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.
River and her mother have just moved to a small, coastal town after the mysterious disappearance of River’s father. Their house is a bit drab and the local school isn’t very inspiring so when River happens upon three glamorous siblings, the Graces, she is immediately drawn to them. The Graces may or may not be witches, but they’re certainly the most interesting people in town and River is drawn to them like a moth to a flame.
I really had mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I rattled through it pretty quickly and it really did hold my interest throughout. The Graces were really beguiling in a nonchalant, exotic dilettante way and I found myself as enthralled by them as River was. There wasn’t really a lot happening with the plot, but what did happen was a nice, easy read and with a bit of Grace-type fairy dust, it lifted it up to better-than-boring.
I didn’t really connect with River as a character. She was pretty pretentious and for all that she didn’t want to get chewed up and spit out like all the other kids at school, she really wore her heart on her sleeve when it came to the Graces, even though she kept telling the reader how cool she was being.
The writing in this book is, sadly, a bit flat. There’s no humour or spark to lift it out of the doldrums and unfortunately vast tracts of it come off as just a bit navel-gazey. It gave the impression that the book was written/set when emo was still a thing. There were also some truly bizarre turns of phrase, like this one, to describe how the love interest smells:
Like a thicker, manlier kind of vanilla.
I’m trying to imagine what a ‘thick, manly version of vanilla’ smells like and I’m coming up an utter blank. I get that clichés are a bad thing, but this odd kind of simile doesn’t really draw me into a story.
This book actually reminded me a lot of Twilight. I certainly didn’t love it as much as I loved Twilight (although I’ve never re-read Twilight as I have the distinct feeling it wouldn’t give me the spine-tingles these days), but the parallels are definitely there. Girl moves to small town with single parent and gets involved with dangerous, mysterious family.
I hadn’t realised that The Graces would be the first in a series, but I’d be mildly interested in seeing what the second book has in store.