January 22, 2016

Shallow Graves Tour: Review + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Shallow Graves! I have my review of the book to share with you today - and don't forget to enter the awesome giveaway!

Shallow Graves
Author: Kali Wallace
Genre: YA Paranormal/Horror
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Rating: 4 Stars!


For fans of Holly Black and Nova Ren Suma, a gripping, hauntingly atmospheric novel about murder, revenge, and a world where monsters—human and otherwise—lurk at the fringes.

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. In life, Breezy was always drawn to the elegance of the universe and the mystery of the stars. Now she must set out to find answers and discover what is to become of her in the gritty, dangerous 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 finds is at once empowering, redemptive, and dangerous.

Tense, complex, and wholly engaging, Shallow Graves is a stunning first novel from Kali Wallace.
Shallow Graves is a compelling young adult horror/paranormal novel that will pull readers inside its pages and refuse to let go. The story follows our main character - Breezy - as she awakens one night, only to find herself digging out of a shallow grave. Breezy has been dead for the past year and for some reason - she's alive again (kind of). She has no idea what she has become, some horrible mix of alive and dead, and with new abilities too - she can tell when a person has killed someone else, and she's able to kill people by just touching her. Breezy sets off to figure out exactly what has happened to her and why she has these strange attributes. What she comes to find out along the way is the very essence of human nature - a dangerous cult is hunting "creatures" like her, killers are able to blend in with everyday people, and she has to decide how to deal with her new life after death. 
I really liked Breezy as the main character for the book. She's an average teenage girl for the most part - she worries about school and college, boys, friends, her family, and her love for astronomy. She's also down to earth, smart, determined, dedicated, and strong. It was easy to relate to her right from the beginning - even though she's not quite alive anymore. I liked watching Breezy try to figure out what happened to her - who killed her and why, as well as why she came back and what she has become. The story is told in the first person point of view, told from Breezy's perspective - which was a big plus in my book. My favorite writing style is the first person because of the deep personal connection the reader can have with the narrator. We get to know every thought, emotion, memory, inner dialogue, hopes, dreams, fears, and so much more about the main character that by the end of the novel, it feels like we were right beside them throughout the events in the book or even like we're reading the character's journal about what happened.
I enjoyed the story line of the book a lot - it was different from most other books out there right now, which is a great break from some of the other trends. Some of my favorite genres are horror, paranormal, and thrillers - so this novel went right on my TBR the minute I read the description. I wasn't sure what to expect - especially since this is the author's debut - but I definitely wasn't disappointed. The plot is intriguing and has several levels that I wasn't expecting. Aside from the main story that's follows Breezy's new life and what she does in it, the book touches on several topics that are universal and especially relevant in today's society. Breezy's search for her new place in the world along with accepting who (and what) she has become is something that almost everyone can identify with. The story also talks about the evils of humankind, how people who are considered different are hunted down like animals or monsters, along with a lot of topics that teens can relate to - such as bullying, rumors, and the effects one action can have on someone's life. I wasn't expecting to find such depth in this book. I figured it was going to be another run of the mill zombie novel that wasn't so much scary as it was thrilling. On top of the unexpected topics discussed, the twists and turns in the plot, and the great use of the first person POV - the book was incredibly well written with lots of detailed descriptions and vivid imagery that helps the reader feel like they're right beside Breezy throughout the novel. The pace starts off fast and only quickens as the book races toward the climax - it had me reading as quickly as I could to see what was going to happen next. In my opinion, this is a solid debut in a genre that's already overflowing with various authors and books and one that easily separates itself from the rest with several distinctive features. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this author to see what she'll come out with next. I highly recommend this book to fans of YA paranormal fiction, as well as those who enjoy fantasy, horror, zombies, thrillers, and suspense!
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Follow the Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Kali Wallace studied geology and geophysics before she decided she enjoyed inventing imaginary worlds as much as she liked researching the real one. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, F&SF, Asimov's, Lightspeed Magazine, and Tor.com. Her first novel will be published by Katherine Tegen Books in 2016. She lives in southern California.


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