Title: The Grace Year
Author: Kim Liggett
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
I’ve been wanting to read The Grace Year since before it actually came out, so I put a reserve on it at my local library. I was so surprised when I got the call that I’d have my library’s first copy. It’s been sitting at the top of my stack ever since, and as soon as I was finished with Her Body and Other Parties, I pushed it to the top. This book is difficult to describe; I finished it a few days ago, and I’m still stunned. The Grace Year was like a mix of Lord of the Flies and The Handmaid’s Tale, by way of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation. It was strange, terrifying, emotional and shocking; it might be one of my favorite books of 2019. Combining horror, romance, and chilling secrets, The Grace Year is one of those books that get under your skin and into your blood and heart. I will never forget it. One of the best for me, and I can’t wait to see what comes next!
In Garner County, unwed young women carry within them magic so potent that it can make a wife claw her face in wrath and jealousy, and draw grown men from their marriage beds. Tierney knows only vaguely what happens on a woman’s grace year. This year, it is hers, and she will be forced to go out into the wilds to purge herself of her magic before she is married to her closest childhood friend. But Tierney wants a life of her own, while she is beholden to no one, least of all a man. When the grace year begins, not everyone will make it back alive, and Tierney will discover secrets that will shatter her sheltered existence, best left buried…
I loved this book. Horror is one of my favorite genres, and Liggett took the Mean Girls plus body horror route. It was fast paced, and I was immediately spellbound by the frightening, brutal world Tierney and the other characters lived in. I was both terrified and transfixed; I couldn’t have stopped reading this book, even if I’d wanted to. Tierney’s voice was lyrical and frightening, and I loved it. I also adored the concept of this book: to me, it really felt like a call out of purity culture, and I loved it! This book was pretty damn close to perfect. It was like Shirley Jackson and Stephen King had a lovechild, and it was an amazing feat of a book. But my favorite part was Tierney and her growth as a person, especially over the second half of the book. But this book was written with such violence and brutality; I love books that flip gender expectations on their head, and this book did that so beautifully. And that ending! Oh, my goodness, that was amazing! Tierney’s journey will forever stick with me. The bottom line: The heir apparent to Shirley Jackson, Stephen King, and Margaret Atwood, I loved The Grace Year! Next on deck: Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky!