Breezy doesn't remember dying. She doesn't remember being buried either. But she knows she was under ground for a year when the first man she killed dug her up. Since then she's made her way haphazardly across the country, hitchhiking when she can and skateboarding when she can't. And it's ok, because Breezy can see the shadows that haunt killers. Oh, and she apparently can't die. Because Breezy is no longer completely human.
Kali Wallace's debut is fun, y'all! And dark.
The world of Shallow Graves is packed with monsters, human and otherwise. And it's the former who are the big problem. The latter live their lives quietly among us, passing as much as they can for "normal." Witches, ghouls, you name it... well, maybe not unicorns.
And then there's Breezy. Breezy is something else. Something no one can quite explain. And while she can't die, doesn't need to eat, and doesn't even need to breathe, Breezy does need answers.
The story is set roughly two weeks after Breezy wakes. As mentioned above, she knows she's been dead for a year but she has no memory of what happened. Nor does she know why she was dug up, why all the birds died that day, or how the man she killed even knew where to find her.
She knows she can't stay in her hometown. So she travels, aimlessly. And while hitchhiking might present problems for a normal person, Breezy is doubly safe. Not only can she not die by any obvious means (she's tried), but she has the ability to see the human monsters around her. The killers who drive and walk the streets she's traveling.
But Breezy isn't actually as safe as she believes. Apparently in her reality there are people who want to rid the world of its monsters and monsters who would help them in their efforts.
Reading along as Breezy tries to find out what she is and what her purpose might be is fabulous. I loved her as a character - she felt authentic and substantial. The kind of character who comes to life on the page in such a way that you think you could almost recognize them if you were to cross paths with them in the real world.
And there was an added layer to that authenticity for me thanks to the setting. Pieces of the story are set in Boulder, Colorado, and I found myself oddly trying to place the vaguely mentioned people and locations as I was reading. It was almost as though I could run into Breezy and Zeke and Jake strolling down Pearl Street one day and I needed to be prepared!
I know that's an element that most people won't have in their reading. It happens, though, that books are set in real places and readers can recognize those places. It happens seemingly less often for me than you might think - my hometown and college town are both small enough that they lose out to larger Louisiana cities for the most part when settings there are chosen. Here in Colorado it's less odd but still fun when it happens!
Anywho, I quite enjoyed Shallow Graves, if you couldn't tell. It's a great debut and a satisfyingly dark and quirky read!
(Big thanks to Jennifer at Book Den for making me push this one up my reading list!)