Title: The Graces
Author: Laure Eve
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Date Published: September 1st, 2016
Page Count: 415
Source: Author Website
“Everyone said the Graces were witches.
They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair. They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different.
All I had to do was show them that person was me.” -Laure Eve’s Website
“Everyone loves the Graces. Fenrin, Thalia, and Summer Grace are captivating, wealthy, and glamorous. They’ve managed to cast a spell over not just their high school but also their entire town—and they’re rumored to have powerful connections all over the world. If you’re not in love with one of them, you want to be them. Especially River: the loner, new girl at school. She’s different from her peers, who both revere and fear the Grace family. She wants to be a Grace more than anything. But what the Graces don’t know is that River’s presence in town is no accident.” -Barnes and Noble’s Website
I honestly would have not found The Graces, if it wasn’t for me running into Barnes and Noble one night to pick up a book that I had been interested in reading. I had been dying to read The Accident Season for quite sometime and finally managed to snag it on an impromptu trip to my local B&N. I was walking around the young adult/teen section, perusing the shelves, and looking at all the pretty covers. (I’m sure I am not the only one who does this!) Nothing else really caught my attention, so I headed back towards the front to purchase my treasure trove of a find. But as I walked by (one of those middle isle tables), a little book cover sparked my interest. Low and behold it was The Graces! I stopped in my tracks because of the eye placed on the front and the bright red cover. I popped open the book to read the inside summary and I was like, “YASSSS. I DEFINITELY NEED TO READ THIS!” I didn’t end up purchasing it that night but I did when the Barnes and Noble website had its Black Friday sale.
The summary on the inside jacket was a small description of each character in the story. Not too much, not too little. Enough to keep me (or anyone else) curious to know what these characters were really like. I knew the book was going to be dark, witchy, and even have some sort of twist at the end. (Which it did! I’m just good like that…tehehe).
I think what makes this book so good is the characters. Fenrin, Thalia, and Summer are just these big bundles of mystery and you spend a good portion of the book trying to discover their inner workings. While reading this book I always had this feeling that they weren’t who they really seemed to be. That you had to peel back the layers of their emotions, habits, and how they looked/dressed in order to find their true forms.
I felt like River (our narrator) was a bit cliche at some points. The typical loner girl wanting to fit in with a certain group, trying to pull herself out of her introverted shell, and just being kind of basic. In some ways she was fine and in others you wanted to smack her upside the head for not taking the initiative in specific situations, but as you get towards the end you realize…YOU HAD IT ALL WRONG! And that’s what I love about twist in books. It makes you want to go back and reread the entire book to see what you missed while the story was chugging along.
Eve’s writing was beautifully descriptive. I truly felt like I was in the seaside town or school with Fenrin, Thalia, Summer, and River. Even when Eve talked about the beach cove or the mountain forest I felt like I was really there. I could smell the ocean air or feel the deep dense forest terrain laid at my feet. I really enjoyed how Eve’s writings immersed you into the story settings. My only wish was to visualize the town more. I got brief snippets of what the town generally looked like but not really a whole picture. I thought the pacing for the story was agreeable. It had me hook, line, and sinker the whole way through. I felt like the ending might have been a bit rushed (but what ending isn’t now a days?) But story is open-ended in case Eve wanted to add more to this brooding tale.
I was glad that the Graces teens we’re all complex characters. It would have been a boring read if all of these guys fell into the angsty teen role like so many other books out there. I liked that they all had secrets, including River. It was nice to see something a bit darker and a bit more mysterious, almost borderline thriller. I have definitely been into that witchy mood! I need more witch vibes around me. (I swear I’m not in a cult or anything.)
Overall, I personally thought this book was fascinating and alluring. While some people might find some of the dialogue and scenes cliche, I still think The Graces has an edge. It has a hint of dark magic, while giving you just enough hope that witches might be real. They may be hidden among us casting spells every which way. Keep your eyes peeled my pack! You never know when you might run into one. *Shoves all witch like objects into closet* *Closes closet door* *Hides under the bed covers*
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A French-British hybrid who grew up in Cornwall, a place saturated with myth and fantasy. Being a child of two cultures taught her everything she needed to know about trying to fit in at the same time as trying to stand out.
She speaks English and French, and can hold a vague conversation, usually about food, in Greek.
A random selection of favourite things: Terry Pratchett quotes, characters with questionable morals, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Häagen-Dazs cookie dough ice cream, anything Trent Reznor is remotely involved in even if it only extends to ‘he once touched this artist’s arm’, bad 90s dance music and anything a bit weird (see: Davids Lynch and Cronenberg).
If you would like to purchase The Graces then click here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-graces-laure-eve/1123342081?ean=9781419721236