Monday, September 5, 2016

ARC Review: The Graces by Laure Eve

Title: The Graces
Series: The Graces #1
Written by: Laure Eve
Published: September 6, 2016 by Amulet Books 
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: 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.

*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher at BEA. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

I spotted this at BEA and I have to admit that I was initially attracted to the cover. But then I read the synopsis and it sounds absolutely fantastic. And oh wow, that book finished so strong. In the end it was exactly what I wanted it to be, a dark and dramatic story of witches and magic.

But I will say, this was an incredibly slow paced story with a ton of exposition. I've seen a handful of DNF reviews for this one and I totally get it, the beginning is rough. The first part of the story felt like nothing but set up and world building. It's a great example of what I often refer to as First Book Syndrome, it had to take a lot of the book to just get into the real meat of things. So for the first 200 pages or so I wasn't sure what was happening or what it was all leading to. It felt like just another YA supernatural romance and it wasn't capturing my attention.

But I kept reading and I'm glad that I did because by part 2, two-thirds of the way into the book I couldn't put it down. And despite it being slowly paced it was very well-plotted. This is one of those books that takes its sweet time to get good, slowly building to something thrilling with little things along the way making a big impact on the eventually ending. And what an ending, man. I can't wait for the next book and the dark places this story is going.

I think one of the things that kept me reading was the magic and world of this book. I read this as part of my magical realism book and while I'm not totally sure that it totally fits into that subgenre, this book has a magic that is subtle and atmospheric which is exactly what I love about magical realism. Not to mention it takes the more modern interpretation of magic where it doesn't solve problems, it creates them. I absolutely love that new spin on magic and it was one of my favorite things about this book, for sure.

I also really liked these characters. From the outset they feel a little tropey but they are surprisingly complex. The mysterious family that a lonely and unpopular new girl wants to be a part of is not something new in YA fiction but somehow the author here played with that trope in an interesting way. There was great development throughout the book as we learned more about the characters and I loved every twist and reveal she threw at me. It made for complex and interesting characters that kept me reading even when I wasn't loving other aspects of the story.

If you had asked me a day ago that I would like this book as much as I do, I would not have believed you. It was such a slow start but a fantastic ending that is absolutely worth the read.

I give The Graces by Laure Eve 9 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy/Borrow. In the end that was a dark and interesting read. If you can get past the slow start and get to the good stuff I think fantasy fans will really enjoy this one. In the end I totally did.

Have you read The Graces? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!


  1. This is the reason why I find it hard to dnf books, because sometimes the latter part just takes you completely by surprise. I'm glad you enjoyed this one despite the rough start. Great review! :)

    Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor: BLOG || VLOG

    1. I have that problem too. Although sometimes I have the opposite problem occur, where I get to the end and I'm like "why did I keep reading? This was not worth it." I think it's about even between books I wish I had DNF'd and books I'm glad I didn't. But this one is definitely the latter.

  2. Oh jeez now I'm all confused. I pretty much crossed this off my list bc so many people didn't like it or thought it didn't live up to expectations. BUT you make it sound kind of awesome.... hmmmmm

    1. I feel like you would like this one. I mean the people who have compared it to Twilight are pretty spot on when it comes to the beginning but in the end it felt totally creative.

  3. I have seen so many mixed reviews for this one! I think I might end up being one of the people to DNF it if this is as slow as you say it is... I have a really hard time with slow pace and tons of exposition. The magic does sound interesting though. Maybe I'll give the audiobook a try! Great review :D

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    1. The magic is pretty interesting. I was totally bored for a lot of the first half but I just kept reading. I think it was the magic and mystery. I wanted to know more and when I did it was fantastic. But I wouldn't blame you for DNFing, the beginning is super slow.