Josephine's father dies in an accident, and Josephine is determined to figure out what really happened. She is sure it wasn't an accident, like the newspapers say, nor a suicide, like her uncle says. But how can a girl in late 1800s New York solve a mystery when she is supposed to be mourning her father, planning her possible future wedding, and behaving like a proper young lady?
The cover of this book is what drew me in. It looks spooky, possibly zombie-esque, and I felt the promise of a creepy mystery/thriller. Unfortunately, this book is not as creepy or spooky as it appears. Instead, it reads very similarly to The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate and Chasing Secrets, both of which are excellently written middle grade historical novels featuring female protagonists. The difficulty here is that These Shallow Graves is written for a teen audience and the protagonist is 17 years old, but she reads very often like a 12-year old. The entire book felt like a middle grade book for me, but some of the content is not necessarily appropriate for a typical middle grade audience. Also, this book is very, very long, much too long to tell its story. I'm not sure there's a good audience for this one: teens will likely be bored by the repetitive, plodding story.
Recommended for: young teens
Red Flags: girls discuss what happens on their wedding night - no explicit details are given, but it is implied
Overall Rating: 2/5 stars
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley for the purposes of review.