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The Graces | Laure Eve | Review

Everyone said the Graces were witches.

Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on?

River is the new girl in her small seaside town. She spends her lunchtimes alone in the library, and has yet to make any friends at her new school, but she doesn't care. The only friends she wants are the Graces. The whole town is obsessed with the beautiful, rich, mysterious family. The rumour is that they're all witches, after all. Everyone at school longs to be friends with Summer, Fenrin, and Thalia but River is determined she will be. She finds it a little hard to believe when it works, Summer Grace choosing her of all people to spend her time with, and Summer's brother and sister following suit. 

Before long River finds herself in the envied position of being the only outsider in the Graces' inner circle. But there are reasons the Graces keep their distance from everyone else in the town. The stronger their friendship becomes, the deeper River falls in love with the Grace children and they with her, the more fragile River's place in their world starts to feel. After all, River is hiding a few secrets of her own and friendship isn't the only thing River wants from the Graces...

Mysterious, witchy, and deliciously dark, The Graces is a story about friendship, self discovery, and obsession. 

Teenage friendships are often build on a small kind of obsession: wanting to spend time only with each other, texting 24/7, feeling like a limb has been cut off any time your best friend misses a day of school. The very nature of teenage friendship tends to involve a sort of clinging onto each other for dear life, just to make being a teenager more bearable. Laure Eve takes that a step further with River and the Graces, showing the reader a relationship between teenagers who absolutely love each other, but who know in a very real way there is an underlying possibility of darkness to that sort of need and how quickly it can turn into desperation.

River worships the Graces, her obsession always an undercurrent in her relationship with them. Above all she has a desire to prove that she is like them, that they share something mysterious and different, that they need each other. It's a story that starts with a crush and a desire to fit in on River's own terms but slowly becomes something more unsettling, full of secrets and magic. River needs to know if the Graces really are witches, if the rumours around the town are true. But what does it mean for her if the rumours are true? What does it mean for their friendship if they aren't?

Even in the moments where River and the Graces are just being teenagers, enjoying each other's company, having the kind of evenings we cherish from our youth if we had them, or wish that we had had if we didn't, Eve's prose feels charged with potential for things to go horribly wrong and a burning necessity for them not to. This is a story that will make your stomach twist and your heart stop. It will absorb you and obsess you. From the very first page, every moment I wasn't reading The Graces I was thinking about it. There is magic of more than one kind in this book.

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