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Little Monsters
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Little Monsters
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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...
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...
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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.
    Praise for Little Monsters:
    "Thomas creates 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


  • 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,...

About the Author-

  • 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 follow @karatwrites on Twitter and @kara_thomas on Instagram.


  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 22, 2017
    Thomas’s (The Darkest Corners) twisted and atmospheric dive into the psychology of teenage girls holds a horrifying fascination. Kacey has had a difficult go of things. After fights with her mother became untenable, she moved from Rochester, N.Y., to Broken Falls, Wis., to live with the father she’s never met, his new wife, and her stepsiblings. Despite being labeled as different, thanks to her “punk hair” and mysterious past, Kacey befriended classmates Jade and Bailey, though it’s a relationship fraught with minefields. When Kacey’s 13-year-old sister, Lauren, joins Kacey and her friends for a séance at the site of a massacre, everything starts to unravel. Kacey finds herself ostracized from Bailey and Jade—and then Bailey disappears. What follows is equal parts mystery and introspection as Kacey begins to question her life, her choices, and everyone around her in a quest to find justice. It’s an intense psychological thriller that all but ensures the lights will be left on between dusk and dawn. Ages 14–up. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary & Media.

  • Kirkus

    May 1, 2017
    The new girl in town teases apart a web of lies in the wake of her friend's disappearance.White teen Kacey Young ran away from a volatile relationship with her mother to a new home in Broken Falls, Wisconsin, with the father she never met, a kind stepmother, and two new siblings. But it's best friends Bailey and Jade, both also white, who become Kacey's close-knit circle. The girls text constantly, and Bailey shows up at Kacey's house even if she declines to hang out. One night, the girls attempt a seance in a haunted barn, and something spooks Kacey's little sister, Lauren, who tags along. That night sets off a domino effect: Lauren is traumatized, Bailey and Jade give Kacey the cold shoulder, and then Bailey disappears. Kacey begins to investigate, and the more clues she stumbles upon, the more the police suspect her involvement. Rumors swirl, and Kacey learns that Bailey left a foundation of lies in her wake--lies that put their entire friendship into question. Thomas seems to be aiming at a chilling exploration of how far a teenage girl will go for revenge, but she doesn't succeed. Red herrings make for a frustrating mystery that comes together in a rush, with too little buildup to make the shocking reveal believable. Too bent on keeping readers in the dark to allow for true mystery. (Thriller. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    July 1, 2017

    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 seance 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

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • DOGO Books ajg16 - Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls. When moves in with her dad and his family, she becomes friends with two girls, Bailey & Jade. They Invite her do everything fun with them & they are really nice. But suddenly things get weird and distant between them and they go to a party without Kacey. When has no idea why & she won't find out because Bailey doesn't come home from the party & she is declared missing. Now Broken Falls doesn't seem so friendly anymore. Everyone is looking at the new girl, kacey, for all the answers. This book is definitely an all nighter! Couldn't put it down! Thanks for reading -Ajg15's Reviews
  • Booklist

    June 1, 2017
    Grades 9-12 Ever since Kacey's social worker brought her to Broken Falls to live with her estranged father and his family, she's developed a tight-knit friendship with Bailey and Jade, two misfit girls desperate to escape their small Midwestern town. Kacey is finally feeling comfortable with her dad, stepmom, stepbrother, and half sister, so when Bailey goes missing and Kacey becomes a suspect, she's worried that, among other things, this new family she's come to love will abandon her, too. But swirling around Kacey's anxieties are truly insidious secrets, and Thomas unspools the truth at a tantalizing pace, turning suspicion for Bailey's ever-lengthening disappearance from character to character. Occasional entries from Bailey's diary reveal her disturbing motivations, which Kacey gradually uncovers as she starts her own investigation. Thomas keeps the atmosphere taut and suspenseful by incorporating a menacing urban legend and plenty of red herrings to throw readers off the scent, while Kacey's compelling character and narrative keep the story firmly grounded in her complicated emotional reality. This gritty page-turner will easily hook a broad range of readers.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

  • Laura Salters, author of Run Away "As dark as Gillian Flynn and as compulsive as Serial...Kara Thomas's mystery debut is intricate, chilling, and deeply compelling. Unforgettable!"
  • Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review "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."
  • Booklist, 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."
  • Shelf Awareness, 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."

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