#ThrillerThursday: The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

the darkest cornersThe Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas
Publication Date: April 19th 2016 by Delacorte Press
Source: Finished copy from Publisher
Rating: ★★★
Amazon / Book Depository / Goodreads

Synopsis

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.

I received a finished copy of this book from the publisher in exchange of a review, as part of the #ThrillerThursday campaign. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

Ever read one of those books where you feel like you’re watching a cool movie as everything plays out in your head? The Darkest Corners is exactly that book. It’s gripping from the start and definitely a page-turner.

The story starts with Tessa boarding a flight to Pennsylvania to visit his father, which brought back memories of everything that happened surrounding the death of her friend’s cousin Lori.

This is pretty much one of the best and solid YA thrillers I’ve read in a while. It actually left my heart pounding as I finished reading it. I’m not the best fan of suspense/thrillers but I know one when I see one. The book is so enjoyable and creepy at the same time, especially when everything starts to unfold. I had a bit of a problem with the pacing because it seems a bit slow at first.

“I figure there’s only so much we can beat ourselves up about, things we wish we’d done differently, before we’re broken beyond repair.”

I love how the book remained unpredictable until the end. Kara Thomas’s writing style is on point, I think she’s written for TV before and I’m glad she translated that skill into the novel. It’s like the book is build to be seen on screen. I’d definitely watch the hell out of this book if they make a movie from it.

The emotional growth of the characters is also one of the best things about this one. Tessa and her best friend Callie, were distant when the story started. However, as the story progressed, they eventually made up. The two were linked as primary witnesses in Lori’s death, which sent Wyatt Stokes to prison. But there’s more to the story, which of course I’m not going to discuss, but I loved how the whole thing panned out. Each crazy twist and turn added the fear factor in the book, especially towards the end. Events were too climactic, it left me speechless and out of breath.

“The smallest things could mean the difference between a man’s life and death.”

Romance isn’t a big thing in the book but I adored Decker, Tessa’s friend. There’s a big potential between the two and the chemistry is great but I’m actually glad with the way how they remained just friends. The book focuses more on friendships and family relationships which I really appreciate.

The book has a dark tone overall, it seems like I was watching an episode of Twin Peaks, or those kinds of crime investigation shows, or even listening to an episode of Serial. It’s just too gripping and haunting, I bet it’ll bug your head for a long while. The ending is pretty solid too. Plus the epilogue is fantastic, it feels like it’s a post-credit scene in a movie. I definitely recommend this book if you’re out looking for a good thriller.

inah

What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

what we sawTitle: What We Saw
Author: Aaron Hartzler
Publication Date: September 22nd 2015 by HarperTeen
Source: ARC from Publisher via Edelweiss
Rating: ★★★★
Amazon / Book Depository / Goodreads

Synopsis

Kate Weston can piece together most of the bash at John Doone’s house: shots with Stacey Stallard, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early—the feeling that maybe he’s becoming more than just the guy she’s known since they were kids.

But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills’s shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn’t have all the details. When Stacey levels charges against four of Kate’s classmates, the whole town erupts into controversy. Facts that can’t be ignored begin to surface, and every answer Kate finds leads back to the same question: Where was Ben when a terrible crime was committed?

This story—inspired by real events—from debut novelist Aaron Hartzler takes an unflinching look at silence as a form of complicity. It’s a book about the high stakes of speaking up, and the razor thin line between guilt and innocence that so often gets blurred, one hundred and forty characters at a time.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange of a review. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

I don’t even know how to start this review. This book left me in awestruck. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to talk about this book comprehensively and in a way that people can actually understand, but I’ll try to.

This book got me hooked from page one. It’s mysterious and it kept me on edge the whole time. The topic discussed in the book was very sensitive and it was presented in a way that I’ve never read before.

“Sometimes, change happens over eons. Other times, in the blink of an eye.”

Reading this book made me angry. My Goodreads status updates could definitely prove that. I was angry about what happened. I was angry at some… or most characters that I even contemplated about marking this book as DNF. But no, a book as sensitive and as socially and morally concerned as this one shouldn’t be left unread. As much eyerolls and groans I could give to this book, I still read it until the end.

The only character I actually liked was Kate. Ben, sometimes yes but mostly he was sketchy. I actually loved Mr. Johnston more than Ben.

Kate was the only one who’s actually sane in this book so naturally I would root for her. I like the way she thinks, her concern for Stacey, and her concern for the truth to be revealed. I love that she spoke up about the incident, and that she’s brave enough to do it.

“Sometimes, when change happens, you can’t stop it or control it or direct it. You can only hang on for the ride.”

The other characters, I’m most definitely concerned about. If I was a character in that book, I would probably feel detached to them. Me, being a feminist, cannot fathom how cruel these characters were. Slut-shaming, victim-shaming… IT IS NOT OKAY. IT’S NEVER OKAY. This leads to more problems like having double standards, the ever lasting “boys will be boys” argument which I personally find bullshit by the way.

Going back to the book, I’m glad the story went the way it’s supposed to be. If anything, I just wished more people could be moved by this book and make their eyes and minds open about what’s really happening in our society. Aaron Hartzler writes effectively as well. I’m really excited to read more from him.

inahsign

Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes (ARC)

liars inc

Title: Liars, Inc.
Author: Paula Stokes
Publication Date: March 24th 2015 by HarperTeen
Rating: ★★★★★
Amazon // B&N // Book Depository // Goodreads

Synopsis

For fans of Gone Girl, I Hunt Killers, and TV’s How to Get Away with Murder.

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called “Captivating to the very end,” Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.

Inah’s Thoughts

During the last few weeks, I’ve been so attached to legal/crime dramas that were recently on air, such as How To Get Away With Murder, Suits and The Fall. Even with my favorite TV Show, Supernatural, with the main characters impersonating federal agents sometimes to help their case. I was very much fascinated with these kinds of shows, now that I’m older, which means my preferences grew more mature. I am very much glad to say that if you’re a fan of those TV shows, you’re most definitely going to love this book.

I haven’t read a lot of crime/suspense/thriller novel, much alone a YA one so this certainly blew my mind! This is actually the first one I’ve read from Paula Stokes and she really delivered. I loved the way she writes, from the dynamic characters to the compelling plot. It most certainly left me hanging with every chapter so I literally devoured this book because I kept on wanting more. Fortunately, this book delivered so well.

“Everybody lies. You might as well get paid.”

I am not going to tell much about the plot because I’m afraid I might ruin the experience for you. I would give you one thing though, it all started with one lie and everything went south.

The characters were written in a way that would somehow give the readers doubts about them. Yup, I even have doubts about Max, the main character, at one point of the story. It drove me crazy in a good way which definitely kept me reading.

The plot was driving, intense, insane, wicked and exciting. I’ve never felt such rush of excitement from the books I have read this year until I’ve read this one. The experience I got from reading this book was unforgettable. I’ve got quite WTF moments (in a really really good way) and I’m pretty sure you lot will too, when you get to read this so I’ll tell you one thing:

GET A COPY OF THIS BOOK AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AND START READING.

Jem’s Thoughts

Reading this book feels like a sort of a comeback to me because I’d been on a reading hiatus, I’d been kind of off lately because I DIDN’T GET TO GO TO Ed Sheeran’s concert, amongst other things.

Well, I am trying really hard not to mention any spoilers because who in their right minds would spoil suspense thriller/murder mystery books? :)) In this light, I would just be giving an overview of what to expect.

First, be ready to be reeled in by a very likeable protagonist, Max. He is caring, and very loyal, and practical, and sweet, and most of all forgiving. He loves deeply, and I just love the way he loves. I believe that Parvati and his family is lucky to be part of his life.

Second, get ready for his friends, Parvati and Preston, both are rich, with a slightly twisted perspective of life. Both are a little bit shady, if I may say so.

“When you care about someone so much that you’ll do anything – even stupid or destructive things – to protect them.”

“That sounds more like mental illness than love.”

Third, get ready for the unexpected twists and turns that may tempt you to go to the end and read what happened, but please don’t, you won’t enjoy it as much. :))

Fourth, THE ENDING OMG

This book started good then it just became better and better and better so you had to read faster and faster until the last page of the book. There is this urgency to know what happened or what’s next or did someone die? That’s the thing about suspense thrillers, it demands to be read.. and fast. Speaking of the ending, wow, just wow, it was amazing! I’m a sucker for great endings!

This book is a perfect mixture of light and dark, and confusing, and compelling, with a lil’ bit’ sprinkle of sweet. It was a great read, and I loved it.

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