Book Review: ‘Dark and Shallow Lies’

Dark and Shallow Lies” by Ginny Myers

Source: Penguin Teen in exchange for honest review

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Mystery


La Cachette, Louisiana, is the worst place to be if you have something to hide.

This tiny town, where seventeen-year-old Grey spends her summers, is the self-proclaimed Psychic Capital of the World–and the place where Elora Pellerin, Grey’s best friend, disappeared six months earlier.

Grey can’t believe that Elora vanished into thin air any more than she can believe that nobody in a town full of psychics knows what happened. But as she digs into the night that Elora went missing, she begins to realize that everybody in town is hiding something–her grandmother Honey; her childhood crush Hart; and even her late mother, whose secrets continue to call to Grey from beyond the grave.

When a mysterious stranger emerges from the bayou–a stormy-eyed boy with links to Elora and the town’s bloody history–Grey realizes that La Cachette’s past is far more present and dangerous than she’d ever understood. Suddenly, she doesn’t know who she can trust. In a town where secrets lurk just below the surface, and where a murderer is on the loose, nobody can be presumed innocent–and La Cachette’s dark and shallow lies may just rip the town apart.

Dark and Shallow Lies is a book full of atmosphere. I’ve never been to Louisiana but I was able to picture it perfectly. The humidity. The tension. The darkness. It was a wonderful blend of what I imagine small town Louisiana is really like and what this fictional town is like.

Unfortunately for me, the book focused more on characters than the plot. It actually reminded me a bit of The Raven Boys with that particular aspect. [Plus the non-psychic around all the psychics] There’s an awful lot of time spent on the personal relationships amongst all the characters. It does make sense since this is a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. Someone here has to know some thing. As always, I craved a bit more sleuthing & investigating [that’s always a personal preference].

The characters were good though! I did love the idea of this giant group of friends born & raised together like they’re almost family. It was also interesting to see the different abilities present throughout the group and the town. As with any story with a big cast a characters, I could have used a character list (maybe with their abilities listed?) to keep everyone straight in my mind.

The story does dabble a bit in the ever present YA tropes: smitten with your best friend’s brother; falling for the mysterious new boy in town; the town is full of secrets. I don’t it was done in an over-the-top way so I wasn’t too bothered with it.

All in all, it was an interesting mystery set an a rich & powerful setting. If you love character based mysteries, you’re going to love Dark and Shallow Lies.

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