What I Loved:
I LOVED this book. I’m already thinking about when I can read it again. The dystopian world that Kim Liggett creates in this book is fascinating! I was completely drawn into the story and the universe. The “Grace Year” location was so well built, I could see everything. I was right there with them through the whole experience.
How I Felt:
It’s been a while since a book so completely grabbed me from the beginning and held me through the whole thing. There were times were I just couldn’t read fast enough. I wanted to figure out all the little questions and the odd things happening. I was invested. I’m really, really hoping there will be a sequel…I would grab it in a second.
The story is about the women of the county. They have magic that appears as they enter their Grace Year. They are exiled to an island for the entire year where unspeakable things happen. The ones who survive can come home at the end of the year, but must never speak of their year to others.
Tierney is coming up on her Grace Year, but she’s not like others. She has never quite conformed to the county’s rules. As a result she expects that she won’t receive a veil from a suitor as a proposal before she leaves for her Grace Year. She must go with or without a veil, and survive. There are poachers that will kill any Grace Year girl that wanders off the path or out of the encampment. They are skinned alive as their bodies are said to have magical powers. So, while it seems that the danger lies outside the encampment, the dangers from within, from the other girls are just as real.
Overall, this book grabbed me from the beginning and almost didn’t let go. There was a slight lull in the middle of the book, but that section does come to an end and then the book is off and racing again! I enjoyed the characters and the overall premise for the story.
To Read or Not To Read:
If you enjoyed The Hunger Games, The Handmaid’s Tale, or The Crucible, I think this is right up your alley.
Where To Find This Book:
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.
This ARC was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.