Subjects: monsters, supernatural, revenants, mystery, death, murderers, magic
Setting: Nebraska, Wyoming and Boulder, Colorado, Chicago, Illinois
POV/Tense: 1st person POV, past tense: Breezy Lin
Age/Grade Level: Teen
Length: 358 pgs.
List Price: $17.99
Publisher: HarperTeen: Katherine Tegen
Summary/ product description: “Breezy remembers leaving the party: the warm, wet grass under her feet, her cheek still stinging from a slap to her face. But when she wakes up, scared and pulling dirt from her mouth, a year has passed and she can’t explain how.
Nor can she explain the man lying at her grave, dead from her touch, or why her heartbeat comes and goes. She doesn’t remember who killed her or why. All she knows is that she’s somehow conscious—and not only that, she’s able to sense who around her is hiding a murderous past.
Haunted by happy memories from her life, Breezy sets out to find answers in the gritty, threatening world to which she now belongs—where killers hide in plain sight, and a sinister cult is hunting for strange creatures like her. What she discovers is at once empowering, redemptive, and dangerous.”
My Review: I had no idea what to expect from this book. I went in kind of blindly. I only read this because the supernatural elements. It had this broody atmospheric feeling from the start, when Breezy’s at a gas station in Nebraska and there’s summer storm in the distance. She can sense killers. They have a dark aura. Some young guy named Danny tells her about a church that could help her. She thinks that he think’s she a drug addict and homeless.
Breezy hitches a ride with an older guy that’s definitely a murderer. She knowingly enters a car with a murderer, which is dumb, unless you can heal really fast and not die. Breezy was dead for a year and returned with these abilities. And also, she can pull the memories out of the murders she finds, rendering them in a coma or dead. Breezy ditches the murderer and takes to the road by skateboard in search of this church. Since she doesn’t have to eat of sleep, she’s got plenty of time and energy.
The church turns out to be a cover for some anti-monster folks trying to cure the monsters of their afflictions. They say Breezy is unnatural and she ends up in a room with blood on the wall and another girl named rain who’s some kind of a monster. Breezy is able to get some answers from her, but Breezy still doesn’t know what she became when she rose from the dead. Answers don’t come until later.
Shallow Grave is pretty intriquing and unique, but it’s not the most exciting paranormal story. I enjoyed this interesting setting and some of the humor. I think Breezy’s scientific curiosity and love of astronomy is pretty awesome. She turn “ways I can’t die” into a morbid experiment. Breezy also mixed racial, half-Chinese, half-Irish and has 2 sisters named Sunny and Meadow. Interesting name choices.
There is mystery, but it’s not delivered in the best way. There’s no anticipation and not much build up. This book is only a standalone. I recommend this to fans of book like the Outliers, the Soul Screamers series, and other book with dark mysteries or monsters.
Cover Art Review: I like the watercolor texture of the sky and the creepy underground roots. It’s a simple and creepy brooding cover.