Genre: Fantasy Thriller Age Range: YA Star Rating: 3.5 stars Series: Yes - first book of duology
“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?
Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
I had no idea what to expect with this book. A friend recommended it to me as a good UKYA book, so I picked up a copy. To my frustration, this copy had no blurb (the back says, in the same style to the cover above, “And I was going to make them mine“), and the inside just has the few lines of quote that form most of the blurb above. I was expecting a fantasy of some sort, probably about a girl getting involved with a coven.
I guess that’s sort of what happened, just not in the way I was expecting. THE GRACES is a contemporary thriller with fantastical elements. Are the Graces witches? What’s magic and what’s superstition and coincidence?
It’s really hard to trust that the story as it’s told is real, and not River’s eager mind for magic inventing supernatural when there mundane exists. River isn’t an unreliable narrator throughout (she certainly is in part 2), but there is a pervasive sense that she’s withholding information. Combined with the close-lipped Graces, I second guessed everything I read.
It makes for a very uneasy atmosphere, the Graces sinister and untrustworthy in their dangerously glittering world. It’s a character thriller more than a murder mystery type thriller. Not only about the Graces, but how far will River go to be one of them? This kept me up reading, because I wanted to know the answers to this very intriguing and addictive premise.
I was expecting a lot more magic. While the lack of confirmed magic in the first three-quarters of the book is amazing for the atmosphere, it makes the influx in the final quarter jarring. Also, the Graces go full dangerous-weird in the second half. Their actions are in keeping with their characters, but it’s like a lever has been flipped so pace and desperation-induced-madness are ramped up.
I would like to see where the next book goes, but I’m not desperate to pick it up.
Read my reviews of other books by Laure Eve:
The Graces (this series):
- THE CURSES (#2)