Cover Image: Dark and Shallow Lies

Dark and Shallow Lies

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Member Reviews

I really enjoyed the setting of this. It was eerie and really atmospheric. The author was really great at setting the tone with the details of the surroundings and made the little swamp town really creepy. The story itself, I wanted to love it but everything fell kind of flat. I felt like there was more to the characters that could have been provided or elaborated on, especially since most of them had some kind of magical power. The mystery was intriguing and the reveal was intense, but everything was over almost as soon as it started.
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Although this book was really good, for some reason I kept zooming out of the story. I am unsure why this happened, but it did make for a frustrating reading experience. I think I will give this another go sometime, but for now I'm glad I finished it. Can definitely recommend, though!
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If you’re looking for books to read in the pre-halloween or Halloween season that are equal parts eerie, mysterious, creepy, have magic and the supernatural in them and have a hint of culture too, then add Dark and Shallow Lies to your list.

Seventeen year old Grey always happily spends her summers in La Cachette, a tiny coastal Louisiana swamp town, with her grandmother. However, this time is different because Elora, Grey’s best friend, disappeared without a trace or clue as to where she could be, from the town six months ago. In this town everyone’s supposedly meant to be psychic and yet no one can tell her where Elora is. That added with the fact that it seems like everyone is lying and keeping secrets, the last thing Grey needs is to start getting flashes which only leave her with more questions than before, like Is Elora still even alive? Is Elora trying to reach her and tell her something or is it somebody else?

Dark and Shallow Lies is a wonderfully written mystery with lots of supernatural and fantasy elements. It pulls you in from the very first page and keeps you guessing about the mystery every second since. Every time I thought I’d finally figured out the mystery, I was proven wrong. There were lots of twists and turns in this story, some of which you never see coming, and they always add to the appeal of the story.

For a debut novel, the standards this book met were so incredibly high. The characters were interesting, complex and super fun to follow throughout the story. The world building was absolutely incredible. The mystery was so well executed, the hints for it perfectly dropped. And the writing itself?? Fantastic. Ginny captures the vibe of the story perfectly and she really snags the readers attention.

This book was un-put-down-able. (If that’s not a word, I’m inventing it!)
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I loved how atmospheric Ginny Myers Sain's DARK AND SHALLOW LIES was; the La Cachette, Louisiana, setting held such a strong, compelling presence. The mystery and history was intriguing, but ultimately this book missed the mark for me. I wish that the relationships between the characters had been developed more. I'd still recommend it for those looking for an eerie mystery/thriller!
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Mystery,  Horror, a girl's love, a towns secrets.  I could not put this book down.  I loved it.  Page after page, I got sucked in and read it in one setting! Definitely remember to cancel all your plans if you pick this one up
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This was a kooky YA thriller. It was weird (in a good way) and I really enjoyed the premise that surrounds the mystery.
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Ginny Myers Sain, in her debut young adult novel, weaves an atmospheric Southern Gothic paranormal mystery set in the bayous of Louisiana. Gators, cottonmouths, and a town slowly sinking into the muck of the bayou are the least of Graycie’s worries this summer. All of her friends seem to be developing their psychic skills but hers are a big zero, except, that is, for the strange dreams she has…and the whispers on the wind. But the worst thing is that her best friend in the entire world went missing six months ago. Graycie is determined to find out what happened. Well-written, with complex and intriguing characters, a strong and imaginative plot, and loads of atmosphere. Ginny Sain hooked me on the first page.
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The idea of a mystery being set in a small Louisiana town known for its residents' psychic abilities is intriguing, and I believe it was well executed in Dark and Shallow Lies, as the atmosphere and fantastical elements were fleshed out. Every chapter seemingly revealed something new to be afraid of in La Cachette: snakes, gators, storms, power, secrets and lies. I shared in Grey's distrust of everyone in town, especially those closest to her, as she searched for the truth of what happened to her missing best friend, and I held to my warranted, but misguided suspicions right up until the very surprising end.
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This one was so creepy and held my interest the entire time. I was spooked and had know clue what was happening. Loved it.
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I'll be honest, I was a bit hesitant at first because I hadn't heard really anything about this book. It's cover is what intrigued me the most but I'm glad I chose to give it a chance. The plot was interesting and the setting honestly made the book. It does have some fantasy-type themes but they are mostly background noise helping to move the plot. I think this author has serious potential considering that this is her first novel. I would recommend to lovers of fiction and mystery but note that there is a bit of fantasy/magic going on.
Full review to come on YouTube.
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I loved the premise of this book. It took a cool, unique culture and turned it into a mystery coming-of-age story. The characters each had their own unique personality quirks, and mixed with their "magic" it added an extra cool layer. The different ages of generations, the importance and significance of the bayou town, and how everything wraps up at the end was amazing. Every open question got answered, and it shocked me in the best way. A great YA mystery novel with a touch of fantasy.
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Didn't capture my attention and engagement. Interested in trying it again though and hopefully it will take.
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Grey has spent every summer with her grandmother in a tourist town featuring psychics, being surrounded by her friends and their psychic gifts, tending her grandmother's new age store, even while she herself has no psychic gift. Well, this summer is different- this summer her best friend Elora is missing, her friend group is coming apart at the seams and Grey is having the most intense realistic dreams of death. Can coming back to the only place she called home help solve the mystery of Elora's disappearance?

Overall this was a really interesting and twisty murder mystery with some mild paranormal elements that I enjoyed. Dark and Shallow Lies was a standalone novel with a satisfying ending that wrapped up nicely and I would love to read more from this author in the future. Her plot was unique, the mystery was unpredictable and the characters (be it the main or the side) were all very well fleshed out and developed, as if they were real people I knew and understood. I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys mysteries with a psychic spin, conflicted angsty emotions and realistic dangers, be it from people or nature.
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I wasn't able to read this book prior to it's pub date due to unforeseen circumstances in my personal life. I regret that I was not able to do this, but I want to let the publisher and Netgalley know that I did not simply ignore this responsibility. I appreciate the publisher, Netgalley, and the author for gifting me this copy anyway.
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OBSESSED is an understatement. This book was absolutely fantastic. It sucked me in and did not disappoint. I fell in love with the mysterious characters and the spooky small town vibes. I've already recommended this book to so many people. Probably my favorite read of 2021.
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17-year-old Elora disappeared six months previously from La Cachette, Louisiana, the psychic capital of the country, and her best friend and "twin flame," Grey, is determined to find her. Grey doesn't believe that Elora vanished into thin air any more than she believes that in a town full of psychics, no one knows what happened to Elora. But as she digs into the night that Elora went missing, she begins to realize that everybody in town is hiding something and no one is to be trusted. To further complicate matters, Elora keeps making brief appearances in Grey's mind that are dark and disturbing. When a mysterious stranger emerges from the bayou with links to Elora and the town's dark history, Grey realizes that La Cachette's past is far more present and dangerous than she'd ever understood.
Grey, the main character spends every summer in La Cachette with her grandmother and her best friend Elora. This summer is different though, Elora has been missing for six months and no one knows what happened. She disappeared into thin air and was never seen again. La Cachette is home to a lot of psychics, but not a single one has a clue what happened to Elora. Grey is spending the summer figuring out where her best friend; her twin flame went, but it seems like everyone knows a secret or two in La Cachette and they don’t want to be uncovered. Not to mention the boy in the storm with the icy blue eyes that Grey has never seen before this summer. Does he have something to do with Elora missing?
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The beginning is very intriguing and grabs your attention , it kinda goes off in another direction so give it time to come back around. It’s a captivating Young Adult Southern Gothic  Thriller with fascinating supernatural elements .
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The synopsis had me intrigued. I went into the book excited to read it. Only to be let down, it was so slow from the beginning. I kept having to put it down. I will say the writing was great the atmosphere was another good thing of the book just the pacing and the characters weren't memorable at all. 

Thank you PenguinTeen for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This is a paranormal thriller about a girl named Grey who comes back to her isolated hometown for the summer. Her best friend’s been missing for the last six months and she wants to find out what happened to her.

While Grey’s own magical powers are showing up for the first time, her other friends have had theirs for years. They can feel other peoples’ emotions, can hear conversations and can communicate with the dead. But all of their powers are not enough to find out what happened to Elora.

The mystery is intriguing and the writing is beautifully atmospheric. I do feel like the middle part dragged on. I loved the beginning, it kept me turning the pages, but once I got to the middle, and later the ending, I felt a little let down. The twists were predictable and I wasn’t happy about the love triangle that got established along the way.

There’s subtle hints of queer representation, but nothing really noteworthy.

I’ve read better and worse mystery books. I’d recommend it for the enchanting writing style, the very fitting, isolated setting and the found family between the friends, rather than for the disappointing revelations at the end.

content warnings: suicide, murder, violence, physical abuse, incest (step siblings)
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This book is fantastic! Full of bayou charm and mystery. 10 children born in La Cachette that summer and only 7 are left. Elora has been missing and Grey is back in La Chachette this summer to find out what happened to her. But what she finds along the way is lies, betrayal, and that she never really knew any of the summer children. Perfectly twisty!
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