These Shallow Graves

These Shallow Graves - Jennifer Donnelly

Josephine Montfort is just your average turn of the century upper crust girl who wants more from life than marrying an wealthy man and churning out children.  Following her fathers unexpected death she sets out to find out how her father could have died cleaning a revolver. The more she finds out, with the help of a hansom young reporter, the more she sees that there are more things in play than she could have ever expected.


Okay this book was fine, it wasn't great though. While the book got better and more interesting as it went it just never really got there. One exciting sequence near the end doesn't make up for the rest of the book being pretty painful. The mystery element was super predictable, the romance was put together much better, but anything meant to evoke emotion felt like I was being beaten about the head. The writing was very tell not show, and heavy handed. Also Jo is unbelievably naive, this is a girl who wants to be a Nellie Bly style reporter, someone who she has said she's read but yet when she gets into the world she seems to know absolutely nothing about the world outside of garden parties.  I enjoyed some of the side characters (Eddie, Oscar, Fay, and surprisingly  Grandmama) while others seemed like throwaways (Her friend from school, Bram, and her Cousins).


Eddie and Oscar and the Tailor's crew are the only things that sort of saved this book for me. It's always weird to me when I find the side stories more interesting and important than the main story line in this case I think it's because it's one of the only places I didn't feel like I was being force fed the story. 


This book is compared to Libba Bray's work which I get because I got hard core Gemma Doyle trilogy vibes from this book though it isn't at all supernatural and isn't remotely at the same caliber.