The Graces (book 1) by Laure Eve (book review).

‘The Graces’ can easily be read as a standalone book but is actually the first in a series. Book 2, ‘The Curses’, will be coming out in 2018. This is a YA paranormal thriller.

This is the story of a group of siblings, The Graces, who look like they have everything as they move through their small town and everyone watches them secretly wanting to be them. They are all beautiful and odd and they seem to have the power of magic. River is the new girl who more than secretly wants to be them and will do anything to become one of them. But once she starts to get closer to them, River realises that all is not as it seems in this magical, gothic thriller. Yes, this does sound like a cliché story about new girl obsessing over the gorgeous rich family in town but it’s so much better than that.

The Graces are three siblings consisting of non-identical twins Thalis (female, very earth mothery) and Fenrin (male, bisexual, very into himself), and their little sister Summer (a lot goth). They hold themselves apart from the rest of their small town and only really communicate with each other.

Then River arrives in town and is really strongly attracted to the siblings to the point where she calculatingly insinuates herself into their group. I don’t want to give too much more of the plot, you just have to read it to watch how things develop and come to your own conclusions about each of the characters. As with all good thrillers, the reader is drip feed details about the Graces and River so you have to make up your own mind slowly about whether the things that are said about the Graces are true and who is really evil in this book.

I got a lot of feelings of familiarity. Firstly, this book made me think of the movie ‘The Craft’ with the small town elements and it all being based around a school with a group of teenagers. You get a lot of the possessiveness of teen-agers in this book as you do in ‘The Craft’ where people repeatedly research the Graces, they change their name, etc just to fit in with them. I also felt that the weird closeness of the family had me thinking about the vampire ‘family’ in the ‘Twilight’ books. They just felt too oddly close and didn’t need anyone else, it just felt very strange. Overall, this is a very dark and creepy book with some not entirely pleasant characters which only gets darker and darker the further into it you go.

I do hope that the magic system is explained a little bit more in book two. I felt that it was all a little bit confusing in this book as there were Wiccan elements to do with earth, air, fire and water but then there also seemed to be other ways to conduct magic. More detail about this would be great just so we can understand it all a little more.

I really loved this book and can’t wait for book two to come out as I’m interested to see where the next book goes given the ending of this one.

Sarah Bruch

December 2017

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(pub: Faber & Faber, 2016. 415 page paperback. Price: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-57132-680-8)

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