The Graces

Some books are treacherous. Very treacherous indeed.

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  • Author: Laure Eve
  • Publisher: Amulet Books
  • Year: 2016
  • Genre vibe: Small town witches, basically.
  • At a glance: Everyone is in love with the Graces. River is, too, but in a different way than most of the rest of the school. River knows they’re witches; and she’ll give anything to join them. Guess who makes a lot of bad decisions? Everyone. Literally everyone in this book.

Alright. Feast your eyes on that gorgeous American cover. Then go look up the rest of them. Admire this stupidly beautiful book. Go find a bookstore and give it a good, long petting. It deserves it. Go on.

Finished?

Good. Now you can read it. Just be careful when you do.

Know me well and you’ll know that this is the kind of book that I just can’t resist. I live for these kinds of books, though they’re few and far between. They sound a bit like this: enchanting, a little intoxicating, vaguely confusing or unsettling, and very very witchy. Two of my favorite “genres” are rich kids and sunshine and there’s some weird magicky shit going on in this small American town. Combine the two and I’ll give you my heart.

In the vein of April Tucholke, Laure Eve spins something unsettling and a little bit whimsical with the greater part of THE GRACES. The Grace family themselves are as untouchable and delectable-looking as anything could be, and River’s quest and determination to be close to them is just all consuming and strange as their presence.

One of the most impressive parts of this book is Eve’s insightful musings on the difference between being involved with people, and being an outsider. The phenomenon of being the moon-person orbiting the established planets of any given social circle or setup is one that’s hard to get across, and Eve accomplishes it with a kind of raw brilliance that speaks to the little part of me that knows very well what it’s like to look in from outside.

And add to that River’s sheer determination to surpass merely being known and become a true piece of what she sees from the outside so clearly, and what you then have is a situation that’s pretty much impossible to leave unfinished. Because the most dangerous part about this book?

You can’t simply put it down.

There are times in life when you have to take a break from reading (shocking, I know, I’m sorry). And this is a book that seeps out of reading time and into other-time. “How are things going?” you’ll wonder, as you’re driving to work. “What’s going to come of all this?” and you’re not satisfied until you’re reading again.

Dangerous, isn’t it?

So, overall, this book is…

  • 4/5 stars
  • for people who like magic, emotional dissonance, and untouchable people
  • wet sand between fingers, not toes. looking at the water and wondering if there are sharks underneath.
  • Setting Fires (feat. XYLØ) by The Chainsmokers
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