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Little Monsters Hardcover – July 25, 2017
The Amazon Book Review
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From School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—An eerie and masterly psychological thriller. Shattered from living with her unstable mother for years, Kacey arrives in Broken Falls, WI, to live with her father. She rebuilds her life, surrounding herself with new family and tight-knit friends Bailey and Jade. One night, in the deep of winter, the girls and Kacey's half sister, Lauren, hold a séance to summon the spirit of the legendary ghost rumored to lurk in the forest. Their botched ritual precedes the sudden disappearance of Bailey, who fails to return home from a party the next night. As the investigation ramps up and clues are found, secrets about the girls seep into the town's rumor mill. Excerpts from Bailey's journal reveal a consuming jealousy and deceit she disguised as friendship, further shrouding her disappearance in mystery. Blame shifts from person to person to ghost and culminates in a shocking and disturbing ending. Thomas expertly captures the pointed nuances and the fickle, manipulative bonds of adolescent girls' friendships. A fast-paced plot develops characters just enough to pique readers' suspicions. The book is descriptive yet concise, deftly folding in layers of mystery, a ghost story, and realistic dialogue to propel the narrative forward. VERDICT A compelling and vivid thriller that even the most reluctant of readers will devour.—Amy Reddy, Lewiston High School, ME
Praise for Little Monsters:
A Junior Library Guild Selection
"A disturbing portrait of how bad news and gossip can curdle when mixed together."-Oprah.com
"An eerie and masterly psychological thriller...[that] culminates in a shocking and disturbing ending. Thomas expertly captures the pointed nuances and the fickle, manipulative bonds of adolescent girls’ friendships."-SLJ
"Taut and suspenseful...this gritty page-turner will easily hook a broad range of readers"-Booklist
"An intense psychological thriller that all but ensures the lights will be left on between dusk and dawn."-Publishers Weekly
"Gritty and realistic...this mystery will leave readers in awe."-VOYA
"A twisted story of obsession and manipulation, Little Monsters captivated me right up to its surprising conclusion—and left me wondering how well I really know my friends."-Chelsea Sedoti, author of The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett
"A brilliant, well-written masterpiece, full of unreliable narrators, suspense, and plot twists that will leave you at the edge of your seat."-Inah P., The Bibliophile Confessions
“A twisted and evocative tale of teenage friendships, obsession, and family dynamics all wrapped up in a mystery that is as compelling as it is dark.”-Liz, Liz Loves Books
"The ending left me staring slack-jawed."-Leah Lorenzo, Bumble Bee Books
“Little Monsters was absolutely amazing. It pulled me in and now that I am done with it, I am going to have such a major book hangover....Every time I thought I was close to having [the mystery] figured out, Kara Thomas would throw something at us and it would change EVERYTHING!”-Stephanie Torina, Reading is Better With Cupackes
Praise for The Darkest Corners:
An International Thriller Writers Award Finalist
An ABC Best Book for Teens
A Junior Library Guild Selection
"Gripping from start to finish, The Darkest Corners took me into an underbelly I didn't know existed, with twists that left me shocked and racing forward to get to the end."-Victoria Aveyard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Red Queen
“A tight, twisted thriller, full of deft reversals and disturbing revelations—deeply, compulsively satisfying!”-Brenna Yovanoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Replacement
“As dark as Gillian Flynn and as compulsive as Serial…Kara Thomas’s mystery debut is intricate, chilling, and deeply compelling. Unforgettable!”—Laura Salters, author of Run Away
"You'll be up all night tearing through the pages, gasping through the twists and turns."-Bustle.com
"[It] will have you questioning the lies young girls tell, and the ripple effects they can have."-EW.com
★ “Thomas carefully crafts the suspense, leaving present-tense narrator Tessa—and readers—to doubt even those she loves the most…An unsettling story of loss, lies, and violence lurking in the shadows of a small town.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
★ "On the heels of Making a Murderer and The Jinx comes a psychological thriller strongly rooted in the true-crime tradition...Expertly plotted with plenty of twists and turns—never mind a truly shocking conclusion—this gritty thriller is sure to find a wide audience among teens and adults alike. Equally concerned with a quest for the truth and the powerful motivation of guilt, this compelling novel won’t linger on the shelf." —Booklist, Starred review
★ "Thomas keeps it real with a jaded heroine from the have-nots societal segment who holds onto her humanity, and a frank illustration of failure in the justice system. Hand this one to older teens who love dark mysteries or fans of Netflix's Making a Murderer."—Shelf Awareness, Starred review
"Clearly drawn…[and] alive until the twisty end."—Bulletin
"Strong character development and thrilling reveals…this novel is a sure bet."—SLJ
Top customer reviews
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The characters in this book felt very real. Many of them are teenagers and many of them act like it. Sometimes they act irrationally and a lot of the time I want to jump in the book and just shake them for the decisions they were making. But this made me love the book even more. The characters just so human.
All and all I just devoured this book. I absolutely loved it and cannot wait to see more from Kara Thomas.
This is modern day Wisconsin.
Kacey doesn’t want to go, but she can’t say no to her friends, even when her younger half sister Lauren tags along. A few nights after that, Bailey disappears. From the beginning, Kacey is in the center of the investigation. She stumbles on evidence; she catches friends and her step brother in lies. Even her little sister is lying. Kacey also soon learns some fearful things about the missing Bailey.
It’s a good read, but I doubt the author has ever been to Wisconsin. She has the search team wearing parkas. If this was a Wisconsin winter they’d be in snowmobile suits. They would not be walking through the woods in a Wisconsin winter. They’d be using the snowmobiles.
The driveway of a deserted barn would NOT be plowed. It would not be so accessible.
These teenage girls are too mobile. One does not hike in a Wisconsin winter.
There are lots of shops and restaurants in Broken Falls. It is not your typical small town in rural Wisconsin where supporting even one restaurant would be difficult. Broken Falls does not seem anything like a real Wisconsin town. The winter described here was too mild.
Also thirteen year old Lauren sometimes acts much younger, and sometimes acts much older. She is NOT a believable 13 year old.
Oh Kara Thomas, I think I love you. LITTLE MONSTERS is so dark and twisty, I didn't want the story to end. I never knew if Kacey was a reliable narrator. She had a loose relationship with the truth with everyone in her life, why not the readers. Bailey's diaries came after every few of Kacey's narrations I wondered if she was dead or alive and playing tricks. I wanted a brother like Andrew. Lauren's character, a very young thirteen who acted as if she was ten, felt fresh and unconventional. My opinions of all the teenagers changed throughout the story as I switched suspects and whom I trusted.
The ending was one of the half dozen scenarios I envisioned, although the one I most quickly dismissed. LITTLE MONSTERS is more mystery than thriller, although my heart thumped often throughout this fast paced story. Kara Thomas has become an automatic preorder. Read LITTLE MONSTERS and her other gem THE DARKEST CORNER.
With a cast brimming with unreliable characters, including the narrator, I can certainly see where the PRETTY LITTLE LIARS comparison comes into play. Though I do feel that Kacey was a much more likable protagonist than those characters. She has such genuine love and concern for her family, which made her relatable and likable despite the darkness she keeps hidden inside.
I loved all the red herrings scattered throughout this story. They certainly kept me guessing right up until the very end. I also really enjoyed the fact that while this is certainly not a paranormal or fantasy story, Broken Fall's local urban legend does play a prominent and super creepy role in the story.
I had so much fun reading this book and definitely feel like it will be a hit amongst both YA and adult readers of the mystery/thriller genre.
Most recent customer reviews
I think there were substantial plot twists, yet it wasn’t overly complicated.Read more