Monday, March 21, 2016

Review: The Darkest Corners

*I signed up for this tour date prior to implementing my new no-Mondays rule, so next week will be the week I drop down to 4 posts!

Kara Thomas
Young Adult/Thriller
336 pages
Available April 19th
Source: eARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
The Darkest Corners is a psychological thriller about the lies little girls tell, and the deadly truths those lies become.

There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened there that last summer. Memories of things so dark will burn themselves into your mind if you let them.

Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn’t have to walk those same halls, but then Callie always was the stronger one. She can handle staring into the faces of her demons—and if she parties hard enough, maybe one day they’ll disappear for good.

Tessa and Callie have never talked about what they saw that night. After the trial, Callie drifted and Tessa moved, and childhood friends just have a way of losing touch.

But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette—to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the one other person who may be hiding the truth.

Only the closer Tessa gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer—and this time, it won’t be so easy to run away.

Young Adult thrillers can sometimes be tricky reads (particularly for older readers like myself) due in large part to a general premise wherein teenagers assume responsibility for solving a crime without the help of the law, thereby stretching plausibility so incredibly thin that it can be hard to settle into the story. The Darkest Corners, however, succeeds where so many others have faltered, giving us a pair of young girls who seek to uncover the truth in an entirely believable way while simultaneously weaving together several crimes so there's rarely a moment we're not kept on our toes.

While Tessa and Callie do don their super-sleuth hats and set out to discover what really happened to Callie's cousin over a decade ago, their reasons for not immediately turning to the police with their suspicions are completely valid given it was their dual testimony that guaranteed the alleged killer's death penalty sentence. Recanting their testimonies would not only be admitting to perjury, but it would also give a man who arguably still belongs behind bars despite being innocent of the murders a chance at freedom.

With one small exception, Tessa and Callie don't run off half-cocked with grand ideas about how to track down and expose the true killer, instead their search is quieter and more personal, involving a great deal of research and talking to various people who at some point or another knew Tessa's wayward mother and sister (a friend of Callie's late cousin). What's slowly and fascinatingly revealed through each interaction adds a new brushstroke to the painting of what happened that night so long ago, a picture that's far more complex than two little nine year-old girls coerced into providing a false identification could have possibly imagined.

Overall, The Darkest Corners is a well-executed psychological thriller, one that keeps us questioning throughout but gives us all the answers we could have hoped for in the end.

Rating: 4/5

Find The Darkest Corners:

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Kara is the author of THE DARKEST CORNERS, coming from Penguin Random House/Delacorte Press in Spring 2016. She also wrote the Prep School Confidential series (St. Martin’s Press) and the pilot The Revengers for the CW under the pen name Kara Taylor. She’s represented by Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary & Media for books and United Talent Agency and Brillstein Entertainment Partners for film. You can find her on TwitterInstagram, or on the couch with her rescue cat, Felix.

Be sure and check out all the stops on the tour for more reviews!

3/14 Fresh Fiction
3/15 Jessabella Reads
3/16 Book Addict Confessions
3/17 Hollywood News Source
3/18 Undeniably (Book) Nerdy
3/19 Curling Up with a Good Book
3/20 Out of Time
3/21 Supernatural Snark
3/22 Live to Read, review
3/23 Dark Faerie Tales
3/24 Ex Libris
3/25 Reading with Cupcakes
3/26 The Reader Bee
3/27 The Eater of Books!
3/28 Reading Teen
3/29 Chapter by Chapter
3/30 Winter Haven Books
3/31 Once Upon A Twilight
4/1 Intellectual Recreation
4/2 The Hiding Spot
4/3 Carina Books
4/4 Cover Contessa
4/5 Me Read A Lot
4/6 The Writer Diaries
4/7 Whimsically Yours
4/8 Hook of a Book
4/9 Reading Nook Reviews
4/10 Downright Dystopian
4/11 Such A Novel Idea
4/12 Across the Words
4/13 Reviews From a Bookworm
4/14 Itching For Books
4/15 Waste Paper Prose
4/16 The Irish Banana
4/17 The Book Rat
4/18 YA Reads
4/19 No BS Book Review
4/20 Serenity’s Lovely Reads
4/21 Pandora’s Books


  1. It'sbeen a while since I haven't read a book like that but it's great to find a good oene! I didn't know about this one.

    1. So glad I could put it on your radar Melliane!

  2. I agree about the this genre, so that's grat that this one turned out so well.

    1. I struggle with this genre sometimes, but I really enjoyed this one:)

  3. I'm always wanting to read more thrillers but I do agree with you of the issues when it comes to the YA ones... so glad to hear this one was done great and suspension of belief was not pushing the limits! Must add to the wish list!

    1. It was understandable to me why they didn't got to the police, so that made it much easier to settle into the story:)

  4. "oung Adult thrillers can sometimes be tricky reads (particularly for older readers like myself) due in large part to a general premise wherein teenagers assume responsibility for solving a crime without the help of the law, thereby stretching plausibility so incredibly thin that it can be hard to settle into the story."

    THIS. This is always my issue with YA thrillers, Jenny, so I wasn't sure about this one at all, but I'm really excited to see your rave for it! I think I would really enjoy it! And the 2 girls sound like they are great and very level-headed, which is really all I need.
    Great review, Jenny!

    1. YES! I can suspend disbelief to a certain degree and roll with things, but when a bunch of teenagers are running all over the place trying to catch a serial killer I struggle. This wasn't like that and I really enjoyed it!

  5. I couldn't agree with you more about your first statement Jenny, I think that is why as adults we are more often than not disappointed with these. So glad this did not disappoint though, that is awesome and definitely means it will be one I will need to pick up as well.

    1. Yes! I have to keep reminding myself I'm not the target audience, but I thought this was really well done:)

  6. I haven't read a really good YA thriller in a long time--you're absolutely right that they can be tricky to strike the perfect balance with--but I'm definitely adding this to the TBR because it sounds fantastic! Wonderful review, Jenny, and thanks for putting this on my radar!

    1. Yay! I hope you like it Keertana! I liked how all the separate pieces came together:)

  7. I love a slow reveal that works like this and it's been ages since I've read a YA thriller. The heroines sound smart and practical as well. I'm very curious now and need to check it out.
    Thanks for the lovely review, Jenny :)

  8. I like the sound of this one! I am happy to hear it was enjoyable overall and you got all the answers in the end...sometimes its nice to read a standalone. Thanks for putting this book on my radar, Jenny.

    1. Exactly. I love when thrillers are wrapped up with a bow, it makes me happy:)

  9. Since I do not like thrillers in general, eh

  10. This sounds fab! Plus, I just love your turn of phrase: "...each interaction adds a new brushstroke to the painting of what happened that night so long ago..." Brilly! I do love a good thriller so I may have to add this one to the wishlist.

    1. I think you'd like this one Melissa! It kept me on my toes:)

  11. I accidentally downloaded a copy of this (clicked on link not knowing it was a widget). Thrillers are usually a miss for me (YA ones anyway) but I'm glad to hear you liked this one!

    1. Maybe downloading it accidentally will turn out to be a happy mistake:)

  12. The tricky part is that the kids that are solving the crimes are just that: young. So the believability factor goes does down quite considerably.