When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica, 3 Stars

It has been hard for me to sit down and read a book lately. I blame summer. Or rather, the hurried end of summer as we try to check every single last thing off our summer bucket list, go to all the dentist appointments and buy whatever it is that is the “best deal ever” for back-to-school.

But, we are seriously down to 10 days left! So I am longingly looking at my books on the side-table or the list in my Kindle, just waiting until we can be together again.

I also had the softest, most comfy sweater arrive in the mail today and I’m so excited to wear it…in six weeks. Why cant the weather turn cool the minute school starts? Because I’m ready!

I did manage to get one book read in the last week. It felt like it was taking forever. And it was very readable, I just didn’t have the time to sit down and get it read. So here we go!

From the Publisher:

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:

Let me preface this review by saying, I love Mary Kubica. Her books are amazing, she can do no wrong. However, When the Lights Go Out was my least favorite of her books. It was definitely a departure, as it wasn’t  really twisty suspense like she normally writes. It was more of a drama with a little mystery thrown in.

It was well written for sure and I enjoyed the slow reveal of the stories of each of the narrators until they were woven intricately together. But I just didn’t love the story as much as usual.

Jessie is a young woman who after caring for her ailing mother is a little lost without her. She is trying to move on–apply to college, get a job and find an apartment. But somehow, she doesn’t seem to know a thing about her past. Then she discovers her social security number is a fake and she really starts to wonder what is going on.

The other narrator is a woman who struggles with the constant desire to be a mother and the heartbreak of infertility.

Both women are slowly (or not so slowly) losing their minds and each of them tumble further and further down their own rabbit holes. Neither know how to move on, both are stuck in the same place.

Sound pretty good, right? I just thought that if Jessie had a super close relationship with her mother, that her mother would have prepared her to be independent, especially if she knew she wouldn’t be there to help her out. That part baffled me. Even if her social security number was a fake–wouldn’t it be worth it to come clean and help her daughter move on?

I also was somewhat maddened by Jessie’s behavior. I just didn’t feel her character was completely believable. And although I hate to completely judge a book by its end…that’s all I’ll say!

Special thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin Park Row for a free e-galley in exchange for my honest review.

I say if you are a Kubica fan, it’s definitely still worth checking out. My opinion is only mine and I hope many of you disagree! This one is out September 4, 2018.

Get your copy:





2 thoughts on “When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica, 3 Stars

Add yours

  1. I didn’t enjoy this one..which was very surprising. I really enjoyed Every Last Lie and was expecting the same thrill. This felt more like women’s fiction to me. And not a typical Kubica type book based on all the blurbs I have read from her other books. Glad I’m not the only one who thought it wasn’t all that and gave it a 3.


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