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The Grace Year: A Novel Hardcover – October 8, 2019

4.6 out of 5 stars 2,323 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—At the age of 16, all girls are banished so that they can release their magic, which "lures men from their beds, makes boys lose their minds, and drives the wives mad with jealousy." Before they are sent away, the chosen girls are given a veil signifying that they will be married when—and if—they return. Tierney dreads this "grace year." She has no desire to be married. She has seen the condition of the girls who return. She has no fear of the menial labor she will be assigned if not chosen as a bride. She does receive an unwanted veil and leaves with the rest of the girls and the guards who are to protect them from the poachers who will kill them, dissect them, and sell what's left of them back to the settlement as medicine. The poachers are dangerous, but so are the dynamics of the girls themselves as they fight one another and struggle to survive. This dark tale, often reminiscent of William Golding's Lord of the Flies and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, is both disturbing and uplifting. The cruelty shown by self-appointed leader Kiersten contrasts starkly with Tierney's desire to maintain peace and keep everyone alive. When Tierney is forced out of the encampment and must survive on her own, her resourcefulness proves that magic is not all that they were told it was. While main characters are well drawn, minor characters lack real development. The plot, often harsh and violent, builds to a surprising conclusion, a paean to feminism in some respects. VERDICT This is a novel that will appeal to those who like dark stories with fairy-tale elements; highly recommended as a book group discussion choice.—Janet Hilbun, University of North Texas, Denton


"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

"It is a top ten book of the year for sure and maybe the best YA novel this year. If you like The Handmaid's Tale and Vox, this book is for you." -- Red Carpet Crash

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Product details

  • Publisher : Wednesday Books (October 8, 2019)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 416 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1250145449
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1250145444
  • Reading age : 14 - 18 years
  • Lexile measure : HL810L
  • Grade level : 7 - 9
  • Item Weight : 1.01 pounds
  • Dimensions : 5.78 x 1.39 x 8.59 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 2,323 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
2,323 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on October 17, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on October 8, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lovers of Women's Lit and Science Fiction will enjoy The Grace Year
By Kari on October 8, 2019
The Grace Year
By Kim Liggett

Read: August 2nd-3rd, 2019
Edition: ARC e-book, NetGalley
Pre-Ordered: YES

I was provided a free copy of The Grace Year through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I regret that it has taken me this long to write my review for The Grace Year, but this book isn't like other books. The Grace Year has now become apart of me. It happened slowly, I didn't even realize it was happening at first, day after day, week after week The Grace Year kept digging into my subconscious, ingraining itself with my inner soul, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

The Grace Year is a mystery. I mean, seriously, we have NO IDEA what is going to happen in this book. All we know is that 16 year old girls have to go into the woods for a year. That's it. Well, color me intrigued. I requested the book upon immediate discovery and the rest is history... No no no. I got the book, I read it in less than 24 hours and I'm still thinking about it over a month later. The Grace Year is multi-layered, and sewn together perfectly, it's no wonder the rights have been sold for a movie. With extreme highs and extreme lows, The Grace Year will take you on a ride for your life. It will open your eyes, frighten, and inspire you. The Grace Year is made to make you look at your inner self and how we interact with the people around us. It also teaches us about love and loss and the secret language of flowers.

5/5 everyone and their families should read The Grace Year.
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20 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on October 22, 2019
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21 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on October 20, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Such a powerful book!
By Kristi on October 20, 2019
"The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." -Steven Biko

First Sentence(s):

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

The Grace Year by Kim Ligget is a book I’ve been seeing around social media for a while and it really piqued my curiosity. To begin with, the cover is absolutely gorgeous and as I read the book, I really appreciated the symbolic meaning of it. I’m also a fan of The Handmaid’s Tale and Vox; two books that rely heavily on the demoralizing of women and the fear that men have of the ‘weaker sex’. So, for me, reading The Grace Year was a no-brainer. I won't summarize the book; this has been done and it’s hard not to incorporate spoilers. I think it’s better left for the reader to discover some things on their own.

As with any really great book, there are antagonistic characters and sympathetic characters; Ms. Liggett incorporates the conflict between them in a way that makes the story flow seamlessly. The dialogue is poetic and emotive, no word without meaning or great thought. Tierney is a wonderful protagonist and I loved her; she is flawed in a deeply beautiful way and so different from the other grace year girls. She doesn’t quite fit in Garner County but is smart enough to know she has to try because the alternatives are quite ugly.

The story is told in seasons and I found this to be clever and suited the story perfectly. I don’t see this as a purely feminist book but more a tale of the oppressed and of discord but also one of sisterhood and unity. I think this is a book that many will go into thinking they know the outcome – or potential outcome - but will be surprised at the spirit and essence of the story.
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Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars If you dont read this youre making a big mistake
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 24, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Feminist Dystopian Novel
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 6, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow ....everyone should read this
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 27, 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars Coming of age
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 6, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars A real achievement
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 20, 2019
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