Book Review: The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

“That’s the problem with letting the light in—after it’s been taken away from you, it feels even darker than it was before.”

― Kim Liggett, The Grace Year

The Grace Year explores the complicated and even twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the tough choices they make in between with witty writing and harsh reality.

Synopsis from Goodreads...

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.

My reaction to this novel...

Although I had never read a book by this author before, I was rather thrilled about it since I could tell from the cover that it would be similar to The Hunger Games. As a result, I had considerable expectations for the book. Having read The Hunger Games, I knew this book would be just as good, if not better, than that book since I noticed that it had earned 4+ stars on Goodreads, which gave me even more confidence that it would be outstanding. I started reading it right away.

This narrative has an intriguing, alluring, and distinctly original idea. It's a fictional piece that has left me feeling both hopeless and forlorn at moments. Above all, though, I was captivated and amazed by its extraordinary tale. However, despite its intriguing plot, I found it to be quite sluggish and drawn out, which sometimes got boring. Many times, I was excited, but because it was moving slowly, my excitement quickly changed into boredom, which made me want to put the book down. I also observed that the author displays her level of feminism. As a woman myself, I found the author's overuse of gender stereotypes to be rather distressing. I was worn out by the book. Some novels I just can't seem to put down, and then there are others, like The Grace Year. The feeling it gave me was the sole reason I couldn't wait for it to be over immediately.

In addition, I didn't think everything made sense. Also, there were still some unanswered questions, thus not everything was adequately clarified. Additionally, I experienced some writing problems. The writer had a tendency to prolong passages with pointless internal speeches. The author had a habit of including impromptu twists that were so ridiculous and a little corny that they were almost implausible. For me, all of the amazing ideas were a little bit deflating. The connection came out as phony and overdone. About halfway through the book, I started to grow irritated.

Conversely, I found it rather satisfying that the narrative did not come to an abrupt close. The writer spared some time to complete the missing pieces. But as I have indicated, I still have plenty of concerns. However, I thought it was good that the tale carried on after the Grace Year was declared to be finished. It provided a rather gratifying resolution for the narrative. All in all, this narrative had a nice concept, but it fell flat. Without giving away the conclusion, it was confusing, ambiguously allegorical, and really frustrating. For these reasons, I'm not sure if I should suggest it.

My Overall Rating: ⭐⭐✨(2.5/5)


Disclaimer: Booksreadbyhannel is not a business website. The opinions expressed here are unbiased and based only on my own feelings and reactions while reading the books I featured here in my blog. My reviews reflect my utmost sincerity. I paid for the books I review here out of my own pocket. Books provided by authors and publishers are otherwise specified.