Book Quibbles: “Shallow Graves”

When seventeen-year-old Breezy Lin wakes up in a shallow grave one year after her death, 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.

A last minute pick at the bookstore, I almost looked over Shallow Graves. You didn’t have to convince me twice after I read that not only has this young girl returned from the dead, but it has no romance. I’m already intrigued.

As you read, teenage Breezy Lin has woken up after her untimely death to a man digging her out. Who is this man? What part does he play in the story? Well this is the first of many kills Breezy has. Upon touching him, she is able to see all of those he killed, and replay the scene. In a way Breezy “pulls” the darkness out of him, including his life.

After this Breezy has to figure out why she’s back, why she has these powers, and uncovers that she’s not alone.

The beginning of this story got to me. I was confused but at the same time really into it. You’re just like Breezy, not sure what’s going on. For the first few chapters things didn’t make sense but I got it. Then Breezy gets thrown into a world she didn’t know existed.

There are others like her, “monsters.” Like literal monsters: ghouls, vampires, mermaids, you name it. What?

It’s when this happened that I lost a lot of momentum in the story. It seemed to come out of nowhere. I know what happened to Breezy was some supernatural act, but I wasn’t expecting an actual supernatural world to exist. Not only does this world exist but so do magicians, which are basically witches. Some are good, some want to destroy Breezy and everyone like her.

Throughout the book Breezy recalls moments from her life and I’ll admit when she was talking about her family I got a bit emotional. You can tell she wants to go back, to be with them again, but we know it’s not possible. She even stops by her old house when her family is on vacation and spends some time there, living like she used to.

But there were times when I just skimmed over some story. Breezy wanted to be an astronaut and she talks about space and life after death a lot. I’m agnostic but I like to think there’s something good after you die, whether it be Heaven or not. Breezy remembers nothing but darkness when she died and it can be a bit depressing.

There are some side characters that are introduced that are okay. Breezy meets some monsters who take her in and help her out many times. I started to like them, but didn’t feel like I knew them that much.

Breezy herself is a likable character for the most part. She is bisexual but it’s not thrown in your face throughout the book, which I like. She had goals and ambitions and was smart but also fooled around a bit, giving her somewhat of a bad reputation, which sucks. After she died rumors started, suggesting that she had what was coming.

Overall I enjoyed most of this book, but there are A LOT of unanswered questions. Throughout the book I wanted to know most of all how Breezy died and that is answered in the end, but there’s plenty of others that makes yo wonder if there will be a sequel. Some things are resolved while others are let for the reader to decide.

Quibble rating? I’d give it a 2.5/5. The parts that weren’t my favorite was a world that seemed to come out of nowhere, the unanswered questions, and some backstory and flashbacks that didn’t do much for me. However I felt for Breezy and was somewhat creeped out by the fact that all Breezy had while she was dead was darkness.

I do recommend this book, but be prepared for more questions than answers.

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