Wednesday, October 31, 2018

ARC Review: A Girl at the Grave


ABL Review At-A-Glance

ö Title:  Girl at the Grave
ö My Rating: 4
ö Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, YA
ö Author:  Teri Bailey Black
ö Format:  ARC ebook*
ö Publication Date:  August 7, 2018

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Valentine has spent years trying to outrun her mother's legacy. But small towns have long memories, and when a new string of murders occurs, all signs point to the daughter of a murderer.

Only one person believes Valentine is innocent—Rowan Blackshaw, the son of the man her mother killed all those years ago. Valentine vows to find the real killer, but when she finally uncovers the horrifying truth, she must choose to face her own dark secrets, even if it means losing Rowan in the end.

My Thoughts...

Though not exactly what I was expecting, this is still a very delightful read.

The murder mystery story-line was intricate and kept me guessing.  I suspected a lot of different characters, even ones that seemed ridiculous.  I blame the Gone Girl plot twist trend: I trust nothing.  The family dynamic was incredibly compelling, especially once the reader put themselves in Valentine’s place.

I had mixed feelings about the love triangle, but at least that made it feel different than most love triangles, so I still enjoyed it.  It felt to me that one boy was the obvious choice.  Though the runner-up was a familiar and safe choice, I never felt interested in him.  He came across slightly mean and controlling to me, but maybe that was intentional?  Maybe we weren’t supposed to get sucked into a love triangle, but rather, watch a girl face her fears and choose the better but more dangerous path for her life. 

In the real world, deciding between our passions and safety can often times be extremely difficult, but in books, characters get to live their best lives, so we always assume they will go for everything.   In this way, the book felt much more realistic.

The characters in A Girl at the Grave were wonderfully developed. Obviously, Valentine was the main character, the whole cast played important roles in shaping this story.

Pick up the book if you like a good murder mystery, historical fiction or young adult romance.




Teri Bailey Black grew up near the beach in southern California in a large, quirky family with no television or junk food, but an abundance of books and art supplies. She’s happiest when she’s creating things, whether it’s with words, fabric, or digging in the garden. She makes an amazing chocolate cherry cake—frequently. She and her husband have four children and live in Orange County, California.


Prize: Wonderland Book Beau, size XL for a standard hardcover (USA only)
Starts: 10/25/18
Ends:  11/2/18

* Special thanks to Teri Bailey Black, The Fantastic Flying Book Club, Tor Teen and NetGalley for providing a copy of A Girl at the Grave in exchange for an honest review.

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