I just finished The Graces, by Laure Eve!
Note: I received this ARC from the publishers, ABRAMS kids at Netgalley. That does not change my opinion of the book itself.
This book will be officially published on September 6th, 2016.
Thank you for letting me read an early copy! Can’t wait to see your book in stores!
"In The Graces, the first rule of witchcraft states that if you want something badly enough, you can get it . . . no matter who has to pay.
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. And what the Graces don’t know is that River’s presence in town is no accident.”
(That cover though! It’s beautiful!)
So this books is pretty much a contemporary that centers around magic. River, our protagonist, moves into a town where the Grace family is rumored to be a family of witches (and wizards? Are the guys in the family wizards?). They are charismatic and charming, and practically everyone adores them. They are basically the family that owns power not just in the town, but all over the world. However, people also fear them because of their rumored magical abilities. River is different - she wants to be a Grace, and has a profound interest in the magic they have. She, like many others, has a crush on Fenrin, one of the Grace teenagers.
This story wrote about witches in an interesting way. It seemed to be a mix of old English ‘witches’, alchemy, and a general idea of magic, such as the witches you see in some Shakespearian plays or even voodoo. But they were also fairly normal teenagers. They almost seem to form a little cult, in which only select people can take part in
The book was a quick and easy read. At first I had a bit of a hard time with it, but once you get to the second half of the book, in draws you in much more, with intrigue surrounding many contemporary topics, magic and trust. Certain themes, such as trust and identity, were well-covered in this book, and basically sends the message ‘don’t be a mirror’.
River herself wasn’t my favorite character at first. She seemed very obsessed with the Graces, and I couldn’t really give her a personality of her own. She almost seemed fangirl-ish. When you get halfway through the book and something is revealed, you realize that she is a very different person than that - that she was tricked into following the Graces like a shadow, in a way. This is when her character becomes more interesting. She becomes self-aware, and more conscious not only about how she has played a role in the story, but how the whole world around them as been manipulated.
The Grace siblings, Summer, Thalia (Thalia Grace for me will forever and always be from Percy Jackson, sorry >.< ) and Fenrin (cool name) all have distinct personalities from one another, which somewhat coincide with what kind of witches they are (fire, water, air, earth. Think avatar). Summer likes strange music, horror movies, and is basically popularity at its finest. Thalia is much more mellow, and I would describe her a bit as a ‘floaty yet mature’ character. Fenrin is the flirty charmer surfer guy.
At first the plot seemed a bit too basic, but again, it got very interesting by the end - it went from a group of friends talking and discovering magic, having parties, and playing a popularity game at school, to something much darker and deeper. It gets to a point where you almost start to wonder if River isn’t the accidental antagonist of the story.
Overall, I’m giving this book a 3.75 out of 5 feathers! Bit of a slow and common start, but the second half of the book is definitely worth it! Great and unique use of magic in a contemporary novel! Can’t wait to read the sequel!
Have a great day!