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Shallow Graves Hardcover – January 26, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—This title will initially grab readers with the mystery of Breezy's death and her new undead identity, but many will be left dissatisfied. Breezy Lin doesn't remember her death, but she does remember waking up in a shallow grave a year later, clawing her way to the surface, and killing with just one touch the man who woke her. Now she's wandering, testing the limits of what her body can handle (because she definitely can't die again) and taking out murderers, whom she can sense by the shadows surrounding them. But when she's directed to a church with a ministry for runaway youth, she realizes the secret of her past. Wallace experiments with narrative structure, unveiling Breezy's personality via flashbacks, memories, and her philosophical musings, but her treatment of the present is less compelling. Breezy is directionless until she finds herself running for her life, but even then she's not committed to anything in particular (learning more about her new nature, understanding the world she's discovered, avenging herself, hunting down murderers) for very long. Except for a stilted conversation in which Breezy asks a new companion which kinds of seemingly fictional creatures (ghosts, unicorns, vampires, and so on) are real, very little of the paranormal world is revealed. This peculiar lack of curiosity about the world Wallace has created spoils what might otherwise have been an intriguing paranormal mystery. VERDICT Too shallow a world and too aimless a protagonist.—Gretchen Kolderup, New York Public Library
“A fast-paced story with an interesting hook, and a thoughtful look at what it means to be human versus what it means to be a monster. The end result is a superbly crafted debut bound to entrance.” (Booklist (starred review))
“Kali Wallace has created a world that’s both natural and unsettling …and reminds us with Breezy’s story that true terror is not a monster, but what lurks in the dark corners of human nature.” (Madeleine Roux, New York Times bestselling author of the Asylum series.)
“Shallow Graves is a stunner. Gripping, gory, and insightful.” (Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood and Antigoddess)
“Constantly entertaining, intriguing, and suspenseful.” (Kirkus)
“A fast-paced ride through a dark, imaginative world.” (Mindy McGinnis, author of Not a Drop to Drink and A Madness So Discreet)
“A phenomenally written, spine-chilling story...sure to keep you up all night.” (Kimberly Derting, author of the Body Finder series)
“Writing in Breezy’s pragmatic and engaging voice, Wallace weaves an unsettling tale that explores Breezy’s strange existence, while also thoughtfully examining a life cut short...her struggle to reconcile what she has become with the human she used to be forms the heart of this bittersweet story.” (Publishers Weekly)
Top customer reviews
A year after she is murdered, seventeen-year-old Breezy Lin wakes up in a shallow back-yard grave. The circumstances of her revival are mysterious, magical, and as violent as her initial death. Although she wants nothing more than to return, alive, to her life as it was, Breezy is fundamentally a different person because of the trauma she has experienced. She can’t go back to her family or be her old self. Instead, she has to let go of the labels with which she once defined herself (future astronaut – that’s not going to happen) and find new, more complex ways of understanding who she is. METAPHOR.
Breezy’s quest to find out what she is and how she came to be undead takes her to some truly frightening places. Along the way, Breezy is forced to learn how to tell the difference between those who want to help her and those who want to hurt her (a great cast of religious fanatics, ghouls, and one ancient creature so evil, your skin will crawl), a skill she did not have when she was alive.
Breezy is courageous in her willingness to confront the truth. Underneath this tale of imagined monsters is a real road map for survivors. Because the paranormal elements are a metaphor, a lens for looking at real human experience, the reader follows along as Breezy copes with trauma, recognizes that it has changed her forever, and begins the process of being comfortable with who she is now.
I highly recommend this book—especially to fans of shows like Supernatural, Grimm, and anyone who enjoys suspense, mystery, and a bit of horror.
Most recent customer reviews
The premise of Shallow Graves is so awesome!Read more
Plot: Shallow Graves demands attention immediately. Breezy is a reanimated corpse who can sense if someone around her has taken a life, and then she can...Read more