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. (Goodreads)
*I received this ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
5/5 stars, you can't prepare for this book
The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas was a mind-blowing read. With all its twists and turns, I could barely hold on tight enough. This book tricks you into thinking it's about one thing, while slowly unveiling its true story in intricate and engaging ways. I loved this book more than I thought possible.
Immediately, the characters jumped out to me. Tessa, in particular, was a very strong presence as the main character and narrator from the first line. I found her completely relatable and funny. The side characters were just as strong, as if this story could have been any one of theirs. Filled with complexities and loyalties, each character (Callie, Maggie, even the flashbacks of Lori and Joslin, among others) is interesting and worthy of attention.
The relationships between the characters, specifically the female characters, were intriguing, engaging, relatable, and real. I felt like I was Tessa, journeying back to a place once called home, to a family she left, but that never really left her.
The story is insane (in the best way). There's no real way to talk about the story without diving into its many different faces and spoiling, so I'll just say that you, as a reader, are not prepared for what happens in this book. The plot takes so many twists and turns, keeps you guessing the entire time, and leaves you sitting in awe by the end of it. Many times I guessed new plot points/reveals, but only after guessing about ten other things, never sure if I was right or not until I reached the last page.
The end of the book is rather rushed, but, in a way, I suppose that's how things happen in real life. There's often a build-up when trying to unearth the truth and then every little lie and fact come tumbling out at once.
I read a digital ARC of this book, so many of the continuity mistakes I caught near the first half of the book have probably been fixed for print. I tried not to be so picky about the errors, but they really brought me out of the story and made me question things. I started to wonder if the mistakes were intentional as to allude to an unreliable narrator in Tessa...
Tessa was instantly likable (she's introduced as someone who avoids eye contact or making noise as to not start conversations with strangers, which...same, girl) and funny. She had family issues that I could almost relate to, and I just found her charming and interesting. I was immediately drawn to her.
Maggie is probably my second favorite character in this book. She seems like such a strong, loving woman, and I can imagine her in real life, in the many faces of my childhood friends' mothers. She was a beacon of hope, light, and purity, and I think she deserves a vacation.
Callie was equally as troubled as Tessa, but in different ways. While Tessa got out of Pennsylvania and away from the lingering doubts and horrors that inhabit it, Callie stayed behind with the constant memories, and her fear and sadness manifested into something dark that she tries to hide behind normal teenage behavior (gone wrong). Callie grew on me during the story, much as Tessa began to grow on her again. There was something so hopeful about how Tessa and Callie began to piece together their relationship.
Lori and Joslin are two characters who are not necessarily in the story, but have some of the biggest parts in shaping it. They are created through flashbacks and conversations, fully formed and brought to life through other people, which means it's amazing that I consider them some of my favorite characters. I felt that Kara Thomas did a beautiful job weaving them into the current story while making them the main focus of the flashbacks.
I highly recommend this book! I have no doubts that it will become a NYT Best Seller because it's an amazing, addicting story.
The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas will be published April 19, 2016.