Review: The Graces by Laure Eve

Review: The Graces by Laure Eve The Graces by Laure Eve
Series: The Graces #1
Published by Amulet Books on September 6th 2016
Pages: 352
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review

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.


Well, this was an unusual sort of book, wasn’t it? It wasn’t what I expected, though not really in a bad way. Just… different. See, The Graces are a family who people flock to. Some others I know who read this had some trouble with the fact that The Graces are so… captivating to everyone in the town. But I feel like we all know people like this, no? Sure, maybe the enamor with the Graces was a little exaggerated, but I feel like this is a thing that happens. I knew (well, I still know) a family who was a lot like this. No, no one assumed they were magical or witches or whatever, but for some reason, people flocked to them. They quite literally did nothing to provoke this, but nevertheless, they always had “clingers”. (I once told them that they must somehow hypnotize people, but they denied it 😉 )

My point is, I kind of saw where River was coming from, even if I didn’t exactly like her. Fine, truthfully, I despised River as a character. But (and this probably doesn’t say awesome things about me as a person) I also kind of felt for her, and even related to her at times. Like, she says this:

“More than just…. this, this life, every day, on and on, until I’m dead. There’s got to be. I want to find it. I need to find it.”

And I am on board, I feel like I do kind of understand her, even though I don’t necessarily agree with her actions more often than not. And often didn’t agree with her thoughts, either. She kind of thought she was “better than” everyone in the town, that she (and only she) could really “get” the Graces. Of course, to the reader, this comes off as sad and needy. Which it was.

“I was different. I wanted to see beyond the glamour to the real them.”

So I get that this sounds like I didn’t like it! But you’d be wrong. I did! See, the whole thing is, despite River’s complete suckitude (shh it’s totally a word) as a person, I wanted to know what was happening in this town! And with the Grace family in general. And yes, even with River! Because she might have been a hot mess, but it was like a train wreck, and I simply couldn’t look away.

 Anyway, there were some awesome things about this book! Here’s a few more:

  • It was a very quick read, engaging and entertaining. I was sucked in, and even when I was rolling my eyes at River, or kind of confused by some of the plot direction, I was eager to find out what happened.
  • The Grace siblings were quite intriguing characters, too, which helped me want to know their stories even more- perhaps even more than I cared about River’s story.
  • I enjoyed the friendships, especially the dynamic between River and Summer Grace. Despite all the strangeness and the infatuation with the Grace family, Summer was pretty damn genuine.
  • It was twisty, and I like that! I wasn’t expecting some of the twists and turns, so that was a huge bonus for me. Plus, I think it set up the sequel phenomenally!

And what I didn’t quite love? Well, yes, there was some of that too! 

  • Parent-in-YA Syndrome. These parents were the actual worst. The Grace parents were just irksome, but River’s mom was so… ugh. Literally cannot come up with a better word for her. Because she seemed to not care if River was safe at home, or in a ditch somewhere.
  • It was weird. So much of this story was flat out strange, and most of it was in a good way, but there were a few things (spoilery, naturally) that left me scratching my head. I do think that some of it will be answered in the sequel, or at least I hope so!
  • The characters weren’t likable. I disliked each of them at one point or another, some more harshly than others. But I think that we aren’t meant to like this group, so I didn’t really hold it against the story too much- but it is worth mentioning while reviewing, of course! And sometimes, River made me roll my eyes, hard. I have little flags saying “eyes rolling” in several spots in the book, all because of nonsense that River is saying/thinking.

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Bottom Line: This is a strange, yet compulsively readable book. It’s full of twists, and very complicated characters. As much as I was annoyed by River, I can’t wait to find out what happens next in her story!


Have you ever really not liked a main character, yet somehow felt totally drawn to their story? Do tell! 

Posted September 5, 2016 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Review / 31 Comments

31 responses to “Review: The Graces by Laure Eve

  1. YES! In Revolver, the main character was Audrey and she was so hard to like, but the story around her was absolutely riveting! She rubbed me the wrong way entirely, but I can’t say I didn’t understand her. Great review here too 🙂

  2. Oh this does sound like an interesting book!! I don’t know if I’d be able to handle River though?! Like sometimes I don’t like a main character but still enjoy the book (particularly if it has an awesome secondary character cast!!) but if I really really hate them then nope. I’m done.😂

  3. I totally understand what you mean! Some books just hook you and you have to know what happens! I don’t think it’s for me though. I sometimes like weird, but sometimes not. (Usually when it’s called whimsical like Alice in Wonderland, I don’t.) But I absolutely have to at least like the characters and I don’t think I’d get along with this main character lol. Nice review!

    • Aw thanks! I don’t think this is for everyone, for sure! But it was one of those things that I HAD to know what happened, so that’s got to be good somehow haha. Also, yeah, this was definitely not whimsical weird, just… “what EVEN with these people?!” weird 😂

  4. Haha I just loved this review! I hadn’t even heard about this book until now! But I agree – I do think we all know that one family which seems like a perfect family and even though thy do nothing much everyone is always surrounding them or comparing with them or just thinking – look at that perfect family! And I always find it intriguing in a book where you’re not a fan of the characters and you don’t like them, but yet you’re still so addicted. Always interesting :3

    My recent review:

  5. I’m hot and cold when it comes to this book. I keep seeing negative reviews that point out things I so wouldn’t like, but then there are reviews like yours that kind of push me to want to read it. It’s a problem, really. I love that it would be a quick read, since I love books like that haha But having unlikable characters? That would just turn me off so much. We’ll see if I pick it up. Great review!

    • Aw thanks! I didn’t think I’d like it after reading the reviews either! Maybe my lowered expectations helped? It was definitely a quick and fun read for me, and I will pick up the sequel. I know that the character thing is a big turnoff for people, and I’d usually totally agree, but for whatever reason, this worked for me anyway!

  6. Ali

    I’m super intrigued by this book, and think that I’ll be reading it once I catch up on my TBR (which will hopefully happen this month????)! I’ve heard some mixed reviews about River’s character. I wouldn’t mind not liking all the characters in general, so long as it was done well. I guess I’ll just have to see for myself when I read it!

    • Ohh I will be on the lookout for your review! I am like, seeking out reviews of this now because it seems so polarizing! I thought that it was done well- I don’t think we’re supposed to like River that much, but I could be wrong haha. Hope it ends up working for you too!

  7. I don’t like Clary in the Mortal Instruments books. But guess what? this afternoon I’m reading book 3 City of Glass. I finished this morning listening to Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. It was good.

  8. I’m not sure if I want to read this as I NEED to like a main character in order to enjoy the book, if I can’t connect to the main character then…nope haha! I am intrigued by it though…it sounds really interesting! 🙂

  9. This cover is so intriguing! 🙂

    Check out my review of At the Water’s Edge. It’s Sara Gruen’s latest. I was not a fan of the characters, but I read that book right through to the end.

  10. Personally, not liking a main character is basically a deal-breaker for me. I just find myself getting excessively annoyed and rolling my eyes at everything, and subsequently, I’m forced to DNF the book. I was curious about this one originally, but it didn’t make my reading list. I’m glad you were able to enjoy it though! Great review, as always ^_^

    Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles

    • Aw thanks! I usually totally agree with you, and was nervous starting because I’d heard similar things about the characters. I have no idea why it ended up not bothering me too much- maybe because the whole story was so unusual, or maybe because I wanted to know WHY these people were the way they were, but it just worked haha.

  11. Oh my! So you already know how I feel about this book but your review actually made me think a bit more about empathizing with River. I get it, I totally do and I did empathize with her at the beginning; it was just when more started to be revealed that I could not understand her actions at all. But causing me to re-think about things in this book? For that, I would definitely say GREAT REVIEW!

    side note: Lucille Bluth is one of my favorite fictional characters of all time and I will always be here for her GIFs ♥

  12. Sounds like you and my mom had nearly identical views on this book. When she told me about it, she said it was strange but that she pretty much flew through it and wanted to find out what was going to happen. I have to confess that I already made her tell me the twist, so I don’t know that I’ll end up reading this one myself. But maybe someday.

  13. The reviews I am seeing of this one are sooo all over the place – literally from 5 stars to 1 star. It’s crazy. One thing I seem to see in common is that most everyone describes it as weird. LOL I’m sorta intrigued but I think probably not enough to pick it up. I don’t think there’s enough there to get me truly excited for it and I have loads of books that I *am* truly excited for, soooo… there you go. 🙂

  14. What even was this book. It was weird, but still entertaining. Is it weird that I want to continue reading the second book? ARE you going to read the second book? I mean I have to know what happened to River because it was so out of the blue and weird and everything just escalated quickly.

  15. River irked the heck out of me too. I liked her in the beginning, when the mystery was barely started, and she hadn’t befriended the Graces yet. But as things went along, I wanted to smack her. Summer ended up being my favorite character. But I disliked River enough I’m not sure if I’ll be reading the next book.

    As far as books I read even when I don’t like the main character? There’s pretty much only one series I do that with. The Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton. And it’s not so much that I dislike Anita, it’s more that she has turned into this epic Mary Sue. The early books were pretty darn awesome. Lots of crime scene investigation, and she wasn’t sleeping with everything that crossed her path. The middle books were this huge orgy-fest, and she took on God-like powers. I pretty much only read the middle books for the secondary characters whom I love, and because I was hoping the series would turn back to the way it was in the first books. The last few that have come out are better. More like the first books, and toned down a bit on the sex.

    So in this case hoping seems to have worked to a certain extent. But usually when I dislike a main character, the other characters haven’t grown on me enough to keep reading. It just happened that this series didn’t go bad until somewhere around book 7-ish, so I was already invested! *lol*

  16. Excellent review! I’m glad that you enjoyed this one. I’ve seen so many people that just HATED it. So I’m glad you explained why you didn’t mind that part as much. I’m still curious about this one, but maybe I’ll borrow it from the library sometime.

  17. My coworker and I are feeling very conflicted on this one. Personally, I found River to be such a non-entity that I wound up skimming a lot of it. This reminded me of Liar by Larbalestier (but slightly less messy) and of We Were Liars by Lockhart (but not as thoughtful or literary). I just don’t know. I am having a really hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that it’s the start of a series. And I don’t know what to do with that ending which invalidated a lot of my predictions and thoughts about the rest of the book.

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