Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

Kara Thomas has a way of sucking you in from the first page of her writing. That’s what happened to me with Little Monsters this weekend. There’s no long and drawn out build up, it’s gripping and has momentum from the very beginning and doesn’t let you go until the very last page.

Kacey moved from New York to Wisconsin about a year ago to live with the dad she never knew and his family. She has an edge about her, her own scars and experiences that have shaped her, but she falls into family life more or less well enough. She makes friends with two girls at school almost immediately, and while not popular or cool, they’re their own little circle.

But things aren’t always what they seem, and sometimes being a teenage girl is hard. When Kacey is left out of one of the biggest parties of the year, she’s hurt but not dramatically so. Her friend Bailey was supposed to text her and never does, and then turns up missing the next day. And so unfolds one of the craziest stories I’ve read all year.

When I reviewed That Weekend over the summer, I knew I had found a new favorite author. And I was right, and it’s only the beginning as Kara Thomas is, while not a brand new author, one that has a couple more books I need to pick up. If you love YA thrillers that are fast paced, keep you on your toes, and have none of the drudgery that sometimes weighs books like these down, this one’s for you.

Goodreads rating: 5 of 5 stars

Would I read it again? Oh yes!

The Project by Courtney Summers

The picturesque background of upstate New York holds a mystery Lo Denham has been trying to unravel for six years. Where is her sister? Lo’s been working as an assistant to the head of SVO, and up and coming magazine, for a year and is finally ready to get her byline – by investigating the truth of The Unity Project, the community her sister Bea loses herself in shortly after their parents deaths.

Bea Denham joins The Unity Project, a cult to everyone else, that bases itself on love, acceptance, and faith. Her little sister was brought back to life by their charismatic leader, Lev Warren. She leaves Lo in the care of their great Aunt and begins a semi-reclusive life working to grow The Project’s outreach.

Foster worked in an emergency room, where by chance he has a run in with Bea in the hospital chapel after losing a young patient. He’s brought into The Project as the perfect soldier. He’s a young man searching for more than the hurt and death he sees daily.

Told from a shifting narrative, The Project by Courtney Summers entwines the lives of the lost, the lonely, and those searching for the truth in a fast paced thriller centering on how much damage one man with too many idealizations about himself can cause. I was a little skeptical going in. I saw the hype over this book on social media and I’ve read a book or two by the author in the past, but nothing that stuck with me. But after the initial set up I was hooked, reaching for it in-between Sunday tasks and checking the latest hurricane coverage. It’s gripping and raw, and I’ll be thinking about it for a long time.

Review: Court of Shadows (House of Furies #2) by Madeleine Roux

I was not the biggest fan of the the first House of Furies book. It was slow and clunky, but within it’s lagging pages was the start of an intriguing story. I intended to read the next book in the series but wasn’t in any particular rush to do so.

Fast forward about seven months – I was in the beginnings of a summer of rereads when I was contacted to review the third book in the series, and since I knew there was potential there, I agreed. So while Tomb of Ancients sat on my shelf, I deep dove into Court of Shadows and I’m glad I did.

There’s an order to things at Coldthistle House. And though I strayed away into other lands and time, I found myself sucked back into the House, and the story it has to tell. So did Louisa Ditton. The story opens with Louisa back at the House, again working as a maid, and terribly missing her friend Mary and her relationship with Lee Bremerton.

The strange and mysterious cast of characters that reside within the house’s walls are rattled. A young woman and her fiancee’s family are the current guests when a convening of the courts is announced that spins the house into chaos. Terrifying creatures whose sole purpose is divining the truth out of you at all costs are around every corner. A vengeful ancient god arrives as the bride-to-be dies before her time. And there’s a journal that must be translated before Mr. Morningside stands trial.

Louisa strikes a deal to translate the journal and free herself and her friends from the house, and in doing so unlocks a story of what happened Before. Before Morningside came to be and before the ancients were laid to an enchanted sleep. The horror and mystery within the journal are an epic story within a story.

Court of Shadows is a considerably faster paced read than it’s predecessor, and a much better story overall. I can’t wait to start the third book and see how it all plays out. I hope we learn more about Louisa’s powers and her background, as well as more about the house’s employees.