Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Review of Young Adult Historical These Shallow Graves


From Jennifer Donnelly, the critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of A Northern Light and Revolution, comes a mystery about dark secrets, dirty truths, and the lengths to which people will go for love and revenge. For fans of Elizabeth George and Libba Bray, These Shallow Graves is the story of how much a young woman is willing to risk and lose in order to find the truth.

    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 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 shot himself while cleaning his pistol. One of New York City’s wealthiest men, he owned a newspaper and was a partner in a massive shipping firm, and Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun. 

    The more Jo hears about her father’s death, the more something feels wrong. Suicide is the only logical explanation, and of course people have started talking, but Jo’s father would never have resorted to that. And then she meets Eddie—a young, smart, 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. But 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 this time the truth is the dirtiest part of all.


So, I've been a huge fan of Jennifer Donnelly for years now. I've read all of her books, with the exception of her YA fantasy series (simply because she writes historical romance SO well, why bother with anything else?) and so when I saw THESE SHALLOW GRAVES available for review, I pounced.

As usual, Ms. Donnelly did not disappoint.

I finished this book New Year's Eve right before supper, so everyone was yelling at me because they wanted me involved and having fun for the holiday instead of reading, but I just couldn't stop until I finished! lol

This book starts of with Josephine Montfort--Jo-- who is the daughter of a wealthy family with a strong name and reputation in the 1890's. As a young lady of her stature, she's expected to live a delicate life of luxury, getting married, having children, and attending balls and teas. Basically be a trophy wife, with little say or involvement in anything that matters. But Jo loves to write, she has a love for journalism and telling the truth in story, and so when she discovers her father is dead and the circumstances just don't add up to what she's told, she begins her own investigation into his death. Of course, being a woman in her era, she can't do it alone, so after overhearing a conversation between young Eddie Gallagher and his fellow journalists about her father, she enlists his help.

As they unravel the secrets behind her father's death, they begin to fall for one another, but he being a "nobody" and just getting by day-to-day, and she being in the position that she is, poses a problem and it seems they will never work. She's destined to marry someone else--a wealthy man with name and stature. This doesn't stop their investigation, however, nor their budding feelings, but they soon realize the truth will come at a cost and their lives may be in danger. 

I absolutely LOVED this book. Donnelly sets the stage and setting so well, you feel as though you're there in New York in the 1800's. She writes characters that I love every single time. Each of her books portrays a strong-willed and independent women as the main character. It's a breath of fresh air in historical novels, and I love it. Jo was no exception. I loved her, and I really loved Eddie. The mystery woven throughout the story was told with grace and Donnelly really makes you savor it. She makes you wait for everything to unfold, puzzling it together bit by bit, and I was eager to read further. I would definitely recommend this book to the young adult audience and adults alike. I'm praying she writes a sequel! Please, Ms. Donnelly, I want more Jo and Eddie!!

*If you're read any of her adult historical romances, note that this is YA, and so it is clean (no sex.)

5 of 5 stars! BUY THIS BOOK!


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