Little Monsters by Kara ThomasLittle Monsters by Kara Thomas

Little Monsters

byKara Thomas

Paperback | July 3, 2018

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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 about how when you're the new girl in town, you can't trust anyone, especially other 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.
   Which is why it's so odd when her closest friends, Bailey and Jade, 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.

Don't miss the bonus original, short story inside!

Praise for Little Monsters:

"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
Kara Thomas has written for everything from her high school newspaper to Warner Bros. Television. She is a true-crime addict who lives on Long Island with her husband and rescue cat. She is the author of The Darkest Corners, Little Monsters, and The Cheerleaders. To learn more about Kara and her books, visit her at kara-thomas.com or f...
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Title:Little MonstersFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:368 pages, 8.19 × 5.5 × 0.79 inShipping dimensions:8.19 × 5.5 × 0.79 inPublished:July 3, 2018Publisher:Random House Children's BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0553521527

ISBN - 13:9780553521528

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from greta read This book certainly makes you question just how much you should really trust people. A seriously twisted novel that will have you captivated from beginning to end. You won't be able to put it down!
Date published: 2018-09-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good read It was a great read, very interesting and suspenseful, great twist
Date published: 2018-08-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from 4.5 stars! Oh my gosh this book was so good! I read it in two sittings and I didn't want to put it down. I read Kara Thomas's previous book, The Darkest Corners, a couple of years ago and I liked it, but this book was even better! I had a vague idea before I started reading of what Little Monsters was about, but I didn't reread the synopsis because sometimes I like to just jump into a book. I'm so glad I didn't know too much going into this one! It took me a couple of chapters to work out who was who and Kacey's family set up, but the story grabbed my attention right away. There was an underlying creepiness to everything, because of a local ghost story, and when one of Kacey's friends went missing, the creepiness amped up. This is a great mystery, with a bit of a twistyness to it that I really enjoyed, but more than that, it was such a great story about young girls and friendship. I am always super drawn to those kinds of books, and I loved what this one did with my expectations. I highly recommend this, and I think if you're a fan of Courtney Summers, you will like this book too. (Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.)
Date published: 2018-07-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Mini review on GR! Mini review: It's honestly been so long since I read this and I don't remember that much. And I really don't want to waste my time typing a full ranty review. Mini review it is. Literally no one was likable. Save for the sister and brother. The mystery was definitely not what I expected but not in the good way. I personally found Kacey to be really dumb. And the two other girls to be obsessive, possessive, manipulative, and truly evil. I would take The Plastics (Mean Girls) any day over these girls. The diary entries were helpful and sent chills. Like so creepy. I do have to get the author credit for writing these girls as twisty and nasty as she did. The ending was very bitter sweet and left me in chills (again). Overall I didn't enjoy this at all. Do not recommend.
Date published: 2018-04-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Chilling and suspenseful Dark and mysterious with some great twists. Great read, but I needed to read a cutesy contemporary afterwards to cheer me up haha #plumreview
Date published: 2018-03-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dark and mysterious Little Monsters is an engaging thriller about the lengths some dangerous girls will go to. Kacey's new best friends seem to be keeping secrets from her, but the biggest secret is when one of them goes missing and winds up dead. Now, the town is looking at a variety of suspects, but she is also a person of interest as the authorities think she knows something but is hiding it or protecting someone. Very soon, she is unsure of where the clues are leading her, and whether she even knew her friend well enough. There is also an urban legend plotline mixed in which adds to the thrill of the story and general creepiness of the atmosphere. Within her house, she is unsure of her position with her family, considering her own history of anger management issues, and how losing her cool would affect her relationships with others. Meanwhile, an insidious rumor is spreading around about her, and she doesn't know how it did. The story is so well-constructed, you see how the pieces connect as the story goes on, especially when we get snippets of Bailey's journal spliced in throughout the book at appropriate intervals. There are a lot of red herrings, as you would expect from a mystery novel, and I was so caught up in them, I overlooked the possibility of the killer revealed at the end. (That was an amazing twist, by the way). Also, there is no romance in this book, and considering what caused the murder, it was a good choice! The only part which went off was the last few chapters, when it shifts from the mystery and starts recounting everything in a clinical form, giving us the 'what happened next' but still kinda breaking the atmosphere set up. This book is dark, and a bit vicious, and you will love it. The characters are not good nor bad, all in complicated shades of grey. There are chilling choices, and there is a little horror mixed in. Overall, a treat for mystery lovers! Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Delacorte Press, via Netgalley.
Date published: 2018-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Impressive I didn't know what to expect before reading this but I was definitely impressed. Great book!
Date published: 2017-08-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Impressive I didn't know what to expect before reading this but I was definitely impressed. Great book!
Date published: 2017-08-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I was really impressed with this! The mystery kept me guessing the entire book and any theory I had had to be thrown right out because I was completely wrong. I blew through this in a couple sittings, as it's quick-paced, with increasing tension. Kacey, the main character, really annoyed me a bunch with her actions. It's basically a given that in a mystery/thriller-type book the characters are going to do a couple things they absolutely shouldn't do because it would be ~SUSPICIOUS~. Even though it's one of my least favourite things, I understand it's needed to move the plot along. However, it seemed that was literally all Kacey would do and then she's wondering why the police were taking such an interest in her. Very frustrating. But besides Kacey being dumb, I quite enjoyed myself and would definitely recommend it if you're looking for something quick and twisty!
Date published: 2017-08-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Creepy, Chilling and Goosebumps Holy smokes what did I just read?!? Little Monsters has the hair on the back of my neck standing up. The whole story had me on edge. I've heard Kara Thomas writes the best thrillers and now I've seen it with my own eyes. Be afraid. Little Monsters weaves a tale of lies and deceit. The story starts off on very neutral grounds but gets darker and more sinister as time went by. The deeper we dug into the backgrounds, the more chills I got. The build up of uncertainties and eerie atmosphere really played a number on my nerves. By the end of the book I was super creeped out. Bravo. Ms. Thomas does an outstanding job peeling back each character. They were key. There was a lot more to them than meets the eye. Seriously. A. Lot. Chapter by chapter we learn a little more; we get a better look at who or what's at play. As more pieces fell into place the more urgently I felt I needed to see the whole picture. I had theory after theory in my head and while some of my suspicions were right, nothing compared to having the truth laid out in front of me. Somebody hold me. There was no romance in Little Monsters. In this case it's definitely a plus because there was no room or really any time for distractions. I loved the sibling bond. It was endearing and a source of strength despite the negativity surrounding their relations. In some ways it was also disheartening to see how it was used. Some love can be too all-consuming. Shivers. I feel like I haven't said much in this review but it's probably for the best. Little Monsters will have you guessing until the very end. It'll have you thinking about it. It'll stay on your mind. Read Little Monsters but be prepared for the chills that's sure to crawl up your spine.
Date published: 2017-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Early Review I got an ARC copy of this book a while ago and I LOVED it! It's dark and twisted and perfect for Summer thriller beach reading! I loved Thomas's first book The Darkest Corners and I LOVED this one. So read them both if you like your Summer reading time a little dark and disturbing.
Date published: 2017-06-26

Read from the Book

They fire off a round of texts at me five minutes after midnight: We’re coming. Get ready. They’re not threats, but my friends have a way of making even the simplest demands feel like ultimatums. Sneak out. I don’t have a choice: if I say no, they’ll make sure I’m fully aware of how much fun they had without me. But then again, it’s cold, and not the normal kind of cold. It’s Broken Falls, Wisconsin, Dead of Winter cold. No one warned me about the winters before I moved here. The books and movies are right that Christmas in Wisconsin is magical, with the barns glowing under white string lights, fresh-cut Christmas trees visible through scalloped windows. But everything that comes after is just cruel. Wind-whipped sheets of snow so thick you can’t move through them. Mornings where above freezing is the best thing you’ll hear all day. Layers of ice on your windshield that take ages to chip off. And February. February is just the biggest asshole. February makes you feel like you’ll never see the sun again. My plan was to go to bed early and avoid the inevitable texts from Bailey and Jade. Are you up? You better be up! My friends’ restlessness is in direct proportion to how miserable and gray it is outside. Tonight, though: tonight is so clear you can count the stars like they’re diamonds. I text back: guys I’m so tired  Bailey: Stoooooop. Bailey: We’re doing the thing tonight. The skin on the back of my neck pricks. The thing. The thing was Bailey’s idea; almost everything is Bailey’s idea. I take a deep breath to slow my suddenly skittish heart. I could call them, tell them I’m not coming, but they’ll just make fun of me for being scared. There’s shuffling outside my bedroom door. The lamp on my nightstand is on. My stepmom, probably, coming to scold me for being up so late. “Kacey?” A tiny voice. Definitely not Ashley, whose voice carries over hill and sea. My stepmom’s constantly talking, sucking up all the air so my half sister can barely get a word in. I fire off another text to Bailey: I can’t come. Sorry.“You can come in,” I say. Lauren pokes her head inside the room. She reminds me of a doll: Dark, blunt bangs. Porcelain skin. Round head, a little too big for her body. We have the same eyes—wide hazel ones that prompted a particularly nasty freshman at my old high school to call me that freaky Bambi bitch. I fluff out the comforter to make room for Lauren to crawl underneath with me. “You okay?” Lauren hugs her knees. She’s wearing fleece sock-monkey pajamas. There’s something about my sister that makes her seem younger than most kids her age; she still cries when she falls off her bike and bleeds. Tonight there’s a raw pink strip over her upper lip from the cold. “Keelie is texting me pictures from Emma’s party,” she whispers. I want to fold my sister into a hug. Squeeze the sad out of her. Emma Michaels lives down the road—she’s been Lauren’s best friend since preschool. But Lauren isn’t at Emma’s thirteenth birthday sleepover right now, because Keelie March told Emma not to invite her. Keelie is thirteen, like Lauren, but she fills out her leotards in a way that makes the dance dads want to wait in the car. I saw Keelie in the parking lot over the summer, when I went with my stepbrother, Andrew, to pick Lauren up from her Saturday-morning class. Noticed the way Keelie watched Andrew from the corner of her eye as she lifted her leg onto the ramp rail- ing in a perfect stretch. Sweat glistening between cleavage that even I didn’t have. It was sweltering out; Keelie was twelve going on twenty, staring at a seventeen-year-old boy like he was a Popsicle.“They’re drinking wine coolers,” Lauren says. “That’s why I wasn’t invited.” I think of the American Girl dolls still set up in Lauren’s room, arranged around a tea set like they’re waiting for a party that’s never going to happen. I know she won’t play with them because the girls at school have already packed theirs up and put them in the attic. Those girls are thirteen and drinking. I should call Emma’s house and tell her mother what’s going on in that bedroom. Then I remember the things that went on in my house when I was thirteen. “Do you want me to block Keelie’s number from your phone?” I ask Lauren. She shakes her head, sending a tear down her cheek. “I just really wish I was there.” I’m about to tell her fuck Keelie March and those other dumb girls, you have me, when headlights flash through my bedroom window. My room faces Sparrow Road, the outer edge of our cul-de-sac. It’s what Bailey and Jade branded the perfect loading spot for a sneak-out. And it seems that despite my texts, they came anyway. Bailey flashes her high beams; then there’s darkness. Lauren frowns. “Who’s that?” “Just Bailey and Jade,” I answer, fumbling for my phone. I’ll tell them Lauren is awake. I definitely can’t come out now. “Are you guys going somewhere?” I hear the hopeful lilt in her voice.“No—we were just—” Snow crunching outside my window. Bailey’s face, illuminated by the light from the phone under her chin. She makes a ghostlike bwahahaha noise and I jump, even though I’m looking right at her. Jade appears next to her. Adjusts the messy bun sitting atop her head and taps on my window with one finger. I dart over and raise the glass. Bailey mashes her face against the screen, makes a pig nose. “Ready to go?” she whispers. I cringe. Even when Bailey whispers, she’s loud. I think of nosy Mrs. Lao next door, probably perched in the armchair by her living room window with a Sudoku book. A small wooded clearing separates us from the Laos, but in the winter, when the trees are bare, the slightest noise from our house is enough to send Mrs. Lao’s Yorkie, Jerome, into a bark- ing fit. Jade notices Lauren sitting on my bed before Bailey does. She nudges Bailey and flicks her eyes to me, as if to say, What the hell is she doing here?

Editorial Reviews

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 CupackesPraise for The Darkest Corners: An International Thriller Writers Award FinalistAn ABC Best Book for TeensA 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