BLOG TOUR: ARC Review - The Darkest Corners

Title: The Darkest Corners
Author: Kara Thomas
Publisher: Delacorte 
Series: n/a
Published: April 19, 2016
Source: Sent for review
Add it on Goodreads
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.
The Darkest Corners is a psychological thriller about the lies little girls tell, and the deadly truths those lies become.


I'm a sucker for a good psychological thriller. I love trying to figure out the almost inevitable twist that will fall at the end of the book/movie before it's revealed to the main character and/or the reader, and I wasn't let down by the ending of this one.  I also wasn't let down by the little twists, turns, and mysteries that were peppered throughout the novel, which I really enjoyed.  It's not uncommon for the ending to pop out at me long before the big reveal happens where the "who-dun-it" part of the story is all laid out, and while I did guess one of the major plot points early on because it wasn't the only major plot point I wasn't overly upset by having figured it out before the main character.

The overall idea for this novel was a fascinating one, although from the synopsis I wasn't entirely sure what I was getting into.  Somehow the description of the book manages to tell you quite a few things without actually telling you much of anything, which is pretty impressive if you think about it.
There were a few things that I found to be slightly problematic with the book, although before I get into those I do want to say that despite them Thomas managed to write a novel that I both wanted to keep reading and that I found oddly insightful for a suspense novel.  Like, there were some quotes that could fit in perfectly with John Green and the like despite the book having a rather dark undertone to it.  That being said the two biggest problems I had with the novel were as follows.

Part of the story centers around the idea that what Tessa and her friend Callie said to help put away the Monster, as the killer was aptly named, might not have actually been what they saw.  They were kids, they wanted to make the police happy and help catch the man that killed their babysitter.  That's not what I had a problem with, that I understand and as unfortunate as it is it does happen, the thing that bugged me was that if the person that killed Tessa and Callie's babysitter was in fact the same person that killed their friend when the novel starts, what happened to him in the last eight years or so?  Generally speaking killers don't just stop killing because they CAN'T. But then you think in a town that small people would notice if someone disappeared after the supposed serial killer went to jail and came back when another killing happened.

The other thing that bugged me was actually the second mystery element of the novel.  Don't get me wrong, I do LOVE the fact that there was a secondary mystery in the novel but I feel like with the two elements to deal with in a book that wasn't all that long they both got a little squished, and the second element got shoved to the side ever so slightly.  There were elements of it that I felt were maybe just a LITTLE too far fetched to fully believe.

All of that being said I really enjoyed reading this book as a whole because despite those things that I didn't love it did SO MANY other things RIGHT!  First I want to applaud the fact that there is NO ROMANCE at all in the book.  Don't get me wrong, I love a good romance subplot, but so often in mystery/thriller novels they seem added in just because romance is a thing in YA, and the fact that Thomas didn't include it is HUGE.  Honestly I think it was a fantastic decision because the book isn't about romance, it's about darkness and coming to terms with your own secrets and the secrets of those around you.  Romance just don't fit into that idea.

The other thing I just adored was Tessa.  She saw some guy outside the window when she was 10. That's it. She didn't come face to face with a killer, she saw some guy that maybe was a killer or maybe was just some guy, or maybe wasn't even really there.  She didn't see the babysitter get killed, didn't hear it, didn't have to hide in a closet from a masked man trying to hunt her down, but despite that she was still affected by it.  So often characters see horrible things and come out the other end not much worse for the ware but this girl, she didn't even SEE anything and it affected her deeply.  That to me, is almost as good as the fact that there was no romance in the novel, because it's REAL.  She and the friend who maybe saw that guy, they were both affected by it, and even years later it was still there and still affected what they did, because that's what happens when you go through something like that, even if you weren't directly involved.  Being that close to something horrible, whether you actually experience it directly or not, will screw you up, and while I love strong characters I think I love real characters more.

So all in all, while this book wasn't perfect it was good.  Were there parts of it that were a little far fetched? Sure, but it's fiction.  You're allowed to take some liberties with it because while they do say sometimes truth is stranger than fiction it isn't always be that way, and I think what's most important is that you manage to keep the rest of the elements real, which Thomas was able to do expertly.  Overall I was pretty darn pleased with this book and I'm really excited to see what the author comes up with next.