Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black [Review]

RELEASE DATE: August 07th, 2018
Terry Bailey Black
Young-Adult, Mystery, Historical Fiction.
Tor Teen

Early Libba Bray meets Stalking Jack the Ripper and William Ritter’s Jackaby series in this richly atmospheric Gothic tale of murder and romance in 1850s New England

Valentine has spent years trying to outrun her mother’s legacy. But small towns have long memories, and when a new string of murders occurs, all signs point to the daughter of a murderer.

Only one person believes Valentine is innocent—Rowan Blackshaw, the son of the man her mother killed all those years ago. Valentine vows to find the real killer, but when she finally uncovers the horrifying truth, she must choose to face her own dark secrets, even if it means losing Rowan in the end.

Debut author Terri Bailey Black unearths the long-buried secrets of a small New England town in this richly atmospheric Gothic tale of murder, guilt, redemption, and finding love where least expected.




MY REV (Copy)

Girl At The Girl is a stand-alone YA debut novel by Teri Bailey Black. Well, this book has a great potential but sadly it falls short of perfection. To be honest, I enjoyed the story-line, but it was disappointing that the plot focused more on the romance and less on the murder mystery. This would’ve make a good YA murder mystery novel if there isn’t an annoying triangle and some unnecessary school drama in the plot. When I first read the title and synopsis, I was actually expecting a dark and horror filled novel, but this one turns out to be a decent historical murder mystery novel. It was nothing spooky like Stalking Jack the Ripper.

The main character Valentine was a likable character. She’s smart, caring, and sweet. Her mother was hanged for murder when she was only six years old. Being a killer’s daughter sealed her fate forever in her town. Everyone treated her like an outsider. After her mother’s death she grew up in poverty and hardship. I really felt bad for her poor situation and how she was bullied in the school. I really liked Rowan Blackshaw, Valentine’s love interest and the son of the man her mother killed. He was pretty sweet and fun, and unlike others he never insulted her even though she deserved his hate. I enjoyed the sweet romance between Val and Rowan. Their love was forbidden but they can’t deny the attraction between them. Sam is Valentine’s childhood best friend and her second love interest. I enjoyed the friendship between Sam and Val but it was kinda ruined when he turned into a love interest. I think the triangle is unnecessary because it was pretty obvious who she’s going to choose in the end. As for the secondary characters, no one intrigued me. They were somewhat okay but not memorable enough.  

 The plot was interesting and suspenseful, but it lacked tension. The story moved in a medium pace. I wish the plot was focused more on the mystery and less on the love story. I was quite annoyed with how Valentine sidetracked from the murder mystery by involving herself in a romance drama. I liked the family drama aspect in the book. The surprising twists and turns in the plot are the only thing that kept me turning the pages and when the final big reveal came, I was left a little bit disappointed. It was like dropping a bomb with a very low impact. I think no one would guess the suspect for the murders because the author didn’t leave any breadcrumbs that lead to that particular character. However, I’m glad it at-least had a satisfying ending. The writing style of the author was okay. The book was told in Valentine’s first person POV. The historical setting was nice. Although it was a gothic mystery novel, the story didn’t give strong gothic vibes.  

Despite all the issues, this book still makes an enjoyable read. So overall, it was a decent debut and I’ll definitely look forward to what the author brings us next.

Recommend it?

I recommend this book to all the readers who loves YA historical mystery. If you want to give this a shot you need to be prepared for a typical love triangle.  

4-stars14-stars14-stars14-stars1[3.5/5 Stars]

So, What do you think of this book? Have you read it yet? Do you Plan to read it?
Please feel free to comment below!

See You In The Next Post and Have a Great Day! 🙂Signature

34 thoughts on “Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black [Review]

  1. Beware Of The Reader August 25, 2018 / 1:18 am

    I haven’t read it Raven. Excellent and fair review. Too bad it was not more focused on the mystery really…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mara August 25, 2018 / 7:00 am

    The synopsis sounds amazing! It’s a shame it fell short of your expectations. It’s always unfortunate when a story has a lot of potential but the author focuses on the wrong things. Great review😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raven @ Dreamy Addictions August 28, 2018 / 6:21 am

      The mystery in this book was pretty good and unpredictable but the triangle kinda ruined the thrill. Thank you! 😊


  3. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate August 25, 2018 / 9:51 pm

    Oh no! Such a shame this was more romance-focused than anything else – what a disappointment indeed :/ I also hate when there’s unecessary love triangles or worse, when a decent, interesting friendship turns into a romance! That just kills my vibe right there. It happens way too often.

    I too felt quite intrigued by the plot and the gothic atmosphere but I suppose there’s no point in checking this one out for those.

    Amazing review, nonetheless! 🙂


    • Raven @ Dreamy Addictions August 28, 2018 / 6:33 am

      I love romance in my books but I don’t like them when they distract us from the story especially in mystery novels. This book has very light gothic feel to it. While reading it, I never felt like I was reading a gothic novel. The cover was a bit deceiving. It’s not really a horror filled story. It’s just a normal murder mystery set in historical times.
      Thank you! 😊


      • Sophie @ Blame Chocolate August 29, 2018 / 11:35 am

        Same here… Romance can pretty much ruin a potentially good story if an author isn’t careful. That certainly makes more sense!
        And you’re very welcome 😊


  4. Marie August 25, 2018 / 10:48 pm

    Lovely review, Raven! Such a shame that this book focused a bit more on romance than it should have, and ugh, love triangle :/ I’m glad you still found some enjoyable things in that story though 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Carolina @fictionologyst August 27, 2018 / 10:22 am

    Amazing review Raven, I see a lot of potential in this book, I think I’m gonna give it a try. Thanks for sharing love 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ShootingStarsMag August 27, 2018 / 12:51 pm

    Oh no! I was so curious about this one, but I hate that it focuses so much on the romance. I want more of the murder mystery!! Thanks for your honest thoughts.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Raven @ Dreamy Addictions August 30, 2018 / 4:57 am

      Me too! I wish it was more of a murder mystery. It was disappointing that it was focused more on an unnecessary triangle.


  7. booksandblends August 27, 2018 / 8:46 pm

    Wonderful review Raven! I don’t think it’s for me because I’m not the biggest fan of love triangles, but the blurb does sound great!

    Liked by 1 person

      • booksandblends August 30, 2018 / 7:08 am

        My main issue with love triangles is that they never pick the person that I want them to 😂😂


  8. anovelglimpse August 28, 2018 / 10:18 pm

    That’s too bad it lacked tension. Tension is one of the big things that make a thriller or mystery so good. I’m glad you still enjoyed it, though. It sounds like it also had a lot of good things going for it. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raven @ Dreamy Addictions August 30, 2018 / 5:05 am

      IKR? This book began with a great start but slowly it took a downhill when the story turned from a murder mystery to a historical romance drama in the second half.
      Thank you! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Kelly G August 28, 2018 / 10:34 pm

    I’m glad to hear that you loved this! The whole love triangle thing is a little off-putting, but that cover is oh so pretty!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jen August 29, 2018 / 6:25 am

    It always makes me wonder why certain books are taken in certain directions when if they went another way it would be beyond spectacular. But I’m glad you enjoyed the book nonetheless. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raven @ Dreamy Addictions August 30, 2018 / 5:13 am

      Thank you, Jen! I love triangles but this one is a little off-putting and unnecessary.The mystery in the plot was pretty good. It was the only thing that made me stick to it till the end.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer September 5, 2018 / 10:47 am

    Sorry to hear about your disappointment. I was looking forward to a great YA mystery and a gothic one to boot. ♥️ Your review is excellent as usual. And I hate love triangles.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s