Friday 28 October 2016

Book Review: The Graces; Laure Eve.

This book took me by surprise because it was not at all what I expected it to be. I had been so excited to read it after going to YALC and seeing so much hype about it there, but I was also a little worried because reading the synopsis put one book in my mind: 'Twilight'. Let me tell you, this book is NOT like 'Twilight' and that is most definitely in it's favour. Also I'm entering it into the 'Monthly Motif' challenge.

SOURCE: Illumicrate
TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: The Graces
AUTHOR: Laure Eve
SERIES: The Graces (#1)
PUBLISHER: Faber & Faber
PAGES: 415
GENRE: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller

RATING: 4.5/5 Stars

'Everyone said the Graces were witches.

They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair.

They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different.

All I had to do was show them that person was me.'

Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on?

What I Liked:
  • Laure Eve sure knows how to write! Honestly, from the beginning to the end of this book, I was 100% invested in what was going on. Fellow readers will agree with me when I say that certain books give you a certain 'this is going to be good' feeling and I definitely got that from paragraph one. The structure and pacing were nicely done, and the mini cliff-hangers at the end of chapters really worked to give the book a thriller-esque tone to it which I enjoyed. Dialogue was nicely penned too which can be difficult to pin down.
  • River, whose real name I believe we are never told, is as interesting a narrator for this story as we can get because she is an unreliable narrator. I was not expecting it in the slightest but wow, from the get-go you know she is manipulative, two-faced, needy and pretty paranoid too. She is damaged but shrouded in mystery, even to the reader so that we are never sure exactly why or how. Every word I read, I found myself asking 'Is she telling the truth? Is this whole book a lie?'. The focus of the book is on a particular family that may or may not be witches and I love how rumour and gossip became such an important plot device.
What I Disliked:
  • I didn't hate the ending but for me, I liked not knowing whether magic was a thing or not. The 'big reveal' at the end confirmed it in one way or another for me and in that sense, I felt disappointed. I would have liked everything to remain a mystery. More-so in some ways, River's 'gift' felt a little too ridiculous. I'd hoped for something more subtle and clever after such a great lead up.
Overall Conclusion:
This book blew me away in more ways than one, and proved that tropes we've long come to see in books 'copying Twilight' are not always what they seem. It contained gorgeous writing, complex and diverse characters and well-penned dialogue as well as an intriguing and mysterious plot. The ending could have been a little more understated in my opinion but I did like the 'twist' at the end and am so glad that it lived up to my post-YALC high expectations!

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