Review: The Graces

Laure Eve - The Graces (The Graces #1)
Published: September 6, 2016 by Amulet Books
Genres: Fantasy, Thriller, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2.5/5

When a glamorous family of teenage witches brings a mysterious new girl into their fold, they unwittingly nurture a powerful black magic that could destroy them all. This paranormal YA fantasy features intrigue, spells, and a devastating twist. 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. But what the Graces don’t know is that River’s presence in town is no accident.

This fabulously addictive fantasy combines sophisticated and haunting prose with a gut-punching twist that readers will be dying to discuss. Perfect for fans of We Were Liars as well as nostalgic classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the 1996 movie The Craft, The Graces marks the beginning of a new wave of teen witches.
Apparently, this was pitched as Buffy The Vampire Slayer meets The Craft. (?) I hate horror movies. Literally. They scare the shit out of me. I try to avoid them. When horror movie commercials, I always change the channel. (The shower scene from Psycho traumatized me. I always lock the bathroom door.) As I've never seen The Craft, this is closer to being Buffy.

The Graces are a popular family: Summer Grace, Thalia, and Fenrin. They wear bangles and leather cords around their necks and have gorgeous, luscious hair. They're also believed to be witches. They only associate with one another. So when they welcome the MC, River, into the group, she's stunned and does her best to not upset them.
I raised my eyes heavenward at the mistake. God, don't do that. Don't try and make Summer look stupid in front of her sister. Thalia won't like you for it, and then you'll lose Summer, too.
Have you ever hung out with the popular kids for a few minutes? Like, sat at their lunch table or had a thirty-second conversation with them, and realized they're actually more boring than you originally expected? If not for the great clothes and the gargantuan mansion, please tell me exactly who The Graces would be.

I truly felt bad for River in a way because she saw The Graces in such a phenomenal light and she only wanted to be their friend. Whereas, she only built a friendship with Thalia and Summer because she was obsessed with Fenrin, the Graces' brother. Doomed her in the end. He didn't even like her, but I was fond of the way he rejected her.

The writing is surprisingly stunning, and I was tempted to raise my review for it. The characters stilled that process, however.

It took a moment, but then I saw them. Dangling from the branches were thin twine ropes with different objects swaying gently on their ends. There were shells: purple-blue mussel shells, curled winkles and whelks, pink tellins, corrugated cockles, razor clams, otters and sand gapers. There were feathers, long and glossy black, or stubby white fluff, or thick white and gray and shaped like knives. Glossy chestnuts. Pinecones. A big piece of bark shaped like a hand.
The climax and ending was too much of a mess. For those who appreciate spoilers, continue on below. For those who do not, it's a whole lotta mess and River should've listened to every college-related PSA inexistence.

SO. Fenrin is gay and River accidentally walked in on him, making out with one of their friends in a sea cave, Wolf. She was traumatized by what she saw, Wolf was somehow swept away by the current, and The Graces assumed River was apart of the disappearance. Because she was the only one who remembered what happened. They kidnap her, attempt to "sacrifice" her unless she returns to Wolf to them, and it's very, very messy from then on. Call the authorities on those psychos, River.

Two prime questions: Was River's real name "River"? I just remember The Graces insisting her name be that. Also: Fenrin's sexuality? Bi-curious? Bisexual? His sisters said he was with loooads of girls yet he seemed very serious about Wolf. Very West from Under A Painted Sky. I'm still conflicted on whether I should pursue the next book, so we'll see.


  1. I think I will read the next book, despite the fact that the ending was a mess and the whole thing with the kidnapping and sacrifice came completely out of nowhere.

    Also I didn't even catch that she never had a name in the beginning. I could have sworn she did, but I guess not. I didn't like River too much, I felt like she was trying way too hard to act like someone she was not. And it aggravated me.

    1. RIGHT?!!? AHHH. It drove me crazy. I think I will, too. I mean, it has me interested enough, hahah.

      Yeah, seriouslllly. River was trying way too hard to be their friend. It got to the point I wasn't even annoyed with her, I just felt bad for her. I was like, "Yeesh, girl. Get a real life already."

  2. So okay, to answer your question, River is NOT her real name, and we do not know what it is. Maybe in the next book? And I think Fenrin (SPOILERS, LOOK AWAY PEOPLE) is gay? But maybe just used the hooking up with girls as like, a way to hide it?

    I loved the writing too, and I agree with you SO much that the characters were just such messes, but I did like the way it ended because I think it set up the next book really well. I will likely read it, but I also liked it a bit more than you did- I actively loved hating these characters bwhahah. Great review!


      No way!! haaaaa. OMG. I'll have to go back and reread, then. Thanks for letting me know, though! I could've sworn The Graces just "deemed" her that, like, "You're River." I swear, this girl.

      Totally agree!! I'm still conflicted on whether I might read the next book, but it's likely hahah.


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