Review Detail

The Grace Year FeaturedHot
Young Adult Fiction 3553
The Grace Year
(Updated: May 14, 2019)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
What worked: Just wowza. This is one intense, haunting tale of girls that are banished on their sixteenth year to release their 'magic' into the wild before they can come back home. The villagers 'fear' the girl's magic and set them out into the wilderness. Even though no one can speak of the 'grace year', rumors circulate about what happens to the girls who don't come back. Plus, there are the very real horrors of poachers who capture and skin the girls for their 'magic'.

Tierney James kind of reminded me a little of Katniss in The Hunger Games. She's strong-willed, not afraid of questioning the reasons behind the grace year and even shuns the whole idea of getting a veil right before going out into the wilderness. During that ceremony the girl's 'future' husband gives her the veil. Her and her best friend Michael stumble on what happens to those girls who don't come back at his father's apothecary shop. There are pieces of the missing girls in glass bottles. Villagers purchase them, thinking they're a youth portion. This haunts Tierney.

The scenes in the wilderness are filled with almost a psychedelic horror. Tierney watches as some of the other girls feel that they are coming into their hidden powers. She doesn't know what is real or if she's going mad. Then there is mean girl Kiersten, who blames Tierney for taking away something from her during the veiling ceremony. It's up to Tierney to try to survive through the year. Kiersten makes that task almost impossible and tries to turn the other girls against her.

Tierney fears of being captured and skinned alive almost come true. What happens is she finds that the rumors on the poachers are complicated. Not all is what it seems. In fact, those who she felt were friends could turn quickly. Especially when the idea of being super powerful and having a super power is very seductive. This is the only time the girls are by themselves and don't have to follow the rules of the males in the village. Some of the girls succumb to that allure and others end up going mad.

There's a forbidden love angle that is bittersweet. Tierney wants to follow her heart, but knows if she does her younger sister will be cast outside. Her struggle to either follow her heart or help the other girls is one that she battles with throughout the novel.

Handmaid's Tale meets Lord of the Flies in this thought-provoking tale where the idea of magic is tempered with the will to survive. This story is one that will keep readers on the edge of their seat on what will happen to Tierney when she's banished with the other girls during the grace year. There's also shown the power of rallying together and standing up to injustices against women. Powerful, insightful, and a story that is guaranteed to stay with readers long after they finish the last page.
Good Points
1. The Handmaid's Tale meets Lord of the Flies
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 1 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Wings of Ebony (Wings of Ebony, #1)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
In this riveting, keenly emotional debut fantasy, a Black teen...
You Say It First
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
One conversation can change everything. Meg has her entire...
My High School Royal Boyfriend
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
ALEX A tragedy at Langley Estate puts my family...
The Forgotten World (The World Apart Series Book 3)
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
Clark thought he knew what grief was. Addie thought...
Tales from the Hinterland
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A gorgeously illustrated collection of twelve “lush and deliciously...
Sisters of Shadow and Light
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
From the acclaimed author of Defy, Sara B. Larson,...
In the Penalty Box
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Willow Figure skating was supposed to be my whole...
Unchosen
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Katharyn Blair crafts a fiercely feminist fantasy with a horrifying...
Miracle Girl
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Leanne Strong hates June eighth even though it's supposed to...
The Memory Thief  (Thirteen Witches #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Twelve-year-old Rosie Singer’s mom is missing whatever it is that...
Singled Out: The True Story of Glenn Burke
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
On October 2nd, 1977, Glenn Burke, outfielder for the Los...
The Elephant in the Room
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
It's been almost a year since Sila's mother traveled halfway...

Latest Member Reviews

The Night Circus
 
4.3
"I couldn’t begin to express how much I adore this book. This book, magically, soothed my temper and let me..."
Wings of Ebony (Wings of Ebony, #1)
 
4.7
"WINGS OF EBONY is a beautifully crafted YA fantasy. A year has passed since Rue's life was irrevocably changed. Her..."
The Forgotten World (The World Apart Series Book 3)
 
5.0
"I don't know how this series keeps getting better, but it does. This third book is just... so much happens..."
The Tempest Sea
 
5.0
"This book... oof. It hurt. But if you know me at all, you know my favorite books are the kind..."
The Fractured Empire
 
5.0
"This book grabbed me from the very beginning, throwing me into this beautifully-crafted, intriguing new world. The plot is fast-paced..."
The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1)
 
4.3
"THE GILDED ONES by Namina Forna is a YA fantasy novel and the first book in the Deathless series. The..."
Unchosen
 
5.0
"UNCHOSEN is a fantastic and completely captivating YA apocalyptic fantasy, filled with feminism, friendship, sisterhood, and romance. Charlotte is the..."
The Memory Thief  (Thirteen Witches #1)
 
5.0
"Rosie has always taken care of herself and her mother in their house overlooking the coast of Maine. Her mother..."
Singled Out: The True Story of Glenn Burke
 
4.5
"Maraniss, whose Strong Inside covered Black basketball player Perry Wallace, turns his incredible research skills the the story of Glenn..."
The Elephant in the Room
 
5.0
"Sila's family has been happy in Oregon, even though her father, who is a mechanical engineer, has to work as..."
Alone in the Woods
 
5.0
"Jocelyn always looks forward to the vacation in a cabin that she and her friend Alex's family take every year...."
Disaster Days
 
5.0
"Hannah doesn't understand why her parents are SO overprotective, even though she occasionally has a hard time dealing with her..."
We Dream of Space
 
4.0
"Bird, her twin brother Fitch, and their older brother Chase are all doing the best they can in 1986 Park,..."
Wild River
 
5.0
"Daniel isn't all that sure why he was chosen to go on an outdoor experience trip with four other students..."
In the Penalty Box
 
4.0
"IN THE PENALTY BOX is a cute YA contemporary hockey romance. Willow is a figure skater heading for the Olympics,..."
The Afterlife of the Party (Afterlife, #1)
 
4.7
"THE AFTERLIFE OF THE PARTY is a YA vampire book for anyone who doesn't want to make out with the..."
The Alcazar (The Cerulean, #2)
 
3.0
"THE ALCAZAR wraps up an intriguing YA fantasy duology. The book continues to follow four main characters in alternating points-of-view,..."
Super Fake Love Song
 
4.0
"Super Fake Love Song is about Sunny Dae, a Korean American teenager who is a mega-nerd trying to survive at..."
Hot British Boyfriend
 
4.3
"Ellie lives in Washington D.C. and attends an elite school, even though the tuition is a stretch for her single..."
Charlie Thorne and the Lost City (Charlie Thorne #2)
 
5.0
"After her adventures in Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation, Charlie is hiding out in the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador,..."