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?
At first I found our protagonist River a little hard to warm to. We learn she has moved to a new town, but for reasons that aren’t clear to us straight away. We learn that she wants to be kept under the radar and to not cause any trouble with her new fellow students, but then she finds it hard to keep away from a particular group at school called The Graces. The Graces who are rumoured to be witches take a liking to River, but little do they know that River isn’t all that she seems other than magic is certainly involved.
I have to admit I found River’s obsession with the Graces a little awkward and hard to accept. I didn’t really understand why she was so fascinated by them other than that they supposedly could conjure magic, so it seemed perhaps she felt like an outcast just like they were to the rest of the school. What comes clear is that each of the Graces are important and somehow connect with River, despite her appearing to us as an ordinary girl.
I enjoyed the fact that for the most part there was a lot of unanswered questions and that these soon unravelled. It had the typical teenage crushes, the parties, the want for being “just like everyone else,” and the realisation that being yourself and different is okay too. A great message I think to a young adult audience.
I liked the surprises and unexpected revelations when the book came to a close. I’m looking forward to continuing the series, although I was expecting everything to be wrapped up in one book. River’s real name is a big question that I have for the next book, and having more context regarding her past before she was with the Graces. I found this book quite bingeable and I really hope the second book is published sooner rather than later. I’m not sure why there are comparisons to Twilight in other reviews as I felt this was a very unique story that was exciting and had a great thriller edge to it. I’m excited to see where River’s story leads and what future she may have in relation to the Graces, that ending was a brilliant way to keep me interested. Whatever you do, make sure you read this book!