Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Book Review: The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

The Darkest Corners
By Kara Thomas
Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte
Buy It: Amazon / BookDepository
Source: NetGalley



For fans of Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places and Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars, The Darkest Corners is a psychological thriller about the lies little girls tell, and the deadly truths those lies become.
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.
 
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 Review:

  This was a great book! The writing and storytelling were superb and compelling. No exaggeration. It would only be constituted as YA I feel because it was centered around 18-year-old Tessa and her friend, Callie. The way they speak and think is current to how teenagers are. However, the subject matter and writing would make someone think this is adult fiction. This is a book for mature readers, nothing is written explicitly, but the content is pretty gritty. 
  Some other reviewers say this book started off slow. The second half of the book was quicker than the first and it got pretty intense. I enjoyed the pacing of the novel. I loved how everything worked out and was revealed. Little clues were put in here and there, but it's not until the end you put everything together. 

  Tessa is a character many girls will be able to identify with, aside from the family drama. I was able to picture my own hometown when Tessa described Fayette and the types of people there. Kara Thomas was able to write characters incredibly well, some inspired by headlines, which helped create an authentic novel. You will be constantly theorizing throughout the novel of what happened 10 years ago in Fayette, Pennsylvania. However, you won't know what direction the author will take next. 
  I loved this dark thriller and I highly recommend it.



Why You Should Read It:

  • Phenomenal Writing
  • Great Character Development
  • Gripping Plot
  • Small Town America Many Can Relate To (makes the story more compelling)
  • It's Amazing. 





About the Author:
Kara is the author of THE DARKEST CORNERS, coming from Penguin Random House/Delacorte Press in Spring 2016. She also wrote the Prep School Confidential series (St. Martin’s Press) and the pilot The Revengers for the CW under the pen name Kara Taylor. She’s represented by Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary & Media. You can find her on Twitter (@karatwrites)Instagram, or on the couch with her rescue cat, Felix.




Thank you to NetGalley and Delacorte for sending me the eARC!
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Book Review: This Is the Story of You by Beth Kephart

This Is the Story of You
By Beth Kephart
Publication Date: April 12, 2016
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Buy It: Amazon / BookDepository
Source: Edelweiss


On Haven, a six-mile long, half-mile-wide stretch of barrier island, Mira Banul and her Year-Rounder friends have proudly risen to every challenge. But then a superstorm defies all predictions and devastates the island, upending all logic and stranding Mira's mother and brother on the mainland. Nothing will ever be the same. A stranger appears in the wreck of Mira's home. A friend obsessed with vanishing disappears. As the mysteries deepen, Mira must find the strength to carry on—to somehow hold her memories in place while learning to trust a radically reinvented future. Gripping and poetic, This Is the Story of You is about the beauty of nature and the power of family, about finding hope in the wake of tragedy and recovery in the face of overwhelming loss.


My Review:

   When the director, Ginee Seo, wrote a letter to the reader she wasn't lying when she said reading a work by Beth Kephart for the first time would be enviable and that this book would get under your skin. This is my first novel by Beth Kephart and I have to say it was a positive experience overall. It's a moving novel about a girl, Mira, being separated from her family when a huge storm hits their small six-mile island. It's a thrilling read that will have you wanting to devour it in one sitting. The writing was good overall and the poignant moments were felt even more with the poetical writing. You were sucked into the story and the transitioning between scenes and flashbacks were done well. The aftermath of the disaster was incredibly realistic. Mira suffered a head injury and her account of the aftermath seemed impaired by it; not everything seemed cohesive when she was narrating. However, I didn't feel any strong connections with the characters other than Jasper Lee.   
   Also,to me there were many times something was repeated.. I don't know if this was to make it more poetic and make sure the audience understood certain points that the author felt was poignant. I felt the ending could have been longer. I was so invested in the story that I was hoping for some more closure with certain characters. The story seemed at times ethereal  given the writing style and plot (an aspect I enjoyed), and I kept expecting some magical realism to appear in the novel (there isn't). Overall, I felt this is perfect for the intended audience. It struck a chord with me at the end and I liked Mira's relationship with her brother, Jasper Lee. I loved how Kephart wrote Jasper Lee. He is supposed to be 10 years old, but he acts so much wiser than that. The author created the character with hopes, dreams, and an eloquence that wouldn't be normal at that age. There is a great family dynamic. I would recommend to pre-teens and older. I usually don't go for contemporary reads, but this put the faith into me to read more. 




"A storm is the universe speaking. A storm is science. A storm takes everything away. Batters the rooftops, crashes the windows, tears up the gardens, sends the stop signs spinning. The walls are gone, the giraffe floats out to sea, the fawn shows up in the midst of dawn, and everything that was private isn't anymore. Lives are inside out, histories are, everybody has a confession. We make our own order."







Thank you to NetGalley and Chronicle Books for sending me a review copy!
Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Top Five Wednesday: Rainy Day Reads


   For rainy days I don't go for just any book. I don't like books too summery because I actually like rainy days. In the summer I like reading about cooler areas of the world when it is super hot and humid. For rainy days I like to start a fantasy series, read thrillers, or darker novels. Here is a short list of some books I've read that you might like to try on a rainy day.



1. Harry Potter and Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling. I like to start my series with a feeling of comfort that will help me feel nostalgia later. 
2. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I like the pairing of the author's writing style and plot for a rainy day.
3. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. This one is eery and strange that centers around an old woman and her story. 
4. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. A good thriller to get absorbed in with the rain to create a great ambiance. 
5. This Is the Story of You by Beth Kephart. I am currently reading this and it was raining yesterday all day. I got lost in the story and recommend it.






Friday, April 1, 2016

March 2016 Wrap-Up



This March I had such high hopes, but I haven't finished a book since March 16. I had hoped to finish the two I am currently reading, but instead.I got addicted to seasons 3 & 4 of Pretty Little Liars. My puppy is getting surgery today because she swallowed a squeaker from her toy and it got stuck. I will have 2 weeks to help with her recovery so I hope to not be deterred from reading too much in April.
I have been posting up a storm this month! My blogging slump is over! Quite a few of my posts have been about books on my TBR because I haven't been buying as many books as frequently lately. I had one good book haul this month after 5 months of nothing.  
 The theme for March seems to be books set in the future. I read a novel and novella from the Kate Daniels series and enjoyed both. I think it isn't necessary to read them all at once because they tend to get repetitive with the phrases and recaps. If you haven't read #5.4 yet and are about to read #8 I would suggest reading #5.4 first to get a quick refresher. #5.4 reminded me of the politics of the Guild and relationships among characters. Curran over time gets a little annoying with his alpha attitude,but I still love Kate. Future Shock was an eARC I read and posted a review. It is about a group of teenagers being sent to the future to collect data about the futuristic technology,but something goes wrong and they realize the future may not be what they anticipated. Even if it is targeted as YA I would recommend it as a quick read for anyone. Right now I am reading a library book for my Pop Sugar Challenge of National Book Award winner and one from my last book hall in preparation for a book I will read for review later in the month. I am reading these two and then want to get through the six ARCs I have planned for #ARCApril hosted by the ladies at Read.Sleep.Repeat..

How was your March?

__________________________________________________

Books I Finished:
Magic Shifts (KateDaniels #8) by Ilona Andrews 4/5 Stars
Magic Gifts (Kate Daniels #5.4) by Ilona Andrews 4/5 Stars
Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs. 4/5 Stars




Currently Reading:
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward. 
The Martian by Andy Weir.




Posts:

Here are the BOOKS I GOT in March.

Here are some HISTORICAL SETTINGS I love and some I would like to read more of.

If you were curious to see what books I have ON HOLD from my library.

Some FUTURISTIC SOCIETIES I wish to read more of and a small list of books I have on my TBR.

I added books from the MAN BOOKER LONGLIST to my TBR.

Books on my SPRING TBR

January to March 2016 5-STAR READS.

My APRIL TBR



Reviews: