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!

On Alternative Dust Jackets

*image by booknerdrox on instagram

While scrolling my instagram feed, as one does more often that one wants to admit, I came across this image. It’s beautiful, it’s compelling, it’s eye-catching. I had no idea what it was until a third pass at the tagging.

It’s the Court of Thorns and Roses series, and I’m currently reading the books.

🙂

I do actually like alternative dust jackets, I actually have a set of Harry Potter ones displayed in my home, despite owing the originals too. And these pictured here are literal works of art – I wouldn’t mind owning them at all. (I might actually check to see if I can find them online after writing this, but I somehow doubt these are for purchase). But I also love original cover art, and books are so expensive and duplicates unnecessary. There’s something special about being able to purchase a book in a series as it comes out over time. And yet, the artists who create alternative covers make something special too, and in this instance I think they’re more evocative than the originals.

What do you think, readers? Are you pro original covers or pro alternative covers? Let me know.

A Court of Mist and Fury Sarah J. Maas

Fayre is a survivor. From her childhood with family who didn’t understand her, her teenage years where she provided for that same useless family, to her time in Prythian and Under the Mountain. She survives. She’s basically a much more interesting Destiny’s Child.

Since the events of the first book, Fayre has become an immortal with a mortal heart. She’s never had to think about whether her actions are good or not, as they’ve always been inherently good. Now, she’s something the world hasn’t seen in a very long time, she’s Made, and the choices she’s made and the choices of those around her start to weigh down on her until she’s all but crumbling.

Cue the High Lord of the Night Court, sensing her unraveling through their bond, coming to reclaim the bargain made during the tasks in the first book. Rhysland is everything Tamlin is not, and when he steals Fayre away on her wedding day, she begins to realize he’s much more than what he’s let people see.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas is a monstrosity of a book, in pages, not plot, and I struggled getting through it and the Thanksgiving holiday in one week. And while I made an absolutely terrible pumpkin pie, I had a great time sinking my teeth into this story, where magic comes alive as you turn the pages. Character development, story building, adventures – a lot is packed into the binding. If you haven’t started this series yet, I highly recommend.

Goodreads rating: 4 of 5 starts

Would I read it again? Yes!

A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J. Mass

A few weeks ago I came across a book cover by Sarah J. Maas and decided then that I need to read the series it was from. So several years late to the game, I’ve gone full tilt into A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J. Maas.

I spent the weekend reading this first installment, ignoring my unpacking and cleaning and dived head first into this fantastical faerie novel. Feyre is a starving mortal girl, a huntress, and the heroine of our story. We meet her when she’s creeping through the forest near her family’s cabin, trying to secure them something to eat for the night, and hopefully the next few days. When she comes across a wolf, a faerie in wolf’s clothing stalking a deer, she quickly decides which will be her prey, before she becomes it herself. Little did she know that the arrow loosed into the faerie wolf’s hide would forever change her life.

Feyre broke the ancient Treaty between Faeries and Humans in that one desperate moment, and she’s dragged from the world she knows to Prythian, and the Spring Court. Her captor is Tamlin, High Lord, but he doesn’t want a captive anymore than she wants to go with him, but the only other option is death. When Feyre awakens from her journey, she uncovers a mythical world of color, music, and Faeries doomed by the Blight, but what is it and why can’t it be stopped? Together, they must race against time to stop a curse before it dooms them both.

I. freakin. loved. this. The descriptions, the characters, the twist 2/3 of the way through. So good. I even put a pause on my original 90210 rewatch because I couldn’t put this book down, and not much as ever stopped my love for the original bromance between Dylan McKay and Brandon Walsh. I can’t wait to start the next in the series, and while I’ve heard that as we get further down the line it becomes a bit of an undertaking to get through, I’m still excited to see what’s next.

Goodreads rating: 5 of 5 stars

Would I read it again? Yes!