These Shallow Graves
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Expected Publication: October 27th, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format: e-ARC, 429 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery Thriller
Read: September 2015
Jennifer Donnelly — Goodreads
I received an e-ARC of this book from Delacorte Press and Random House Children’s via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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.
Plot – 5 out of 5 stars
Loved this! I was hooked from the moment it started and could not stop reading. It’s mysterious and suspenseful. There is so much going on and it pulls you in and keeps you engaged the whole way. The thriller part is insane and there are some many twists and turns, most of them you never see coming. My favorite is that the issues that occurred during that particular time in history aren’t hidden from you, they’re shoved right into your face and it’s a shock to the system.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Obviously the most important part of this for me is that it’s historically accurate. The characters talk and think and act like the time period that they are in which is awesome. It’s medium paced but doesn’t push back the exciting moments of the plot. There is some mature content but it’s done very well. It’s descriptive and elaborate and my favorite part of it all, it’s feministic. There is so much feminism in this book, it pours off the pages and it’s amazing.
Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
Love them all. So much. There is so much substance and complexity in all the characters and it’s so awesome! Jo, our main character, is so badass. She’s really curious, which in her time was pretty dangerous for a girl, but she’s determined as all get out. She’s brave and strong. She wants to be able to do whatever she desires with her life instead of being married off to whoever wants her and then be shut up with no opinions til the end of her days. With all her fierce qualities, she is still unsure of what she’s doing. She is fighting with herself between doing what she feels is right and what she’s been told to do her entire life. Our male protagonist, Eddie, is great. He is the perfect counterpart for Jo, worried about her safety but not stifling her creativity. He’s honest and blunt when it comes to cruel truths. He’s protective, strong and caring. He’s just as curious as Jo and they make a really great team. The supporting characters are all amazing, and that’s saying something because there’s a lot of them. They’re intriguing and well thought out. They all have a different place in this time we are learning about and it was very interesting to see how their lives turn out to be.
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