The Grace Year is something of a mix between The Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies and The Handmaid’s Tale. I also got a lot of vibes from Under the Never Sky. Nevertheless, it’s a completely unique book. It’s disturbing and intense, intriguing and eye-opening. It’s a dystopian thriller with a feministic perspective that puts a finger on some really important issues like independence, equality and how strong and powerful we all can be if we support each other, and how scary the alternative is.
Tierney James lives in an isolated village where the men rule everything and were women that speaks their minds are considered as dangerous creatures trying to lure men by using magic. It is believed that girls on the verge of womanhood possess powerful magic that can ruin men. During their sixteenth year all girls are therefore banished from the county to fend for themselves in the wild and get rid of their magic in the fight for survival. Only then can they return, broken and meek, to enter into the marriages decided for them.
I really rooted for Tierney right from the start. She is fierce, has a mind of her own and dreams of a better world, and dares to questions the current order of things. Unlike the other girls, she does not dream of getting married and become the property of a man, but would rather prefer the harsh life on the fields. Destiny has other plans for her though… As she is sent off for the grace year, Tierney soon discovers that it’s not the magic or the brutal life in the woods that she must fear. Not even the poachers (men waiting in the woods to catch and kill the girls), but rather the other girls. Alone in the woods a very complex and twisted relationship forms itself between the girls, who are indoctrinated to believe they have magic powers.
The book was a little slow in the beginning, but about halfways it really took off and I was completely sucked into the story, reading the last part feverishly. This book is brutal and violent, but it also shows the good in people and how they can grow if they are given the opportunity. The world building is amazing and very credible. There is also a cute and very well-executed enemy to lovers part, which is one of my favorite tropes.
I really hope that there will be a sequel though, as there are so many unanswered questions and so much more I want to learn about Tierney’s life ahead.
Get your own copy:
All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Alwyn Hamilton Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert Ashley Woodfolk Audrey Coulthurst Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.G. Drews Chris Bedell C.L. Beaumont Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Dustin Thao Elizabeth Acevedo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Grace Williams Gwen Martin Heather Truett Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Woodson Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jenna Evans Welch Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han John Green Julianne Donaldson Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Lauren James Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Williamson Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Mackenzi Lee Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally M. Tasia Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve River Braun Roan Parrish Roseanne A. Brown Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Saundra Mitchell Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophie Gonzales Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Teagan Hunter T.J. Klune Tomi Adeyemi Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard