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the-gracesWhat: The Graces (The Graces #1) by Laure Eve

Who: Faber & Faber

When: September 1st 2016

How: A copy of this novel was provided by Allen and Unwin for review.

RRP: $19.99 (AUD)

Everyone said the Graces were witches.

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.

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?

1cat2You know, I was pretty excited to read The Graces. I feel like I don’t read a LOT of YA paranormal anymore, and The Graces sounded like something that I could like. Mystery, witchy stuff, ridiculous rich people. But, unfortunately, I didn’t like The Graces, and here are my reasons why:

1) The biphobia

Fenrin, one of the Graces, is bisexual (the word isn’t used on page, but one of his sisters says that the girls he sleeps with aren’t exactly an act, so I’m going to go with it), and River sees him kissing a boy. And she actually says that it is, and I am quoting here, “disgusting”. And then, a few chapters later, Fenrin’s mother comes to River’s house to tell her to stay away from her poor, beautiful children, and guess what word she uses to describe Fenrin? Again, quoting: “disgusting”.

Now, you know what’s really disgusting? Reading about a character that thinks two guys kissing is disgusting. Since this isn’t an expose on queerphobia, and how harmful it is, and how people have to put up with that shit for their whole lives, I am not on board with this. I don’t ever want to pick up a book and read about a character that thinks two guys kissing is disgusting. I don’t want to. Ever.

2) It was so, so boring.

I thought that there would be mystery, for crying out loud. And instead it was high school drama, and River being desperate and fake as hell. I was not intrigued by the plot because there was no plot.

3) Fake witches.

If a whole town thought your family was witches wouldn’t you a) be witches, or b) say you’re not witches because it’s 2016 and people don’t believe in that shit anymore, and there are no such thing as witches? Well, apparently not. Because all the Graces did was dance around the subject and do things that may be perceived as witchy (if we’re going by their love of crystals and the like, then I am also a witch). This didn’t make me go: OH BUT ARE THEY WITCHES – TELL ME. It made me think I’d been falsely sucked into a book about witches and instead was reading some story about rich people who hated being oh so rich and privileged.

4) River.

How could anyone like this character? Now, I know that reading about unlikeable characters is important, and you can’t always like characters, and pushing likeability on books is ridiculous etc etc etc. But when you don’t know River’s actual name (hello Rebecca rip off) because she’s so special she gives herself her own name, and when the entire book is just about her trying so very hard to be someone else, and when she’s biphobic, and when she just does things to please people that she doesn’t even know … that’s a character that’s so unlikeable that I simply don’t want to read about her. Not solely because she is unlikeable, but because of the things that make her unlikeable.

5) The ending.

Such a ploy to incite you to read the next book. Which I won’t.

© 2016, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

trigger warning: animal cruelty, death by drowning (possibly murder/hate crime), bullying, and biphobia in this novel

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Posted on: December 6, 2016 • By: Chiara

10 Responses to Why I Didn’t Like The Graces by Laure Eve

  1. Emma says:

    This is so disappointing to hear. Like you I was looking forward to the concept of witches! Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time I’ve come across a review of this book from a person I deeply respect that shows how bad it is. The biphobia/homophobia is unbelievable! It is 2016! This is not the kind of thinking that should be printed and possibly incite hatred in young minds.

    Ugh. I will be taking this book off my TBR immediately. Thank you for your thoughtful review always, Chiara! <3

    • Chiara says:

      Yeah, I have read a lot of mediocre to negative reviews from people with very similar tastes to me. We all read it around the same time, so I wasn’t warned off it, unfortunately. It was really disappointing to read the biphobia/homophobia, especially since it wasn’t challenged, and the character didn’t think anything of it. I wish we were beyond that.

      No problem, lovely <3

  2. Sorry to hear this! I’ve read another negative review of this one though, and it made me think it’s not quite the book for me. But yeah, the whole finding two guys kissing disgusting is not cool. I can see how it would appear in books, but that’s usually for someone to then say or somehow show that it’s not at all. Sooo yeah…this doesn’t sound like it handled the issue too well.


    • Chiara says:

      I read it around the time of release, and I wish I had seen the many negative reviews that I have now read before I picked it up! And the character’s awful thoughts were never challenged, and even though she didn’t mention it again it was not because she had changed her views, rather she had just moved on to something else. The whole book was a disappointment, but this aspect is one I cannot stand by.

  3. I am the complete opposite of you! I wasn’t very excited to read it because I hadn’t heard such good things but when I did start reading, I enjoyed it immensely and ended up giving it four stars overall! But I can see where you are coming from when you say you didn’t like it!

  4. Joséphine says:

    I completely agree with you. Worst. Book. Of. The. Year.

    Among all the books I read in 2016, TheGraces received the lowest rating from me. I just couldn’t with all that false mystery, the over-inflated self-importance, and just everything about the book. It did offer hilarious book discussion fodder but that was about it.

  5. Haniya Qamar says:

    I have been hearing some negative reviews of this book so i might not pick it up! ?

  6. I actually borrowed this book out from the library but I’m so glad I returned it without reading because the biphobia sounds terrible. I’m also not a fan of the FAKE WITCHES thing because the whole reason why we would pick this up is because of the witches? Anyway, thanks for the review Chiara!

  7. Ale says:

    I wish I had read this review instead of wasting a weekend reading such a dull and offensive book.

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