The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

Tessa Lowell has spent the last ten years living with her grandmother in Florida. Ten years away from everything she knew – the shit hole town where she grew up, ten years away from her friends and family, ten years away from the Monster. And then she receives a phone call that changes everything.

Her dad is dying, and while she doesn’t care, not really, she gets on a plane anyway to see the man whose been locked up all this time, one last time. But he’s already dead when she gets there, and there’s a name on his visitors list that unravels everything.

Why did her best childhood friend stop talking to her? Where is mother? And why did her missing sister come back to visit their dying father, only to disappear again immediately? All these questions extend her trip to Fayette, the podunk town she lived in before moving to Florida after her mother gave her up. And then another victim of the Monster surfaces.

The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas is gripping from the very beginning, although not as attention keeping as the previous works I’ve reviewed. You can tell Thomas loves true crime in real life, and it shows in her writing. She knows how to tell a story and keep it moving, although The Darkest Corners doesn’t have as many mind boggling twists and turns as usual. Still, I really enjoyed this work and I’m happy to continue reading more as the author releases. I believe I only have one more published work to go currently.

Goodreads rating: 3 of 5 stars

Would I read it again? I’m not in any hurry, but I wouldn’t say never.

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.