive? Who do you trust? How much do you have to sacrifice? 'After the Lights Go Out is a terrifying yet hope-filled story of disaster, deceit, love, sacrifice and survival.' - Fleur Ferris Seventeen-year-old Pru Palmer lives with her twin sisters, Grace and Blythe, and t What happens when the lights go off after what might truly be an end-of-the-world event? How do you stay alive? Who do you trust? How much do you have to sacrifice? 'After the Lights Go Out is a terrifying yet hope-filled story of disaster, deceit, love, sacrifice and survival.' - Fleur Ferris Seventeen-year-old Pru Palmer lives with her twin sisters, Grace and Blythe, and their father, Rick, on the outskirts of an isolated mining community. The Palmers are doomsday preppers. They have a bunker filled with non-perishable food and a year's worth of water. Each of the girls has a 'bug out bag', packed with water purification tablets, protein bars, paracord bracelets and epipens for Pru's anaphylaxis. One day while Rick is at the mine, the power goes out. At the Palmers' house, and in the town. No one knows why. All communication is cut. It doesn't take long for everything to unravel. In town, supplies run out and people get desperate. The sisters decide to keep their bunker a secret. The world is different; the rules are different. Survival is everything, and family comes first.

30 review for After the Lights Go Out

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sally906

    AFTER THE LIGHTS GO OUT is a brilliant coming of age disaster survival story. It started to pop up on my radar as many blogger were starting to include it in their ‘Most anticipated releases for the second half of 2018’ lists. So when I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy I was overjoyed. Pru Palmer is the main character and her father is a hard-core survivalist and conspiracy theorist. He is also a tad insane. Actually he has completely lost the plot but Prue and her sister’s trust their d AFTER THE LIGHTS GO OUT is a brilliant coming of age disaster survival story. It started to pop up on my radar as many blogger were starting to include it in their ‘Most anticipated releases for the second half of 2018’ lists. So when I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy I was overjoyed. Pru Palmer is the main character and her father is a hard-core survivalist and conspiracy theorist. He is also a tad insane. Actually he has completely lost the plot but Prue and her sister’s trust their dad as he keeps them isolated and the little contact they do have with the local community he drums into them to not trust anyone; family comes first. One could even say that to a certain extent they are brainwashed, or too scared to go against their father’s demands. He keeps the girl’s on their toes by running practice emergency situations – training them to get to the bunker from the house without being seen and as quickly as possible. Each girl has a ‘bug out’ bag – a bug out bag (or B.O.B) is a grab and go bag for a wide variety of emergencies and survival situations. It contains a week’s rations, water purification tablets and the like. The three girls can hunt for food, light a fire without matches and make water out of nothing more easily that put their make-up on. In other words they are prepared for anything. Except when the power goes out and their father is away at work hundreds of kilometres away. The general consensus of opinion is that a massive solar storm has fried all the electrics – cars won’t go, communication is out – the world comes to a halt. The girls know that family comes first, to look out for themselves and not help anyone else. They have the bunker and they can live for a couple of years BUT reality sets in when they see the suffering of the rest of the community and they have the agony of being torn between obeying their father or following their hearts to help others survive. Human nature being what it is, one person is let in on the secret and then the rest of the community eventually learn what the girls have: 'You've been hoarding resources,' he says. 'What makes you think they are not going to do the same? You think they're going to let us queue up with everyone else to receive rations? The way I see it, there are two scenarios here. One - we are turned out into the wilderness to fend for ourselves, or two - we get executed. Author, Lili Wilkinson, has captured the situation perfectly. There are deaths – can’t have a disaster without death – but two in particular come as a shock – well for me anyway. But there is a pulling together to survive attitude. Good people, bad people and a complete nutter all come alive on the pages. Pru is an exceptional character and there is a definite personal growth in her by the end of the book. The end of the book is massively suspenseful and had me almost shouting out loud for a good outcome. AFTER THE LIGHTS GO OUT is due for release in August 2018 - and if coming of age apocalyptic books are your thing then run, don’t walk, to the nearest bookshop and grab yourself a copy. I utterly recommend it. With thanks to Allen and Unwin and the author for my copy to read and review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    K.

    Trigger warnings: violence, death, AIDS, (view spoiler)[death of a sibling, sexual relationship between a 19 year old and a 15 year old, gun violence, dental surgery, animal cruelty (hide spoiler)] . This book had me hooked from the very first page, and it didn't let up the pace at all. It's equal parts dystopian and thriller. It's full of fantastic characters, and there's plenty of diversity. I love that it's set in the Australian outback and yet we have a Puerto Rican love interest with two moth Trigger warnings: violence, death, AIDS, (view spoiler)[death of a sibling, sexual relationship between a 19 year old and a 15 year old, gun violence, dental surgery, animal cruelty (hide spoiler)] . This book had me hooked from the very first page, and it didn't let up the pace at all. It's equal parts dystopian and thriller. It's full of fantastic characters, and there's plenty of diversity. I love that it's set in the Australian outback and yet we have a Puerto Rican love interest with two mothers. Pru is a fantastic character. She cares deeply about her community and the people in it, but she's also worried what her father will say if she goes against his way of thinking. His way of thinking is more than a little disturbing, but it's also made Pru resilient and highly capable, and it's a very effective way of having a teenage character carry the story along without it feeling implausible that there are no adults around.

  3. 4 out of 5

    trufflebooks

    5/5 STARS. This review can also be found on my BLOG. :) ------- I finally got my teeth into this gorgeous book only a few weeks after meeting the lovely author and I really really enjoyed this book! You don’t hear much about contemporary sci-fi survivalist books nowadays and the concept behind this one was truly awesome and hella interesting. So the fact that I read this book in less than 24 hours can give you an idea of how addictive and how well written this book was. I started reading it yesterd 5/5 STARS. This review can also be found on my BLOG. :) ------- I finally got my teeth into this gorgeous book only a few weeks after meeting the lovely author and I really really enjoyed this book! You don’t hear much about contemporary sci-fi survivalist books nowadays and the concept behind this one was truly awesome and hella interesting. So the fact that I read this book in less than 24 hours can give you an idea of how addictive and how well written this book was. I started reading it yesterday morning, only the first chapter, then picked up again at around 9 pm perhaps? I couldn’t stop reading. It got to about 1 am when I realised I really should be getting some sleep or I’ll be way too tired in the morning and by that point, I was past the halfway mark and loving it. Next morning, I woke up and did something I haven’t done in years, I literally just woke up and started reading it and I finished within a couple of hours. Who cares if my stomach wanted food and water, I wanted to finish the book. Every time there seemed to be a point I could stop as things died down plot-wise, something else jumped out at me and I had to finish that chapter. I truly devoured this book, and today to review it, I’m bringing back some categories for structure. World-Building/Backstory & Writing We meet Pru, a 17-year-old teen living out in the hot outback of Australia (woohoo!) and living with her twin sisters and their father. The first awesome and unique plot point of this book: they’re doomsday preppers. I’ll be honest, when I started reading about how many skills Pru acquired and how prepared her Father made them, I was almost ready to start my own survival kit too. I actually started doing a ‘getaway’ bag when I was younger at the time where I was loving the Tomorrow When the War Began series by James Marsden. This book gave me all those vibes of Tomorrow, as well as The 5th Wave (although I’ve only watched the movie hehe) and also Red Dog vibes (amazing movie). It wasn’t hard imagining the landscape and the bushland Lili Wilkinson described because her writing was so vivid in its descriptions as well as the fact that I live in Australia. I should know what it looks like 😛 Learning about Pru and her sisters and their way of life, you could feel the emotion rolling off the pages and the writing on how much Pru wished she had a normal life but when the shit hits the fan, we quickly find out how essential these skills are when you’re living in an extremely rural town with limited resources. The explanation for how the communication is cut and the power goes out is actually super interesting. As a science nerd, I looked into it after reading this book too and I think I’ve got a tiny bit of doomsday prepper in me, this shit could get real – although the novel does take a fair amount of creative license so I won’t be building a bunker anytime soon. Lili managed to explain all the science mumbo-jumbo really well and it was so easy to understand. Characters & Themes I thought Pru was such a beautiful character and I could seriously empathise with her so well. As she’s figuratively battling what she’s been taught for her family and herself, and what she feels is right intuitively, I could feel all those emotions and basically cried as to how torn I was feeling as a result. The themes within this book resonate so well and are so intricately described in the context that you can’t help but debate in your own head as you read. To do what’s right and to do by what you’re taught or to protect your family is such an incredibly hard choice. The themes of love, sacrifice and survival are definitely key to all the characters in this novel. Pru is torn and feeling so full of guilt and how she feels and the way the town reacts to the disaster makes you almost question your morals and how far one person would go to survive. If anyone else like me really likes reading and discussing philosophical topics like this, I really recommend a movie called After the Dark. That is one interesting movie about morals for survival in a life or death situation. Pru’s twin sisters Grace and Blythe were also some great supporting characters in that they gave different perspectives on their situations. While dealing with the hard decisions of whether to keep their bunker secret and helping the people in town, these girls including Pru are dealing with teenage problems and issues to do with relationships, love, obsession and their individuality and independence which created some great depth in these characters and the story overall. Pru’s dad was another important character to the story in that Lili perfectly described the level of paranoia many doomsday preppers have. It isn’t simply about a natural disaster or a worldwide survival obstacle but at the heart is a complete distrust of society and others including your family. I won’t discuss any other characters not mentioned in the blurb because I don’t want to spoil anything, but there were other important characters I loved too. Ready, Set, Action! Now you would think that because this book is about a small rural town trying to survive without communication and electricity that it would have some boring parts but honestly, it didn’t. Even when there wasn’t a lot of action, the writing was written so succinctly that it didn’t feel like a bore reading those and it was actually interesting. This continued until another serious piece of action came along that hooked me in even more into the story. This book not only explores the lengths people will go to survive in a grim situation but also looked at how freaking dangerous the world can quickly become without the simple technologies we’ve learnt to rely on. What if you’re allergic and prone to anaphylaxis without an EpiPen? This was mentioned and holy shit, if I was allergic I would die so fast cause I’m clumsy af and would probably accidentally jump into a beehive or slip on smeared peanut butter. Overall This was just an awesome book. It has all the pieces I love in a novel; action, relationships, seriously thought-provoking themes and topics that you actually think about after having finished reading it and some great easy to read writing that hooks you in from the first chapter. This actually prompted me to watch a disaster film today and I ended up watching San Andreas, and dear god, I was getting anxiety just watching that tsunami on the tv screen. No more disaster films for a while. Until next time, xx Tracy BLOG | INSTA | TWITTER

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jeann (Happy Indulgence)

    A gripping survivalist story with an Australian setting, reminiscent of Tomorrow When the War Began or The Sky So Heavy. However, this one has an added twist of the father being a survivalist who has taken extreme measures into protecting his family and training them in the art of surviving in the wilderness on their own. Not gonna lie, the father came across as a quack a few times and it was hard to understand his thinking, but I liked how Pru started questioning what he had taught them - as us A gripping survivalist story with an Australian setting, reminiscent of Tomorrow When the War Began or The Sky So Heavy. However, this one has an added twist of the father being a survivalist who has taken extreme measures into protecting his family and training them in the art of surviving in the wilderness on their own. Not gonna lie, the father came across as a quack a few times and it was hard to understand his thinking, but I liked how Pru started questioning what he had taught them - as useful as it was. Full review to come.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Figgy

    Review to come, in the meantime... I quite enjoyed this one and found it a lot easier to relate to the characters in this than I did those in The Boundless Sublime, though for the most part the writing wasn't as gut-punching and visceral in this book as it was in The Boundless Sublime. Some interesting observations of preppers, paranoia, unhealthy relationships, and community. The character did some silly things that seemed to immediately go against what she had been trained for... but then, if the Review to come, in the meantime... I quite enjoyed this one and found it a lot easier to relate to the characters in this than I did those in The Boundless Sublime, though for the most part the writing wasn't as gut-punching and visceral in this book as it was in The Boundless Sublime. Some interesting observations of preppers, paranoia, unhealthy relationships, and community. The character did some silly things that seemed to immediately go against what she had been trained for... but then, if they just locked themselves in the bunker from the start of the issue, this would be a rather short and boring story, would it not? She also made some assumptions early on that dismissed the evidence around her, seemingly in order to trick readers and lead to a bigger pay-off down the line, but I feel this would have been better handled if she addressed it the way the readers will perceive it, too, so it didn't feel so much like a pantomime ("They're BEHIND you. No, to your LEFT!"). At times it really bothered me how little this prepper teen seemed to assess the resources around her, and also... why would they only have unleaded petrol at the mine refueling station? Surely the BIG SEMIS that transport the payload from the mine wouldn't take unleaded? There was some character growth here that was missing in The Boundless Sublime, which balanced out the decrease in visceral writing, and I definitely think I enjoyed this one more on the whole.

  6. 5 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Jayse Smith The thing that makes Wilkinson’s novel scarier is the fact that the events which occur throughout are all things that could happen. What begins innocently enough when a father drags children to the mining town of Jubilee, which is literally the middle of nowhere, this feeling of innocence dissolves quickly as this YA novel becomes what’s being described as this decades’ ‘Tomorrow When The War Began’. After what Prue Palmer believes is Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Jayse Smith The thing that makes Wilkinson’s novel scarier is the fact that the events which occur throughout are all things that could happen. What begins innocently enough when a father drags children to the mining town of Jubilee, which is literally the middle of nowhere, this feeling of innocence dissolves quickly as this YA novel becomes what’s being described as this decades’ ‘Tomorrow When The War Began’. After what Prue Palmer believes is an electromagnetic pulse, caused by a solar flare, it takes out the power in their town. Prue and her twin sisters Grace and Blythe fear the worst for their father as he was at the mine where most of the population of Jubilee work. The girls must make a choice: do they stick to the plan to head to The Paddock, the bunker their father prepared which is stocked with enough provisions to last the four of them years? Or do they go against all their father has drilled into them and band together with the people of the town and share their knowledge and skills, something their father would have hated and would have punished them for doing. The psychological hold he has over his daughters borders insanity, and each time Pru has to make a decision Ricks voice is in her head saying ‘Good Girl’ to the decision that he has slammed into her head. Wilkinson is given the chance to explore what extremes people would go to in a post-apocalyptic situation, which leads to some absolute gems of wisdom and insight. In a world without the luxury of modern technology—no cars to deliver stock to stores, no way of contacting the outside world—how desperate will the people of Jubilee become? It’s also so great to see realistic and accurate representation of indigenous people and culture through the novel since it is set in a remote part of the Kimberly region. Wilkinson sought permission from and learned about the traditional land owners which makes the novel feel even more authentic. This book also makes the reader actually question their morals, who lives and dies in this new society? These are just some of the things that we are made to think about. When the supplies in Jubilee run out people begin to turn on each other, people begin to get desperate, and the sisters decide to keep their bunker a secret (good girl). But in a turn of events the towns people find out about The Paddock, will Prue’s family be shunned, or will the townspeople of Jubilee forgive the fact that they’ve been lied to all this time? This book is unputdownable with a thrill a minute and filled with adventure, which makes it totally worth how ever much time that it will take to read it. The twists and turns throughout you’ll never see coming and the characters are so well-developed, you’ll fall in love with them. Lili Wilkinson is on to a winner here, well researched, and perfectly executed!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Calzean

    Quite enjoyed this one. A remote mining town in Australia. The lights go out, nothing electronic works, most of the people are 400km away at the mine. No problems for 17 yo Pru and her twin sisters; their father is a prepper who has built a doomsday bunker full of survival gear and has trained the girls in amazing survival skills. But Dad is away, the small town lacks food, water and medical supplies and Pru faces a dilemma - who is right, good old Dad with his dire warnings or the remaining peo Quite enjoyed this one. A remote mining town in Australia. The lights go out, nothing electronic works, most of the people are 400km away at the mine. No problems for 17 yo Pru and her twin sisters; their father is a prepper who has built a doomsday bunker full of survival gear and has trained the girls in amazing survival skills. But Dad is away, the small town lacks food, water and medical supplies and Pru faces a dilemma - who is right, good old Dad with his dire warnings or the remaining people who are trying to work together. The dilemmas faced by Pru, the argument of whether people are good or bad, the impact of the lack of modern medical services, the resourcefulness needed to adapt and the nutty Dad all add to a better than average dystopian tale.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lexi // libraryoflexi

    4.5 stars! I received this book from Allen&Unwin in exchange for an honest review. And oh boy I was not disappointed! This was the Australian outback story about doomsday preppers that I didn’t know I needed in my life. It was a ridiculously interesting book because I always wonder what I would do in an apocalyptic/end of the world situation and so I loved reading it. I think part of the reason I enjoyed it so much is that it was a completely different setting than I was used to. We’ve all seen 4.5 stars! I received this book from Allen&Unwin in exchange for an honest review. And oh boy I was not disappointed! This was the Australian outback story about doomsday preppers that I didn’t know I needed in my life. It was a ridiculously interesting book because I always wonder what I would do in an apocalyptic/end of the world situation and so I loved reading it. I think part of the reason I enjoyed it so much is that it was a completely different setting than I was used to. We’ve all seen some of the apocalyptic TV shows/movies that are set in the big cities or in the suburbs (both being densely populated with it generally turning into a blood bath for survival) but I’d never thought of what would happen to people in that live in tiny towns in the middle of nowhere. It’s a very realistic story of what would actually happen, at least in some places. This is the second book of Lili Wilkinson’s that I have read, and both times I was blown away by the content she decided to write about. Like sure, there are countless books about cults and doomsday preppers but it was Wilkinson’s writing that drew me in both times with The Boundless Sublime and After The Lights Go Out. She has such an intriguing story telling style and writes such interesting characters. I look forward to all future books!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Trisha

    This all seems possible. Loved the diversity and inclusiveness. But that Rick. #prepper

  10. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    ★★ 3.5 stars ★★ I loved the survivalist aspect and the character development, however; the plot was a bit inconsistent at times and the romance aspect was unnecessary in my opinion.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chloe Hughes

    Scary, thrilling and un-putdownable! Prue Palmer and and her sisters Blythe and Grace have been taught about doomsday preparations by their father Rick and when the day comes when the power goes out in their mining community and across the country, the girls have to rely on each other and the people of their small town when their father doesn’t come back from the mines.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ashleigh

    review to come closer to publication date as per press release

  13. 5 out of 5

    Janelle Dazzlepants

    After the Lights Go Out tells the story of Pru, the daughter of a mad doomsday prepper living in the Australian outback. Pru and her twin sisters think their dad is crazy and unnecessarily strict until one day their dad disappears and the world actually ends. Pru and the twins are left with a moral dilemma: do they let the town in on their secret and give up their stash, or do they save themselves and let their neighbours starve? Rest assured, this is not a rapid degeneration into anarchy with i After the Lights Go Out tells the story of Pru, the daughter of a mad doomsday prepper living in the Australian outback. Pru and her twin sisters think their dad is crazy and unnecessarily strict until one day their dad disappears and the world actually ends. Pru and the twins are left with a moral dilemma: do they let the town in on their secret and give up their stash, or do they save themselves and let their neighbours starve? Rest assured, this is not a rapid degeneration into anarchy with infuriating men taking over the town a la Under the Dome; it’s far more complex than that. Wilkinson delves deep into the dynamics this small outback town and how geographical isolation has equal potential to tear people apart or bring them together. The way in which this community responds to the world ending is both expected and yet completely unexpected. I don’t read a lot of Oz YA that’s actually set in Australia (usually it’s fantastical worlds or far-off planets) so I really enjoyed getting to visit the little town of Jubilee. I’ve always lived in major cities but have driven through towns like this one, so I was instantly fear-stricken by the sense of isolation, lack of resources, and sparse population - and that’s before the world ended. And when the world ended? I can’t even tell you how stressed I was as I devoured this novel, suddenly realising that I have zero skills and knowledge to get me through this kind of catastrophic event! There’s some great representation here: we have a bisexual female protagonist, a Puerto Rican male love interest who calls out racism when he sees it, two queer moms, and a side character living with HIV. There’s also some very frank discussion about virginity as a social construct - which I am HERE for - and teen sex without any expectations of “omg it’s ~*true love*~”. I had a feeling I gonna like this when Amie Kaufman couldn’t stop raving about it, but it’s so nice to have my suspicions confirmed! This was an equal parts scary and heartwarming survival story with diversity and a post-apocalyptic plot that doesn’t unfold in quite the way you’d expect it to. If you’re hesitant about living through a redux of Lord of the Flies or Under the Dome, don’t worry, this book stands firmly on its own two feet.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tahlia

    For fans of 'Tomorrow When the War Began' and 'Carousel'. Prudence Palmer lives with her father and two twin sisters in the very small country town of Jubilee in Western Australia. Her father is a doomsday prepper - a man who believes the world and government is out to get his family. Like any normal person, he has an underground bunker filled with years worth of food, medical supplies, solar electricity and weapons to protect his family. Pru and her sisters play along with their father and his sch For fans of 'Tomorrow When the War Began' and 'Carousel'. Prudence Palmer lives with her father and two twin sisters in the very small country town of Jubilee in Western Australia. Her father is a doomsday prepper - a man who believes the world and government is out to get his family. Like any normal person, he has an underground bunker filled with years worth of food, medical supplies, solar electricity and weapons to protect his family. Pru and her sisters play along with their father and his schemes until one day the power goes out across the whole town while Rick Palmer is out at the Jumuluny mine where he works. Their dad was right - they need the bunker to survive now. A story of survival and endurance that will make you question everything - what would you do in the same situation? Would you share your supplies in order for the whole town to survive for a few months or keep it to yourself so you can survive for a few years? This book also has great representation both regarding indigenous culture, sexual orientations and family groups. I have not read a book this quickly in such a long time - it gripped me from the get go and I had to know what happened next! "What if a small group of people working together can build something new? Something made of kindness and generosity and hope?"

  15. 5 out of 5

    Colleen Fauchelle

    While in Sydney I read a book set in the outbacks of Australia. A prepper dad, spending millions on a safty underground bunker living in the back of beyond with his three daughters. Is he over prepared? Will they ever need to use it. Number one rule: family comes first, so no share. While dad and the others who work at the mine are called away for a week of safety meetings the worst happens. The sisters of course are safe, Pru the oldest is well trained in all sorts of things from finding water t While in Sydney I read a book set in the outbacks of Australia. A prepper dad, spending millions on a safty underground bunker living in the back of beyond with his three daughters. Is he over prepared? Will they ever need to use it. Number one rule: family comes first, so no share. While dad and the others who work at the mine are called away for a week of safety meetings the worst happens. The sisters of course are safe, Pru the oldest is well trained in all sorts of things from finding water to drilling teeth. But family comes first so do you help those in the small country town or do you act dumb and keep quiet. This story is full of suprises some good some bad and some heartbreaking. The only thing I didn't like was Pru fell to quickly for Mateo, she wanted to kiss him just after she met him. But once things got going that settled down and I liked their friendship. They have some challenges along the way to sort out.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    *for fans of Tomorrow When The War Began* I'd also recommend this to people that want to read My Absolute Darling, but don't want to deal with the triggers of physical abuse that it entails. I love Tomorrow When The War Began series, and part of that was the imagining of the social breakdown after any kind of mass apocalyptic event (natural or otherwise). So when I heard this was based around a survivalist story, I had to read it immediately! And I wasn't disappointed. Fascinating insight into the *for fans of Tomorrow When The War Began* I'd also recommend this to people that want to read My Absolute Darling, but don't want to deal with the triggers of physical abuse that it entails. I love Tomorrow When The War Began series, and part of that was the imagining of the social breakdown after any kind of mass apocalyptic event (natural or otherwise). So when I heard this was based around a survivalist story, I had to read it immediately! And I wasn't disappointed. Fascinating insight into the children of a hardcore Survivalist, but I loved that for once they're proved correct, and that there is a life changing event that genuinely does breakdown society as we know it. Still a rough story of course, but I think most of western society probably are a bit soft, and this serves as a warning: Are you prepared, if the lights (and all electronic devices) go out?

  17. 5 out of 5

    Zohal

    This is one of those cases of 'If you loved this book, then you'll love this book'. If you loved The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James, then you will love this book :) The writing is great, the characters are fascinating, the outback setting is beautiful and the story is gripping. The climax is very intense. An awesome survival story with a lot of substance on how communities and people are affected by catastrophes and how power dynamics evolve and develop. There are some more nuanc This is one of those cases of 'If you loved this book, then you'll love this book'. If you loved The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James, then you will love this book :) The writing is great, the characters are fascinating, the outback setting is beautiful and the story is gripping. The climax is very intense. An awesome survival story with a lot of substance on how communities and people are affected by catastrophes and how power dynamics evolve and develop. There are some more nuanced discussions too. I highly recommend this Young Adult Australian novel. You will most likely read it in one sitting and might feel your heart race quite a bit as well. The tension in this book is perfect!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cally73

    Pru and her twin sisters have been drilled by their doomsday prepper father what to do in the event the worst happens. That day finally comes when their father and many others in their tiny town are at the mine. What happens next sees humanity at it's best and worst as people struggle for anwers to what has happened and to survive.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Libby Armstrong

    Boundless Sublime was a fav when it came out, and with this latest, Wilkinson has cemented her place in producing sustainable action-driven plots over a longer page count which suit voracious readers. The writing of this modern day survivalist tale is well crafted and vivid. Having just re-done my first aid course I was impressed with how much detail was included and how much had been thought through in terms of survival techniques. Made it very believable. Ranks up there with my early favs by I Boundless Sublime was a fav when it came out, and with this latest, Wilkinson has cemented her place in producing sustainable action-driven plots over a longer page count which suit voracious readers. The writing of this modern day survivalist tale is well crafted and vivid. Having just re-done my first aid course I was impressed with how much detail was included and how much had been thought through in terms of survival techniques. Made it very believable. Ranks up there with my early favs by Ivan Southall that made a big impact on young me

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dani

    Bloody brilliant.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    This was the most fantastic, brutal and suspenseful YA novel I’ve read in recent years. I’m not currently able to coherently express my utter, overwhelming love for Pru. As far as a coming-of-age story, it leaves everything else for dead.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Luisa (Bookly Bliss)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. After the Lights Go Out is a thrill-ride to say the least. From the very first page Wilkinson's evocative writing drew me in immediately and I was hooked. The beginning of the story and the story premise itself filled me with intrigue and did not disappoint.  The extremely rural setting of an Australian mining town was a refreshing and perfect place to set a survivalist story in. So many ideas ran through my mind of what it would be like trying to survive in the brutal outback. My first thought a After the Lights Go Out is a thrill-ride to say the least. From the very first page Wilkinson's evocative writing drew me in immediately and I was hooked. The beginning of the story and the story premise itself filled me with intrigue and did not disappoint.  The extremely rural setting of an Australian mining town was a refreshing and perfect place to set a survivalist story in. So many ideas ran through my mind of what it would be like trying to survive in the brutal outback. My first thought about this book and its writing is that it is very well researched in terms of survival in the event of an unknown disaster and doomsday prepping. I was enamored page after page learning about the various plans the protagonist - Pru and her family had in the case of such an event and how impressively resourceful each sister was.  As the EMP had shut down anything with an electrical current, Wilkinson created a perfect storm to test the abilities of a girl and her two sisters trying to survive, as well an environment which commented and talked about the issues of complicated and unhealthy relationships, current events and the history between races and racism. I will say that some of the dialogue between characters such as Pru and Mateo and Pru and Violet did take me out of the book and distract me a little. I absolutely loved the diversity in this book, it was a breath of fresh air and a fantastic way to learn more about Australia and its rich and shocking history with the aboriginal people. However, other dialogue about current events and social issues seemed to be brought up out of the blue at times which did take me out of the book and the writing in this area did feel quite forced and unnecessary with so much else going on with the story. The themes and events within this story were dark at times which I really appreciated, and the book never strayed from being brutally realistic. It gave the sense of true fear in our everyday life, as this could really happen to us! The main and side characters were all developed really well into real people so the community felt so real. Secondary characters such as Clarita and Peter stood out and were fantastic to read about as well as fantastically written. Pru was a great protagonist tasked with looking after her two younger sisters. Her overbearing father's motto of "family first" always echoed in her head. It made for an enjoyably stressful time, reading about her hard decisions still as a young girl with so much weight on her shoulders as she comes of age. I will say though, for as much as she trained for a doomsday event, she made a few annoyingly poor choices I wouldn't have thought a girl like her would have made - especially with the "family first" motto drummed into her head. For the plot, it was a little inconsistent for me but still very enjoyable! I relished the beginning of the story and absolutely loved it. However, towards the second half of the book and the climax, the pacing of events felt a little disjointed. And with this, I felt a lot of what happened in the mid-end of the book was unnecessary and the climax almost came out of nowhere for me as I thought the story was going to a close. My last criticism is that a few very important and life-changing events occur with little repercussion or emotion, I felt like it would have been excruciatingly good to get into those a bit more deeper.  Overall, this book was brutal and addictive to read. I turned page after page wanting to find out what would happen next! The representation of diverse characters both in personality, skin color and culture was off the charts and a fantastic thing to read about, I loved that the most. I just had a few issues with some forced dialogue, plot pacing and character choices. Perhaps what I loved most about this book is how thought-provoking it is; in terms of what people do in desperation, how your relationships are affected by this and if we can actually survive in a doomsday event. Are you prepared? *Thank you to Allen & Unwin for sending me a paperback copy of this book from a facebook giveaway I entered! https://booklybliss.wordpress.com/201...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jenny (Bookbookowl)

    When Pru, Grace and Blythe's mother left, their father moved them into a remote town in the Australian outback, where he built an underground bunker and spent every day preparing his daughters for an apocalyptic event.  He is a fanatical doomsday prepper and is determined to keep his family safe when 'the big one' hits.  Then it does.  While their father is working at a mine-site, several hundred kilometres away, all the electricity suddenly disappears.  No phones, no cars, no water or petrol pu When Pru, Grace and Blythe's mother left, their father moved them into a remote town in the Australian outback, where he built an underground bunker and spent every day preparing his daughters for an apocalyptic event.  He is a fanatical doomsday prepper and is determined to keep his family safe when 'the big one' hits.  Then it does.  While their father is working at a mine-site, several hundred kilometres away, all the electricity suddenly disappears.  No phones, no cars, no water or petrol pumps, no pacemakers.  It's all fried.    Mateo doesn't belong in outback Australia.  He lives in America with his mums and he's only here with one of them because she's running a safety seminar at a local mine site.  He's having enough trouble dealing with the bad internet reception, when suddenly the power goes out.  Now nothing works and there's still the Australian snakes, spiders and other such creatures to worry about.   Pru and Mateo seem to have nothing in common, but now they're stuck in this town together, and they'll need to find out where their parents are, what is going on and how they're going to survive.  All while Pru and her sisters hide the fact that they have an entire bunker worth of supplies - because their dad has drilled it into them for so long - never tell anyone.  Never share the supplies.  Only the family matters. This book blew me away,  It was absolutely fantastic.  Usually apocalyptic type stories are set in big cities and everything turns to violence in five second flat and it all comes down to some guy who's going to 'fix the world'.  This book being set in outback Australia was such a different viewpoint and much more realistic to me.  And that made it so much scarier.  There are moral questions that have you wondering what you'd do yourself, themes of parental control and when love and protection steps over the line into obsession and paranoia, and such multifaceted characters.  There are also some wonderful diverse representations: A Puerto Rican main character, a bisexual main character, queer parents and a character with HIV.  I also LOVED that there were discussions about societal ideology surrounding virginity and teen sex not having to be tied up in a pretty 'true love' bow.   There were parts of this book that had me seriously concerned for my own lack of abilities should an electromagnetic event occur, there were parts that had me dying inside for Pru and her sisters and parts where I was furiously angry with various people in the book.  It was a rollercoaster of emotions and I would highly recommend it! MY BLOG ~ INSTAGRAM

  24. 5 out of 5

    Unseen Library

    I received a copy of After the Lights Go Out from Allen & Unwin Australia to review. From bestselling Australian author Lili Wilkinson comes After the Lights Go Out, an incredible and powerful young adult adventure set in the heart of the bush that asks the impossible question: should a person choose family or community in an emergency? Seventeen-year-old Prudence Palmer is a young woman living outside the small Australian outback town of Jubilee with her father, Rick, and her younger twin sis I received a copy of After the Lights Go Out from Allen & Unwin Australia to review. From bestselling Australian author Lili Wilkinson comes After the Lights Go Out, an incredible and powerful young adult adventure set in the heart of the bush that asks the impossible question: should a person choose family or community in an emergency? Seventeen-year-old Prudence Palmer is a young woman living outside the small Australian outback town of Jubilee with her father, Rick, and her younger twin sisters, Grace and Blyth. To the other inhabitants of the town, they are just another mining family, living close to Rick’s workplace. However, they are actually hiding a much deeper secret: they are doomsday preppers. Convinced that the world will soon suffer some form of imminent catastrophe, Rick has moved his daughters off the grid to Jubilee and has constructed a hidden bunker out the back of his property. Filled with a substantial amount of food, medicine, equipment, weapons and entertainment, the bunker has everything they need to survive the end of the world. The girls have also been trained to survive and are ready to react against a variety of scenarios. While Rick is sure a world-changing disaster is just around the corner, Pru is less certain, and is happy to keep her family’s activities a secret. So it is a great shock to her when something actually happens and every electrical device, modern car and generator in Jubilee suddenly fails. With Rick gone, Pru and her sisters must suddenly implement their survival plan without their father’s guidance and make the hard decision to hide their bunker and supplies from their friends in the town. With food, water and medicine becoming scarce, and with no transportation, communications or other vital necessities, the town starts to fall apart. As the situation gets even worse, Pru and her sisters must decide between helping their friends or doing as they have been trained and survive alone. Click link for full review: https://unseenlibrary.com/2018/09/14/... An abridged version of this review ran in the Canberra Weekly on 13 September 2018: https://unseenlibrary.com/2018/09/13/... Or visit my blog at: https://unseenlibrary.com/

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Doomsday preppers...riiiight....I was not sure if I would enjoy this as much as Lili's other novels. Sure, I knew it would be well-researched, and the writing would be impeccable, but preppers? I shouldn't have worried. From the first page I was drawn in and couldn't wait to know more. Pru and her sisters, twins Grace and Blythe, live with their Dad in the remote town of Jubilee. In the first pages of the book we see the girls dodging intruders and threats, but eventually learn it's a drill thei Doomsday preppers...riiiight....I was not sure if I would enjoy this as much as Lili's other novels. Sure, I knew it would be well-researched, and the writing would be impeccable, but preppers? I shouldn't have worried. From the first page I was drawn in and couldn't wait to know more. Pru and her sisters, twins Grace and Blythe, live with their Dad in the remote town of Jubilee. In the first pages of the book we see the girls dodging intruders and threats, but eventually learn it's a drill their father makes them do on a regular basis. Already the reader is made to feel uneasy because Pru is a doomsday prepper, or at least the child of one, and they are not necessarily known for their rational view of the world. Having a possibly unreliable narrator just serves to make the story more interesting. Then, the unthinkable (except for preppers) happens. There is a massive disastrous event and all of a sudden nothing that relies on electricity, or that has circuitry, works. No cars, no phones, no radio, no TV. No electric cooking, etc. To make matters worse, there's been an explosion at the mine where Rick, the girls' Dad, works and only a few have survived. The girls are on their own, in their bunker, with only each other to rely on. "Family comes first" their father has drilled into them since their mother left, and the girls are determined to survive, even if it means denying the other people in town much-needed assistance. When someone tells the other townsfolk of the girls' secret, things take a turn. I will not spoil the rest of the story, but this book is an absolute page-turner. Survival, romance, betrayal, violence, death, redemption - it's all there and Wilkinson writes her narrative with admirable restraint. There would be a tendancy for someone less experienced to pump up the hyperbole and drama, but Lili Wilkinson allows the drama to develop from small things- things that become huge in remarkable and terrifying circumstances. If you like gritty and realist fiction with a dytopian edge, this is for you. Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    www.acosyreader.com So yep, this story is about a prepper family and the kind of twisted way their Dad’s paranoia about impending Doomsday-like events affects his 3 daughters. Like I said, it’s something a little different 😉 I have to say, I really enjoyed this book. The characters were sweet, and complicated, and genuinely 3-dimensional which I really respect in a genre where it can be easy to fall into using trope-y cliched character types. When disaster hits, Pru constantly seems to question he www.acosyreader.com So yep, this story is about a prepper family and the kind of twisted way their Dad’s paranoia about impending Doomsday-like events affects his 3 daughters. Like I said, it’s something a little different 😉 I have to say, I really enjoyed this book. The characters were sweet, and complicated, and genuinely 3-dimensional which I really respect in a genre where it can be easy to fall into using trope-y cliched character types. When disaster hits, Pru constantly seems to question her Dad’s mantra of ‘Family comes first’ after seeing how the town bands together. Torn between two mindsets, we get to see Pru’s internal battle of what to do – and it lets you wonder what you’d do in the same circumstances – when you’ve been brought up to so firmly believe people would act a certain way when disaster hit, only to have your community’s actions completely fly in the face of it. Similarly, the twins (Grace and Blythe) have their quirks and twists of personality that you wouldn’t necessarily expect from the first few chapters. Even Mateo seems to grow and change through the book. Basically, what I’m trying to say is, Wilkinson’s characterisation and the way she lets her characters adapt and change was really refreshing to read. The story itself is also engaging, with a plot that keeps you turning those pages (I think I finished this book in like, 2-3 days, which I haven’t done for a while!). It’s not only what happens that keeps you wanting more, but also the way it happens and how well written the whole novel is, I just wanted to devour it all. But don’t let me sway you – I highly recommend you give it a read yourself! Rating: Contemporary YA fans will almost definitely love this book, and those who enjoy contemporary fiction generally I’d say would also enjoy this read as a lighter, faster read. I recommend trying it!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mistress Bast

    This is a book that challenges you and asks you to think about what you would do if... The characters are faced with a end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it situation and they have to make some very hard choices with very little information. Would you make the same decisions in their place? that is the real question isn't it?. There were times when I didn't want to keep reading - not because I was bored, but because I feared what would be coming. In particular there were some believably selfish characte This is a book that challenges you and asks you to think about what you would do if... The characters are faced with a end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it situation and they have to make some very hard choices with very little information. Would you make the same decisions in their place? that is the real question isn't it?. There were times when I didn't want to keep reading - not because I was bored, but because I feared what would be coming. In particular there were some believably selfish characters that I could too easily see taking advantage of the precarious situations and their predatory nature made me just as sick as it would have had they been real! My only gripe with the book were a couple of plot points that just didn't seem as polished as the rest of the book - perhaps because the rest of the book was so well told that I wanted the same high standard for the whole lot! (view spoiler)[In particular the deaths of Blythe and Reid didn't work for me. I am not sure why, perhaps because they seemed a bit glossed over, and the lead up didn't sell it to me. In Blythe's case Grace hadn't seemed to show signs of delirum prior to grabbing the gun, yes she was really sick, but even sick why would she point the gun at Blythe? In the case of Reid, his choosing to poke a stick at a bee hive didn't seem rational - why was her there even? (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[Rick? oh my, what a well written truly horrible, abusive, control freak (hide spoiler)]

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kirra

    Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars I've only read one book (The Boundless Sublime) from Lili Wilkinson previously but she also wrote an incredible short story in the #LoveOzYa Anthology (Oona Underground) and ever since I read that short story I've been obsessed with the way her words could bring so much emotion to me with chills that get your heart racing too with a tingle down your spine. Everything I've read so far from her has a spooky, unsettling feeling and I adore that about her work because her wor Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars I've only read one book (The Boundless Sublime) from Lili Wilkinson previously but she also wrote an incredible short story in the #LoveOzYa Anthology (Oona Underground) and ever since I read that short story I've been obsessed with the way her words could bring so much emotion to me with chills that get your heart racing too with a tingle down your spine. Everything I've read so far from her has a spooky, unsettling feeling and I adore that about her work because her words have so much power behind them. Her latest book, After The Lights Go Out, brings you into a small town with a family that hides an entire escape plan under their property. Pru's father is a devoted doomsday prepper after their mother left him and they moved into the isolated mining community. He regularly tests the girls on all things they will need to learn how to do and use to survive in any outlandish situation that might confront them. This doesn't impress Pru and her sisters since they just want to have a little more normalcy and a real mobile phone but still, they learn from their father and when disaster strikes they're ready for the new world where survival is everything and you can't trust anybody. I knew I would love the writing in this book but I wasn't prepared for how thoroughly interesting this topic could be. I'm usually not a fan of small town books but I loved this book and the focus was mainly on the characters emotions and struggles during a scary situation like that. If all the power went off and everything stopped in a big city you would walk outside and have people that surely knew what was going on but in a small town community with sparse resources and people it would be such a mystery and all the more terrifying. I would hate to be in their position myself so it was so indulgent to be able to go into this scenario through the safety of a great book. I think it's good to go into this book as blind as you can too and just let it surprise you because it surely will!  (Thanks to Allen & Unwin Australia for sending a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. After The Lights Go Out is available now in store and online!)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sarria Butler

    3.5? I'm very confused by how I feel about this novel. On the one side, there was some fantastic character development, cultural issues and community dealings discussed. On the other there was a plot line that seemed to go against the training of the main character, which she constantly reminds us of. Indecision created a lot of unneeded pages to the book as well as aggravation on my part. Just get to the god damn point, Pru! (main character) I honestly think the section I enjoyed most was Wilkinso 3.5? I'm very confused by how I feel about this novel. On the one side, there was some fantastic character development, cultural issues and community dealings discussed. On the other there was a plot line that seemed to go against the training of the main character, which she constantly reminds us of. Indecision created a lot of unneeded pages to the book as well as aggravation on my part. Just get to the god damn point, Pru! (main character) I honestly think the section I enjoyed most was Wilkinson's authors note where she expressed her thanks to doomsday preppers online and hopes their version of the future never takes place. She also explains that the situation which occurs in the novel is something that, even if it did happen in real life, would never happen to the magnitude in the book. It seems something odd to add in your author's note, seeing as we already know it's fiction? Wilkinson did mention that as a white woman writing she was extremely glad she reached out to Aboriginals for the correct language and connection to the land that she expressed in her character Violet. I feel like that was an important message to include. Oh! And I also loved that it was set in extreme rural Australia.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Final Frontier Books

    Read my full review on my blog, Final Frontier Books! So, why should you read this book? This is an at times brutal, but ultimately heart-warming tale about love and community. If you enjoy realistic fiction with a little bit of romance thrown into the mix, and are interested in getting a little sneak-peak into the life of a doomsday prepper, I'd definitely give this book a go! My opinion I really enjoyed this book! It had so many great things: amazing, real-feeling characters (particularly the Palm Read my full review on my blog, Final Frontier Books! So, why should you read this book? This is an at times brutal, but ultimately heart-warming tale about love and community. If you enjoy realistic fiction with a little bit of romance thrown into the mix, and are interested in getting a little sneak-peak into the life of a doomsday prepper, I'd definitely give this book a go! My opinion I really enjoyed this book! It had so many great things: amazing, real-feeling characters (particularly the Palmers; the protagonist Prudence's family), a terrifying moral dilemma that wove together family, community, love, and survival, and well-done foreshadowing. As an Australian, I also thoroughly enjoyed the descriptions of the Australian outback and Australian culture, which you don't see much in mainstream YA. My only (minor) critique is that the pacing felt a bit off; there were a couple of times when the book almost felt like it should have ended and I wasn't sure what I was supposed to be waiting for.

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