Title: The Graces
Author: Laure Eve
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Length: 432 Pages
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.
Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on?
This beautifully-written thriller will grip you from its very first page.
I liked this book overall. I’m always game for a new approach to YA fantasy stories, and the mystery that surrounds witches plays nicely into that. The author did a nice job mixing real world (high school, friends, etc.) with the mystical world where witches exist. It was a nice blend.
The story follows a girl named River, who automatically reminds me of the girl from Serenity, but I digress. She wants to be a Grace SO badly, and she slowly starts to fall in with their family. At first its hard (and if it wasn’t I’d be disappointed), but the family finally starts to trust her. The conflicts they encounter (both interpersonal and with external forces) is strong, and it was dramatic enough to keep my interest and move the plot forward.
The magic elements in the book were…interesting. I think I’ve gotten used to the Harry Potter style of magic, so when things started happening randomly and without apparent control, I didn’t really connect with that. There wasn’t an organized system for the magic, so I couldn’t really identify if the Graces and River were using it correctly or not. It was weird- I would have liked to see a little more explanation about how it works and why it’s hard to control. As a book about witches, I thought that lack of this was a huge negative. The other huge negative was River’s obsession with Fenrin. It was kind of unfounded- there was nothing written that established why she connected with him so strongly. I would have really liked to see that developed a little more.
The writing itself was easy and fun to read. The author did a good job building the characters and the setting, and giving the family a feeling unique to other characters in the book. The thing I liked best was River- I could see the difference in her as the story progressed. She was dynamic and relatable for me.
FTC Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.