4 Star Books · Book Reviews · mystery · psychological thriller · suspense · thriller

ARC Book Review | When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica

 

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When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica

Published: September 4, 2018

Publisher: Park Row

Pages: 336

Genres: thriller, mystery, suspense, psychological thriller

Rating: 4 stars

Recommend to fans of: Mary Kubica’s other books, slow burn suspense novels, books with twists you won’t see coming

Read with food: popcorn and coffee ~ can’t stop reading and you’re gonna be up all night

 

Synopsis:

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?

 

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Park Row and Mary Kubica for an ARC ebook copy for review. As always, an honest review form me.

Oh my goodness! Mary Kubica hits it out of the park again with this fantastic slow burn of a suspense novel. I thought I knew what was happening with a few possible endings, but she got me again. I didn’t see that ending coming and I loved it!

Most of the book is a slow burn with small clues sprinkled about here and there. Just enough to make me think I’ve got it all figured out. I read with horror and excitement and then bam! The rug was pulled out from underneath me, but I landed on my feet. I loved the progressively more unsettling feeling the main character and us readers felt.

However the ending, as great as it was in terms of suspense, also left me feeling slightly disappointed. I wanted more. More what? I don’t know exactly.

When the Lights Go Out is one heck of a thrilling ride. I know to expect the unexpected with Mary Kubica but I still did not see that coming. Got me again!

 

Do you love or hate books that feel unsettling throughout? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!

2.5 Star Books · Book Reviews · historical fiction · LGBTQIA+ Books · Literary Fiction · Uncategorized

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

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The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

Published: June 19, 2018

Publisher: Viking

Pages: 421 

Genres: literary fiction, historical fiction, LGBTQ

Rating: 2.5 stars

Recommend to fans of: historical fiction about the AIDS epidemic in the 80s

Read with food: Chinese takeaway

 

Synopsis:

In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico’s funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico’s little sister.

Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world, as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster.

Review:

I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. Thank you to the publisher and author for a copy. As always, an honest review.

I was disappointed by this read. The story takes place in the art world in 1980s Chicago and also present day Paris. The main focus is the lives of the gay community during the AIDS epidemic in the 80s, which the author does justice. Despite what could be a phenomenal book, it fell short for me.

I couldn’t connect with any of the characters, nor did the story draw me in. Therefore I went through the book appreciating and enjoying certain moments, but overall not invested in either story due to lack of connection. Also the two separate stories barely had anything to do with each other. They honestly could have been 2 separate books or even eliminated most of the present day Paris storyline.

The Great Believers had some redeeming benefits though. It told a story that isn’t always portrayed in the media and actually went into detail instead of glossing over unfavorable moments. A part of the history books that isn’t always done justice.

If you can connect with the characters, then you will probably enjoy it more than I did. But if not then take my thoughts into consideration. The tone of the book and writing doesn’t really change as you get farther along in the book.

 

I liked the overall concept, but it didn’t pan out for me.

 

Anyone have any other similar books that you really liked and would recommend to me?