ARC Review: These Shallow Graves-Jennifer Donnelly

these shallow gravesGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

synSet in gilded age New York, These Shallow Graves follows the story of Josephine Montfort, an American aristocrat. Jo lives a life of old-money ease. Not much is expected of her other than to look good and marry well. But when her father dies due to an accidental gunshot, the gilding on Jo’s world starts to tarnish. With the help of a handsome and brash reporter, and a young medical student who moonlights in the city morgue, Jo uncovers the truth behind her father’s death and learns that if you’re going to bury the past, you’d better bury it deep.

review4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Random House Children’s Delacorte Press.

There’s something special about These Shallow Graves that sucks you in like a great Sherlock Holmes story. The gritty social themes, sense of danger on the horizon, and engaging protagonist combine for a wonderfully entertaining and unforgettable read. 


  • If you love some good old-fashioned sleuthing. 
  • You’re a sucker for Austen-esque situations meets Dickens’ darker side. 
  • You’re NOT looking for a pure love story.


  • Jo is a feisty, progressive protagonist who aims to expose the shady underside of poverty, working girls, and general injustice. Determined, courageous, and spontaneous, Jo finds herself in sticky, dangerous situations that are highly improper for a girl of her station. Jo doesn’t let fear or propriety rule her, she realizes that there are bigger things at stake than her reputation and it’s this spunky, spark of personality that makes her so endearing. I love, love, love her. Some situations are hilarious and other terrifying but Jo is cunning and quick on her feet, she never lets her fear show and it’s that marvelous acting that saves her life over and over again. You feel every second of boredom and dissatisfaction with her role as a upperclass woman, Jo wants freedom and more than anything to write exposes. The fire within that drives her to investigate is addictive and crazy exhilarating to read, you get swept up right along with her. 
  • The divide between the upper class and lower is vibrant and extremely detailed, you’ll feel transported into another world. The life of the rich with their easy access to money, casual lifestyles, and expensive clothing is wildly different than the children who pickpocket and young girls who sell their bodies in brothels. 
  • Secondary characters are memorable and each story is unique. Characters like Fay, the Tailor, and Oscar were engaging and wormed right on in to the story, making it more full and colorful. Fay’s position was heartbreaking and it’s admirable how strong she is, how clever. Oscar is quirky and intelligent, he’s that blunt, excitable medical guy who doesn’t have a filter. The Tailor is corrupt, enterprising, and pretty terrifying. A villain and savior, he’s straight out of Dickens. 
  • Eddie is subtly sexy. He’s got this rough, edgy way about him that draws Jo in like a homing beacon. Passionate, motivated, and eager to find the next big story, he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty and in many ways, mirrors Jo. Together Jo and Eddie are an unstopable force. The heat is there and you truly feel the attraction building in ways that border on love. 


  • The mystery itself had a little too many tells and clues, I figured out every twist and turn well before they were revealed but even knowing the outcome, it was the journey that kept me captivated. 
  • Jo and Eddie are a bit amateurish. They don’t put things together as fast as they should and many times, I found myself shouting at them to figure it out already. Kind of like those people who hear a thud upstairs on a dark and scary night and want to go check it out. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:


Pleasant reading, 


Scavenger Hunt & Giveaway: Kiss Kill Love Him Still-Jamie Blair & Dawn Rae Miller

Release Date: November 10th 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
synJackson Landis kept secrets. It’s how he got girls into bed, the grades he wanted, and a reputation for being the life of the party.
But now he’s dead, and no one knows how or why. Especially not the four girls whose secrets he protected. Secrets so scandalous they could cause each girl to lose something valuable. Secrets so dark, someone may have killed for them.
The four girls – a campus drug dealer, an overweight bookworm, a closeted lesbian, and a spoiled princess have one thing in common – they’re terrified the things Jackson knew may not have died with him. As Reggie, Haddie, Val, and Livie try to piece together her own role in Jackson’s death, each girl realizes Jackson had some not-so-pretty skeletons of his own.

Which makes a girl wonder, who really wanted Jackson Landis dead?

We’re trying to discover who killed Jackson Landis in Jamie Blair and Dawn Rae Miller’s book. In the 7 days that the tour will be running, you will find interviews with the suspects, their profiles and music playlists that will help you decide who you think did it.
Each day you will find a team that will introduce you one character. The winner team will be picked on November 11th and will have the pleasure to host an exclusive excerpt from Kiss Kill Love Him Still.
Please note that reviews from bloggers will be published on November 11th and November 12th, see schedule, and that might give you an extra insight to the book, too!
Height: 5’8”
Weight: 117 lbs
Hair: Long, dyed black
Eyes: Dark brown
Demeanor: Sarcastic, aloof
Motivation for killing Jackson Landis: He knew she was dealing drugs.
Officer McMichaels: Get your feet off the desk.
Regina: Just getting comfortable for this long, boring-ass questioning. How about a cup of coffee?
Officer McMichaels: Did Jackson Landis buy from you?
Regina: Hell yes, how do you think I got my patch?
Officer McMichaels: Your patch?
Regina: My cookie sales patch—wait, aren’t we talking about Girl Scouts?
Officer McMichaels: Laugh it up. You and I both know it’s only a matter of time before we bust you and throw you behind bars.
Regina: Whatever you say, Chief.
Officer McMichaels: Were you under the influence of drugs the night Jackson died?
Regina: High on life. As always.
Officer McMichaels: And Jackson?
Regina: Isn’t that what autopsies are for?
Officer McMichaels: Who do you work for?
Regina: Your dad.
Officer McMichaels: We’re done here.
Regina: I didn’t realize we’d even started.
This is what the authors propose:
Follow the Kiss Kill Love Him Still by Jamie Blair & Dawn Rae Miller Scavenger Hunt Blog Tour and don’t miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.
Young adult author of the Kirkus-starred novel Leap Of Faith (Simon & Schuster 2013), and Lost To Me (2014), featured in the New York Times and USA Today bestselling anthology, Dirty Boys of Summer. Represented by Rebecca Friedman of RF Literary.
Dawn is a Twitter and fashion addict whose favorite things in life are her family, gorgeous dresses, tea leaf salad, and French macarons. She splits her time between San Francisco and Northern Virginia, and is always up for a trip to Paris.
During release week the book will be on sale for $.99. On top of this sale Dawn and Jamie will also be giving away 2×3 book buttons to the first 100 people who buy the book!
Do you want some Kiss Kill Love Him Still button? Just click here to submit your entry.
Enter for your chance to win a paperback copy of KISS KILL LOVE HIM STILL and an amazon gift card
Happy hunting,