Why You Should Read 'These Shallow Graves' By Jennifer Donnelly

Why You Should Read 'These Shallow Graves' By Jennifer Donnelly

If you're in the mood for a murder mystery, look no further!
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As listed on one of my previous book lists, I finally got around to starting "These Shallow Graves" by Jennifer Donnelly. The premise of this book is that the main character, Jo Montfort, receives the dreadful news that her father is dead. Set in Victorian New York, Jo comes from an upper-class life of ease; an easy life full of rules and etiquette that she struggles to follow. She must behave like a proper lady for her time, but would much rather be writing for a newspaper as a journalist about social issues. She can't quite seem to find a place among her friends and family with her "odd" behavior.

So, when the news comes that her father accidentally shot himself while cleaning his gun, Jo knows something is wrong. She begins to suspect that the trigger was pulled on purpose and by someone else. Jo teams up with a reporter named Eddie to discover the truth; as she begins to fall for him, she must figure out how to balance her proper life and her passion.

The premise of this book is interesting. While the plot itself isn't the most original, it still has a unique setting and is entertaining to read. As a murder mystery, it succeeds it keeping me guessing throughout the book. There were times I felt some of the reveals were a little cliché or the plot was moving too slow or fast, but overall, I couldn’t guess who the killer was before the end of the book. Not being able to guess the mystery is one of the strongest points a murder mystery book can have, after all!

There were a few points that seem to be teaching the reader about the injustice women faced back in this time, but in a way, that is obvious. Such as, the female characters will tell Jo that she can't do something because she is a woman, and Jo thinks about how she wishes she had the same freedoms as a man. While it's clear that Jo is a forward-thinking woman, I felt as if her thoughts and those around her were a little too on-the-nose, and didn't trust the reader to interpret the oppressed state of women without explicitly having the characters say it.

Overall, I enjoyed reading "These Shallow Graves". I recommend it to anyone who wants to get into the murder mystery, Victorian New York mood. It took me a little bit to get into the book, but once I got halfway in, I was entranced and couldn't put it down.

Cover Image Credit: Random House

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37 Drake Lyrics From 'Scorpion' That Will Make Your Next Instagram Caption Go Double Platinum

Side A makes you want to be single, Side B make you want to be boo'd up.

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We all knew Scorpion was going to be the summer banger we wanted. However, Drake surprised us with two sides of an album and two sides of himself. Mixing rap and R&B; was genius on his part, so why not dedicate 37 of his lyrics to our Instagram captions?

1. "Don't tell me how knew it would be like this all along" — Emotionless

Definitely a "I'm too good" for you vibe.

2. "My mentions are jokes, but they never give me the facts" — Talk Up

This one's for my haters.

3. "I wanna thank God for workin' way harder than Satan" — Elevate

For when you're feeling blessed.

4. "I promise if I'm not dead then I'm dedicated" — March 14

In Drake's story about his son the world knows about now, we get a lyric of true love and dedication

5. "My Mount Rushmore is me with four different expressions" — Survival

6. "Pinky ring 'til I get a wedding ring" — Nonstop

7. "I gotta breathe in real deep when I catch an attitude" — 8 Out of 10

This first line of the song is about to be spread on the gram like a wildfire

8. "Heard all of the talkin', now it's quiet, now it's shush" — Mob Ties

9. "California girls sweeter than pieces of candy" — Sandra's Rose

This is gonna have every girl who has ever stayed in Cali all hot and heavy, watch it.

10. "I think you're changing your mind, starting to see it in your eyes" — Summer Games

Y'all know how these summer games go

11. "Look the new me is really still the real me" — In My Feelings

When you've got to profess that you've changed 200%

12. "Only beggin' that I do is me beggin' your pardon" — Is There More

13. "Shifted your focus, lens lookin' jaded" — Jaded

14. "Back and forth to Italy, my comment section killin' me" — Can't Take a Joke

Necessary for when you've got people hyping you up already

15. "People are only as tough as they phone allows them to be" — Peak

Y'all can't have this one, I'm stealing it

16. "Work all winter, shine all summer" — That's How You Feel

Put in the work so you can flex on 'em, summer 18

17. "Blue faces, I got blue diamonds, blue tint, yeah" — Blue Tint


18. "I stay busy workin' on me" — Elevate

19. "Ten of us, we movin' as one" — Talk Up

The perfect reason to get the largest group picture you've had on your gram

20. "October baby for irony sake, of course" — March 14

This statistically applies to 1/12 of y'all reading this, so take that as you will (we October babies are the best)

21. "She had an attitude in the summer but now she nice again" — Blue Tint

22. "I know you special girl 'cause I know too many" — In My Feelings


23. "Gotta hit the club like you hit them, hit them, hit them angles" — Nice for What

24. "She said 'Do you love me?' I tell her, 'Only partly,' I only love my ____ and my ____ I'm sorry" — God's Plan

If you haven't used this one yet, get to it

25. "But I'm blessed I just checked, hate me never met me in the flesh" — I'm Upset

26. "It's only good in my city because I said so" — 8 Out of 10

Follow this up with a location and shoutout your hometown

27. "My haters either on they way to work or they arrived" — Can't Take a Joke

28. "I always need a glass of wine by sundown" — Final Fantasy

Has Drake ever been more relatable?

29. "It's your f***in' birthday. Happy birthday" — Ratchet Happy Birthday

Let's go get kicked out of an Applebee's

30. "I move through London with the Eurostep" — Nonstop


31. "I stopped askin' myself and I started feelin' myself" — Survival

Mood all summer 18

32. "They keep tryna' get me for my soul" — I'm Upset

33. "I'm tryna see who's there on the other end of the shade" — Emotionless

34. "Only obligation is to tell it straight" — Elevate

35. "It don't matter to me what you say" — Don't Matter to Me


This line from the King of Pop (MJ) will give you chills. R.I.P.

36. "I'm the chosen one, flowers never pick themselves" — Sandra's Rose

37. "Say you'll never ever leave from beside me" — In My Feelings

Couple goals, amirite?

Cover Image Credit:

@champagnepapi / Instagram

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6 Songs To Add To Your Car Playlists

Warning: these songs may set your stereo on fire.

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There are certain songs that fill your speakers and force you to nod your head. And while we're in the summer and looking to get out of the house more, it might just be in your best interest to look for more of those certain songs to spice up your drives. Fear not, because I got six tracks that you're gonna want to peep as soon as possible. Safe driving.

Kid Again by Max Wonders

In this softspoken nostalgia trip, Max Wonders manages to conjure up that feeling of uncertainty as one grows into shoes that may be overwhelming. It's a nice, poignant track about the worries of leaving childhood behind, and it's a fantastically mixed bassy bop in the process. The raw emotion pairs surprisingly well with the deep end, creating a whole that's emotion-inducing and motion-inducing all the same

JSTCUM by RNDYSVGE and Olukara

RNDYSVGE blends delicate vocals with one of the nastiest, ungodliest, funkiest basslines ever, creating a confusing whirlwind of wonky grooves and unbelievable soul, which induces nothing less than the stankest of stankfaces. When Olukara comes in, it's the smooooooooooothest cherry on top. The overall product is a bombastic, calm, lively, and smooth self-contradiction that's hard not to snap along to.

Only Human by Innanet James

I'm a huge fan of Innanet James for his ability to make the most danceable music while infusing it with his own sardonic brand of political/social commentary. In this track, he plays verbal hopscotch over a beautiful chord progression and a brilliantly unfolding instrumental, all while touching on Islamophobia, his proud racial identity, Donald Trump, before coming to the conclusion that we're all ultimately human and should love each other regardless of differences. It sounds like a trite lyrical structure, but the execution is immaculate.

All This Money by Injury Reserve

OH OH OH OH OH OH OH MY GOD. Ritchie With a T's shouty delivery might be off-putting to some, but the rest of the track's composition makes it pretty easy to get onboard. With a Lil' Jon style hook and effervescent attitude, this track makes it clear that the Arizona group Injury Reserve has energy enough for at least seven other rap groups. Side note: this is a fantastic workout song.

Bubblin' by Anderson .Paak

.Paak is probably more known for his soulful R&B jams, but this track really works as a change of pace for him. Built around a moody orchestral sample, this track is bouncy in the best way. It flows uniformly while also creating a self-referential bubbly energy, which makes it easily one of the most fun songs of 2018 so far.

No Data by Daye Jack

The intro track to his underrated 2017 album of the same name, "No Data" is a poppy, shimmering showstopper that lyrically introduces a concept that Daye tackles throughout the project. Otherwise, it's a marvelous blend of genres, including but not limited to rap, 80s pop, and (somehow) new jack swing. It's a great, enjoyable number that sets the tone for a great album. Moreover, it's a song that simultaneously lives in the moment and relishes in the details. It's intricate while also effortlessly moving from second to second in breathless fashion. Definitely worth checking out.

Cover Image Credit:

upload.wikimedia.org

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