Title: The Grace Year
Author: Kim Liggett
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: October 8, 2019
Page Count: 416
My rating: 3 1/2 stars
About the book:
The Instant New York Times Bestseller!
A speculative thriller in the vein of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Power. Optioned by Universal and Elizabeth Banks to be a major motion picture!
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.
The Grace Year by Kim Liggett is a young adult science fiction, dystopian fantasy that is being advertised as along the lines of Handmaid’s Tale and the Hunger Games. Now, since I was a fan of one and really disliked the other I certainly was curious how I’d feel about this when done and wouldn’t you know it…middle ground.
The world in The Grace Year is a dystopian type of society in which of course women are ruled by the men. In Garner County though it seems the idea that physical attraction is all a woman’s fault is taken to a whole new level. Instead of our society where girls are told they need to cover themselves so the boys aren’t tempted these girls get sent out of the town for a year at sixteen to rid themselves of “magic” (teenage hormones) and prepare for an arranged marriage when returning.
Tierney James is turning sixteen but she’s never wanted marriage and only hopes for everyone to work together and a better society. Instead a boy she thought of only as a friend declares her to be his wife sending her out on her own Grace Year. As the girls head away from town they quickly learn the bandits and outsiders are the least of their worries and perhaps what they should fear most is each other.
I can actually see where the comparisons come from with this novel as opposed to some that advertise for fans of such and such but find nothing similar to the story. Now even though I say I can see why they used those books this story is completely different than those two so don’t expect to read the same tale. For me, some things in here seemed a bit predictable and sometimes I saw those over the top moments I disliked in Handmaid’s Tale so in the end I landed on 3 1/2 stars for this one.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
At sixteen, Kim Liggett left her rural midwestern town for New York City, where she pursued 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. She’s the author of Blood and Salt, Heart of Ash, The Last Harvest (Bram Stoker Award Winner), The Unfortunates, and The Grace Year.