Published by Wednesday Books on October 8, 2019
Genres: Young Adult Dystopian
Source: Book Box
No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.
In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.
Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.
With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.
My Rating: 2 stars
This very well may be a case of “it’s not you; it’s me,” but ultimately, I was not a huge fan of The Grace Year.
It can be said that this book is intriguing and thought-provoking. The beginning is strong and compelled me to keep reading. The feminist undertones and portrayal of the relationships among the girls really made me stop and think! However, I can’t say that I found the story to be wildly unique. The oppressive, patriarchal, dystopian society is reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale (and just as cringe-worthy) and the unraveling from civilized to barbaric among the grace year girls is akin to that of the boys in Lord of the Flies.
I’m sure it was intended that this book have a lot of WTF moments — and believe me, those startling moments are very much present — but the execution as a whole missed the mark for me, which made those moments less exciting and feel forced or unnecessary. The pacing was also a huge issue for me. Things often seemed rush (particularly the romantic storyline) while dragging other times.
Overall, despite not working for me, I know a lot of people do and will love The Grace Year.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
At sixteen, Kim Liggett left her rural midwestern town for New York City to pursue a career in music. Along with lending her voice to hundreds of studio recordings, she was a backup singer for some of the biggest rock bands in the 80’s.
Kim spends her free time studying the tarot and scouring Manhattan for vials of rare perfume and the perfect egg white cocktail.
Source: Author Website