Book Review: Blackout By Sarah Hepola

Blackout: Remembering The Things I Drank To Forget
  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 5 stars
  • 100%

“He wasn’t drinking too many Long Island iced teas; he was punching a hole in the space-time continuum.”

Amazon Kindle had an 80% off sale. I clicked on the banner with skeptical curiosity. There’s no way I would find anything remotely worth reading in here. But I’m a sucker for  pretty book covers with enchanting typography.

Then, I came across Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget. An odd title and just the opposite of a “pretty, enchanting” cover. I also thought to myself that this was going to be just another “woe is me, I drank till I passed out too many times, my parents were cruel, the world is cruel” kind of memoir. But I gave the sample read a try anyway because as a former heavy drinker, I was drawn to this story.

It is about a woman who lost large chunks time after drinking too much; “the free prize at the bottom of every vodka bottle.” ~ Big Bang Theory.

Needless to say, I’ve experienced the same thing during my twenties and thirties. And two minutes into the sample, I was hooked!

The very first sentence grabbed me, and I devoured the entire intro in a matter of minutes. Convinced this book would be exciting, I purchased it for Kindle. I got a good deal, $1.99 Kindle Deals. But this is how Kindle nickel-and-dimes me into poverty. It banks on my terrible book habit. Sad face.

Turns out this was the best memoir I’ve ever read. The writing is superb, and I related rather closely to what Sara talked about. Her experiences with alcohol, the resulting blackouts, and her sleuthing skills the next day trying to piece together the previous night were all too eerily similar to my tumultuous twenties and early thirties. I also grew up in the same political and socio-economic upheavals of the time.

All this time, I thought I was alone in these experiences.

I finished this book in 2 days. The fastest I’ve ever completed a book. And if I didn’t have to work, I would have finished it in a day.

Review Disclaimer

I am NOT receiving any compensation for this review, and Sarah Hepola doesn’t know I am doing this review. However, I AM posting an Amazon Affiliate link to this fantastic book here. If you use this link to purchase Blackout from Amazon, I get a small commission. This commission is from Amazon and not the author or publisher of this book and is at no cost to you.

Blackout by Sarah Hepola Talks About

Blackout is a memoir about Sarah’s adventures with alcohol and how it always managed to take pieces of her day or night away from her. She takes an honest look at her drinking and talks about her experiences in a very honest and humorous way. But she never lectures, and she never dwells too long in remorse. She also never talks about sobriety as a beautiful thing heralded by angels.

Her story is very raw, but Sarah is brilliant in the way she writes about such a depressing subject. I love how she writes from a hindsight perspective, looking back upon her episodes with wisdom and not from a look-pity-me-here kind of way. I laughed, I pondered, I cried, and I was astonished at some of the revelations she shared. It helped me to understand my own past in a way that could help put some demons to rest.

“So I sauntered up to those amber bottles, and I learned to swallow their violence.”

Who Blackout Is For

This memoir is for anyone who’s experienced alcohol-induced blackouts or knows someone who has. This book gives an inside look into this condition.

Also, this book is perfect for anyone looking for a well-written memoir. Since memoirs are an excellent way to explore the human condition – a messy and complicated subject.

What Touched Me The Most

Honestly, I was afraid to read this book. The thought that it would make me want to start drinking again had me hesitating. You know, I thought it would awaken old demons.

When I stopped drinking, I never pondered my experiences because I was afraid thinking too much about it would cause my mind to justify a good reason drink again. Something like, “hey, you’ve been so good at this abstinence thing, you should celebrate.”

But this book had the opposite effect.

Blackout helped me to understand that what I experienced wasn’t unique. It was a problem for sure, but I actually wasn’t alone in the experience. And that was comforting to understand.

I was able to analyze what I went through, have a better understanding of it, and see where I went wrong, and subsequently went right. It was what I needed for closure on a subject that I never wanted to talk about. Reading this book helped me to finally close this chapter of my life, and frame it for the shelf so I wouldn’t forget it and repeat history. I was able to look back on my situations with wisdom, not pain and regret.

What Others Are Saying About Blackout

Blackout was published June 23, 2015

In Goodreads, the star rating is a 3.9 with 9,369 ratings and 1031 reviews. 94% of people liked this book

In Amazon, there is a discrepancy of when the book was published, but reviews go back as far as 2015. The rating is a 4.5 out of 5 with 604 reviews. It is currently $9.99 for the Kindle version and $10.09 for the paperback. This is a good book to have on Kindle.

My Final Two Cents

Blackout amazed me. Sarah’s writing style and her brutally honest way she shared her experience with alcohol and blackouts. She went way beyond just a surface telling of what happened. Sarah takes her readers on a journey deep into her ruminations and motivations for drinking and then life changes she decided on. At times the things she covers were not pretty. I love her honesty and the way she shared this with the world.

I found my new favorite author.

Your Turn

Have you read this book? Please share your thoughts about it in the comments below. I’d love to hear how this book touched you, or maybe how it didn’t work for you.




This book gets you hooked before the chapters even start. You can’t wait to see how she gets better and you’ll be surprised by the results.


You may relate too closely with Sarah’s stories and that can be hard for some people. And on the other hand, that’s what some people love about this book.


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