Fiction Book Reviews

YA Dystopian | The Grace Year | Kim Liggett

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I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts about The Grace Year by Kim Liggett today.  I LOVED this story.

Book cover for The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett is published by Del Ray and is available to purchase in digital, hardcover and audiobook with the paperback publishing 5th January 2021.

The resistance starts here…

No one speaks of the grace year.
It’s forbidden.
We’re told we have the power to lure grown men from their beds, make boys lose their minds, and drive the wives mad with jealousy. That’s why we’re banished for our sixteenth year, to release our magic into the wild before we’re allowed to return to civilisation.
But I don’t feel powerful.
I don’t feel magical.

Tierney James lives in an isolated village where girls are banished at sixteen to the northern forest to brave the wilderness – and each other – for a year. They must rid themselves of their dangerous magic before returning purified and ready to marry – if they’re lucky.

It is forbidden to speak of the grace year, but even so every girl knows that the coming year will change them – if they survive it…

A critically acclaimed page-turning feminist dystopia about a young woman trapped in an oppressive society, fighting to take control of her own life.


Although a familiar trope – a group sent off to fend for themselves and they fall into roles and adapt behaviours to fit expectations – this is different in that the group are all women who have started menstruating but not yet come into their ‘power.’  They’ve been brainwashed by the patriarchy and followed strict rules and regimes in their village so that once on their own, their hearts and minds are full of fear and they have no idea what freedom looks like. 

Tierney is already at a disadvantage as they walk to their destination with their guards.  Taught skills she shouldn’t know, always a tom boy and a rebel, she’s put in an awkward position that isn’t of her making.  There was obviously going to be an impact but wow! Kim Liggett knows how to harness the shadows to amplify the darkness inside of the girls.  As if that wasn’t enough, there’s another danger from the hunters and a couple of betrayals I didn’t see coming.  The pages turned themselves as I was desperate to see how this all played out and what the resolution would be.  I couldn’t predict how it would end and when it comes, it’s bittersweet but exactly as it should be.  I would love to find out how this affects the village and the grace year moving forwards.  Fingers crossed for more!

I have to mention the language of flowers.  Historically, families immigrated to the village and because there were many different languages, their shared common language was the language of flowers.  I thought this added so much to the story.

The Grace Year is one of my top reads this year.  I read it over a month ago and I still think about it now.  If you enjoyed The Hunger Games, The Handmaid’s Tale or the I-Land (Netflix), I guarantee you will love this story.

Footnote: Universal Pictures have bought the rights which will be directed and produced by Elizabeth Banks.  Excited for this!

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Kim Liggett, originally from the rural Midwest in the US, moved to New York City to pursue a career in the arts. She’s the author of Blood and Salt, Heart of Ash, The Last Harvest (Bram Stoker Award Winner), The Unfortunates, and The Grace Year. Kim spends her free time studying tarot and scouring Manhattan for rare vials of perfume and the perfect egg white cocktail.  Twitter @Kim_Liggett

I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 9+ years. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school.


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