Wednesday, September 2, 2015

ARC Review ~ The Foxglove Killings by Tara Kelly

Rating: 5/5 Stars
Author: Tara Kelly
Available Formats: eBook & Hardcover
Publishers: Entangled Teen Publishing 
Publication Date: 09-01-15              Pages: 320
Gramps always said that when the crickets were quiet, something bad was coming. And the crickets have been as silent as the dead. It started with the murdered deer in the playground with the unmistakable purple of a foxglove in its mouth. But in the dying boondock town of Emerald Cove, life goes on.

I work at Gramps's diner, and the cakes―the entitled rich kids who vacation here―make our lives hell. My best friend, Alex Pace, is the one person who gets me. Only Alex has changed. He's almost like a stranger now. I can't figure it out...or why I'm having distinctly more-than-friend feelings for him. Ones I shouldn't be having.

Then one of the cakes disappears. 

When she turns up murdered, a foxglove in her mouth, a rumor goes around that Alex was the last person seen with her—and everyone but me believes it. Well, everyone except my worst enemy, Jenika Shaw. When Alex goes missing, it's up to us to prove his innocence and uncover the true killer. But the truth will shatter everything I've ever known about myself — and Alex.

My So-Called Review: 
I totally thought I had this one figured out! Towards the beginning third of the book I had a random thought on a suspect & thought it’d be a pretty good plotline to have this person be the killer but also thought for sure I was way out in left field. As the story progressed I started thinking, maybe I wasn’t wrong, and maybe the person I thought really IS the killer. Not because any of the clues were pointing this person’s way but because I had no other idea of who it could be! I thought this right up until those final chapters and then WHAM Tara Kelly totally got me!! I thought, oh WOW that’s good, that’s like really, really good!! She did an excellent job at hiding who the killer was but once I knew I went back and looked at certain scenes in a new light and realized that the clues were there all along . But wait, cause Kelly wasn’t done, nope! She threw another HUGE twist in there and my mouth literally hung open during that last climactic scene!! It was totally freaking brilliant and never, ever in a million years would I have guess what was really going on and who was behind it all.

The Foxglove Killings begins with our main character, Nova, walking through the park with her best friend Alex when they make the gruesome discovery of a mutilated and staged deer. After failing to pull her gaze away, Nova notices a purple foxglove has been placed in the deer’s mouth, this alone really creeps her out as purple is her favorite color. A few days later another animal is found dead and mutilated, this time at the wealthy home of a popular local girl, this animal also had a foxglove placed in its mouth. Then Nova begins receiving strange, cryptic letters from someone, letters in purple envelopes written on purple paper. Is this person an admirer, a stalker, some combination of both? She has no idea but they are seriously creeping her out, especially when one is taped to her bedroom window one night! But the weirdness in this town doesn’t stop there because a few days later one of the rich girls in town, Amber, goes missing and oddly enough, she was Nova’s biggest enemy.

Now the whole town is starting to panic and tensions are rising between the local kids and the Cakes (the rich summer kids). In fact, some people are starting to suspect Alex could be behind the mutilations and Amber’s disappearance. That he’s doing all this for some sort of payback for the torture and humiliation that he and Nova have been subjected to for years thanks to the Cakes. He’s been so angry lately, spouting off so much hate, pushing back for the first time in his life instead of letting them push him down. But Nova’s known him for 8 years; she knows he couldn’t possibly do something like this. Right? As bodies start to show up and more people disappear Nova finds herself questioning everything she thought she knew about the one person who knows her best.

Interlaced throughout the chapters were short bits from a diary of sorts that were clearly from the killer. I thought this was such a fabulous little touch! Every time one popped up I would actually get excited and then stop and re-read it a few times, trying to pick up on clues from the killer’s cryptic ramblings. Set along the Oregon coast, The Foxglove Killings is one of those books that pulls you right into the story, my arms were covered in goosebumps by chapter two and I’m not sure if they’ve even gone away yet! I love an author that can create this type of dark, creepy atmosphere with such ease and then keep that feeling throughout the entire book. Tara Kelly does this flawlessly; I was honestly a bit stunned by how much I loved this book and how deeply it crawled under my skin. This is my first book by Kelly so I had no idea what to expect but Foxglove certainly won’t be my last!

I loved, loved every single aspect of this book, this is how YA thrillers are supposed to be written! The Foxglove Killings now sits at the top of my list for best teen thriller!! Of course I’m going to highly recommend this to both adults and young adults, this is the perfect read for anyone who loves intense thrillers, complex characters, and a dark and creepy setting. There’s a little touch of romance in this novel but it felt perfectly placed and not a tad overdone. Due to language and some awesomely gruesome scenes I’m going to suggest this novel be recommended for teens age 16 and up.

A hue thank you to publishers, Entangled Teen and to NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary, advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!

About the Author:
Tara Kelly adores variety in her life. She’s an author, one-girl-band, graphic designer, videographer/editor, and photographer. She lives in Sin City with her beloved guitars, sound design master husband, and a fluffy cat named Maestro.


  1. I sure hope this is available now as I can't wait! I keep seeing this and wanting it. Your review is excellent and so exciting. Off to check it out now!

    1. It came out yesterday Laura! YA thrillers can be real hit and miss for me so I was thrilled with how much I loved this one! If you do read it, I'd love to know what ya think :)