I’ve got to be honest, this was one weird book. But at the same time, it’s incredibly captivating. And as this review is going to show, my feelings about this one are pretty conflicted.
The Graces tells the story of River, who is obsessed with the mysterious Grace family, who are rumoured to be witches. Shenanigans and magic follow.
Why are my thoughts so conflicted?
Well, on the one hand, it was full of drunk parties, some hating on “normal” people, and cliches, along with a slightly confused plot at the end. Oh, and it had a protagonist who I just couldn’t bring myself to like.
But then, the story completely drew me in. A story of magic and lies and secrets, and I needed to know what was going on. And there were some lovely moments between River and the Graces.
So my overall feelings? This one’s a bit of an oddball. Let me give you a list so that I can explain myself a little better.
- the story was so captivating – I blew it through it in a day, desperate to know where it was going
- the atmosphere was perfect – magical and strange and so tense
- the relationship between River and the Graces – it was intense and so up and down, and I couldn’t help but root for it, and that it would last
- the Graces – they were a fascinating family, and I loved learning more about their secrets
- River – right from the beginning, she seems to think that she’s better than everybody else, and that only the Graces are worthy of her attention
- everyone else is too bland and normal for her
- she’s really pretentious and it’s mentioned to her, and yet nothing changes
- the plot at the end – it felt rushed in the last couple of chapters and just didn’t really work
- it gets pretty bleak – sometimes the characters are talking about death and they just have such a bleak outlook on life, I just felt so bad for them
- everyone at the school was a stereotype – none of the side characters were at all fleshed out and instead were just “surfers dudes” or “goths” etc.
- this was probably of a result of River’s perspective though
- also, this quote:
“I actually caught a waft of him. He smelled like a thicker, manlier kind of vanilla.”
- what does manly vanilla even smell like???
So my feelings are all over the place. I think some people will love it, and some will think it’s just super pretentious. I’m afraid I’m leaning more towards the second camp. Don’t let me out you off though – check out goodreads for lots of good reviews!
Also, there’s going to be a sequel? It’s kind of a shame, because I think it works well as a standalone.
Have you read The Graces? What did you think? Love it or loathe it?