Book Review: DARK AND SHALLOW LIES by Ginny Meyers Sain

Title in white on blurred blue, pink and brown image
Genre: Thriller
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 3.5 stars
Series: Standalone


Book cover for DARK AND SHALLOW LIES: title in white on a pond of weeds and flowers

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.

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


DARK AND SHALLOW LIES is not the sort of book I’d usually pick up – and I’m honestly not that sure how it ended up on my list in the first place. However, it did and it was interesting to read something so out of my usual way. I enjoyed it enough to read it to the end, but it just wasn’t my think enough to be really dragged into it (or want to read another similar book.) And that, I am aware, is entirely a matter of personal taste.

This book is a thriller and it also isn’t. It’s a very hard book to classify, part thriller, part contemporary, with elements of psychic powers. It’s not really any one of those option, but a little bit of each all rolled in together.

This means, for example, though there is a mystery (what happened to Elora?) it doesn’t drive the book, isn’t the primary thing pulling the narrative forward or driving up tension. Likewise, this is a contemporary about grief and falling apart, but it’s not just about the characters trying to find peace with their own emotions.

There are so many secrets in the town, between the teens, between the adults. It is a small, close knit community who will defend their own and turn a blind eye to the things that might break them apart if they chose to acknowledge them. And into this mix comes a main character who only spends a few months a year there, both part of the community but also slightly on the outside.

It is very clear reading that the author is trying to convey one in her writing. Both in speech and narration they are phrases that are clearly region and there’s a cadence to it that evokes a sense of speech patterns. (I am sure this would come across more clearly in an audiobook, but I was impressed by how much I could feel a rhythm in what was written on the page.)

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