THE GRACES Coolest witches ever

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased OUt NOW! 421 pages | pa­per­back/ebook

Au­thor laure eve Pub­lisher Faber & Faber

The first quar­ter of The Graces is an angsty, school-set YA-by-num­bers. It’s nar­rated by an out­sider teenage girl who has no friends and feels “dif­fer­ent”; her mum doesn’t un­der­stand her; she’s fas­ci­nated by three cool sib­lings who, so the school ru­mour-mill has it, might be witches; and she has a mon­u­men­tal crush on one of them. The Grace fam­ily even have pre­ten­tious names (Sum­mer, Fen­rin, Thalia). Our nar­ra­tor is named River. You could play bingo with the clichés here.

How­ever, once River be­friends the Graces, you’ll be happy to dis­cover that the clichés be­come less im­por­tant. You get caught up in the mys­tery: are they re­ally witches? What are they up to? Then, af­ter you’ve been read­ing for a while, you sud­denly re­alise that these peo­ple feel like liv­ing, breath­ing hu­man be­ings. Au­thor Laure Eve has in­jected per­son­al­i­ties into char­ac­ters who in less-cer­tain hands would be cyphers; they feel as real as you are, truly and com­pletely three-di­men­sional. And ev­ery­thing about them is as mag­netic as the North Pole, too – they’re so dif­fer­ent; you’ll end the book wish­ing you knew them. Add to this a se­ries of twists that slowly but surely build to a stun­ning cli­max and boy, is this a treat. Jayne Nel­son

Live near Uxbridge? On 22 Oc­to­ber, Eve will be talk­ing all things witches at Young Adult fes­ti­val YA Shot.

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