Disclaimer: The Grace Year was kindly gifted to me by Penguin Random House SA in exchange for an honest review.
SURVIVE THE YEAR.
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.
Kim did an amazing job with the writing and storytelling which weaves horror moments to the surprising survival story. She knows how to keep the reader engaged and makes you to continue reading as these events are revealed. I loved how profound moments of the story lie in the small details throughout the story and if you are not paying attention you might just miss crucial information.
The characters are so different from each other which adds more to the story. You get so invested in their well being and want to know more about what motivates them. The main antagonist, Kiersten added more to the story, that even when all reasons for her to be cruel are removed in the story, she still acts without mercy. Kiersten wants power, she only thinks of herself, and she’ll do anything to get it. Kiersten serves as a chilling reminder of what humanity could be if we are not thoughtful about our actions towards each other and are not self-aware.
It was so amazing reading about the different relationships. I actually loved the relationship between June and Tierney even though we did not get the chance to know more about June, but I loved her as a character and what she represented. It was amazing how at the end these women stood together even if the change was not that dramatic but the biggest changes often begin with the smallest rebellions.
The base of the story is how we as women tend to compete with each other even if there is no need to. Instead of standing with each other and work together for a better world we compete. I think this was a perfect representation of our reality and how much progress we can make if we stood together. Kim did an amazing job bringing that point to life and the set up or world was a perfect depiction.
The story overall is so emotional you get to feel what the characters are going through and relate to them. However, the ending just sealed everything for me. I cannot recommend this book enough.
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.
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