Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Just Finished Reading ... The Darkest Corners
by Kara Thomas
To be published
on April 19, 2016
Summary from 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.
My take: Look at me, the new mood reader, tacking my late April books before the earlier releases! I recently needed a distracting book, and clicked on The Darkest Corners, thinking it was an adult thriller. It's not. There's something about the writing style that made me wonder, and it seems from others' Goodreads shelves that this is, indeed, YA.
I'd call The Darkest Corners sort of Gillian Flynn-lite. That's not meant to be a dig - I thought the book was a solid YA thriller for fans of true crime. It had some similarities (besides the title) to Flynn's Dark Places, with true crime themes and a main character revisiting her crappy, traumatic childhood. Though the writing in this lacked the sly, dark humor that I love in Flynn's writing, it definitely would appeal to fans of Flynn.
For me, The Darkest Corners took a bit too long to get started. The first half to two-thirds of the book kind of meandered along, stuck in exploring the main character's dysfunctional family and friendship relationships as she traveled to her childhood hometown to see her dying father, but then ended up entangled in the case of a convicted serial killer she helped put on death row after a childhood acquaintance was abducted and murdered. For me, there was way too much time spent on Tessa's moping around about the fact that her friend Callie has moved on, about her missing sister and negligent mother. But I'm glad I kept reading, because the last quarter of this book or improved a lot and the resolution was much more surprising than I expected.
Besides wishing that the first three-quarters had been condensed a bit and more time spent on the meatier, more interesting (to me) part of the story at the end, I recommend this to fans of true crime stories.
I'll be giving away an ARC this week on Freebie Friday, so if this book appeals to you, be sure to stop by!