The Graces by Laure Eve
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
I must be honest I was a little skeptical about this book, let's be honest the reviews are not exactly glowing and I very nearly switched to reading Libba Bray's The Diviners instead but something made me persevere. I'm not now quite sure what that something was after I've completed the book, maybe it was a promise of a great ending I wouldn't see coming.
This book has some elements that I can see readers would find a little trashy and tropey. We have the rich and exclusive Grace siblings, they are wealthy and beautiful and the centre of the school's gossip mill especially since people think they are witches. Enter River, the new kid in town, who is trying to throw herself into the eye line of the three Grace siblings so she can get to know more about whether all the rumours of their witchcraft is true.
One of the things I struggled most with in this book is that I didn't particularly like the main character, River. She was quite whiney and just didn't have any particular characteristics to recommend her. She just kept kind of hanging around the Grace's, creeping in and out of their house and trying to play it cool. I found her difficult to read from the perspective of and the whole hint dropping about her huge 'secret' she was hiding just didn't add much to the story.
Taking this alongside the fact that the Grace siblings were not that likable either. As the book progressed they became less and less so and your sympathy for them wained a lot. Their blind dedication to each other regardless of the rights or wrongs of a situation made the narrative quite narrow and it meant I lacked emotional connection with many of their points of view.
I made it through this book and sometimes I'd find myself quite enjoying the characters and the journey I thought we might be going on but then the story almost began to shut itself down. I think there were storylines we didn't follow that could have been further explored and some characters were under utilised. It became a story too narrowly focused on the Grace siblings and River whereas some further context from other parties may have helped us engage more with the story on a different level.
I know The Curses is due for release at some point in the future and I may have a little bit of curiosity to see what happens next but I'm not sure I could read it unless there is some widening of the story arc to bring more depth to the story.