The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It blew me away. I missed out on a paperback ARC of it but got my hands on a digital copy and I cannot believe how good this book is. Seriously, if it's sitting at the bottom of your ARC pile or if you haven't decided whether or not to pre-order…just do it.
The Grace Year is some crazy hybrid of Lord of the Flies, Hunger Games, Maze Runner, and a Handmaid's Tale. That's a lot to take in, but it totally works.
Tierney is entering her sixteenth year and it's time for her to go into her Grace Year. Each year, the young women in her county are veiled and chosen for marriage. On top of this, they must go out into the wilderness and into a compound in order to discover and release their magic. IF they survive, they'll come home to their new husbands and carry on with having babies and being generally steamrolled.
Tierney has been having dreams of a young woman who is leading her towards rebellion and must hide these from everyone she knows. Women aren't allowed to dream.
Once in the compound everything goes wrong. The character of Kiersten is the quintessential evil "mean girl" and basically takes over. I'll warn you now…if you thought you wanted to throttle Draco Malfoy? You're going to want to outright stab Kiersten.
From here the novel takes you on a journey of self-discovery and survival. There are quiet moments and then there's a ton of great action. There's even love thrown in there. I will say that while there were parts of the book that I found predictable, they are minor plot points in the grand scheme of things.
The ending of this book made me gasp and cry. I cried twice honestly. Big stupid tears. That hasn't happened to me in a long time. With this novel already optioned by Elizabeth Bank's production company, I cannot wait to see it come to life.
Do yourself a favor and make this one of your "have-to" reads.
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