Little Monsters by Kara Thomas
Publication date July 25, 2017
Summary from NetGalley:
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.
Arc provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.
The Darkest Corners was one of my favorite reads last year, so I was excited to get the e-galley to read. I wasn’t disappointed. This is a great look at how manipulative people can be and really twisted in their need to keep up appearances.
The story is told by Kacey, but there are excerpts from Bailey’s diary, which are key to unlocking what happened to her. I liked Kacey, although I did not totally trust her as a narrator. She had a difficult childhood with her mom, but she is doing better now that she lives with her dad and his family. Kacey even admits to having done some violent things in her past which makes you wonder if she did something but is not admitting it. I started feeling very sorry for Kacey by the end of the book, she kept wanting to help find out what happened to Bailey but kept getting herself in deeper and almost accused of the crime herself.
Bailey and Jade were interesting characters. Bailey is only in the story for the first couple of chapters before she disappears. Jade is there throughout. I started out kind of liking both girls, they were just typical small town bored teenagers out to entertain themselves. I liked that Bailey friended Kacey from the start and Jade although more aloof than Bailey at least tried to be friends to both girls. It isn’t until the end that you realize how manipulative and nasty these two girls were.
Kacey’s family was a nice group, although her father was rather distant with her. I think he just didn’t know how to interact with her, never having had contact with her before her coming to live with them. Her stepmom was pretty awesome and not at all what you usually see in these situations. Her stepbrother Andrew was also super nice and supportive of Kacey. He is the one that I suspected the most through out the book, because he was almost too nice. Her little half-sister Lauren was a lost little lamb throughout the book that I felt sorry for.
The end of the book, when what happened to Bailey was revealed was not exactly a surprise but was disturbing none of the less. Kara Thomas does a great job of twisting the story in unforeseen ways and always delivers a page turning psychological thriller.