Friday, September 27, 2019

#BookRecommendation: The Grace Year by @kim_liggett @WednesdayBooks

Synopsis: 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.

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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 SaltHeart of AshThe 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.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
My Review: 
"After all, it's just a flower. And I'm only a girl."

This has got to be one of the hardest reviews that I have ever written. This story was a blend of The Hunger Games, Crucible, and The Handmaids's Tale.  I really wasn't sure what I was going to be reading in this one.  I knew it was some kind of dystopian story where girls had no say in anything. But other than that I knew nothing.  What I found was this beautiful story about a girl who was so much stronger than she thought she was.  

The cover does not do this book the justice that this book needs. This has got to be the 5th or 6th cover that I just didn't care for this month. Anyway don't let the cover turn you away as this is a must read title!!   The story opens with the girls getting ready to see if they are going to get a veil and get married.  Then its off to a ceremony called the Grace Year where they are lead out of town to an island where they have to survive for a year alone.  I really liked where the author decided to start this journey as it allowed the reader to fall for Tierney early on.  We also received some much needed information about this world. Without it feeling like info dumping.  

The writing in this one was very straight forward and easy to follow. The only issue I had with the descriptions were when the girls got to the encampment.  I would really like to see what this place looked like. Because, with the author's descriptions it was very confusing to me. But that was it. The rest of the pacing and writing was wonderful.  One other thing to note is that this book doesn't have chapters.  It's split up by section of the seasons that the girls are going through, then returning home.  

The characters in this one were spectacular!  I loved Tierney, she was so strong and didn't take anyones crap!  She grew so much over the course of the story and learned so much about herself.  I don't really want to call this book a coming of age title because its more a finding yourself and changing your world title.  But these girls in the Grace Year learned so much about themselves.  

The storyline/plot was dark and scary and so so beautiful!  It will make you have all the feels you can have in this one from shock, love, sadness, and just utterly falling in love with the world that Liggett has created.  I can say without a doubt that this book killed me.  It ripped out my heart only to shove it back in to rip it back out.  When you goto read this one make sure to have tissues on hand.  Because, when you get to that twist of an ending you will be crying.  

Overall, this was one story and journey I will not be forgetting about soon.  I would love to see a follow up to this one continuing the story.  As I would love to see how this world changed after a few years.  

This book in six words: Never fear to change your world!
Favorite Quotes: 

Please note these are from an ARC. 

"Because in this moment, oh how I long to be full of dangerous magic."

"How do you say goodbye to your childhood?"

"That's how they think of us....we're nothing more than in season mates for breeding."

"After all, it's just a flower. And I'm only a girl."

"And I wonder if this is the magic taking over. Is this how it starts-the slip of the tongue? A loss of respect? Was this how I become a monster the men whisper of?"

"But I won't be a broken bird. Not anymore."

"They can call it magic. I can call it madness. But one thing is certain. There is no grace here."

"I told you, I have no magic."  "Once again, I reach for the gauzy fabric." "You're wrong." he says, folding my outstretched fingers back into my sweaty palm." "You have more than you know."

"We may be without powers, but we are not powerless."

"Liggett's immersive storytelling effortlessly weaves horror elements with a harrowing and surprising survival story. Profound moments lie in small details, and readers' hearts will race and break right along with the brave, capable Tierney's. The biggest changes often begin with the smallest rebellions, and the emotional conclusion will resonate. Chilling, poignant, haunting, and unfortunately, all too timely." - Kirkus (Starred Review)
"Beautiful, devastating, and deeply moving, THE GRACE YEAR is a testament to the power of finding your voice and speaking your truth. This story of hope and resistance reminds us of what authoritarians and strongmen throughout history have always feared--that a single light in the darkness calls all other lights to shine, that a lone whisper can give rise to a thundering chorus. This haunting, lyrical book is required reading, full stop." - Samira Ahmed, New York Times Bestselling author of Internment and Love, Hate & Other Filters 
"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 of The Diviners and A Great and Terrible Beauty
"A dark fairy tale of a book that speaks to the time that we live in." -- Kelly Link, author of Get In Trouble
"The Grace Year seethes with love and brutality, violence and hope. It is a remarkable and timely story of the bonds between women, the cost of breaking those bonds, and the courage it takes to defy a patriarchy intent on crushing feminine strength. Everyone should read this book." --Sabaa Tahir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of An Ember in the Ashes
"The Grace Year is a book for every woman who has ever screamed at the top of her lungs and still felt like no one heard her. A book for every person who has ever been made to feel small or less than. A book for all of us who have been told to sit down and be silent, to grin and bear. Tierney's captivating story reminded me that sometimes existing is itself an act of bravery--and this book's existence is an act of courage that I'm very grateful for. Brutally smart, devastatingly lyrical, and so capital i-Important, I want everyone to read this book!" -- Jasmine Warga, internationally bestselling author of My Heart and Other Black Holes and Other Words for Home

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