amulet books · arc review · book review · the graces

ARC Review: The Graces

Title: The Graces
Author: Laure Eve
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Amulet Books
Source: eARC*

“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.”

Ah, The Graces. I had such high book that this book would be the second coming of The Craft, that iconic cinematic marvel of ‘90s. I adored The Craft when I was younger – probably too much for someone my age, but no one will be surprised to hear that I was a weird kid. I digress.

All of the crucial ingredients are there: an untouchable group of suspected witches, an outsider desperate for their acceptance, and the distinct feeling that something wicked this way comes. Unfortunately, what Laure Eve delivers is something decidedly less spectacular.

I had some major issues with The Graces, chief among them that roughly the first 80% of this novel is just…boring. An unremarkable girl (who has a real name I’ve since forgotten because she insists on being called River) climbs the social ladder with such thinly veiled desperation that made me so uncomfortable at times I wished she’d failed. The Grace family is pulled from the pages of Twilight, from their unnatural beauty to the distance they maintain from the rest of the town. River, of course, falls in love with the eldest brother and uses her friendship with the youngest sibling Summer, as an excuse to get closer to him. This book also commits the incredibly problematic “kill your gays” trop and it, unsurprisingly, left me enraged.

The best part about this book is the ending. The last few pages, and what will presumably occur after them, are what I wish this entire book had been instead.

* EDIT * Ok so I just looked this book up on Goodreads, and apparently it’s the first in a series. While that explains why The Graces was so boring and felt unnecessary, that’s because it was, all for the sake of setting up a second book that will actually have an exciting story and/or some real action! I’m going to stop myself from going on a “unnecessary series” rant, but suffice it to say that I think this is silly.

Ultimately, there was little to nothing that I actually enjoyed about this book. Nearly everything from the characters to the pacing to the magic system managed to annoy or bore me, and I will not be continuing on in the series. Instead, I’m going to watch The Craft this weekend bask in its witchy glory. If you’re super into witches and don’t mind a lackluster first book, then give it a try. But otherwise I’d recommend a hard pass on this.

Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️

*I received an ARC from the publisher at BEA in exchange for a free & honest review. 

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