Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

Tessa and Callie's testimony put a serial killer behind bars when they were 9.  So what if what they said may not have been 100% fact?  Everybody knows that Wyatt Stokes killed Callie's cousin Lori.  He was harassing her earlier that same day AND there was fiber evidence to link him to one of the other victims.

Now with high school over, Tessa's coming back to Fayette, Pennsylvania to deal with some family matters.  (Her dad is dying in jail).  But Callie's not exactly happy to see this blast from the past.  And it seems no one wants to dredge up bad memories... even when another girl goes missing.

Tessa is determined to figure out the truth.  Even if it makes her a liar and answers questions about her family she never wanted to know.

A YA Mystery that sucked me in!!!  I've been looking for a LONG time for a really good YA Mystery... it seems to be one of the hardest books for me to find anymore.  I've read so many BLAH books, and then this one came along, and it's anything but BLAH.  I was really hoping the serial killer angle would be that deciding factor, and I have to say I didn't even need there to be a serial killer for me to be into this book!  It was just so addicting and suspenseful and the characters were strong!

The Mystery: I loved how complicated this book got.  It went beyond just the idea that they may have put an innocent man behind bars.  There was so much more going on than that.  It was- Who Killed Lori?  Why Is It Happening Again?  Where Is Tessa's Mother?  Why Did Tessa's Sister Change Her Name?  I loved all the family secrets and drama going on simultaneously.  It really made me want to read and read and read to figure out WHAT in the world was going on with these 2 families... and of course, who was killing people.

The Setting:  I'm from Pittsburgh, so the area this book is set in is about 40 minutes south of me.  I've been to Fayette County, and I'm always excited to see Western PA featured in books.  The thing about the setting I didn't like so much was the negativity.  I felt like this book gave off a really negative view of small-town life.  Now don't get me wrong, I've been known to knock my small-town every now and again.... but one of the first things I learned in my college creative writing class was that people don't like to read about judgement.  And this book was throwing the judgement around pretty harshly.  Not everyone who lives in a small-town hates it.  Not everyone ONLY lives there because they weren't able to make it out.  Some actually CHOOSE to stay because they like the small-town life.  Now it might seem like I ranted a bit here- but there was a LOT of little jabs about how terrible it was to live in Fayette scattered throughout the book, and I found it to be not cool.

The People: I really liked Tessa, Callie, Decker, and Callie's mom.  I'm glad it didn't veer into the forcing-a-romance in category, but I can totally see Decker and Tessa getting together later on... or at least staying in touch as awesome friends.  I loved that Callie was harsh and had her issues, but totally came around and showed me that she wasn't what she first appeared.

The Ending: Now even though this totally 100% fulfilled my need for a YA Mystery, that doesn't mean it was perfect.  I didn't care for the extra turn that the book took to tie everything together.  I know it was meant to be like a major WTF moment... but I thought it went a little too far into the yeah right category.  I liked that it tried, but it definitely went about 10 steps over the line into crazy-town for me.

OVERALL: YES to this fast-paced, page-turning YA Mystery!!  I've been looking for a YA Mystery that I clicked with, and I was so happy to finally found one!  I think this was a big step up from Prep School Confidential.

This Book Contains:
  • A fictional town in Southwest PA
  • Mystery
  • College talk
  • A serial killer
  • Family problems
  • Poverty
  • Abuse

My Rating: 3.5/4

Date Published: 4/19/2016
How I got this book: Thanks to Netgalley and Delacorte/Random House for allowing me to read and honestly review this book.
Publisher: Random House Children's--Delacorte Press

Character: Tessa
Book: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

  • I just really want Tessa to read and dream about a realistic romance.  After everything she's been through and her lack of a family, I think she deserves find someone to lean on.  Also I think she could relate to the lack of a care-free childhood that Auden had.

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  1. I agree a good YA thriller is hard to find. I have seen this around but hadn't added it to my TBR yet but sounds like I might have to! Great review!

    1. You should totally try it. It's not perfect, but it's super interesting.

  2. so yay for a good mystery. Love a good mystery. I also love to read books set where I live its very fun when you have been in the places mentioned.

    1. I LOVE reading books set in the Pittsburgh area... there aren't near enough of them!! Also, great YA Mysteries are so hard to find... let me know if you find any good ones!

  3. YES! Super complicated mystery with a lot going one. And I liked how complicated it was but now that I am removed from it a little bit, it does feel a little too complex. And I hear you on the negativity of the small town life. It did give a pretty negative few of Western PA. I didn't mind it as much though. Great review!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

  4. This one sounds great!! Sorry the ending was a little unbelievable for you, but sounds like it was still a fabulous read. I can't wait to read this one myself. :) Fantastic review.

    1. I hope you read it!! It was good... just a few small things that bugged me :(