I received this book for free from Random House Children's Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on April 19th 2016
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, YA
Source: Random House Children's Books
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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.
This was one of those rare books that actually stumped me until almost the very end. I am usually very good at figuring out a mystery and what is really going on, but this one kept me second guessing myself the whole time. It was fantastic and held my attention the whole time. The characters were great, and the emotional impact was spot on. It was a bit slow moving at times, especially to start, but it really helped build things up. One of the major things I noticed (and loved) was that there was no romance thrown in. It wasn’t necessary and it would have taken away from the story.
Tessa has had a very rough childhood. Her father is in jail, and her sister and mom have abandoned her. She has been living with her grandmother since she was younger. With her father being about to die, she goes back to her hometown to stay with Maggie, who has always been kind to her. Maggie is also Callie’s mom. Callie who used to be her best friend until she moved away. Until what happened in their childhood put a wedge between them, though Tessa doesn’t know why. Now she is back, and they are second guessing if what they testified as kids was right. Especially after another person ends up dead. She also holds a secret from when they were questioned all those years ago by the police. Something she didn’t tell anyone. Tessa is also trying to find her sister and her mom, but the more she uncovers about things, the more she feels like she is running into more dead ends. She is a smart girl, but she is also pretty broken. She has no one, she needs answers, but all she is getting is more questions. She proves brave and determined though, and she definitely gets more than she bargained for by digging for the truth.
Callie seems stuck up and snobby, but she is just as broken, if not more, than Tessa. She never left and has been left to live in the same place where the bad things happened. She feels like she can’t question what she saw that awful night because if they were wrong, then a horrible person is still out there. She just wants to get as far away from that town as she can. She drowns her pain and thoughts with alcohol. Surprisingly, even though the last person she wanted to see again was Tessa, they start to bond again through finding out the truth of everything. At first I didn’t like Callie, but by the end I really did. She was much different underneath than what we initially see when we meet her.
So of course this is a mystery, but there are also a lot of twists. One especially that I totally didn’t see coming. And I love that!! It’s not often that a book can catch me off guard like that. I tend to be very observant and can figure things out with tiny clues, but not this time. Maybe I’m getting old. It was dark at times, and suspenseful. I was intrigued by all the things that Tessa found out and how one thing led to another, even if they weren’t really directly connected to one another. The characters were great and very real to me as well. I loved watching Tessa and Callie reconnect, and I also really loved the whole family dynamic. The way the story was told, it was so believable. There were no easy outs, or coincidental things that made things just fall into place. This was fabulous!!
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