Book Review – Dark and Shallow Lies

Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing with you my review of Dark and Shallow Lies, a YA thriller with a magical twist, set in a town full of psychics. Earlier this month, I shared my spot on the blog tour for this brilliant book, where I interviewed the author, which you can read here.

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. 

If you’ve been around my feed for any length of time at all, you’ll know that I love a YA thriller. Young adult thrillers and mysteries are my favourite because they manage to be exciting – and thrilling – but without the so much of the intensity, and often violence, of adult thrillers. I’m fine with murder mysteries; it’s sexual violence that makes me uncomfortable. And it’s probably a good thing I’m fine with murder mysteries, otherwise I would have missed out on this gem of a book.

How do you keep a secret in a town full of psychics? Author Ginny Myers Sain said this was her main starting point with writing this book, and what a powerful book it has led to. All of the characters we meet and interact with have different spirtual skills, from psychic drawing – being able to sketch a person, place, or item that is important – to being able to be in two locations at once, the skills mix from those we hear about as ‘normal’ to those more powerful and extreme… like being able to start a fire with your mind.

Grey starts having flashes of visions, and, having previously always been the only non-psychic, she has no idea what to do with them at first. They continue the longer she stays, and become more powerful, more vivid, and more scary. All the while, she’s juggling the dynamics that are shifting beneath her like sand, and then a new stranger arrives on the scene.

This is one of those books that will get right under your skin, and make you question everything you think is real, and everything you wonder could be. It’s about searching for answers while looking for yourself, about questioning everything you’ve ever believed about the people around you – and about yourself. It’s about solving a mystery within a mystery within a mystery. Sheer brilliance, I can’t wait to see what Myers Sain writes next, because her skill with words is one you don’t want to miss out on.

If you enjoyed just how creepy this book was in the best way, maybe consider It’s Behind You, The Name of the Star, Mina and the Undead, or Raising Hell as your next read. If it’s the murder mystery element you enjoyed, then the Truly Devious series is a great place to start!


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