Book Review: Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

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Halloween Non-Horror Recommendations!

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So as I promised I’ve done up a post for those of you who want to read some spooky books for Halloween but don’t necessarily like horror or want your pants scared off! These are mostly all thrillers or have a paranormal factor present.

If you want to see my Halloween Horror Recommendations you can check that out here.

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Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

(Review Here)

A great diverse read featuring a Latino family of brujas (witches) and when Alex tries to rid herself of her powers her entire family vanishes. This is a very magical adventure full of family love and who doesn’t love a good witch book?


The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

(Review Here)

This is a thriller about a girl who lied about who murdered their babysitter when they were younger and must now hunt for the true killer. This doesn’t have much for Halloween vibes but it is a very dark and twisted story full of surprises. It definitely gets gritty and you’ll get chills reading through it!


Coraline by Neil Gaiman

(Review Here)

Who doesn’t think “Coraline” is a Halloween classic now? Because I sure do! It’s subtly creepy and just absolutely perfect for reading this time of year.


The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook

(Review Here)

Another thriller but this one has some psychics involved making it all the more perfect for some Halloween reading. A girl who fakes being psychic must now help the police find a missing girl but she may just have some insider information….


Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

(Review Here)

Harbingers of Death? That screams Halloween in my opinion! A mysterious boy shows up in town accompanied by flocks of strange crows and when he saves Angie from something supernatural she realizes he may not be human either. Paranormal elements and a slightly creepy atmosphere makes this another great read for non-horror fans!


The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Another book that shouldn’t surprise many of you but “The Graveyard Book” is about a boy who is raised by the supernatural residents of a graveyard. It’s full of adventure and just straight up adorableness.


I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

A mystery thriller revolving around Jasper Dent the son of the most infamous serial killers in the world. Jasper was being groomed to take over the “family business” and therefore can see crime scenes from a criminal’s POV so when a new serial killer shows up in his small town he’s determined to prove it’s not him.

So, so, sooooo many twists and turns with this one it’s especially great if you have a morbid curiosity about serial killers, like me.


The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

(Review Here)

I could honestly recommend any of Flynn’s books but this short story fits the best in my opinon. It’s about a woman who fakes psychic readings and help from the beyond for money. When a woman wants her help ridding her house of something evil our main character may just start believing in ghosts….

Super quick read and open ended so if open endings aren’t your thing I’d skip it.


The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

(Review Here)

Psychics, ancient sleeping kings, ley lines, and magic trees I think it’s safe to say this isn’t your run of the mill paranormal romance or urban fantasy. It’s full of magic and sets a very fast pace not to mention you will definitely fall in love with the characters!


The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney

This is more Middle Grade than YA but it’s still super interesting and full of supernatural spirits and creatures and there’s more than a few creepy moments too as Thomas learns about how to be a Spook.


The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

(Review Here)

This one is filled with monsters, demons, undead, and spirits and while it has a few dark moments it mostly follows a girl named Tea learning to control her powers of necromancy.


This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

(Review Here)

This book fits into a kind of neat genre but it’s about a girl who wants to hunt monsters and boy who is one of those monsters in a city torn into two sects. The monsters are very unique and fun to read about and the characters are a bit morally grey, definitely a fun read though and the monsters aren’t TOO creepy either!


Bad Blood by Demitria Lunetta

(Review Here)

Another witch book makes the list! This one is about a girl who visits Scotland and learns a bit more about her family’s past as she continues having visions of two women and a bit more about witchcraft and blood magic. Honestly the background of Scotland makes this book worth the read as well!

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Have you read any of this books? What did you think?

Will you give any of these books a try?

What are some of your favorite non-horror Halloween reads?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Books I’d Like to Finish Before the End of the Year

So of course I’m going to be pretty busy this month and next month with ARCs but by the time November and December roll around what will I be reading? It’s been a bit of a chore with certain posts to not discuss my planned October TBR, why is it so secret? Just for fun! I have quite a few spooky books set up for October. However, there are a couple books I would for sure like to squeeze in before the year ends that aren’t going to be a part of my Halloween TBR for October. Here are just a few of them!


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Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

I just purchased this book and would LOVE to dive into it soon since it promises to be pretty dark and full of some serious plot twists. If it’s anything like Thomas’s other book “The Darkest Corners” then it’s sure to not disappoint!


The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

I’m actually ashamed that I haven’t read any of his books yet since I’m an avid fantasy reader! Plus on top of that EVERYONE keeps telling me I must read this series and I know they’re right. I’m really hoping I can manage to make some room for it before the year is up.


Because You Love To Hate Me Edited by Ameriie

I’m sad I couldn’t fit this in any sooner but the ARCs got the best of me! This should be a fairly quick read since it’s an anthology by some fantastic authors and all about villains. Can’t wait to get to it!


Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

I’m all for anything that seems “Alice in Wonderland” inspired and I also have been meaning to give Tahereh Mafi a try. I just got a copy of this book and hoping I can test it out soon, especially with that gorgeous cover!


The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

I know, I know how can I NOT have read the Heroes of Olympus series yet? I read and adored and loved the Percy Jackson series but just haven’t gotten to this one yet. Fortunately I got a fantastic deal on a box set so now I have no excuse to not just dive into this series finally!


A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

I have zero excuses on this one, especially now that the trilogy is complete! I’m hoping I can finally get started on the sequel to the fantastic “A Darker Shade of Magic” because Schwab is Queen!


The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

This book is a little bit more under the radar but I thought it sounded interesting and I have heard good things about it. I’m all for interesting magic systems!


Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I’ve been meaning to read this ALL YEAR and still haven’t gotten to it yet! So I’m hoping I can finally read it especially since I adore Laini Taylor’s writing to bits and pieces.

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Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

Do you have any of these on your TBR as well?

Have you read any other books by these authors?

What books are you trying to squeeze in before the end of the year?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

(An Ambitious) August TBR

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The reason I’m going to be a little more ambitious with my TBR than usual is because I have to cram a few of these in this week since they’re due back to the library and I have a couple of ARCs that need to get read quick as well! I think if I try hard and believe in myself I can read all of these though…..I hope.

So hopefully I will just turn into some sort of reading machine this month and get through all of these!

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The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

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I’m currently reading this and loving it! It’s a bit longer than the books I’ve been reading but I think I can easily tear through the rest since the writing is excellent and the story is actually pretty hilarious!


Asylum by Madeleine Roux

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Hopefully I can squeeze this in this week quick! I always want to read more YA horror books so this has been on my TBR for a while but I haven’t heard too many great things about this book so I’m going in with lowered expectations.


Alex + Ada Volumes 2 & 3 by Jonathan Luna & Sarah Vaughn

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I really loved how the first volume ended and it left me curious as to what would happen next so I borrowed the last two volumes from the library and I’m going to, once again, cram them in this week before they’re due!


Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

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Everybody has been ranting and raving about this graphic novel and especially now since the second volume has come out! It’s a really interesting concept and the art is gorgeous so I’m hoping to finish this week.


Zero Repeat Forever by G.S. Prendergast

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This is an ARC I got that sounds super interesting! It’s about an alien invasion and a girl in the human resistance is injured and an invader deserts his unit and the two must trust each other in order to survive. There really aren’t too many YA alien invasion or sci-fi involving aliens books that I know of so I’m excited to get to this one!


Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

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This book has quite the bit of buzz since it features a gender fluid main character who must compete to become one of the Queen’s assassins in order to exact their revenge. It sounds pretty reminiscent of “Throne of Glass” actually the more I think about it but I’m a big YA fantasy lover so I’m excited to see how this one turns out!


Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

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This is described as being a fantasy feminist reimagining of Snow White and I’m lucky enough to have an ARC of it! This doesn’t come out until September 5th but I’m hoping to fit it in here quick so I can review it on time!


Because You Love To Hate Me Edited By Ameriie

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I just bought a copy of this book and I’m VERY excited to get to it so I’m making time to read this for sure! I love reading and reviewing short story anthologies it’s just fun and a nice break in the grand scheme of things! I’m also excited to see what all of these authors and BookTubers came up with because I love me some villains.


Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

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I love, love, loved Kara Thomas’s other book “The Darkest Corners” which was super dark and full of awesome twists! I’m expecting nothing less with “Little Monsters” so I’m really excited to read it and hopefully I get time this month.

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Are any of these books on your TBR?

Have you read any of these, what did you think?

What are you planning on reading this month?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Book Recs: YA Standalones

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I like to read a lot of standalones since I don’t have a lot of patience for series, I’m better at starting a series than finishing it. So standalones are better for me and they might be for you too! So I just threw together a little list of some of my favorite YA standalones, hopefully you can find some new and interesting books to add to your TBR!

Keep in mind these aren’t ALL of my favorites and some of these are short story anthologies, but they still count in my book! I will link up each title to their Goodreads pages and also link up any reviews I have too.

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Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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You can read my full review here.

This is an absolutely fantastic Peter Pan retelling about the relationship between Tiger Lily and Peter. Although I will warn you up ahead of time, you will cry so many tears! It’s a dark, sad story with many flawed and broken characters but it still manages to be beautiful (thanks to the gorgeous writing!).


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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You can read my full review here.

I don’t think I need to hype this book up anymore but I will 100% support all of the hype it has already recieved since it’s worth every bit of it! This is an absolutely amazing book telling the story of a girl named Starr who witnesses the shooting of her friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer, Khalil was also unarmed. We then watch as Starr struggles between voicing what really happened and endangering her life, or not saying anything at all.

It’s not only a diverse read but also a very important and powerful one as well. I highly recommend reading it if you haven’t already!


The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

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You can read my full review here.

This is the story of a girl who lived 12 years in a cult before it finally burned down and the Prophet was killed. Now she’s part of the questioning on what REALLY happened that night.

Another very quietly powerful book on learning to believe things for ourselves and not what others would have us believe. It’s also very interesting if you have some curiousity about cults and their inner workings.


Heartless by Marissa Meyer

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You can read my full review here.

This is a retelling and origin story for the Queen of Hearts from “Alice in Wonderland”, is that not enough to make you wanna read it? We get to see some interesting twists on all of our favorite Wonderland characters as well as some crazy plot twists. It’s kind of slow to start but the ending is 100% worth it!


Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

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You can read my full review here.

I don’t think I can ever mention this book enough! It’s a unique fantasy book that also weaves together little retellings of Mulan, Jane Austen’s Emma, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. It has great world building and fantastic characters as well, plus the plot itself is very original and has all of the retellings interwoven throughout!


With Malice by Eileen Cook

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You can read my full review here.

A very fast-paced YA thriller that’s about a girl who wakes up in the hospital with anmesia and finds out her best friend is dead and she’s the prime suspect! I don’t want to say too much more because there are TONS of crazy twists that will ensure you zip right through this book.


The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

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You can read my full review here.

Another psychological thriller that actually gets pretty dang dark and twisted for a YA book. I mean it this book will mess with your mind and you definitely won’t be able to guess what will happen next. The main character, Tessa, goes back to her childhood home to try and dig up the truth of her friend’s cousin’s death that occured when they were little girls. The thing is they lied about what they saw that night and now Tessa must find out what really happened.


A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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You can read my full review here.

If you haven’t read this book just….go read it now! It’s the most beautiful, touching story of a boy whose mother is dying of cancer and a monster comes and takes him on an adventure that will change the way he has been viewing things.

Also just a heads up…you will most definitely cry!


Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor

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You can read my full review here.

This is actually a small collection of three stories all by Laini Taylor, so of course it’s gorgeously written and all have unique twists and very original mythology/world building. It’s truly amazing how much awesomeness she squeezed into such short stories!

The stories themselves are all Fantasy and revolve around, you guessed it, kisses but the kisses all have consequences that can be…deadly.


Slasher Girls & Monster Boys stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke

Slasher Girls & Monster Boys

You can read my full review here.

This is a YA horror anthology that is actually full of VERY good stories with the exception of one or two duds. Although this isn’t for the faint hearted some of the stories get really scary, gory, and disturbing! But if you’re a big YA horror fan like me you’ll definitely love this anthology.

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Did any of these books interest you? Which ones and why?

Do you already have some of these on your TBR?

Have you read any of these before?

What are some of your recommendations for standalone YA books?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Top 5 Auto-Buy Authors

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Hello everyone! If you couldn’t already tell by now I looooove making lists and so a lot of my posts are bookish lists. Today I bring you a list of my top 5 auto-buy authors which are authors that no matter what they put out there I WILL buy! These are authors where I’ve already read a few of their books and have decided to buy anything and everything they ever write….including shopping lists.

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5.) Kara Thomas

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While I have only read “The Darkest Corners”  by this author I thought it was absolutely mind-blowing, so much that I cannot wait to get my hands on any of her other books. “Little Monsters” comes out in 2017 and I’m practically frothing at the mouth to get a hold of it! Her plot twists are crazy and the writing is genius I highly recommend checking her out!

You can also read my full review of “The Darkest Corners” here.


4.) Dawn Kurtagich

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After really enjoying her debut novel “The Dead House” I was really curious to see what else she would come up with and what I got was “And The Trees Crept In” which was even better! I think Dawn Kurtagich is definitely going to be a staple author for YA Horror books and I look forward to any and all new books she releases!

You can read my full reviews of “The Dead House”& “And The Trees Crept In” here.


3.) Laini Taylor

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How do I explain my love for Laini Taylor? I have only read two of her books: “Lips Touch: Three Times” and “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” and loved both of them. Her writing is so beautiful and lyrical that I could read anything she writes, seriously anything, it’s definitely safe to say I’ll buy anything she writes. I do own the rest of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and the first book in her Faeries of Dreamdark series.

You can read my full reviews of “Lips Touch: Three Times” and “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” here.


2.) Gillian Flynn

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Gillian Flynn is the master of mind-fucking plot twists and if there’s anything I love in a book it’s a shocking, unpredictable plot twist. I’ve read all of her books and am currently impatiently awaiting a new book from her because I need it! Her writing is just so damn good that I want more and read through everything already!

You can read my full reviews of “Dark Places”, “Sharp Objects”, and “The Grownup” here.


1.) Jay Kristoff

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A recent favorite of mine he is currently the ruler of my auto-buy authors. If all 5 of these authors had new books out at the same time and I could choose only one, it would be whatever Jay Kristoff wrote. He has fantastic, poetic writing and his plot twists and characters are insane! Not to mention all of his stories are so unique and filled with awesome world-building. I think “awesomely crazy” is a fitting way to describe his books. I have currently read all of his books except the last 2 in his Lotus War series and have rated all of them 5 stars. (I have read “Gemina” but have yet to review it. It may be getting a 4 star rating instead of 5 though……)

You can read my full reviews of “Stormdancer”, “Nevernight”, & “Illuminae” here.

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Have you read any books by these authors? What did you think of them?

Are any of them auto-buy authors for you as well?

Who are some of your own auto-buy authors? What is your favorite book by them?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

ARC Review: The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

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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.

review**** Thank you to Random House Children and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review****

“Every now and then another answer to what happened that night sneaks in from the darkest corners of my mind…”

Wow, this is dark, twisted, and creepy for a YA book but boy did I love every page of it. There’s a lot of depth and maturity to the story it also lacked any of the usual YA tropes, which I was very glad for. It’s a murder mystery and a psychological thriller all rolled into one and Kara Thomas, quite simply, nailed it.

I think that the fact that this is YA makes it all the better, as I said it’s quite dark and it’s really surprising to see such an ominous setting in this genre.

PLOT

“The Darkest Corners” is a character driven book so it does make for some slower reading, the pacing isn’t super fast and there isn’t tons of action happening all the time. This made for a very interesting read for me but also has the potential to bother other readers, so if you like fast pacing and lots of action this may not be for you.

I found the plot to be very intriguing, there were a lot of plot threads you had to pay close attention to and follow and many, many details. I actually really enjoy having a lot of information to keep track of, I feel it engages me more as a reader, but I can also foresee it as being a little overwhelming if not confusing at times as well. Although I do think it made the book more interesting and really added to the creepy atmosphere.

Kara Thomas does a fantastic job of setting the atmosphere, as I said it’s creepy and absolutely gave me the chills. Real monsters are human and you certainly get that feeling in this book, it’s downright eerie. There were moments where I was so scared and freaked out I had to take a break from reading.

The mystery itself is believable as well, there wasn’t anything I rolled my eyes at or said “Oh yeah right!”. The way Tessa and Callie got their information was perfectly practical for a couple of teenagers. I really enjoyed this since most of the time I don’t buy teenagers getting away with so much in books.

There are also many twists and turns in the story-line, you’ll be pointing your finger at someone and by the next chapter you’re thinking it’s someone else entirely. I honestly did NOT see the ending coming at all, Kara Thomas throws in a couple red herrings to distract you from putting the real pieces together. I loved how unpredictable the story ended up being but I was also very satisfied with how it ended as well. Sure there were some things that I would have liked explained or explained a little more, but overall I enjoyed the ending.

Another wonderful thing about this book and why it isn’t your typical YA book: no romance. Now, for me, that’s a big plus. It means there’s less time spent on a (more than likely pointless) romance and more time spent on actually making a great mystery filled with suspense. It also does away with other YA tropes such as: love triangles, insta-love, special snowflakes, and Mary-Sues. Nope, none of that here!

Also the writing was wonderful, I was highlighting quotes left and right. It really helped with setting that creepy atmosphere I mentioned earlier. Usually if I’m taking the time to pause my reading and highlight quotes, I KNOW that it’s damn good writing. I’ve plucked a couple new favorite quotes from “The Darkest Corners”.

“There are worse things in this world than monsters, and somehow, they always manage to find me.”

characters

Like I said earlier, this is a character driven book. It’s ALL about the characters, without them this book wouldn’t be nearly as chilling or thrilling (hey I made a rhyme!). We get deep into the minds and relationships of these characters, you can’t quite believe anything they say or do, but being there in their heads is what drives this book forward. There’s a lot of insight gained into the plot by the intensity of the characters.

I really loved Tessa’s character, she was pretty down-to-earth and relatable and a little pessimistic. I just really enjoyed being inside her head-space, she was a believable character. She matures quite a bit throughout the book and it was really fun to see how her perspectives on people and depending on others change.

Callie, on the other hand, was a little different but she does show a lot of growth in the story. She starts out being pretty rude and distant from her former best friend, Tessa, but as the story progresses they regain and strengthen their friendship. I really loved the whole girl-power/friendship dynamic in this book.

There are a slew of other secondary characters but none are as important as Tessa and Callie, honestly the story could have done with a few more prominent characters but it was also fine without them.

in conclusion

I loved how dark and twisted the story became and how much attention to detail there was. I was definitely never bored and am very impressed with the mystery itself as well as the writing. Needless to say I just overall loved this book and am very thankful I got the opportunity to read it!

RECOMMEND

Definitely, I would go out and buy friends and family a copy of this book and force it upon them. That’s how much I recommend reading this bad boy.

I’d also like to say that it would probably be an enjoyable read for any fans of Gillian Flynn, while it may not be as dark and twisted as Flynn’s books, it is definitely comparable considering that “The Darkest Corners” is YA and therefore aimed at younger ages and not as graphic.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon

The Sassy