★ ★ ★
"That doesn't mean we shouldn't want to see the truth. It's just that maybe we have to see it in stages to be able to understand it."
By far my favourite book cover, but sadly I feel the cover is better than the book. A fine read, but just fine. Fine for some entertainment, but not a must-read.
The Graces follows the main character, (self-named) River, who begins at a new school where three siblings with the last names Grace have a reputation as being from a family of witches. River so badly wants to be a part of their circle, so befriends the youngest Grace, Summer, in hope that she will find a group to belong in, and also that just maybe the family will be able to use their magic to bring her father back, who had just recently left the family.
Firstly, I think the author failed to execute her attempt at a complex story. Maybe making the story too complex was the issue in the first place? The storyline with River's father was mentioned, but forgotten, and seems like a pointless edition to the main tale. Further, larger storylines popped up throughout (which I won't mention to avoid spoilers), and I couldn't figure out where they came from, saying to myself, "just go with it". There were inconsistencies with the writing, and I found my attention span dropping numerous times throughout the story. The twist at the end, while it managed to surprise me, I just thought, "really??", as it felt unbelievable and thrown in.
Note that this book is so light on the fantasy that I double-checked the genre on Goodreads. The character descriptions were dark and magical enough, giving me high hopes and I was so excited to dive into this book. Unfortunately they all ended up being not-so-magical and slightly annoying, and I was left wanting so much more.
On a positive note - the book had an eerie quality, kept me entertained for a few hours and clearly gave me a lot to write about. It just lacked some consistency, sophistication and needed more magic!