Survival Instinct by Janie Crouch

Caged Graves, by Dianne K. Salerni

Synopsis: The year is 1867, and seventeen-year-old Verity Boone is excited to return from Worcester, Massachusetts, to Catawissa, Pennsylvania, the hometown she left when she was just a baby. Now she will finally meet the fiancĂ© she knows only through letters! Soon, however, she discovers two strangely caged graves . . . and learns that one of them is her own mother’s. Verity swears she’ll get to the bottom of why her mother was buried in “unhallowed ground” in this suspenseful teen mystery that swirls with rumors of witchcraft, buried gold from the days of the War of Independence, and even more shocking family secrets.

Review:  I was pleasantly surprised by The Caged Graves. The first few pages seemed under-detailed (normally I like nice, thick descriptions to hook me in), but I ended up getting caught up in the plot and the quirkiness of the characters. Dianne Salerni doesn't write dull characters - from her brusque housekeeper to Verity's fiance - and Verity Boone herself is a strong, willful woman who learns from her mistakes. 
Despite the lack of detail, I deeply enjoyed Salerni's depiction of 1867 Catawissa, PA. The ending felt a little rushed, but I loved the surprising twist! I never saw it coming and it's great when a book can do that. It ended up being a very relaxing read which I would gladly recommend to other looking for a light book to fill a few hours. 

Rating: 4/5 DIAMONDS

Reviewed by: Misha