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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.
Maybe the reason no one speaks of the grace year is because of us. How could the men live among us, lie with us, let us care for their children, knowing the horrors we inflict upon one another . . . alone . . . in the wilderness . . . in the dark?
This was a WILD read. It really was. That is the only word that I can think of when you ask me to describe The Grace Year. Once I could actually sit down and get into the story, I couldn’t put it down. So, why the three stars?
I REALLY struggled with the main character. She wasn’t my favorite. And not in a good way. Sometimes you can really like the awful characters in a story. They can create an incredible story just from their characteristics and personality. But she truly made me want to scream. She was inconsistent. Wishy Washy. All over the place with her thoughts and beliefs. Most of the time I don’t mind when main characters are like that. I can focus on something else whether it is the plot, setting, other characters, anything. But with Tierney, I just couldn’t get my head around her.
Unpopular opinion coming in hot: The love story that is forced upon us just didn’t work for me. It wasn’t convincing. I’ll just leave that topic alone and move on…
The Grace Year had a lot going for it. And with all of the above said, it was a pretty solid read. However– there are books that I don’t ever want to end and then there are books like The Grace Year. I couldn’t wait for it to be done, and that was all because of Tierney. But because of the great imagination and incredible setting the author provided for us, it wasn’t so painful to read when it was all said and done.