The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas (5 out of 5)

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That cover doesn’t lie- everyone DOES have something to hide. This book? Had a great deal to hide. Holly originally got at the store wrapped in an evidence bag. VERY eye-catching. If they found a way to distribute the book like THAT on the shelves when it’s released- well, I think it would be a marketing WIN! This book reads like an adult mystery. HOWEVER, Random House has it marketed in the young adult category for ages 14 and up. Take that under strong advisement, because it’s not a book that is for the young at heart. It reads, as I said, like an adult mystery… however, the young girls in the story who may or may not be in danger are also teens, so that’s likely the reason they went with that age group. Penguin Random has their reasons. And with this book? They have a GREAT winner in the young adult category.

Fayette, Pennsylvania feels a lot like Dead End Ville from the eyes of young Tessa. She left when she was 9 to go live with her grandmother in Florida. Her best friend at that time, Callie, stayed in Fayette and made the most of it- becoming very popular with the crowd of teens at the local high school, in ways most bad (drinking and partying so much to help her forget what happened that awful summer). Tessa and Callie went in opposite directions, and that last summer before Tessa left Fayette, things happened that tested the friendship in ways that shouldn’t happen to girls that young. Now Tessa’s back looking for answers. The man who’s on trial for murdering a bunch of girls in Fayette,  Wyatt Stokes, is on death row awaiting an appeal. Tessa and Callie’s account of what happened when their close friend Lori was murdered helped put Stokes there- but was it the truth? Were these memories the real thing, or did the police prodding the terrified, grieving girls lead to them pointing out a person of interest that the cops wanted to peg with the crime? Tessa stays with Callie and her family, and slowly, she and Callie try to rebuild their friendship, all the while hunting down whether or not they did the wrong thing. That leads to questionable actions and one ugly side of the truth is slowly revealed. Which leads to more twists and turns. Tessa and Callie are tormented by the fact that the real killer may be on the loose when another body turns up off the highway where the previous girls were found- is it a copycat killer or is it the real killer, coming home to roost because Stokes is taking the fall for most of the previous murders? Tessa and Callie hatch a crazy scheme on their way to try to figure out- and to redeem their guilty consciences because if Stokes is not the real killer, who is? And a man has spent years in prison as a result of their mistaken testimony? Or is he the real killer and now there’s a new serial killer on the loose?  The thing about this book, friends, is that you are guessing all the way to the end. Just when you think you have got the answer, a whole new path of revelations come out and more questions as a result. Toward the end of this book, Tessa’s own family issues come to light- her missing sister who just up and walked out on her, years after their mother abandoned her. What’s going on with that angle and what could it possibly have to do with Stokes and the dead girls? Can she put those pieces together as well as the real perpetrator of the crimes, or will she and Callie end up victims themselves? I’m not kidding when I say that this book kept me hooked until the end! There isn’t any stupid BS dialogue, all truth and consequences here, folks. And how utterly refreshing that is! I laughed when I read the book jacket and it had a blurb comparing it to “We Were Liars”, but it was SO TRUE.

“The Darkest Corners” is out on April 19, 2016, courtesy of Delacorte (Random House). Do yourself a favor and put it on your lists NOW. I would be damn surprised if this fine book isn’t turned into a movie. It has the feel of something gritty that Hollyweird would love to get their filthy mitts on. If that happens, I hope they don’t mess up the brilliance of this author’s novel. Wow.

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~ by generationgbooks on February 21, 2016.

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