Book Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly



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.


★★★(3 stars)

Josephine Montfort has everything a girl could ever want. Born in one of New York’s richest family, Jo was always given the best. But when her father is seen dead in his study while cleaning his revolver, Jo is sure that everything is not just a mere accident.

Determine to find the culprit, Jo now, started to investigate in the dirtiest and the most unexpected parts of the city. As she tries to uncover the truth, she will learn that the truth is the dirtiest of all.


  • I am so in love with the forensic part of the novel. Oscar, the forensic pathologist in the story, describes each and every detail of his findings in a very scientific yet understandable way.

  • There is always something going on in each chapter. There is no chapter or paragraph to waste. There are clues and hints that will surely guide you on what will happen next.
  • The ending is very well concluded. As you may see, I have many negative things to say about this novel. Despite every single rant that I wrote, I really compliment the author for giving us a very satisfying closure.


  • The romance is really annoying. Its like mixing sour cream over your coffee and it really pisses me off. For many times I have wished that it was completely gone.
  • Some circumstances are predictable especially the deal with her uncle. (These contain spoilers) In the first chapters of the book, it is pretty much obvious that her uncle was the one who killed her father and not anybody else. It is even not surprising that the ships carried slaves and not spices.
  • The characters especially the main leads are dumb and are getting dumber by each passing moment. The main characters, especially Jo is extremely being annoying by not noticing any of the obvious. She may be described as someone who is smart and witty but in some parts, the author is proving herself wrong.

  • I have always considered DNFing this novel. It really tested my patience and even wasted my time. I would have dropped this half way if not for my best friend who insist on reading it all the way.
  • The writer should have done better with a good storyline. I am not here to tell you that the author didn’t do a great job in writing her novel. Yes, she did. But the thing here is, she should have utilized the third person point of view to tell everybody’s side of the story and not just Jo’s. It really annoys me to think that the obvious should have been less obvious if she exchanges her POVs with each character. Just saying. (Sighs)


I am really sorry to say that this novel is not something that I will recommend to you. Yes, perhaps, I have enjoyed reading it, but most of the time, I was furious and annoyed that I really wanted to throw it out. If you are curious enough, you may try reading the first few chapters and tell me what you think! (Smiles)

Till my next book review!


One thought on “Book Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s