ARC Review: The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas3:53:00 PM
Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Publish Date: April 19, 2016 by Delacorte
Received for promotional purposes through First In Line
An aesthetic reminiscent of I Know What You Did Last Summer and Pretty Little Liars with a dark and gritty twist, The Darkest Corners is sure to keep you guessing. Perfect for fans of true crime and real-life thrillers and murder mysteries, this work of fiction felt real and close to home, as though every small town has its secrets that it wants to hide.
I give it a mixed review because while some points stood out and shone, others were dull in comparison. I didn’t hate this book, in fact I quite enjoyed it. I just didn’t love it. The writing was very detail-oriented, something I certainly appreciated. But I didn’t grow attached to the characters and felt as though there were too many instances of red herrings for the story to remain credible. The plot itself was dynamic and interesting, but again with the red herrings – too many times the plot seemed to lead to a dead end or in circles, and I quickly got antsy and felt like the plot was building too slowly. However at the same time, the story was providing little breadcrumbs and hints as to the conclusion, weaving in and out of focus in a very well-crafted manner.
Following Tessa from my hometown of Orlando to her hometown of Fayette, PA felt as though she was taking me along with her on her whole journey. The mystery of the serial killer in Fayette was a closed case, but Tessa’s return after ten years reopened her personal investigation as she and her childhood friend Callie begin to second guess what actually happened the fateful night Callie’s cousin, Lori, died in the same fashion as the previous murders. Tessa revisits places and people she hasn’t seen in almost ten years, and in the process a myriad of memories and emotions come back to her all at once. In an effort to track down her runaway sister Joslin, her estranged mother Annette, and the true Ohio River Monster serial killer, Tessa and Callie fall deeper and deeper into lies and cover ups and wonder if they truly got more than what they bargained for.
I gave this story a 3-star overall rating for its good writing and interesting plot. Though the characters seemed to be a bit flat, they furthered the plot decently and the setting felt real and as though it fit the bill of your average unsuspecting small town struck by tragedy. The writing was extremely well-developed and structured in a way that made it feel as though the story was being told through the details. The twist ending was gut-wrenching and unexpected, and the story’s climax kept me turning pages. Overall, though it wasn’t entirely a piece I would call a favorite, The Darkest Corners was a piece I’m sure to never forget.