Thursday, July 20, 2017

ARC Review: Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

Title: Little Monsters
Written by: Kara Thomas
Published: July 25, 2017 by Delacorte Press (Random House)

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: For fans of Pretty Little Liars, Little Monsters is a new psychological thriller, from the author of The Darkest Corners, about appearances versus reality and the power of manipulation amongst teenage girls.

Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls. When she moved in with her father, she stepped into a brand-new life. A life with a stepbrother, a stepmother, and strangest of all, an adoring younger half sister.

Kacey’s new life is eerily charming compared with the wild highs and lows of the old one she lived with her volatile mother. And everyone is so nice in Broken Falls—she’s even been welcomed into a tight new circle of friends. Bailey and Jade invite her to do everything with them.

Which is why it’s so odd when they start acting distant. And when they don’t invite her to the biggest party of the year, it doesn’t exactly feel like an accident.

But Kacey will never be able to ask, because Bailey never makes it home from that party. Suddenly, Broken Falls doesn’t seem so welcoming after all—especially once everyone starts looking to the new girl for answers.

Kacey is about to learn some very important lessons: Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes when you’re the new girl, you shouldn’t trust anyone.

*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley and ALA in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

Little Monsters was a pretty good mystery. I read a lot of YA mysteries and I am always looking for one what is going to shock and amaze me. And I have to say, that was not this book. But it was entertaining and interesting.

As far as the mystery goes, it was good. I prefer a mystery that is solvable. One that takes it's time to unfold throughout the book and then when you finally get to the big reveal you are surprised and satisfied but not totally shocked. Little Monsters was a little bit of both those things. For one, I solved about half of the mystery. There was one aspect that I figured out almost immediately but I didn't figure out why until the very end. That is a good mystery for me. But there was another element that felt totally out of left field. I think this could have been a really fantastic mystery if it had didn't have that part. Or if that part had more of a build up. There was just too much focus on other elements.

But I will say, this book was really well paced. I'm constantly saying how basically every book I read lately has a slow beginning and then an overly-thrilling ending. But not Little Monsters. I hooked me pretty early and kept me engaged until the very end. It also steadily built to an interesting climax. It took me only a few days to read this book and I even read it over a very busy weekend full of parties and trips to waterparks. Only a book that I was really enjoying would have captured my interest at a time like that.

The other thing that captured my interesting was the setting and atmosphere of this book. I thought the author did a really good job of setting the scene. It had a really good small town feel to it. I love mysteries that are like that, ones like Fargo and Twin Peaks. And the cool thing to about this town is that it had a history and urban legends that added to the atmosphere. I thought the stuff with the Red Woman was really interesting and added a great atmosphere to the book. To be entirely honest I would have liked some more of The Red Woman.

But what I didn't like about this book was the characters. I feel like that is something crutially important in a good mystery. I usually prefer unlikable characters, ones who are odious and complex so you question their motives and actions. That is of course a personal preference, but I do still think you have to connect with the characters and I didn't here. I think maybe there was an attempt to make them unlikable. I mean they did have a Mean Girls/frenemy kind of vibe to them which I appreciated. But for the most part they weren't very memorable. The attempt to make them mysterious kind of made them bland to me. The most interesting character was Bailey who was only around in flashbacks. I wish that I had just connected with the characters a little bit more and they had been more complex.

But on the whole this was a pretty good mystery. It had a great atmosphere and a plot that kept me hooked from beginning to end. It wasn't perfect but it was thoroughly entertaining. It's not the next great YA mystery in my opinion but it is one that is worth the read.

I give Little Monsters by Kara Thomas 8 out of 10 stars


Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Borrow. I would definitely recommend it to fans of YA Mysteries. It was a pretty interesting read with a good mystery. If you liked The Darkest Corners I would check this one out as well.

Have you read Little Monsters? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY BREADING!

2 comments:

  1. Sounds like a pretty good read! I like a good psychological thriller every now and then. :)

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  2. Ooh nice! I still wanted to check out Kara's The Darkest Corners, it's been in my TBR pile a year now! Sigh...

    Sad to hear that this one wasn't all that great though. Characters are important to me for a book, that and worldbuilding--but that's mostly for ones with fantasy elements where things are different. I still might try this one, but I'll give her first book a try to see how I like that! Nice review all the same!!

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