Review: When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica


Release date: September 4, 2018

Publisher: Park Row

Genre: Psychological Thriller


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?

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for When the Lights Go Out! If you would like to follow along with the tour check out TLC Book Tours for the full schedule.


I have a strong relationship with Kubica as an author, I’ve really enjoyed all of her previous books and I’m always super excited when she comes out with a new book. She’s a master at that slow burning style of suspense and her writing is just outstanding, and I although I enjoyed this one I know it can and will divide readers.

This follows Jessie right when her mom passes away and then it also flips back to 1996 and follows Eden as she marries and wants to start a family. Jessie is suffering from severe insomnia and Kubica captured her sense of desperation and paranoia perfectly. Seeing inside Jessie’s head while she was suffering so greatly from a serious lack of sleep gave the book a crazed, frenzied feel that I liked, the suspense and tension ran at an all time high and no one writes slow boiling suspense like Kubica does. On top of that, her characterization is always on point and this was no exception.

I said earlier that this is dividing readers and it’s all about that ending. THAT ENDING!! I won’t say much more, but I can see why some love it and also why some were frustrated and I fell somewhere in the middle. Was it surprising? Absolutely! Was it my favorite big reveal of all time? Unfortunately no, but I am such a huge fan of Kubica that I wasn’t too bothered. If you’re already a fan of hers I urge you to read this for yourself and see what side of the fence YOU land on. No matter what, she’s an assured and bold writer that’s unafraid to take big risks and I have mad respect for that!

About the Author:

Mary Kubica is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL and PRETTY BABY.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children and enjoys photography, gardening and caring for the animals at a local shelter.



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