Thursday, August 01, 2013

ARC Review: The Caged Graves by Dianne K. Salerni

The Caged Graves by Dianne Salerni

Source: ARC
Publisher: Clarion Books
My rating: 3.5of 5 stars :star :star :star 1/2

The Caged Graves is a YA historical fiction novel placed in 1867 Catawissa, Pennslyvania. Verity Boone is moving back to the place of her birth; to reunite with her father and meet her fiancè Nate. But Catawissa is a lot different from Worcester, Massachusetts where Verity was raised by her aunt after her mother died when she was young.

Verity soon discovers a small town full of secrets and a most disturbing truth; her mother is buried in a caged grave. no one will tell Verity why her mother was born in a caged grave, but Verity is determined to find out. With many suspicious townspeople, and jealous girls who think Nate shouldn't be marrying her, Verity has her share of enemies.

I breezed through the story. It was easy to read, fun, engaging, and kept me guessing until the very end! The one complaint I have is that at times. With all the different names of townspeople and Poole's (past and present) I was terribly confused. I'd have to go back and try to remember who said-person was and if they were alive or not. Some times I couldn't find out so I just skipped over it but felt like I was missing huge part of the story. I feel like maybe a few of the minor characters could've been cut out or mentioned less during the coming together scenes.

I enjoyed Verity discovering her first true love. I found Nate sweet and charming, and Hadley was a cutie with a mischievous air to him. Although I wouldn't exactly say this was a love triangle. It was more of Verity not in love with anyone, just finding her way while two boys pined for her affections. I was really happy with the ending. I will be reading any other books by this author! I loved the prose and world-building. Historical fiction can be difficult for YA and it's such a pleasure to see it done right.

I recommend The Caged Graves for lovers of YA, historical fiction, and mystery. You'll enjoy this tale.

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Note: Cover image courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Favorite Quotes:
Verity took a step backward. She knew the look of a young man planning to steal a kiss. She'd been ducking ornery lips since she was fifteen years old. She'd even been caught a few times, and that hadn't been too terrible-- rather like cupcakes: sweet and finished quickly. But now she was spoken for, and she absolutely could not indulge in cupcake kisses with Hadley Jones."

(please note finished version may have slightly different quotation)
author image


(aka Dee) has loved reading for as long as she can remember. She loves many things: fantasy novels, young adult fiction, her cat, painting, and horror films from the 70s. Diamond is a grad student at UCLA. She's pursuing a Master's in Library and Information Science.