This has been on my Monthly TBR for a little while and I was disappointed when I finished the final page. ‘The Graces’ was flat in the plot and in the personality of the main character River, and I was left confused throughout the story.
Title: The Graces
Author: Laure Eve
Date published: September 2016
Page Count: 415
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?
The Graces was simply an ‘OK’ book-while it was easy to read, it lacked depth to the overall story and featured an unlikable main character.
‘The Graces’ are a mysterious family that are rumoured to be Witches due to the supernatural and often strange events that occur around their family and those they interact with. River is an outsider at school and has a deep fascination and curiosity with the three Grace children-Thalia, Fenrin and Summer. Thalia is the carefree and spiritual of the three, Fenrin is the dashingly handsome and charismatic boy that all of the girls lust over, and Summer is the rebellious and ‘goth’ youngest sibling that loves the attention that her family gets from the other at the School. River has a fascination with the magical, and is ‘in love’ with Fenrin, and yearns to be friends with The Graces and involved in their world of witchcraft and family. Summer, and by extension Thalia and Fenrin, let her into their close inner circle
Firstly, for most of the book I could not get past how pretentious and annoying the narrator and main character River is. Throughout the book she boasts how different she is from all of the other girls; her love for Fenrin is deeper and more real; she has a connection with the magical and truly believes in witchcraft; everyone else is jealous that she is friends with the Graces. For the first half of the book she frets over what she should say to Summer to make her like her, how to flirt with Fenrin to get him to notice her, and every time she says or does something the next page is filled with worry about ruining her chances for friendship. She spends so much time building up this image of what she wants the Graces to see in an effort to make them like her and accept her. Her attitude and overall pretentious voice throughout made it tough to like or support River.
The story was slow and simple. The first part details Rivers desire to become friends with the Graces and how her relationship with the family and each of the three children develops over a couple months. After a wild night at the cove in an effort to break a ‘Curse’ the family believes to have been placed on them years ago, Part 2 begins with the disappearance of a family friend, the revelation of the some secrets and two major plot reveals. These two plot reveals were very well done in an overall boring story and I was actually surprised what we learnt about Fenrin midway through part 2.
One of the other major issues I had with the story was the way magic is described and incorporated into the plot. There is no real indication that magic is real throughout the book-some of the characters like River and Summer believe in it more then others, like Fenrin who is very sceptical. However, in the second half of the book the Graces flip back and forwards between their belief in magic and whether they believe in the ‘Curse’ that plagues their family. Then at the end it is revealed that Magic may actually be real and River is *magical* with no preface or context. I was left perplexed as to whether magic exists in this world, whether everything that was attributed to magic was just a coincidence, or whether River is delusional. And there was also this weird resurrection scene that just left me confused and seemed so out of place.
This book had problem upon problem for me, and I fell like my three star rating may be a little generous. River was such an unlikable character who actually took away from the story with her narration. The plot was boring- the first half was focused on River trying to be friends with the Graces and how their ‘friendship’ developed, and the second half about how their shallow and fragile friendship falls apart due to secrets and insecurity. What really got to me was how we don’t know whether magic is real in this world, and the inclusion of a simply bizarre resurrection scene was plain confusing.
I’m almost at the point where I would like to read the sequel so I can get some closure on what was a confusing book.