THE GRACE YEAR by Kim Liggett is a true YA dystopian novel filled with a frenetic combination of horror and hope. If I was booktalking this to teens, I’d describe it as an incredibly feminist mix of The Hunger Games and The Handmaid’s Tale, with a dash of Lord of the Flies. Ultimately, this is a story of survival.
This story is set in an ugly, patriarchal world where girls are sent away for their sixteenth year (The Grace Year) to get rid of the “magic” they hold over men. No one speaks of The Grace Year, and not all girls return at the end of it. But for those who do return, they are either married off or become laborers.
The writing is incredibly fast-paced and many readers will find it difficult to put down. Be prepared for pacing which jumps in time, as well as a plot that is often harsh and violent and which may be best suited for older teens. There is a very satisfying and surprising conclusion that may have readers poring over it multiple times. And, a movie is already in the works, produced and directed by Elizabeth Banks. So, the story of Tierney James won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Suggested Reading Age: Grades 9 and up | Wednesday Books | 416 pg. | Oct. 8, 2019 |
“We hurt each other because it’s the only way we’re permitted to show our anger. When our choices are taken from us, the fire builds within.”