Monday, July 11, 2016

Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Dark, gritty and fabulous
Title: These Shallow Graves
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Publisher: Hot Key Books
My ratings: 4 out of 5 stars
Released: 5th, May 2016
I had been eyeing this book for a while as it has been making the rounds on social media.  Set in Victorian New York it tells the story of Josephine Montford, whose gilded world comes crashing down when her father is found dead. Belonging to an old family, she is expected to marry the most eligible bachelor in New York. But she simply can’t let go of the suspicious circumstances of her father’s death.  With the help of a young, handsome reporter, she starts investigating her father’s death.

For some reason, I was expecting some paranormal elements in it and this book has none of it. However it ticks all the boxes. I really enjoyed the setting of the dark, gritty underbelly of Victorian New York and the contrast it set against the rich and influential world of Jo. The author expertly, was able to show the suffering of the poor but also life of the rich who had their own suffering but just hidden under the carpet of their beautiful mansions.

The romance was a slow burn and I was pleased how it did not take over the plot itself. My favourite part of the story was the main character, Jo. She is one who sees the most changes around her. Her father is dead, possibly murdered and she is determined to uncover the truth behind it. But the more she ventures in the world of the other half the harder she finds to shake it off her person. I simply loved how this experience changed her, evolved her into someone with a backbone of steel.

The only criticism I have for this book was that it slowed down in parts and being a nearly 500 page long book, it left longer. Oh and also, I had figured out the killer from the beginning of the story. Oops!

I would recommend this book to all fans of YA who like a thriller but this one is with a difference and a completely new flavour.

Review copy provided by Hot Key Books, UK


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