Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly (Spoiler Free)

these shallow graves

Title: These Shallow Graves

Author: Jennifer Donnelly

Genre: YA Historical Mystery/Romance

Publication Date: October 27, 2015

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I received this book through NetGalley.

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 secretly 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 accidentally shot himself while cleaning his revolver. One of New York City’s wealthiest men, he owned a newspaper and was partner in a massive shipping firm, and Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun.

The more Jo uncovers about her father’s death, the more her suspicions grow. There are too many secrets. And they all seem to be buried in plain sight. Then she meets Eddie—a young, brash, 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. Only 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 the truth is the dirtiest part of all.

This book.. Guys, this book! I hadn’t read anything by Jennifer Donnelly before, though I’ve heard great things, so I didn’t quite know what to expect from her as an author. I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed! These Shallow Graves was *soooooo* good. Though I figured out a few key points of the mystery early on, I still was completely entranced with this book. I really needed to know what happened, and I had a hard time putting this behemoth of a book down until I was finished!

I have to say that one of my favorite elements of this book was the romance. It was just so well done. Jo and Eddie are OTP status. I liked how Jennifer didn’t ignore some of the challenges that Jo and Eddie would have realistically faced with their class differences in that time. Obviously, the fact that Jo is wealthy and Eddie is not would have created some serious issues in that time, and those issues were addressed perfectly. Jo and Eddie’s relationship is one of my favorite YA book relationships of all time, and they’ve really stuck with me. I recently had a friend pick this book up, and my first thought was “YOU WILL LOVE THE ROMANCE THEY’RE SO CUTE”.

Like I said before, I did figure out a few elements of the mystery pretty early on, but that didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book. The mystery is so multi-faceted that it’s totally fine if you figure some things out, because you’ll still have multiple other loose threads to deal with.

These Shallow Graves was beautifully written and massively entertaining with lovable characters. Five out of five stars, without a doubt.



    1. Thank you! It’s a really good one. I’ve been swamped with general life stuff lately, and I still somehow devoured it rather quickly. I actually read while laying in the bath tub (we have no chairs in our house as it’s under construction still) while my husband painted. It was that good!


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