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Publisher's Summary

From Jennifer Donnelly, the critically acclaimed New York Times best-selling author of A Northern Light and Revolution, comes a mystery about dark secrets, dirty truths, and the lengths to which people will go for love and revenge. For fans of Elizabeth George and Libba Bray, These Shallow Graves is the story of how much a young woman is willing to risk and lose in order to find the truth.

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 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 shot himself while cleaning his pistol. One of New York City's wealthiest men, he owned a newspaper and was a partner in a massive shipping firm, and Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun.

The more Jo hears about her father's death, the more something feels wrong. Suicide is the only logical explanation, and of course people have started talking, but Jo's father would never have resorted to that. And then she meets Eddie - a young, smart, 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. But 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 this time the truth is the dirtiest part of all.

©2015 Jennifer Donnelly (P)2015 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"Fast-paced and thrilling...a smart, insightful, timely depiction of a young woman poised on the brink of a new world after the shattering of another." (Booklist)
"Action-packed chapters propel this compelling mystery...[and] the injustices Donnelly highlights remain all too relevant." (Publishers Weekly)
"A beautifully written mystery." (School Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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The Longest Book in the World

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I listened to this while doing housework, so it kept my mind mildly entertained. If I were just listening to this story by itself, however, I don't think it would've been as engaging.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

I found the ending predictable and easy to figure out. The "mysteries" were obvious from early on in the book, and the main character's shock at the reveal felt unrealistic.

Did Kim Bubbs do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

I really didn't like the narrator. She had a very flat tone throughout the story, almost robotic (there were times where I felt like Siri was reading the story to me), and I struggled to tell the characters apart by her voice work alone. I will say this, though: she did great with accents when they were presented.

Any additional comments?

It's not an awful book, and the historical details are great. However, the mystery and romance that made up the majority of the plot didn't engage me. It felt like insta-love between the main characters, which I dislike, and the mystery was too easily solved.

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it was better than I expected

didnt like the name jo cuz its too close to the name joe bristle...

i want to read the story of one of the other character in this book

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Not Her Best Book

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I love Jennifer Donnelly's other works theTea Rose series was phenomenal, and Revolution was good but I think since she has started writing those Disney mermaid books her writing style has been lacking it's old gusto.

How could the performance have been better?

The narration was terrible, the girl's voice always sounded whiny.

Any additional comments?

I hope this author will start writing for adults again.

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Only criticism...

I love this book so much, that my only complaint is that it's too short!! I wanted more, so much more, I wanted it not to be over!

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Great book

It was a great and easy read! Teenagers and young adults will love it! I will have to check out her other books and hope that she has many more to come

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Jo is feisty!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes I would recommend this audiobook to a friend. Actually I have already told a few friends to listen to it. I think the narration is incredible along with the story. It is a lot of fun to listen to. I enjoyed this book a lot.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the characters the best. I thought they all interacted very well.

Have you listened to any of Kim Bubbs’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not. This was my first one and I really liked it.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I feel like this book made me laugh several times. I don't think I had any extreme reactions. I did figure out the mystery before the end.

Any additional comments?

“These Shallow Graves” by Jennifer Donnelly was so good. Historical fiction is newer to young adult. I haven’t found a good historical fiction YA book until now. Jo is a very intelligent young woman with an “Old Money” family. All Jo wants is the freedom to be her own person. She wants to be a journalist but it is frowned for a woman of her station. Society expects Jo to marry and have babies and go to social gatherings but that is the farthest thing from what Jo wants. When Jo gets news that her father committed suicide, everything she thought she knew changes.<br/><br/>Jo is a very feisty woman. I loved her to death. She wants to show the injustice that happens to women by becoming a journalist. Everyone in her life discourages her to do so until she meets Eddy. Now Eddy doesn’t want to encourage Jo at all but he ends up depending on her and enjoying her company. These two come from completely different worlds and they find some way to compliment each other. I really liked the interactions that Eddy and Jo have together. These two characters are completely fascinating. Some days they love to be together and other days they hate seeing each others faces. I feel like this really shows a real life couple.<br/><br/>Something that I really liked about the story was Donnelly’s setting. This book takes place in the past so the division of the upper class and the lower class is very much present. You can tell what characters are well off and snobbish and then you have characters that are trying to do whatever they can o survive even though it is a crime. I feel as if this gave the story so much more depth. These characters live such amazing and terrible lifestyles. There are children that are trained to be pickpockets and young girls that are forced to sell their bodies in prostitution. Donnelly doesn’t sugar coat any of it. My heart ached for characters like Fay.<br/><br/>This is the first book that I have read by Donnelly. I really enjoyed the story. Donnelly was able to keep my attention the entire time. I loved how the story flowed. Donnelly’s words are so captivating. This world that Donnelly brings the reader into is amazing. I felt like I was truly transported back into time when women had fewer choices and children were stolen off the street. In some ways the modern world hasn’t changed, we just have more technology.<br/><br/>Kim Bubbs did such a great job narrating this story. She was able to keep my attention as the reader/listener. I really enjoyed the voices that she made and how animated she was with her voice. I feel like it takes a lot to keep someone’s attention when they are reading a book an I thought she did a great job at it.

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Take a pass on this one!

It's hard to believe that "The Tea Rose Series" was written by the same writer who wrote this book.
The writing is amateurish, stilted and unrealistic.
If this is historical fiction, then fiction is the operative word. The main character, Josephine, behaves and speaks like a 21 century young woman...not one from the 1880's. As is her outlandish behavior.
There is plenty of murder and "mystery" which can be figured out very quickly. All very predictable.
I gave this only 1 star, but I'd have preferred 0 stars!!!
The narrator was just as bad as the writing. She sounded as if she was trying out for a high school play, and doing it very poorly!!!!

4 of 9 people found this review helpful