I accidentally completely fell in love with this book.
I know you’re looking at me like I’m a deluded grapefruit and saying “ACCIDENTALLY??? WUT EVEN, CAIT???” but hear me out: I was a skeptic going in. For reasons that include (A) I’d read a lot of very low-starred reviews, and (B) the cover is doing nothing for me at all. It actually looks like a box of those Guylian Seashell Chocolates and while I wanted to eat it, the whole matter of having a chocolate looking cover THAT ISN’T EDIBLE is rather traumatising.
IT’S THE SAME.
But that aside, it only took me a few chapters to realise this is a very Cait Book. It’s magical with a dash of witches, mysterious evil hovering in the background, and an aesthetically pleasing setting of beaches and orchards and whimsical eerie shops and whimsical eerie families. Plus all the characters are pretty much psychopaths. I LOVE THIS BOOK.
It’s about River and her obsession with the mysterious, enigmatic family: the Graces.
Like you know the drill: small town, gossip that the Graces are witches, the Graces are beautiful and rich and gorgeous and rich and DID I MENTION STUNNING (because the book does mention it 2939 times) and then add in slightly magical happenings and the odd curse or two = BOOM. You have this book.
It had many cliche elements, but I didn’t even mind. I couldn’t stop reading. I LITERALLY COULD NOT. There are so many secrets that I needed answers to. River is hiding stuff and I wanted to know why.
Also the book does suffer from “the-secondary-characters-are-1000x-more-interesting-than-the-protagonist”…but that changes by the end because OH HOLY SEASHELL CHOCOLATE BOX. THAT PLOT TWIST.
She suffers from the Self Inflicted Special Snowflake syndrome. Which is a term I invented just now and you’re welcome. River thinks and acts like she’s better than everyone. And she makes it her #1 goal to be friends with the Graces because they’re mysterious and wild and possibly witches and ergo they’re good enough for River. Oh-kay. Basically River rubbed me wrong and I didn’t start liking her until the very very end.
But I did look past this because I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THE GRACES. They were equal parts entrancing and awful which are my favourite kind of bookish people. I think I fell under their spell too?? There’s three Grace children: Fenris and Thalia are the twins, and Summer is the younger and slightly gothic sister who believes in spells and curses even though her family “claims not to”. (But are they hiding something? Mwhahahhaha.) I actually don’t know how old River is, but I guessed 15, with Fenris and Thalia being two years older? I DON’T KNOW. But anyway — the Grace trio were complex and intriguing. #PsychoSquadGoals
The romance is very lowkey. River has a major crush on Fenris but she doesn’t even act on it for most of the book.
Oh shush. I know I should talk about the plot and things, but when a book has beautiful rich houses and slightly-creepy-woods where they make spells and dance and everyone wears unique clothing and goes into odd magical stores to buy odd magical things — I just fall in love with it. I mean, the plot was good too. Yeah. Pfft. Obviously. Although it did lag in the middle. And sometimes they’d do something HUGE and IMPORTANT and then the next chapter would be like “oh and a week later”…which was seriously anticlimactic. But #aesthetics.
I also loved the writing! Except for when it got redundant. Like the Graces are beautiful. Oh the Graces are beautiful. DID I MENTION THE GRACES ARE BEAUTIFUL??? But otherwise it was ethereal and captivating.
Also it got me in the feels. The plot twists were weird and wonderful, and by the end it turned the magical-reaslim aspect on FULL BLAST and everyone had dark dark dark sides. Which I love. All the villains. All my precious little psychotic lollipops.
So basically my only cons are:
- River was an insufferable little lemon (until then end and then I quite liked her)
- Mildly slow.
- Everyone got drunk a lot and things went VERY BADLY but yet they still kept drinking?? Why.
- THE SEQUEL IS NOT IN MY HANDS AND I NEED IT. (Hahhaa Just kidding. But seriously. Sequel + me = now.)
Slightly magical, witchy, aesthetically pleasing with woods and mayhem, and a cast of characters who are totally damaged. It’s entrancing and surreal. And even the disappointment of the cover NOT ACTUALLY BEING AN EDIBLE CHOCOLATE BOX didn’t stop me being half in love with the Graces too. What is this wizardry.
Also my middle name is Grace. So. Just putting it out there I might be magical.
THANK YOU TO ALLEN & UNWIN FOR THE REVIEW COPY. The Graces by Laure Eve was published October, 2016.
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.
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