Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Happy New Year’s Eve! I have an awesome review for you guys today.


That’s right. I gave this book five stars. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for.

These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly is about a young girl, Josephine Montfort, from a wealthy family in 1890s New York City. She’s destined to marry another rich man just like her father. Suddenly, Charles Montfort dies, the police claiming it was an accident when the man was cleaning his revolver. Shaken by her father’s death, Jo tries to discover just how this death was NOT an accident, but a murder. Jo receives the help of a teenage reporter, Eddie Gallagher, of whom her family would be disgraced to hear she was slowly falling in love with.

It’s a young adult historical mystery romance, a crazy combination that makes for one of the best stories you could ever dream up. The love story made me swoon, my newest OTP was born from reading this book. I also cried. Don’t judge.

Something interesting I noticed was Jo’s passion of writing and dream to become a reporter. Her family being rich as it was, the women were supposed to marry, have kids, and that’s it. It was outlandish to wish to become a newspaper writer, and her family made sure she knew it. When I first saw this book’s main character was a girl named Jo who aspired to write, I immediately thought of Jo March from Little Women. You could say both these fictional characters have a lot in common with me.

Let me tell you, I got so angry while reading These Shallow Graves. I had dropped my book and lost the place, so I was flipping through the pages to find where I left off. I thought I’d found it, so I kept reading, AND I READ THE BIGGEST SPOILER OF THE ENTIRE BOOK. You would understand what I’m talking about if you’ve read it. You know how good books have a killer plot twist? It was that, times like ten hundred million!!! The rest of the book was ruined for me, but that did not stop me from loving it at all.

I found absolutely no flaws in These Shallow Graves. Jennifer Donnelly did her research, and I even learned some cool stuff. When these upper class families mourned back then, the wife had to wear black for two years, while the daughter had to for six months. Neither of them were to go out. Isn’t that crazy? Jo ended up sneaking out a lot and paying her maid to sleep in her bed.


The cover art is what originally attracted me and made me pick up the book. Shoutout to my brother for buying me it in hardcover for Christmas!

I love this book so much, and I recommend it to all of my readers. I went crazy fangirl staying up all night to finish it.

I hope everyone has a wonderful, safe New Years. Let me know in the comments what your resolutions are. Thank you for reading!

One comment

  1. Olivia Ashryver · December 31, 2015

    Great review! 🙂


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