Review: The Grace Year - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

Survive the year.

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.

Book Type:

YA Thriller

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The Grace Year
By Kim Liggett

Review: The Grace Year

“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 civilization.”

With THE GRACE YEAR author Kim Liggett delivers my first 6-star read of 2019. I was swept away by the beauty and brutality of this story, by the haunting feel of it, by the deeply moving and rousing themes it explored—it’s a visceral reverie that stands apart.

We meet Tierney James at the cusp of her “grace year”— her sixteenth year when she and other girls her age are banished to expel their magic into the wild. Such is their poisonous power, that they are known to beguile and seduce men, drive them to madness. Some girls never return, some return maimed and changed. And those who received a veil, return as ready wives to the men who have chosen them.

“The truth about the grace year, what happens during that shadow year, is hidden away in the tiny slivers of filament hovering around them when they think no one is watching. But I’m always watching.”

Spirited Tierney knows she doesn’t want to be bound by marriage. She dreams of being free, beholden to no one, claiming her life as her own.

But soon enough, the hunt begins. Poachers are at the ready to kill the girls and sell their parts on the black market. And the girls, they may be the biggest enemies of all, as they embrace the dangerous magic within.

Liggett’s prose is stunning, with notes of horror thrumming through a moving story of survival. Nuanced characters, thoughtful details, and moments that chill you to the bone. It brims with magic, probes the bonds between women, and breeds hope from rebellion. I’ve never read anything quite like this.

A feminist feat, and dark fairy tale ripe for our time.



“The grace year is ours. This is the one place we can be free. There’s no more tempering our feelings, no more swallowing our pride. Here we can be whatever we want. And if we let it all out… we won’t have to feel those things anymore. We won’t have to feel at all.”

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  1. Mary Kate said:

    OMG! Last time you had a review that made me this excited, it was for The Cruel Prince and I was OBSESSED.


    1. vilmairis Post author said:

      Yes!!!! I hope you read this and love it as much as I did!


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