Published: April 1st, 2016 by Albert Whitman Teen
Length: 272 pages
Genre: YA, contemporary
Source: I received an eARC from the publisher & NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Summary from Goodreads:
With her mother facing prison time for a violent political protest, seventeen-year-old Liberty Briscoe has no choice but to leave her Washington, DC, apartment and take a bus to Ebbottsville, Kentucky, to live with her granny. There she can finish high school and put some distance between herself and her mother– her ‘former’ mother, as she calls her. But Ebbottsville isn’t the same as Liberty remembers, and it’s not just because the top of Tanner’s Peak has been blown away to mine for coal. Half the county is out of work, an awful lot of people in town seem to be sick, and the tap water is bright orange–the same water that officials claim is safe to drink. When Granny’s lingering cold turns out to be something much worse, Liberty is convinced the mine is to blame, and starts an investigation that quickly plunges her into a world of secrets, lies, threats, and danger. Liberty isn’t deterred by any of it, but as all her searches turn into dead ends, she comes to a difficult decision: turn to violence like her former mother or give up her quest for good.
First of all, a big thank you to NetGalley and Albert Whitman Teen for giving me a copy to read and review.
I really, really liked this book. I’ve been in the mood for some good contemporaries lately and this definitely was a great choice.
The only complaint I have is that the romance did feel a little like insta-love to me. Cole and Liberty knew each other as kids so it’s not complete insta-love, but it still seemed to move really quickly. It didn’t feel like a genuine romance, but more of a plot device to me.
Other than that, I loved everything about the book. The characters were really intriguing to me. Some of them, like Dogger, turn out to be completely different from what you’d first expect. Granny was probably my favorite character. She’s really charming, even though she could be ridiculous at times in the way that grandmas can be.
Liberty was a good main character and was pretty well-developed. I liked seeing her struggle with feeling disappointed and abandoned by her mother but at the same time doing a lot of the same things that led to her mother being the way that she was. I did feel she was a little harsh at times, but I can understand why she was so hurt and angry.
The writing was really clear and simple (in a good way). I liked that there weren’t any passages that I needed to re-read to clarify what had just happened. The writing flows really well too and that, in combination with great pacing, made it so easy to just keep turning the pages.
One of the best things about this book is how much Allgeyer teaches you about mountaintop removal mining. I took an environmental science course when I was in high school so I knew a little about it, but I still learned a lot. Real statistics are incorporated into a research scene and you get to see how the effects of the mining lead to huge health problems for the citizens. I’ve never been really into learning about the environment, but this book has me wanting to learn more about the effects of mountaintop removal mining because I honestly can’t believe that mining companies are allowed to get away with all of this.
Dig Too Deep was a great read that handles some pretty difficult topics, especially surrounding family. With great characters, writing, and a captivating plot, readers of all kinds are sure to find something they enjoy about this story. I’m looking forward to reading more from Allgeyer in the future.