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!

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!

Broomsticks and Bones (Blackwood Bay Witches #4) by Misty Bane

Dru Rathmore is going to Hogwarts.

Just kidding. But she is going to Crocus Academy, ~Hogwarts light~ for a week. She’ll be dorming with teenagers, which she’s not thrilled about, but doesn’t have to wear the uniform, which she is thrilled about. And she’s there to learn to ride a broomstick.

But naturally, as soon as she arrives, she stumbles upon a secret Crocus Academy is hiding. Whispers are all around about who killed Savannah Scott. The resident Mean Girls think Ella (the quiet, shy one) did it, Ella thinks they did it, and Headmistress Bevil wishes they’d all shut up about it.

But threatening notes start showing up under Dru’s dorm room door and her handsome Guardian/boyfriend, Harper can only help her via his transformation skills. No boys allowed in this one. Dru enlists Granny and her cat to help solve this mystery, and the escapades they get up to are some of the best in the series.

Broomsticks and Bones by Misty Bane is my favorite in this cozy, witchy mystery series. It takes us out of Blackwood Bay for new adventures and Dru’s skills get to develop more, which usually end up with more high spirited hijinks.

Goodreads rating: 4 of 5 stars

Would I read it again? Yes!

Words Can Just Shred Your Insides

“It’s amazing how words can do that, just shred your insides apart.” – Lauren Oliver

They really can. Some ~10 years ago I read If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin. I read the book in a matter of hours and felt like I had been on a roller coaster of emotions. By the end I was in tears. And then I picked it up again and savored it a second time, taking in the highs and lows, the tearful parts, the sweet moments. I cried for days and thought about it for longer. I still do now, from time to time. I picked it up a couple of years ago again and realized it no longer brought out the same whirlwind of emotions in me, but Nowlin used her words to create something that has stuck with me through all the books I’ve read, and that’s special.

Has this ever happened to you? Tell me about a book that’s shredded your insides.