Everyone loves the Graces.
Fenrin Grace is larger than life, almost mythical. He’s the school Pan, seducing girls without really meaning to. He’s biding his time until someone special comes along. Someone different, who will make him wonder how he got along all this time without her. Someone like me.
Fenrin’s twin, Thalia, is a willowy beauty with rippling, honey-colored hair. Wherever she goes, Thalia leaves behind a band of followers who want to emulate her. She casts spells over everyone she encounters, just like Fenrin—even if they both deny it.
Then there’s Summer. She’s the youngest Grace, and the only one who admits she’s really a witch. Summer is dark on the outside—with jet-black hair and kohl-rimmed eyes—and on the inside. It was inevitable that she’d find me, the new girl—a loner with secrets lurking under the surface.
I am River. I am not a Grace. But I’ll do anything to become one.
**** Thank you to Amulet Books for sending me this ARC in exchange for an honest review!****
I have to say I’m a little disappointed with this one I was expecting more magical realism and more witchy things for sure but really what I got instead was something reminiscent of “Twilight”. The Graces and the Cullens are so much alike the resemblance is uncanny, they’re “mysterious” and everyone moons over them for the duration of the book. So yes “The Graces” very much had a “Twilight” vibe to it, which can be either good or bad depending on how you liked that series.
As far as the plot goes….there wasn’t really one at all. Pretty much the entire first half of the book is our MC, River, trying to get into the Graces social circle because she has the hots for Fenrin Grace (aka Edward Cullen). That actually sums up the the book very nicely. Nothing supernatural really happens at all and you’re left questioning if the Graces are or aren’t actually witches, which added some mystery to the overall atmosphere but mostly felt a little annoying since the “witch” part felt like it took a backseat to River trying to win them over. I felt like this book was trying too hard to be deep meaningful and thus lost focus on actually developing a great story.
The pacing was also pretty slow and there was a lack of atmosphere, I’d say you have to be pretty damn patient with this book. As I said you don’t get any story until later in the book and even then? Not that great. The twist was predictable and everything up until the twist is pretty confusing, I found myself asking “what the hell is happening?” a lot and this was definitely not the good kind of confusion where it’s suspenseful….like I said it was just annoying.
However, I actually did kind of enjoy the writing. I mean how else could I have made it through the entire book otherwise? I did enjoy the dialogue between River and the Graces, those scenes were definitely my favorite because they added a bit of structure to the story for me. I also liked the little bit of general mystery surrounding the Graces, while overall it was disappointing, I craved answers through the whole first half of the book. Are they witches or aren’t they? That was what kept me reading!
I found the ending to be kind of confusing and very unsatisfactory, I read all of this just for THAT? I felt that it left me with more questions than answers and I already had a lot of questions! Although it does have me considering reading the sequel……
The characters were easily the worst part about this book for me which is sad since the driving force of this book is the characters.
River, the MC, is quite scheming and manipulative. Her goal is to get in good with the Graces in order to get to Fenrin, right? So she will do whatever it takes to get there and that means playing along with them and pretending that she’s not using them to get to Fenrin when in fact she is. I kind of liked River’s scheming honestly it made her a sort of unreliable narrator which I love. However, we as the readers never actually get to know River and that was kind of tedious because yes it made sense to hide her “real self” from the Graces but from the readers as well? How about no? I felt like we never got to really know her which made her feel like a very flat, unrealistic character and not to mention she was also quite immature her whole purpose after all was to become best friends with these people for a boy.
The Graces themselves were…okay, at least they had some personality. Summer was probably my favorite character while Thalia and Fenrin came off as sort of shallow. Not that impressed.
There wasn’t really any romance besides River swooning over Fenrin but there was a kind of …plot twist romance that was pretty predictable. So overall there isn’t romance and what there was wasn’t that great, no surprises there.
“The Graces” wasn’t terrible but it was far from becoming a favorite of mine. I found it interesting enough to finish but ultimately a disappointing read. Am I interested in the sequel? A little bit but would I perish if I never read it? No, definitely not.
If you’re into books about witches I would say this one will probably be disappointing to you but if you want a less interesting version of “Twilight” this will be for you. That’s right I said it, a LESS interesting version of “Twilight”. Honestly I don’t think I can seriously recommend this to anyone, as I said it isn’t a terrible book but it has nothing I could brag about to someone to get them to read it.