The Graces: ARC Review

Publication Date: September 6th, 2016
Publisher: Amulet Books
Series: The Graces #1
Format: e-ARC
Source: Netgalley

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.

**Thank you to Netgalley and Amulet Books for granting me access to this title in exchange for an honest review. 

Sarah over at The YA Book Traveler made a great post and button about being the "Black Sheep" in the book blogging community. Being a black sheep means that you did not like a book that has been popular with other readers, and that's ok! 

I'll admit, the cover and synopsis immediately had me wanting to read this book. I mean, a family suspected of being witches? Count me in! Unfortunately, this book was way different than what I was expecting. 

We start off with the world's most unreliable narrator, River. Of course, that's not her real name. It's the name she believes she should be called. We never get to know her real name because apparently she's supposed to be mysterious. She's the new kid, and she soon hears about the mysterious and popular Graces through the school's gossip network. Once River hears that they may be witches, it's game over. River wants in, and to do that, she'll have to infiltrate their network. 

"We love just one, but we love them all as well," he said. "The Graces. We want to be them, and love them, and for them to love us. It's a curse. Don't you see? The Grace's curse."

Let me first say, that I believe River has a mental disorder. She immediately becomes OBSESSED with the Graces and does everything she can to become their friend, even by manipulating them. She also obsesses over witches, buying everything witch related to help her become a witch. Her manipulation games work, and soon Summer, the youngest Grace, befriends River and the rest of the family slowly brings her into their circle. 

Spells are cast, and weird things start happening when River is with the Graces. I wanted a thrilling and fast paced book but The Graces didn't deliver on either points. The action and big reveal didn't happen until 75% into the book! The parts before it were basically River spending her time with them trying to figure them out, while they were trying to figure her out because nobody knows anything about her! She keeps so much from them but expects them to tell her everything. It doesn't make sense. 

Then when the "Big Reveal" happened, I wasn't shocked or surprised. I saw that twist come a mile away. The plot was honestly all over the place and I finished the book more confused than I was when I started it. 

None of the characters interested me in the slightest. The Graces were all very cold, boring, and distant, and River was obsessive, unreliable, and extremely unlikeable. I couldn't connect with any of them, which is essential to really enjoy a book. 

The reveal at the end obviously left room for a sequel, but I won't be reading it. 


  1. I was actually one of the group that enjoyed the book. I gave it a good 4/5 stars. I agree with you on the ending though. I commented saying it was unfinished , and I was rather disappointed that the main character ended up with that mindset. I kind of like how obsessed she was. Realistically, there isn't much people wouldn't do these days to be apart of a popular crowd. Awesome review and I'm so glad I got to read some of your insights :D

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

    1. Thanks Alex! I was actually enjoying it because of the intrigue but was just disappointed with the reveals and the execution. You are right, people will go to great lengths to be popular, including become obsessed. It was just odd that nobody found her behavior strange and creepy, haha.

      I'm glad you enjoyed it though!


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