Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Graces by Laure Eve

The Graces by Laure Eve
Release Date - September 6, 2016
Publisher Website - Abrams
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 336 pages
My Rating - 4.5/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Everyone loves the Graces.

Fenrin Grace is larger than life, almost mythical. He’s the school Pan, seducing girls without really meaning to. He’s biding his time until someone special comes along. Someone different, who will make him wonder how he got along all this time without her. Someone like me.

Fenrin’s twin, Thalia, is a willowy beauty with rippling, honey-colored hair. Wherever she goes, Thalia leaves behind a band of followers who want to emulate her. She casts spells over everyone she encounters, just like Fenrin—even if they both deny it.

Then there’s Summer. She’s the youngest Grace, and the only one who admits she’s really a witch. Summer is dark on the outside—with jet-black hair and kohl-rimmed eyes—and on the inside. It was inevitable that she’d find me, the new girl—a loner with secrets lurking under the surface.

I am River. I am not a Grace. But I’ll do anything to become one.
There are some books that you read at the exact right time. It's exactly the book you're in the mood for, and has all the elements that work for you wrapped up in a pretty package. This just happened to be the case with The Graces. A book that is filled with magic, unflinching characters, and a seductive quality that entices you ever closer, even as the darkness seeps into every aspect of the story.

All of the characters are varying shades of grey. Part of their allure comes from this moral ambiguity. The darkness of the characters is part of what draws you to them. As the story progresses the darkness consumes and intensifies. The story definitely twists into directions I never saw coming, and plenty of that has to do with the author's ability to allow her characters to be flawed. To allow them to do selfish things. To allow them to do the wrong thing for the wrong reasons. She allows them gut reactions and that makes them feel all the more real. These may not be characters that you want to befriend but they are fascinating.

The magic in this novel is always just out of reach. The reader, much like the main character, is left questioning whether the Graces are truly witches. The spells, and magic used is grounded in nature, and feels very common place. It adds a touch of realism to it and adds another layer to the novel. Combined with the gentle and more obscure effects the magic produces it becomes easy to question everything. The exploration of this magic, and the consequences of actions taken if it is indeed real, are the crux of this series, and I cannot wait for it to be explored more in further installments.

Another them is longing and desperation and the the lengths that it can drive someone to. The longing of the characters is palpable. The need is ferocious and all encompassing. The sometimes conflicting nature of these desires is a driving pulse of the story and one that is adeptly woven into the story. These characters do not have hopes and desires that are any different from the ones we ourselves have had. They just have a more dangerous way of dealing with these emotions.

The tone of the story reminded me of The Craft. It's message of what power can do if ran unchecked and the addictive quality that magic holds is something reflected within these pages. There is something addictive about the Graces themselves. Their looks, easy charm, and the mystery that surrounds them add to their allure. This surface allure is like the magic within these pages. It seems like something breathtaking and wonderful, until the messy reality sets in. The Graces are more than just their outside appearances and this truth is reflected within many other elements of the story.

The Graces is touched with the darkness of The Craft and the kind of grounded magic that makes you want to believe. Laure Eve has crafted a darkly seductive tale of magic, friendship and the allure of the unobtainable. I will breathlessly await the second novel in this addictive new series, and whatever Laure Eve writes after.

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