Friday, June 24, 2016

REVIEW: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
Publication Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Received from Publisher 
Buy it at: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

*This eARC was received from the publisher, but it did not influence this review in any way *

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Jo Montfort is beautiful and rich, and soon—like all the girls in her class—she’ll graduate from finishing school and be married off to a wealthy bachelor. Which is the last thing she wants. Jo secretly dreams of becoming a writer—a newspaper reporter like the trailblazing Nellie Bly.

Wild aspirations aside, Jo’s life seems perfect until tragedy strikes: her father is found dead. Charles Montfort accidentally shot himself while cleaning his revolver. One of New York City’s wealthiest men, he owned a newspaper and was partner in a massive shipping firm, and Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun.

The more Jo uncovers about her father’s death, the more her suspicions grow. There are too many secrets. And they all seem to be buried in plain sight. Then she meets Eddie—a young, brash, infuriatingly handsome reporter at her father’s newspaper—and it becomes all too clear how much she stands to lose if she keeps searching for the truth. Only now it might be too late to stop.

The past never stays buried forever. Life is dirtier than Jo Montfort could ever have imagined, and the truth is the dirtiest part of all.

So this is my first Jennifer Donnelly novel and I have to say that I absolutely loved it and can't wait to get my hands on more of her work. Historical fiction has never really been my cup of tea, but when it has a young adult feel like this one it definitely hits the spot. Jo Montfort is a bright young woman with a bright future. Even though her family has mapped out her entire life, she always has the urge to do and be so much more than what she is. I find that she has to constantly hold back her true self. Jo stands out as a rebel with a penchant for trouble and when she meets Eddie Gallagher she finds herself becoming the person she was always meant to be.

Jo has such a brave and strong personality and it got to shine bright every time she was investigating with Eddie, but there were some situations that I feel like she really could have avoided if she had just listened to him instead making her own decisions. I loved that Jo had so many big dreams for herself during a time when her freedom was so very limited. I especially liked that there were so many strong females available for her to be so heavily influenced by. The tragedy behind her fathers mysterious death was just as frustrating for her as it was for me because there were so many factors that we learned and in the end it's like she didn't even know her father all that well. I always feel bad when characters find out harsh truths about a person they loved.

I have to say that my absolute favorite character was Fay. I feel like Fay was such a real depiction of what it's like to have a hard life in any time period. She was such a strong character and a little bit scary in the beginning but once you got to know her you saw how fiercely loyal and protective she was. She saved Jo more times than I can count and the friendship they form over time was my favorite relationship to see. Fay needed a real friend and Jo needed a reality check so the two of them were able to learn so much from each other. I also loved that Fay wasn't forgotten in the happy ending department because of all the characters in this story, no one deserved it more than her.

Overall, I highly recommend this book for any Historical Fiction junkie and even all YA lovers because this book was the perfect mix of both!


  1. Great review! I'm glad you liked this one -- I didn't love when I read it -- it just seemed a bit hokey to me and that the author was trying way too hard to stay in the time period but it was a cool premise!!

    1. I can't believe you didn't like it! I've literally been recommending it to all my friends lol Thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts :)


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