Cover Image: These Shallow Graves

These Shallow Graves

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I really enjoyed this one, and it was absolutely delightful to read a story about a strong female in such a patricarchal time.  I felt a strong connection to the characters and the mystery, and while it wasn’t a stunning or surprising twist, the story moved well and kept me entertained and somewhat guessing.
Was this review helpful?
Another excellent YA novel from Jennifer Donnelly.  Will recommend to fans of Libba Bray, as well as historical fiction and mystery readers.
Was this review helpful?
I feel like the only person out of my goodreads friends who didn't like this one, but...


This one just didn't hit it off with me right from the start, for petty reasons at first but when those are so early in the book...they kind of color the rest of the reading experience? There's not much I can say beyond that. It was a bunch of small things, and not enough good things to balance out on the other end.

It started with the mystery, and the fact that the whole thing is kicked off by Jo going "but my father is a SAFE gun owner, he couldn't possibly have an accident! This has a whiff of foul play!" Which is just such a hot button of mine, and a dangerous attitude that far too many people have. *Anyone* can have an accident! That's why constant caution is so important! And to make it even worse, there's far BETTER mystery red flags that pop up shortly after, so the whole 'oh, a good gun owner wouldn't' thing wasn't even necessary.

Jo herself...didn't thrill me. I liked the bit at the start where she was trying to write about social issues and wanted to be a journalist, but as the story went on her feminism took on a really...stock tone. All of her comments about 'fairness' and 'womens roles' were...not wrong, just extraordinarily overarching and bland. It started to feel less like a personality and more like a checklist. She wasn't upset about misogyny because of her individual wants and goals and fears or whatever, but just...because. (I mean, she could have had specific wants, she started out having specific wants. It just flattened out as the story went on.) Again, nothing necessarily wrong, just really dull.

The pace of the whole thing was pretty tedious, too, and I think it's because there wasn't really a lot of tension to the mystery. Jo just...wanted to know a thing. It was personal to her, sure, but there weren't any stakes or urgent facts. Finding out The Thing didn't have any weight to it other than 'after I find out I'll get to know The Thing.' And...m'kay. Cool story, bro?

So, yeah, nothing terrible, just...way too easy to put down.
Was this review helpful?
This was a great audio to listen to. The complex narratives were woven together extremely well, and those who are fans of historical fiction, murder mysteries, Sherlockian style stories, and old-time journalism will relish this book.
Was this review helpful?
I just want to say how much I love the cover of this book. The spookiness that it emits can just allow the reader to imagine what this book might be about. The book pulled me to the end of my seat multiple times and although I am not a fan of history, I was thoroughly pleased with the historical aspect that the book brought.

The story focuses on a murder that takes place but as you keep reading, more and more murders keep happening. We turn to Jo Monfort, a girl who is aspiring to become a journalist. We follow her as she goes on an adventure through New York. Getting help from multiple people, can she solve the murder before death comes knocking on her door.

There is something I loved about reading this book and that is although you are reading a great read, you learn. We get a glimpse of, the class system, how the rich is seen from the poor, and the gender roles in the sense of how women were looked at when aspiring to become someone in the working field.

I love Jo. I thought she was a strong women figure that fought for what she believed in, even though it meant that she would be putting herself in danger. I felt she grew in the book, not a lot, but enough for her to make a life changing decision at the end. I think that sometimes there are events in our lives that trigger us to make decisions we think about but are too scared to chance.

Overall this was a wonderful read. I encourage everyone to check out this book and see where it will lead you. I want people to try this book out and see where it leads them. It may seem slow at the beginning but once you hit the middle, it is hard to put down.

Happy Reading!
Was this review helpful?
I'm unable to provide a review at this time. Unfortunately, I DNFed this book in the first 18%. It just didn't grab my attention. I apologize for any inconvenience.
Was this review helpful?
I can't believe that I didn't finish this one--usually I love historical fiction with teen female characters. But I just couldn't take the main character's ignorance, and the way she openly decided to shirk her upbringing and "step put" with a poor newspaper man. I know it happened at the time, but it just didn't ring true to me. I stopped during Disk 6 and moved onto the next audiobook..
Was this review helpful?
This was a little slow to start out for me. I wasn't drawn in and it didn't leave me wanting to read further. My interest picked up after the mid-point.
Was this review helpful?
Archived. Wasn't able to review before it was archived
Was this review helpful?
The title and cover caught by eye.  I'm just recently getting into this genre and this has become a very well circulated book at our school.  It's a great YA title.
Was this review helpful?
I wasn't able to get into this book. I did try to like it but sadly I'm a mood reader. I DNF this book.
Was this review helpful?
Unfortunately, this was a book that I was not able to finish. The pace dragged for me and I could not get into the story. I will not be rating or reviewing this book. Thank you for the opportunity.
Was this review helpful?
Unfortunately I was unable to finish this title, therefore I will not be leaving an online review.
Was this review helpful?
Will not be providing a review for this novel, sorry for the inconvenience, but thank you to the publisher for the opportunity.
Was this review helpful?
I am so disappointed to say that I just couldn't get into this one. I tried so hard and the premise was so wonderful, but I couldn't get past page 100. I would still definitely recommend this to many readers, and Donnelly is such a beloved author so I really can't say anything negative. Honestly, this could have been a moment where it just wasn't the right book for me at this time, I am sad to say that I couldn't connect.
Was this review helpful?
Set in times past in New York, teens may have some difficulty relating to this book--a world with no telephones, much less cell phones, is difficult for today's youth to comprehend. The young heroine flouts society's rules to identify her father's murderer and does so successfully, with the help of an 'unsuitable' friend. She goes grave digging and attends autopsies to solve this somewhat predictable historically fictional mystery.
Was this review helpful?
I've read a couple of Jennifer Donnelly's other books and I highly enjoyed them. This one was no exception. Donnelly writes such strong female characters and Jo Montfort is excellent. I've read several historical fiction novels set during this period of time and that dealt with women in the upper classes. What I liked about this book was that Jo was believable. Too often, authors write about upper class women who move outside of the normal circumstances and seem to not stumble. Jo's innocence about the world outside of high society was refreshing at it was fitting with the time period and the life of an upper class young lady. What I also like about Donnelly is that she writes about women in roles that were not typical for the time period in which her books were written, in this case, a journalist. I loved the mentioning of Nellie Bly and her impact on women's roles in journalism.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction and strong female characters.
Was this review helpful?