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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.
Audiobook Received for Review, Borrowed from library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Nereyda: I had honestly never even heard of this book (to be fair, I’m so out of the loop when it comes to books) until it came up on my emails for audiobooks. I had heard good things about her last thriller even though I never got around to reading it, but there was something about this book that intrigued me. I don’t usually bother with YA thrillers because most of the time they are way too predictable, but Little Monsters managed to escape the predictability with an unexpected POV and some added twists along the way.
Nick: I was curious about Little Monsters but didn’t pick it up until Nereyda mentioned that she liked it. I read it over the weekend and thought it was one of the more brilliant YA mystery I have read. What I liked the best about this book was how it kept making me second-guess my theories at basically every turn.
Nereyda: When Kacey’s friend Bailey goes missing, the whole town is shocked and desperate to find her. Kacey is determined to find answers since no one seems to take her disappearance seriously. When a few of her searches land her at the wrong place at the wrong time, Kacey starts looking more and more like a suspect. Now, not only does she have to try to find out what happened to Bailey, but she also has to prove that she isn’t involved and that she has nothing to hide…even though she does have something to hide. To add a nice twist, we also get chapters mixed in from Bailey’s POV, leading to a few months before her disappearance. I have to admit I was a bit thrown off by this at first because not only was I not expecting her POV, but I also wasn’t expecting another narrator in the book (although I’m so glad they got a different narrator for her). At first, it was so easy to feel sorry for poor Bailey, who we don’t even know at this point if she’s dead or alive, but things start to change when we start to realize that Bailey isn’t who Kacey thought she was…who anyone thought she was.
Nick: I liked Kacey’s character a lot, though there were times when I wondered what she was up to. I do like that despite everything, she was committed to finding out what really happened to Bailey. Along the way, she discovers that the people she thought were her friends weren’t exactly who she thought they were, and I felt terrible for the girl because life hadn’t been kind to her growing up. Thankfully, Kacey did have a great family. I liked her step-mom a lot here, and appreciated that she wasn’t shown as the typical evil step-mom here. She’s there for all her kids, whether they are related by blood or marriage, and I admired that about her. In fact, Kacey’s step-mom played a bigger role in her life than her own dad did. The other characters were also all well-written, and well developed. I’m especially with Nereyda about Bailey- her journal inserts also took me by surprise initially because you aren’t told that it’s her. I thought it was a great addition to the story, and made the book even more engaging. I actually thought Bailey’s POV was the strongest part of Little Monsters, because we get to see the subtle, but powerful change in her character’s personality.
Nereyda: I of course had my list of usual suspects, but I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t really know who was responsible for Bailey’s disappearance until the end. Like I said, YA thrillers tend to be embarrassingly predictable so this was a nice switch of pace. It was very easy to get sucked in this book, so much so that I heard all of this book in one sitting. It’s a shame that I haven’t seen any reviews for this book because it was really well written and very entertaining. I’m now even more curious about her previous thriller book since I enjoyed this one so much. If you’re a fan of thrillers, or even if you’re not like me, this is one book that you should check out!
Nick: I guessed what had happened partly, but I’m not going to lie, Kara Thomas had me second-guessing myself basically every chapter. That was part of why I was so into Little Monsters. It kept me at the edge of my seat, and that’s not something that I’ve felt a lot with YA thrillers. Like Nereyda said, a lot of them tend to be very predictable, but not this one. Little Monsters was my first book by Kara Thomas, but it certainly won’t be my last.
Have you read any good, unpredictable YA murder mysteries?
Let us know in the comments below!
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