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.
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.
Description taken from Goodreads. I received an advanced copy of this book, published September 6th, 2016, via the publisher in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.
I think 2016 takes the cake for the most number of books read where I had no idea what in the world was going on.
Simply put, The Graces was exhausting to read. I couldn’t believe what I was reading because it was just so ridiculous and contradictory and non-linear. I mean–half the book, I didn’t even know if our protag, River, was just a little quirky or completely nuts. I couldn’t tell if this was magical realism or fantasy, because apparently no one knows if Fenrin, Thalia, and Summer are actual witches or not. Reading this book made me feel like I was the one who was going crazy.
I’ll keep this to a few short points, because it’s really not worth discussing in length:
The plot is nothing.
It’s an abyss of nothing, and the farther you look, the more disappointed you are until you realize you’re at the end, and nothing has changed. Things do get a tiny bit better once you get to the so-called twist, but mostly you just can’t believe you made it this far.
The writing is obnoxious.
The writing is as lengthy as the plot, but it’s also just as empty. Think E. Lockhart except without that E. Lockhart charm.
The characters are unbelievable.
I’ll admit that I liked Fenrin. Despite myself, I enjoyed reading about the Graces. Maybe if this story wasn’t so weird, this could be like the fantasy version of Even in Paradise, which I loved. Alas, it didn’t turn out that way, so all of these characters ended up just being the strangest possible versions of cardboard cutouts. Their motivations and actions were unbelievable, and I didn’t truly care about any of them despite how hard the author tried to make them lovable.
I couldn’t do it, and I won’t be recommending this one. There’s a lot of quirky books out there that actually have a point to them. A few of those are ones I’ve linked above, like E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars and Chelsey Philpot’s Even in Paradise. If you’re looking for more of a fantasy / magical-realism slant, I would try Heather Brewer’s The Cemetery Boys. I didn’t like that one very much either, but many people did, and it has many similarities to The Graces without being like this.