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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
No matter what Valentine does she cannot get away from her mother's grim legacy. When a new string of murders occurs in her small town, all signs seemingly point to the daughter of a murderer. Interestingly enough the son of her mother's victim is the only person on Valentine's side. Valentine plans on uncovering the real killer, but when she discovers the truth she will have to come to terms with her own secrets, even if it means losing those she cares about.
Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black is a debut Gothic-tinged YA historical mystery thriller. It was one of my more anticipated books of the season and while it was decent, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. My favorite aspect of the novel is Valentine herself. She hasn't exactly had an easy life, but that's shaped her into the independent and decisive character that she is. The only thing that she isn't decisive about is boys. There is a love triangle, which if you know me I'm not usually a fan. I preferred Rowan from the start - beyond that the drama with Sam is just too wishy-washy in my personal opinion. I will say though that the author does a very good job of creating drama in terms of the murders and the core mystery, especially with all the twists and turns to keep us guessing. Learning about the town history was also interesting, but sometimes things got bogged down with the details and complexities. The story is a decent murder mystery, but honestly I was hoping there was going to be more of a horror or paranormal element as well.
Overall, this debut thriller by Teri Bailey Black is a more than serviceable YA historical mystery thriller. There were a few elements that didn't quite work for me, but I still enjoyed following Valentine's atmospheric story. Personally, I was expecting a little more murder mystery and a little less love story, but maybe that's just me.
I read this ARC from July 25 - 26, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads. Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black will be released on August on August 7th, 2018.