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Breezy Lim knows she's dead. Waking up in a shallow grave a year after being forced into it will bring a person to that most logical of conclusions. What the 17-year-old cannot quite remember is how she died. She's also a little disconcerted by the new superpower she seems to have picked up—she can feel when someone has committed murder. Even more disturbing is the fact that she wants to take her own revenge on these killers; doing so makes her un-dead heart throb with life. Still, the last thing Breezy wants is to be some kind of zombie hitman. All she really wants is normality, to go back to being an average teenage girl in an ordinary world.
Instead, Breezy's living in some kind of shadowy, in-between place where monsters roam in plain sight. She should feel powerful, but she knows she's being hunted by Mr. Willow, a cult leader who claims to be able to "fix" people like Breezy. On the run, she's not sure where to go or whom to trust. She only knows she wants revenge on her would-be captor. In the meantime, she must figure out how to make a life out of her waking death. With help from some unlikely allies, she might be able to do just that.
Shallow Graves, a haunting debut novel by Kali Wallace, is difficult to describe. Its premise lacks originality, but the story feels compelling nonetheless. The plot seems a little direction-less and yet, it kept me reading. Overall, the novel is quick and exciting, but not particularly memorable. A weird dichotomy. Although Shallow Graves does make some good points about choosing your own path, it didn't leave me feeling wowed or even satisfied, really. In the end, I found it an engrossing read, just not a remarkable one.
(Readalikes: Reminded me of The Body Finder series [The Body Finder; Desires of the Dead; The Last Echo; and Dead Silence] by Kimberly Derting)
If this were a movie, it would be rated:
for language (a few F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, blood/gore, and brief, non-graphic references to sex