Published by Delacorte Press on July 25th 2017
Genres: young adult, mystery-thriller
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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.
My taste for genres come and go, and come again, but I never get tired of a good thriller, especially a YA thriller. I like to be scared and creeped out, and I like the tension and urgency a well written thriller can put you through. Little Monsters had all the elements of a thriller I should love, and yet there was something missing that ultimately kept me from loving it as much as I should have.
The biggest problem is that the storytelling seemed uneven. There were flashbacks and journal entries, and there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to when they would appear. The totally could have been the formatting for my eARC, but it still affected my reading experience, and made the story sort of read as if it was all over the place. The story still had really good bones and it was compelling, but I prefer more structure to my books.
The other issue was the characters. They weren’t as well developed as they could be and I never felt like I really knew any of them. Kacey had issues in her past that were never fully fleshed out, and so did Bailey, and it actually got to the point that I was confused about who I had read about earlier in the book. There is a fair amount of girl hate in this book, but I’ve often stated that I don’t mind it if there’s a good reason for it, an the girl hate in Little Monsters has a large place in the plot and motivations of the characters. That said, if it bothers you no matter what, you may want to skip this book.
All the critical stuff aside, I can honestly say I did enjoy reading this book quite a bit. I don’t want you to see the three star rating as negative, because the last third of this book really caught be by surprise. It’s true that I didn’t feel as emotionally involved as I could have, but I still really loved the twist. I did not see it coming; in fact it was something I had never even contemplated until about 83% through the book and I was like, “Wait a second here.” And THEN I figured out who the killer was. So technically I did know the twist before it was revealed, but it was RIGHT before the reveal and I still really enjoyed figuring it out.
I really liked Little Monsters. I just wish more time was spent on fleshing out the characters’ backgrounds, because it would have made all the difference. That said, this book was loaded with atmosphere and suspense so I am giving it 3.5 stars.