ARC Book Review: The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

Book: The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

Expected Publication Is October 8, 2019 by Wednesday Books|Expected Number Of Pages: 416

Where I Got It: I received an e-ARC from in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: None

Genre: YA Thriller

“A visceral, darkly haunting fever dream of a novel and an absolute page-turner. Liggett’s deeply suspenseful book brilliantly explores the high cost of a misogynistic world that denies women power and does it with a heart-in-your-throat, action-driven story that’s equal parts horror-laden fairy tale, survival story, romance, and resistance manifesto. I couldn’t stop reading.” – Libba Bray, New York Times bestselling author

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

Girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, 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 their chance to grab one of the girls in order to make their 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

The Grace Year sounded really interesting so I was glad to receive an e-ARC from netgalley.  I liked it, as much as someone can like a book like this one.  It was pretty hard to get through, though.

Part of why I had a hard time getting through it was the sections.  Each section is a different season, but there were no chapters or page breaks.  Other than fall, winter, spring, summer and return, there was nothing to indicate time passed or a scene change.  It made each section drag, and I struggled to get through it because it felt like each season lasted forever.

The one thing that really stands out is how horrible these girls are to each other.  I understand it, especially in this society, but I really wish we saw more of the day-to-day life in the camp.  I also wanted to know more about how society got to this point.  It did feel like it was set in New England in the late 1600’s/early 1700’s, but because we have no information about this world, it’s hard to say for sure what inspired this world.

It was interesting to see how this group of girls handled their grace year, and it’s actually easy to see why no one knows what happens during that year.  It’s not something I would want to talk about once it was over.  Assuming I actually made it to the end of my grace year.  It was hard to read some of the violence that happens in the book, and it was hard to see just how cruel some of the girls really were.

But overall, maybe they should be talking about it, to make things better for future generations.  It does seem like it’s not like this everywhere, and that other towns are different.  It really makes me wonder what happened in this particular town, especially because it is pretty terrifying when it comes down to it.

My Rating: 3 stars.  The world was interesting, even though I wanted more history for the town these girls are from.  It gives you a lot to think about, and it’s a book that stays with you for a while.

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