The Grace Year

The Grace Year

by Kim Liggett


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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!

“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

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250145444
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/08/2019
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 21,793
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.60(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Kim Liggett, originally from the rural Midwest, moved to New York City to pursue a career in the arts. She's the author of Blood and Salt, Heart of Ash, The Last Harvest (Bram Stoker Award Winner), The Unfortunates, and The Grace Year. Kim spends her free time studying tarot and scouring Manhattan for rare vials of perfume and the perfect egg-white cocktail.

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The Grace Year 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 reviews.
MonicaA 3 days ago
I’ve got to admit, I was skeptical when I first saw this book. I thought it was hard to bring something new to the dystopian, fight for your life, young adult story. But this one completely blew me away! Although often compared to Hunger Games and Lord of the Flies (feminine version, way scarier!), this book managed to include a lot of survivalist details without letting them weigh down the story. Or distract from the characters and the horrific plight the young women faced. I was surprised by the many twists in the last 25% of the book. By the time the few grace year girls return to the county, they are all changed in one way or another. And Tierney realizes her family has been standing with her all along, in the only way they know how. I would have enjoyed a neat and happy ending. But that would have made the story more like a fairy tale. And there were hard truths for Tierney to still face. As she realizes all the sacrifices that have been made for her, she finally appreciates her community and sisterhood of women. This realism made The Grace Year all that more powerful! I highly recommend this book! Many thanks to NetGalley and publishers for the advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
JenD99 7 days ago
I have seen other people compare this book to The Hunger Games or The Handmaid's Tale. Yes, I would say this book is similar, but it didn't draw me in quite as much as I had hoped. It was an interesting story but maybe one where I didn't connect with the main character. Overall, an enjoyable book. Thanks to #netgalley and Macmillan for an arc of this book, in exchange for an honest review.
laur3296 13 days ago
Loved this book! I stayed up all night saying "just one more chapter" . I smiled, I cried, I wish I hadn't read it yet so I could start it anew. Is this book for everyone? Probably not. It's dystopian in nature. It's dark in places. It's bittersweet. But if you like dystopian novels, if you liked the handmaidens tale, if you like stories of women, you will love this. Thank you so much to net galley for an advanced copy. This didn't affect my review. Did I mention that I loved this book?
besu 14 days ago
This is a very well written book about a society with severe gender inequality. I know it’s an important message but I can’t say I liked this story. The world here is a patriarchal society with men that punish women for even harboring a stray independent thought. Women are thought to be like Eve with magical powers over men and can seduce unsuspecting men with just their scent. To avoid this, girls at age sixteen are sent away for a year to burn their magic out. Not all of the girls return and those that do aren’t the same as when they left. Before leaving, the available men choose a bride amongst the girls being sent away. The girls have no choice in the matter. They are sent to a camp to tough it out on their own. In the camp, it’s every girl for herself, cliques form, bullies rule and ugliness rears it’s head. Tierney tríes to get people to work together to make the year away better for everyone but things don’t always go her way. This story paints a picture of a very disturbing world where men have all the power and women are subjugated, even killed at the whims of the men. The message of the book is that society does better when they, especially women, work together for the good of the group but there are so many tragic events that it was a difficult read. In the end, there was some optimism that there would be changes for the better but I wanted no part of that society. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
jnmegan 17 days ago
The Grace Year is aptly introduced with quotes from The Handmaids Tale (Margaret Atwood) and Lord of the Flies (William Golding), two classic works that obviously acted as strong inspiration for Kim Liggett’s new novel. Although marketed as a YA title, The Grace Year would also appeal to adults who enjoy dystopic fantasy along the lines of The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) or Divergent (Veronica Roth). The action takes place in either a pre-industrial past or possibly a post-technological future-it is unclear which. Regardless, is a bleak world in which women outnumber men but are subjugated due to superstition and fear. Liggett’s narrator is Tierney, a young woman on the verge of adulthood, who is preparing for a ritual practiced in Garner County where she lives with her family. The Grace Year refers to the rite of passage endured by Garner’s young women who are sent away to a locked encampment for one year. During this time, they are left to fend for themselves as they rid themselves of emerging magical abilities believed to be brought on by adolescence. Their potential power is highly feared, and the danger inherent in the girls’ emerging sexuality is used as justification for their exile. Many do not return, and those that do often come back with deep scars-both physical and emotional. No one knows what happens during their time away, since speaking about the Grace Year is forbidden and punishable by death. Before they are cast out, the girls are selected by marriageable men and will be consigned to their houses when/if they return. Male offspring are the priority, and the women who do not produce them are regularly discarded, cast out and replaced by others. Those who are not married are destined to be servants or are sent beyond the gates of the County to be hunted by predatory men. Of course, Tierney is very different from the other girls in her Grace Year- she has survival skills she learned from her physician father, keen intelligence and an iron will to resist the path that tradition has paved for her. When her trial begins, she seems uniquely advantaged, but what she could not have prepared for is the cruelty of her fellow exiles and a mob mentality that can suffocate even the brightest of independent spirits. The Grace Year is a good example of nice pacing and character development that can often be absent in the ubiquitous landscape of YA dystopic thriller offerings. Tierney’s adventure and challenges are exciting to follow, and the book’s setting as pitted against its strong feminist viewpoint makes this story at once infuriating and satisfying. It is unfortunate that the author chooses to position her heroine in ways that are ultimately subservient to the males that assert dominance in her world. If Ligett is paving the way for a sequel, hopefully Tierney’s story will continue in a way that feels more vindicating for those readers who demand a heroine worthy of admiration and respect. Thanks to the author, St. Martin’s Books (Wednesday Press) and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
Anonymous 18 days ago
Just from the description I knew I would love this book but it surpassed my expectations. It is such an amazing commentary and look into society, bonds between women and the horrors that come out of blindly following the rules. To me it was like a mash up of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Hunger Games - a strange but wonderful combination. There were parts that were hard to read and there was definitely some gore but it was necessary and fit well within the story being told. Highly recommend!
ErraticElle 19 days ago
Ok...WOW! Watch out The Hunger Games, there's a new kickass dystopian in town. If you put Lord of the Flies, The Crucible, The Handmaid's Tale, and The Hunger Games into a blender, the result might give you a taste of what to expect with The Grace Year. This was terribly dark and magnificent. I was both intrigued and disgusted as the story moved along. The pacing felt good and there didn't seem to be a lot of down time, every bit of the story felt relevant and moved the narrative forward. Because of this, I was totally hooked, on the edge of my seat for nearly the entire thing. I devoured this book and I am really hoping that there is going to be a sequel. Though it is listed as YA fiction, I would put it more in the New Adult category due to some more descriptive violent content. For those who are turned off by violence in their novels, this one is one you should stay away from, but the writing is fantastic and creepy and very atmospheric. If you enjoy dystopian reads, The Grace Year is a must! It's a disturbing narrative, but it is so incredibly intriguing. This was the perfect October read. * Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. *
NoreebB8 21 days ago
This book blew me away. It even gave me goosebumps and brought me to tears. I was gripped from the very beginning. It's been a long while since a book was able to keep me up until the wee hours of the morning. I just couldn't stop reading. The world building was superb. The characters were deep. The story had me gripped until the very end. I can't wait to get my hands on another Kim Liggett book!
CatarinaF 22 days ago
Addicted! Couldn't stop reading. The plot, the characters, the despair and craziness, love it all. Looking for something sweet but fights for their rights? Not this book. We see the pure survival of every individual in their way, terrible and despaired but shows how deep we can go. I love Tierney character, she's not like the others girls, she doesn't want to belong to someone, she wants freedom! Not only that, she seems very strong but at the same time we can see her weakness, just like everyone there's moment of insecurity and, because she goes against the norm, suffers alone. The whole scheme was amazing of figure out, the County, poachers, the killings... everything was enjoyable to read! The message that comes from this book is very feminist, strong and deep. In a complex plot shows the emerge of a woman revolution.
JReppy 23 days ago
"The Grace Year" was a wonderful book; 4.5 stars. The plot was creative. In Garner County, there are very strict rules governing conduct, especially for the women/girls. Punishments are conducted in public, to set an example for others, and the ultimate punishment is banishment. The people of Garner County believe that women possess magical power that can be used to poison the minds of the men and boys, along with other women, and make them engage in deviant behavior (the original sin of Eve infecting all women). Therefore, every year, all of the girls in the County who are sixteen are banished to an island compound where they are to release their magic into the wild before returning to civilization (i.e., Garner County). This is called their "grace year", although there is no grace involved. Many of the girls will be captured by poachers, beaten and tortured (because that apparently enhances the power of the magic that resides in them) and then killed and cut into small pieces that will be placed in bottles and sold back to Garner County. Those girls who survive the year will return physically and mentally damaged, possibly missing body parts, likely malnourished, emotionally broken, and more docile/subservient. The "lucky" ones will have been chosen as brides-to-be by the eligible single men of influence in the County (or chosen as the replacement bride if the bride-to-be does not survive her grace year). The other girls will become laborers. If a grace year girl fails to return and her body is not returned by the poachers (each girl is marked with the sigil of her father), the girl's family will be punished, with younger siblings banished to the outskirts. The protagonist is Tierney, the middle sister of five girls, who has no interest in being a wife or mother and is the quintessential tomboy. She is certainly not "marriage" material, and she already plans to work in the fields upon completing her grace year. However, to the surprise of everyone, especially Tierney, her childhood best friend, Michael, who will be the head of the Council who runs Garner County and who everyone expects will chose Kiersten, the "Queen Bee" of the teenage girls, as his wife, chooses Tierney. This is not an auspicious start to the grace year for Tierney, as it wrecks her plans, and it makes her a target for the powerful, vindictive, and highly persuasive Kiersten, who seeks to get her revenge. Life on the island for the grace year girls is rather unpleasant, as conditions are sub par, some girls are lost or killed in the early days, factions develop, with Tierney definitely on "the outs", and as the girls become more feral, ill, and mentally unhinged. Events force Tierney to flee and to exchange one dangerous environment for another. However, as she endeavors to stay alive, she discovers that a lot of things she thought she knew about Garner County, the grace year, the outskirts, the poachers, etc. was incomplete or incorrect. One of the best aspects of the book is the growth in Tierney as she discovers how much she did not understand or know about how Garner County functions, the interactions between the "civilized" and "uncivilized", what makes the grace year so devastating, how much she has missed "seeing" by trying to separate herself from the others growing up, and the true "magic" that she and the other women possess. I highly recommend reading this book. I received a copy of the e-book via NetGalley in exchange for a review.
Selena 24 days ago
I received a free e-copy of The Grace Year by Kim Liggett from NetGalley for my honest review. I don't normally read YA books, and I didn't realize that was what this book was until after I was asked to read and review it. Well, I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it. This book is a very intense and very raw book that is full of violence. At the same time that it is violent and disturbing it is written so beautifully. This book is about Tierney and her Grace Year. A Grace Year is an annual ceremony that all sixteen year-old girls go through in order to cleanse themselves of their magic. Magic that affects men and makes them fall in love with them. After a year they come back purified and ready to wed. During this year the are sent off to a campground, where they are forced to live under horrible conditions and have very few resources. They are also told that if they try to leave that poachers will get them, kill them, skin them alive and sell their parts. These girls start out strong and confident but come back broken and ashamed. This is a very rough read but the writing is a work of art and the symbolism involved is absolutely amazing. You will feel the pain, hurt, anger and disgust in each written word.
Keelinover 28 days ago
I received an arc copy from Netgalley prior to publication, my thoughts and opinions are my own. An intense dystopian set in a world where women's worth is solely in their ability to be wives only this time, they're accused of being witches and are killed when charges are brought forward by the men in their lives. Tierney has been dreaming, something that girls are not allowed to do in Garner County, and what she's dreaming about is even more unacceptable: rebellion. Tierney must keep these dreams to herself or she risks being banished from the county and her family and instead must hold her tongue. But Tierney is tired of holding her tongue and not just about her dreams, about everything that women must do in Garner County. They cannot speak, laugh, gather, or do anything without the approval of their husbands. They are chosen by the men for their beauty and used for their bodies to make sons, and when they cannot do that anymore, they are accused of witchcraft and killed. Tierney does not want that future, Tierney wants to be in charge of her fate, but as her Grace Year approaches, she must get ready to deal with whatever happens far away in the woods surrounded by no one but the other Grace Year girls. They leave for one year and there is no guarantee that they'll all come back alive. Gripping and engaging from the first chapter, The Grace Year will keep you on the edge of your seat as you try to understand what is happening to these young girls and what will come of their Grace Year.
ruthsic 28 days ago
The Grace Year is being listed as a dystopia and I would say that doesn't entirely describe it - the violence experienced by the women in the Grace Year is very much a part of our world; there is a historical aspect to the setting, instead, with their corsets, the witch trials like execution, and the attitudes towards female purity. In any case, the book is mainly about misogyny and more specifically, internalized misogyny. Divided into five parts for each of the seasons, and one for the end of their banishment, the story tells the story of an ongoing 'rite of passage' for all the girls of the town in their 16th year - where they are banished to an encampment on an island, and have to survive the year and 'burn out their magic'. The first part - Autumn - is full of injustices and the bullying the girls, and specifically, Tierney, have to face. She describes how the men in the town treat their wives like broodmare, exchanging for a new one when they are tired of the old one simply by accusing the latter of harboring magic. The girls are mere property, even in death, where their parts are used in the apothecary, and the pervasive rape culture filled me with enough 'WTF' to go around for the whole book. In the encampment, the theme is internalized misogyny with Kiersten taking every opportunity to bully her and the other girls joining in because they have been taught to mistrust each other. Tierney's attempts to use her survival skills to build them drinking and eating supplies go in vain, as Kiersten manipulates the girls into believing they all have magic that they need to use up. Tierney doesn't believe in the magic, but things go crazy for quite a while, and the threat of poachers outside the fence and the fate of her younger sisters keeps her from running. As the story goes on, she learns to see the truth beyond what she already knows. While she has been more enlightened than the other girls, she still has had a blind spot due to her preconceived notions. There's an understanding of the violence, and a gentler resolution to it; the book doesn't make any wild explosive claims of a happily ever after, but delivers us a conclusion that makes us hope for more. With an open ending, Tierney's story may well deserve another installment, but the point that this story was trying to drive home was already well done so yes, it succeeded in telling the story it wanted to. Overall, it is an evocative and feminist story about growing up as women, with careful attention to nuances about power and privilege.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Kept me on my toes from page one.
PattySmith87 3 months ago
Many thanks to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and Kim Liggett for an ARC in exchange for an honest book review of The Grace Year. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advance copy. The Grace Year is set in a dystopian world where women have no rights. There are serious punishments for women who don’t comply, including hanging from the gallows. You grow up in an almost puritanical society where women are to believed to have special magical powers. Soon after you bleed, you are either chosen by the eligible men to be married or you are sent to in service working in the fields, the dairy or as a servant to other married women. It is a hierarchical society with prominent families faring better than others. The men can be any age, of course. Then all the girls are sent away to live one year far away in order for their magic to be drained. Only then will they be welcome back into society. Not all girls make it back alive. No one ever talks about what happens in the year away. The girls return looking dirty, dazed, disheveled, bloody, maimed and nearly starved to death. It is Tierney’s time to serve her grace year. She is strong-willed and outspoken so it is unlikely that anyone will choose her to marry. That is fine with her. She is hoping to work in the fields, even though it is considered the worst fate. She wanted to be able to look at the sky and be in control of her own body. She sees what happens when a wife doesn’t behave. Or can’t bear children. They get accused of something and then they are punished, or worse. As the girls gather to go away for their year, most are scared. Not only don’t they know what to expect, but they have never been on their own or made any decisions for themselves. Tierney knows that no matter what she must return. The fate of her sisters depends on it. She must make it home alive. This was okay for me. I liked the premise and thought the world that she built very real and scary. It has strong overtones to “The Handmaid’s Tale” in regards to women’s rights, control over their body, and other issues. I agree with the idea that girls who don’t have an outlet for their emotions, including rage, can have serious ramifications. Trying to fit into the box that is what a woman should be is stifling and unrealistic. No woman fits into it naturally. Trying to control women’s reproductive rights is a very hot topic especially in today’s climate. My only issue is that I felt, especially in the early part of the book, that the issues were being shouted at to me. “Look, isn’t this awful, look at the horrible way this society is”. I wasn’t allowed to form my own thoughts based on the events in the story. I don’t like being dictated to, being manipulated to feel a certain one thing, even if I agree with it. I like having agency when I read a story. It felt preachy to me. I enjoyed the story and how it developed. I did question the actions of some of the characters towards to end. Mean girls are mean. They usually grow up into mean, petty adults. I wasn’t so convinced of some of the characters’ transformations. I was caught up in the story and was eager to get to the end. However, I was taken out of the story when I felt preached to.
Shortcake5 3 months ago
A Sci-Fi-Fantasy you may be familiar with and yet rings so different, this is Kim Liggett’s The Grace Year. I loved this book. I hated this book all at the same time. I hated it because it was like reading Lord of The Flies female style, I loved it because the story was well told, and so different from Lord Of The Flies without a outcome. Tierney, is a girl who doesn’t fit in. She, like all the rest of the girls in her community are told constantly they are the weaker sex. Men rule their world. Then comes the Grace Year, the year you are chosen, “...the boys...join the men in the main barn to trade and barter our fates like cattle” to be promised in marriage, and then sent off for a year to “lose” their powerful, dangerous magic out into the wilderness or so the girls are told. They aren’t allowed to talk about the Grace Year. It is forbidden, they only snatch bits and pieces from their mothers, other girls who have returned home and their injuries. The superstitions of the men are staggeringly controlling. Just like Lord of the Flies there is fighting, team siding, and not sweetness that is expected from girls who are 16 and ready to navigate their own families or lives. The cover, Pink, is not what you think it should be after chapter 3 unless you are thinking faded blood. The true habits of women under extreme pressures to live, to return home, comes out in unimaginable ways. Ms. Liggett spins a tale so dark, so well envisioned that you still feel the after effects long after you have finished the book. I would walk out of my home looking around corners for days. This book is masterly told. It’s Dystopian at its best,
MamasGottaRead 3 months ago
I thought I'd end my current Dystopian binge with a real page-turner. This novel was thoughtfully written and well-executed. Despite some violent and gruesome scenes, which I personally always struggle with, Kim Liggett threw in some surprising twists and concepts that truly made me reflect. The society she concocted is so disturbing as to make one lie awake considering the likelihood of such cruelty. She showed the dangers of mob mentality exacerbated by fear and illuminated the untapped power in all of us to create positive change. It definitely exuded girl power as a main theme. There were times when the pacing was askew; a scene would end and then suddenly propel forward too quickly. There were also scenes that were incongruent, causing mild confusion for the reader. The main characters could also stand to be a bit more developed. As always in YA fiction, the love scenes are somewhat exaggerated. On that note, I definitely caution young readers and would say this novel is best-suited for much older teens and young adults. However, for the most part, I was invested from beginning to end, and would certainly consider reading the sequel which the author allowed for... it ended with quite the cliffhanger. Many thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for gifting me with this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. This title will be released on October 8, 2019.
Denice_L 3 months ago
WOW, just WOW! This story unwinds slowly, building the back story and the characters to a tense point, then opening the gates and letting the world see "what could have been". A society that is run by men, for men, teaches their young women that they are too dangerous to live among the rest of the community. They must spend their 16th year in a secluded group, learning their roles in life are anything but equal. The central character must try and retain her sense of self amongst a group dynamic that is designed to break them all. How she faces these tests and escapes her destiny makes a very good read. Kim Liggett, I'd love to know how you thought of this story!
Christy41970 3 months ago
Oh my goodness, I don't even know where to start with this one! I read The Grace Year in about a day and a half because I couldn't put it down! I finished this book a while ago, but I needed time to process after being immersed in this completely different world. The book's description really got to me, so as soon as I got my copy on NetGalley, I set aside all other books and devoured The Grace Year. I wasn't required to give a review positive or otherwise. The Grace Year is terrifying and tragic, yet it is beautiful. It's breathtaking. The author writes in a way that I can't even begin to adequately describe! Everything in the book, every little detail is essential to the story. Tierney's world became my world. I was afraid, exhausted, and surrounded by the unknown. I couldn't stop reading because I felt like I couldn't live in reality until I went through this year with Tierney and the other girls in their grace years. Well, I was mistaken. I couldn't live in reality when I was done either! When you finish The Grace Year, be prepared to have a major book hangover. Give yourself time to recuperate because you're not going to be able to function for days. I'm giving you absolutely no more information because I want you to experience everything with no real context other than knowing this is a YA dystopian novel sort of like The Handmaid's Tale yet totally original. And you're going to love it!
thegeekishbrunette 3 months ago
I hadn't heard/read much about this book before diving in so I didn't even know what to expect. Let me tell you, The Grace Years is intense, dark, shocking, and yet there are so many underlying issues that we can take from it and see in our own society. I don't know how I am going to put my feelings into words but I am going to do my best. One thing I did know about this book was that it was dark. I didn't know how dark it was until reading it myself. It's one of those reads that will stick with you because of it and I'm sure that is what the author intended. I felt that there was a lot of correlation between the poachers and the girls which are where the darkest parts of the stories come from. They each have their reasoning for the madness but they don't realize how it divides them and conquers them which then brings on more death. There are more issues that this book brings up, but the one that spoke to me the most was how terrible girls can be to each other. It goes with the whole divide and conquer I mentioned above. Reading about these girls and how cruel they could be to one another reminded me of a couple horrible experiences I had in school, both elementary and high school. I think that's why it was so easy for me to connect with the characters. The plot is intense and shocking. It was hard not to put it down and I found myself devouring it faster than any other book. It was a bit slow at first but once the grace year starts, there is no turning back. There is couple relationships that stick out that involve Tierney. Both boys are completely different and yet they both want what is best for her. Don't worry it's not a love triangle. I don't want to say anymore because I don't want to spoil it but, have some tissues readily available. Tierney James just wants a better place for girls and women. She wants them all to get along and she realizes during the grace year it isn't that simple. And yet, she never gives up even when they want her dead. I loved her character and this book had me crying by the end. The ending is definitely one that will stick with me for many years. earc provided by publisher through NetGalley
Anonymous 3 months ago
In the vein of The Handmaid's Tale, The Grace Year is a feminism, dystopian thriller that I could not put down! A very interesting concept, but I felt like the execution of the plot fell just a little bit short. Thank you to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for this ARC!
Persephonereads 3 months ago
5 out of 5 stars "White ribbons for the young girls, red for the grace year girls, and black for the wives. Innocence. Blood. Death." The sixteenth year of Tierney James life as she prepares to go on her Grace Year she dreams of a better life. A more promising life away from the county, in the outskirts working in labor as she would rather do that if she survives. You see, in the county each Autumn every sixteen year old girl is given the chance to receive a veil from a male in the county. Those who do not get picked are sent out to become laborers or become prostitutes to service the men from the county. After the veiling ceremony the girls are sent out to spend a year far from the county to fend for themselves and to find their magic and get rid of it. You see, all the men in the county believe that girls and woman are the source of evil. Eve was the first woman and she tainted all woman that came after her. She carried with her a terrible magic and the only way that the men of the county can feel safe is to send the girls off. Not every girl makes it back. There are poachers that will happily capture the girls and skin them alive to collect their "magical" blood to sell to the county. Plus they want the bounty. The girls that make it back are never allowed to even discuss the Grace Year. When I read the premise of this book I was very excited to read this but as I started reading it took me a bit to get into this. I must say that after a little bit I was completely hooked. There is more to it than that though. There is something really special about this book. Even though this is a dystopian mystery in the climate that we are living now this is a very important novel. When I read The Hand Maid's Tale I remember thinking that could never happen, even in the distant future. Now, not so much. I can see this happening sometime. This is more than a cautionary tale. It is gruesome, bloody,bold and sometimes very hard to read but in the best way.
Caroldaz 3 months ago
Wow! This story packed a punch! A story of a misogynistic world causing severe abuse to women, pitting women against each other and yet with a tender love story. Girls are told that they have magical powers in them which are dangerous to men and so they are banished for their sixteenth year to rid themselves of the magic and become purified. After that year, called the Grace Year, some girls will become wives and others not chosen will become workers in the fields or servants. In any case, even being a wife is not something to be desired. Tierney is a strong girl and wants more from life, both for herself and others. During her Grace Year, the girls fight against each other, believing they have magic powers, but fighting for survival, just to survive that year. What follows is an amazing story of survival, belief, strength and love. It will make a stunning movie! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
MartyPT 3 months ago
Interesting dystopian novel. A community that separates itself from whatever else is outside their gates. The men have very strict rules for females, Eve created sin and ruined the world so that all women must be regulated. Unable to cut their hair, a color tie is placed in their hair to show their purity, it changes when they first get their period until their 16 th year then it goes to red and they must serve their "Grace year" and rid themselves of their magic. Before the serving it is decided if a man wants to marry a girl or she will be in the workhouse, then off they go. It is forbidden to discuss what happens during that year. Some never return, some mutilated, most so severely traumatized and starving they don't speak and even the men see they need a month after the return to recuperate. The main character is more tomboy that fancy girl, her father is the doctor and he takes her with him making calls, but also teaches her about survival skills in the forest. My opinion this is a very sad tale of men so afraid of women, they make up all kinds of craziness about them to have ultimate control. At times I wasn't real thrilled about her attitude toward others, she sees things negatively, ultimately she grows up and matures to see maybe her parents and Michael aren't so awful after all, and I have to remember she's only 16. The truely scary thing I can see this happening in a remote area, we see it in reality with dictatorships.
Mikalynm 3 months ago
This was such a good book, and I think it's an important read in this day and age as well. Tierney, the main character, is a strong representation for women, and I enjoyed her character arc. I would say this along the lines of The Handmaid's Tale, but a YA version with other aspects rolled in there as well.