Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dig Too Deep” as Want to Read:
Dig Too Deep
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dig Too Deep

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  257 ratings  ·  79 reviews
2017 Green Earth Book Award, Young Adult Fiction
2017 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award (SONWA), Young Adult Notable Book

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 at l
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 1st 2016 by AW Teen
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dig Too Deep, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dig Too Deep

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  257 ratings  ·  79 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Dig Too Deep
S.M. Parker
Dec 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Oh, this book! I thought I knew what I was in for when I chose to read an ARC of this debut. Kentucky. Coal country. Corrupt mining practices and the all-encompassing impact that environmental devastation can have on a community. And one teen girl who saw the wreckage first hand.

Well, I wasn’t prepared for Allgeyer’s ability to create this singular sense of place on the page, making me experience all the stark and all the lush at once. I wasn’t prepared for how much she made me love pragmatic a
Sarah Ahiers
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
DIG TO DEEP is about a girl named Hope, who, because her mother is in prison, has to move from DC to rural Appalachia to live with her grandmother. Hope has a single focus - get straight As at her new school and get into Georgetown, but that's before she sees how ill her grandmother has become. Before she sees the mountain top removed for coal mining. Before she sees the neon orange of their drinking water the county says is "safe to drink". But it's not only Hope's grandmother who's ill, and wh ...more
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I read this book nonstop, unable to put it down because there was never a moment where it felt safe to do so -- there was always something looming down the road. Allgeyer created a tense and riveting read, with characters so rich that they won't leave me even after the book is gone. Liberty in particular, the main character, is utterly amazing and yet not perfect -- flawed in a completely human way. Her love for her grandmother, her indignation as to what she sees around her, her anger towa ...more
Wendy MacKnight
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Young adults, new adults, adults who like mysteries
Shelves: 2015-reads
I received an Advanced Copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

First things first - this book is so timely. With its unflinching approach to how sound environmental practises are often tossed aside in the name of profits and local employment, Dig Too Deep does a masterful job of discussing mountaintop removal in coal mining, something I'd heard of but was not too familiar with.

The book tells the story of high school student Liberty (love the name), who is forced to move to Kentucky to
Sarah Alexander
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adored this book. From the well-drawn characters, gripping plot and a hard-hitting insight into mountaintop removal mining, this story had me entranced from the first page.

Allgeyer skilfully portrays complex characters dealing with all sorts of difficult situations, including terminal illness and addiction, poverty and fear. I found the relationships in the book real, honest, and heartbreaking at times. Liberty, the main character, has had her world turned upside down but the realit
Kathy MacMillan
Dec 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is the story of Liberty, a teenage girl sent off to live with her grandmother in rural Kentucky while her activist mother faces criminal charges for a protest gone wrong. Two idioms come to mind when I think about Liberty's story:
Fish out of water: That's what this girl, far from her Washington DC prep school, is. Liberty doesn’t look down on her new home; on the contrary, she loves the mountain and her grandmo
Ashley Blake
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Heartbreaking and redemptive, I've never read a YA about this particular subject before--MTR mining. It was eye-opening and sobering. I think Amy did such a wonderful job painting the realities of teens struggling through poverty as well. Liberty's hardships were very visceral and moving and I just wanted to hug her all the time. This is a definite read for 2016!
Katie Gallagher
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a good book to read to get me out of a reading slump--short, fast, likable characters, and an interesting premise and setting. I do think that some parts were a bit ham-handed, especially many of the details about the MC's monetary hardships. One example that springs to mind is when the MC is lamenting how she has to buy tampons, leaving her less money for groceries. These things do happen, of course, but the tone of it felt very much like the author had just read a Vox article about pe ...more
Adriana Mather
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The characters...oh the characters. And the dialogue! So very good. Plus a whole heaping of tension to keep you flipping the pages late into night.

Liberty is a hoot, strong willed and great believer in fairness (like all the women in her family). It was an absolute delight to follow her around. If she believed something was right and just she didn't shy from a fight, whether it was with her boyfriend or the businessman that owned the town. And Granny (the cranky old bat!) made me full-belly lau
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, 2016-releases
What would you do if you didn't have clean water? What if the water that comes to your house via pipes could make you sick? Those are questions Liberty is faced with when she is forced to move away from Washington D.C. to live with her grandmother in Kentucky. After her mother gets into trouble with the law, Liberty leaves her private high school and her best friend behind and journeys to a place where she never thought she would end up living at. Very quickly she notices that things are not qui ...more
Jan 19, 2016 added it
This book continues a tradition of books I've read so far this year that don't feel very YA to me. Elements of it do, but at times I felt like this book was more like an adult novel about a teenager. There's a level of insight, a level of communication and relating to the world around her, that the main character has which didn't necessarily feel like it came from a position of youth, but of maturity and looking back?

That aside, this is timely. Mining towns aren't a setting I'm used to (is... an
Everly Frost
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
*I had the chance to read an ARC of Dig Too Deep in exchange for an honest review*

There is a constant and undeniable sense of intrigue and secrets in Dig Too Deep that drives this book from page to page. There are moments of darkness, with real and honest reactions from the characters – characters you can believe could be out there in the world somewhere - balanced by moments of light and humor.

Liberty’s Granny was incredibly well portrayed and wrenched my heart around like anything. I loved how
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight
At the start of this book, I wasn't completely sold. I wasn't a fan of Liberty's life choices. She was kind of being a snob, and her boyfriend was basically the worst.  She was judgmental and frankly, I didn't care for her.  And she called her mom "Former Mother" which was irritating. And the Kentucky backdrop seemed a bit stereotypical for my liking.

But then. Then things got pretty grea
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it

Dig Too Deep by Amy Allgeyer *4 Stars*



Liberty is smart, fearless and determined. After her mother lands herself in jail, Liberty is forced to move from D.C to Kentucky to live with her Granny. There Liberty discovers that the local mine is polluting the town’s water, maki
S.E. Anderson
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Liberty returns to rural Kentucky to live with her grandmother, pushing thoughts of her absent mother out of her mind. But it's not too long until she realizes that something is amiss with the town of her childhood: her grandmother is sick, though she won't admit it, and half of the mountain is just missing, replaced by trucks and drills and a large pool of weird looking water. That same water which seems to be running through the pipes in her home: is is possible that the water has something to ...more
Paula  Phillips
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
At first I wasn't sure I would enjoy this book as judging from the cover it doesn't look that exciting and when I read the blurb , I was a little bit more intrigued but then again I'm not really into the whole environmental side of things . However I loved Dig Too Deep as it turned out to be fast-paced and a mystery of sorts with nasty villians with their hands too deep into the pockets of others and a whole town slowly dying due to the water. Dig too Deep tells the story of a seventeen year old ...more
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book deals with a lot of issues related to mountaintop removal mining in rural Kentucky. When Liberty Briscoe arrives in Ebbotsville, she immediately has concerns as to how the mine is affecting the town's water, and therefore their health. Her grandmother isn't well, and she's not the only one. Other residents see Liberty as an outsider, because she has spent most of her childhood in Washington, DC, and is only in town temporarily. No one takes her seriously, and she is told to stay out of ...more
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
A unique YA debut that you don't want to miss!

When Liberty Briscoe goes to live with her Granny in Ebbotsville, Kentucky, she sees first hand the impact mountain top removal mining has had on the small town. While folks are protective of it as it provides them with jobs and income, Granny's water has turned neon orange and she has an awful cough.

Liberty had one goal on her arrival: Get A's in her classes and get into Georgetown. Avoid 'MFM', as she likes to refer to her mother, who is currently
Kristyn - Reading to Unwind
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
After I finished reading this book all I thought was I could never live near a mine and all I wanted to do was find a cause close to my heart and become an advocate. I feel like this book is a very inspirational read and one that would be great for young adults.

I loved Liberty from the beginning you could tell she was really upset with her mother and her current situation. Liberty took to finding out what was wrong with her grandmother and began to focus on the issues the mine is causing to the
Jennifer Bardsley
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When’s the last time you read a YA book that takes place in Appalachia? Don’t say Christy because that was published a gazillion years ago. How about something just as good, but modern, and about the contemporary issues faced by Appalachian teens today?

Dig Too Deep by Amy Allgeyer tells the harrowing story of Liberty Briscoe who moves to Ebbotsville, Kentucky to live with her granny. What used to be a picturesque farm in the Appalachian mountains, is now a property contaminated by undrinkable or
Kelly Hager
This is such an interesting book and something that I generally don't know much about. Basically as far as I know, most of the time big corporations wreck the environment but I had no idea the depth of the damage they could do.

Liberty is living in her grandmother's tiny town since her mom is in prison, and it'd be horrible enough except that things are really weird: the water is orange. Not a little rusty, actually orange. Bright orange. And the government is like, "Nope, TOTALLY FINE to drink."
Kathleen Glasgow
Apr 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful, impassioned debut from Amy Allgeyer. This book should be assigned reading in high schools--it will definitely inspire discussion concerning political and environmental corruption and the civic duties of citizens. Liberty Briscoe is escaping her activist mom, but finds herself enmeshed in coal corruption in Kentucky. Everyone is sick and the water is orange and what is a teen filled with angst supposed to do? Fight back, of course. Some people might call this Erin Brokavich, Jr., and ...more
John Clark
May 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent ecological mystery/thriller that also involves a girl coming to grips with just how alike she and her estranged mother really are. Teens and adults liking an intelligent story that features a scared, but courageous protagonist will really like it.
abby smith
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
I personally found that the narrator was not likable whatsoever and for most of the book was rolling my eyes at things she said/did. I also think the story fell into the cliche teenager “I’m gonna come together with my friends and enemies and we can save the world!1!1!”
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars. A strong debut with a fairly unique premise, I haven’t come across many YA contemporaries that deal with social and environmental issues.

With her activist mom in jail, Liberty returns to her Kentucky roots to live with her grandmother. Not only is Liberty an outsider, so friends are scarce, she’s forced to take on some very adult responsibilities as her granny struggles financially and with her health. Things do not get any easier for Liberty once she makes the connection between her
Apr 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I admire the apropos of every allegory—read into anything you think isn’t. You’ll find that it is. I have not yet read a more direct confrontation of corrupt corporate notions regarding environmental conditions in a work of fiction. Unfortunately, it can be considered as far more than fiction to real people who are refusing to, as Allgeyer recites, “look the other way” in favor of economical support provided briefly by the monstrous coal industry. The book is described often as a “page-turner,” ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I originally picked up this book after seeing the movie Dark Waters, and dang, what a scary yet empowering story. The fact that this is indeed an issue in many places in the country is terrifying, and I feel as though Ashley Allgeyer perfectly conveys to her audience the severity of the situation. Liberty is such a great character, and it’s so easy to root for her as she takes on the corruption overtaking the town. Along with her, I loved all of the side characters, even the ones that may hav
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
This was such an impactful book! Although I was initially drawn in by the description of the fractured mother-daughter relationship, this book offers so much more than a single conflict.
The exploration of coal mining in small-town Kentucky, not shirking away from the environmental impact and the risk to human life, and the full effect when those in charge place profit above everything else. It felt dangerous and realistic, especially in the physical impact on the townspeople. Really enjoyed.
Martha Schwalbe
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it
I wish I had waited for the current administration to come into office before I read this book. It would be a good point of discussion with teens regarding bullying, threatening behavior by the rich and powerful, and complete destruction of the earth for economic gains.
This book offers an excellent point of entry for classroom discussion that is relevant to everything our country is experiencing.s
Ryan Scott
May 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
I felt like parts of this story were very well written, but I had some serious issues with the pacing and the resolution of the main storyline. I'm sure it would traumatize those who like brisk reads, but I felt this book could've used another few chapters just letting the MC and the various parts of her life breathe a little more.
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Underneath
  • In the Country We Love: My Family Divided
  • How to Steal a Dog
  • America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America
  • All the Forever Things
  • The Takedown
  • It's Not Like It's a Secret
  • The Divided Earth (The Nameless City, #3)
  • Bronx Masquerade
  • The Final Four
  • Written in the Stars
  • Before We Were Free
  • A Song Below Water
  • Game Change
  • Nantucket Red (Nantucket, #2)
  • Down from the Mountain
  • Almost American Girl
  • No More Fake Reading: Merging the Classics with Independent Reading to Create Joyful, Lifelong Readers
See similar books…
The youngest of seven kids, Amy has been writing stories since she first learned to make her letters face the right way. Her work has appeared in Family Fun, A Fly in Amber and Stories for Children. As an architect, she spends her days restoring hundred-year-old homes in Boise where she lives with her son, a feral house cat, and a fake owl named Alan. She hates chocolate, but loves vegetables. She ...more

Related Articles

Summer is a great time to lose yourself in a page-turning mystery. To help you sleuth out a new read, we asked five of the season’s hottest myst...
60 likes · 30 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »