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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

REVIEW: When The Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica #allthebookreviews

When The Lights Go Out
by Mary Kubica

One of my favorite authors, but sadly this book didn't quite work for us.  See what Jessica and I thought below - this will definitely be a divisive one in the reading community.

Publisher: Park Row
Publish Date:  September 4, 2018
336 Pages
Genres:  Thriller, Mystery

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?

My Review:

Listen, I'm a huge Kubica fan and still am and she will continue to be an autobuy author for me.  It was bound to happen though - at some point one of her books was just not going to work for me and unfortunately this is the one.  

Let's start with the good.  Man, I just LOVE her writing style.  It's atmospheric, draws you right in from the very first chapter and the short chapters make her books a breeze to get through.  This book is no different.  I was glued to the pages - needing to see what was going to happen.  Is Jessie going insane with each passing day her insomnia is keeping her awake?  How far will Eden go to get the family she so desperately wants? I NEED TO KNOW ANSWERS!

At one point, I thought to myself, "Self, if this goes in THIS direction, I'm going to be so pissed off." Well, IT DID and uff.... I wanted to throw this book across the room.  For 95% of the book I was so invested and then WHY... WHYYYYYYYYYYY.  **throws tantrum** Now, some people are really going to LOVE this twist and I can see why.  Unfortunately it didn't set well with me. Nope. Not even a little bit.  Sigh.  Readers, you'll see why when you read this book, and you still definitely should because I need people to talk to about this!

Don't worry, the following won't spoil anything..... What I enjoyed best was the portrayal of the emotional instability miscarriages can cause - I'll be quite personal here and tell you when I went through mine, I hated everyone who was getting pregnant so easily (and it was a surprise for me, not planned at all so surprise surprise when I was thoroughly devastated... men will never understand the physical and mental ups and downs - hell, my hair even grew curly afterwards - hey, biology, how are ya?)... I've come to terms with not having children and I am A-OK with it now, but for a period of time I would either break into tears, get thoroughly pissed and felt a giant hole (which gradually grows smaller day by day but will likely never go fully away).  Kubica very well puts these feelings into this book... and then some.  For that, I thank her. I'm not one to get "triggered" but for those that are - the topic of miscarriages and infertility run amok in this book.

I'm still ruffled about that twist.  I really wish it had gone in a different direction. But hey, not all books will work, even from one of my favorites.   I'll still be keeping a keen eye out for her next book. <3


Jessica's Review:

This book will definitely divide people and especially fans of Mary Kubica. WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT is a book that I loved, until the very end. It's rare that a book will flip like that for me, but it does happen on occasion. I will also warn that this book does deal with the topic of miscarriages and infertility, so that's something to keep in mind before starting. 

Insomnia is something that a lot of people seem to suffer from for one reason or another, and it is no joke. Not being able to sleep or get very little sleep definitely begins to take a toll on you and not just physically. We follow two timelines - Jessie in the present and Eden, her mother, in the past. Their relationship is built on a secret that is beginning to affect Jessie now and her future plans. 

The short chapters made this a very quick read and this had me drawn in from the very beginning. Is Jessie's insomnia beginning to take a toll on her mentally? What lengths is Eden willing to go in order to get the family she is yearning for? The place where I have an issue with this book is the final twist. I know a few other readers have the same issue. This went in a different direction than I was anticipating and hoping for, but on the flip side, I can see a lot of other readers loving it. 

The characters were very relatable and felt authentic. The pain and heartache felt by Eden with the issues she was experiencing trying to have a family. I know this will be harder for some people, but I think that Kubica approaches it very well. As someone that knows I won't be having children (for medical reasons), it wasn't as difficult for me to get through. The effects of insomnia are very real, I know some people that suffer from it and it 100% begins to take a mental toll on you. 

Overall, I would say that this is a book that just didn't completely work for me personally. It's been a back and forth on my final rating and I would say that I fall in the middle ground for this one. I know a lot of people will love the pacing and the final twist! I love Kubica's writing and will continue to pick up her future titles - she really knows how to weave a great thriller.

3/5 stars

1 comment:

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