ARC Review | These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

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Rating: 4/5 Cups of Tea

Note: I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book! I found it a pleasant surprise as I didn’t know what to expect going in, but I had high hopes. And let’s just say those hopes where met! So let’s get down to business!

The Quick Catch Up: Jo longs for more in life. Thirsty for adventure, and with a nose for a good story, Jo wants to be a reporter. Unfortunately her family has other plans for her. But all plans–both hers and her family’s–are put on hold when Jo’s father tragically dies of a gunshot wound to the head. However, Jo knows something is wrong when her father’s death is ruled an “accident”–her father was too smart to clean a loaded gun, after all. Determined to discover what really happened, Jo sets off on a whirlwind adventure that will show her the darker side of the city…

I love Jo as a heroine. She’s strong and spunky, yet still practical and realistic. She’s not an all-or-nothing feminist, but rather an everyday feminist, showcasing the average, everyday rights women fought for, such as just wanting to have a voice in society on things beyond trivial matters. Though she wants to break out, she is still worries about the constraints of society, a dynamic perfectly illustrated by her romance with Eddie.

However, that does bring me to one of my quibbles: the romance. It was so instalove-y. From the minute Jo meets Eddie, it’s obvious he’s being set up to be the love interest, but nothing is drawn out or slow burning. Literally the second time she meets him, she’s constantly thinking about him afterward and the third time she meets him, she kisses him, then literally goes home and thinks “I’m in love with him.” Talk about instant! Despite this I did feel like the relationship was genuine, just not well founded.

The mystery was great! The twists and turns kept me guessing, although toward the end of the story, I did see some of them coming. But nevertheless, Donnelly keeps readers hooked for an exciting whirlwind of a ride. I especially enjoyed how multifaceted the mystery was. There was not merely one mystery, but rather layers of mysteries whose answers were slowly revealed through the book as Jo got closer and closer to revealing the answer to the “Big Mystery.”


I did like how it ended, with Jo taking her future into her own hands, but I must admit, I do kind of hope we see more of our spunky heroine and her quirky set of new friends!


The Bottom Line: All in all, I really enjoyed These Shallow Graves. It was a quick paced, gripping read that left me wanting more! Definitely buy it, get it, you won’t regret it!

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Lila is a 27-year-old college student studying physics and a lover of literature. When she's not busy reading or saving the world through science, Lila can be found singing jazz and blues and obsessing over hedgehogs (a.k.a. the cutest animals in the multiverse!)

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