Dark and Shallow Lies

By Ginny Myers Sain

Published: 2021

I suggest: 8th grade+

Once again, I always experience a strange and exhilarating feeling when reading a novel by someone I know. That’s why it’s doubly great when you discover that you can’t put the novel down.

If you like mystery and intrigue with a side of psychic powers and magic, then this book truly is for you. Being able to twist the story around and around, until the reader feels desperate to get to the final pages, is truly an art, and this story does that and more.

I think the beauty of the writing complements the creepy and–maybe even misty?–vibe that I got when reading this. Both mystery and thriller, this book definitely deals with mature themes and language, so as a parent, keep that in mind (especially for kids balancing between upper middle grade books and young adult). My recommendation is that high schoolers are the perfect audience for this book (the writer has worked with high school-aged students, and I think that makes a huge impact on how she connects with them). Some middle-schoolers may be ready for the content, but you may be the best judge. As I often say, there’s no better way to know if the book is right unless you read it yourself. Besides, you might just find yourself biting your fingernails and enjoying the journey as much as I did.

Here’s the link to the book and the description from the publisher:

In a town as mysterious as La Cachette, Louisiana, people expect eerie things to happen. However, when 17-year-old Grey’s best friend, Elora, goes missing, the town full of psychics doesn’t know what happened to her. Dark and Shallow Lies is an enthralling and spooky small-town supernatural thriller that will leave readers stunned as La Cachette’s secrets reveal themselves.A teen girl disappears from her small town deep in the bayou, where magic festers beneath the surface of the swamp like water rot, in this chilling debut supernatural thriller for fans of Natasha Preston, Karen McManus, and Rory Power.

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.

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