Little Monsters by Kara Thomas (324 pages)
Overview: When the new girl comes to town, she makes the perfect prime suspect when her best friend goes missing. When Kacey Young moves in with her father she doesn't know, her step mom, step brother, and half sister, she doesn't know what to expect, but she knows it will be better than living with her mom. Soon enough, she's fallen into place with her new siblings, Andrew and Lauren, and her two best friends Jade and Bailey. Life is great until she stumbles upon the trail of her best friend's possible murder. Overall: 3.5
Characters: 3 What I loved about The Cheerleaders was how real the characters were. They had a weight and gravity that you see hints of in this book, but it isn't quite all the way there. Kacey is the best fleshed out of all the characters. She makes a great main character as she straddles the inside and outside of Broken Falls. While her family members don't have her sense of gravity, their plotted dynamics are sweet and endearing. I wish we'd gotten to learn more about Bailey and Jade, though. I think it would have taken the story to a completely different level if Thomas had used her third person to shift into that dynamic a bit more.
Plot: 4 I was engaged by the twists and the turns of the book. You're intentionally set up to get everything before Kacey does, though, which wasn't my favorite. I like discovering with the character because it eliminates the lag between your "wow" moment and waiting for the character to have hers. Overall, though, the developments were well plotted.
Writing: 3.5 The limited third POV with Kacey is interspersed with journal entries that are from Bailey (though they're not labeled). I wish that they weren't journal entries. The entries just made Bailey sound unbelievably flat and one dimensional. It made some reactions of the people around her feel unbelievable. If what Bailey wrote about had been expressed in action scenes, it would have done multitudes to bring the book completely to life.
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