Book Review: The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

Add The Grace Year to your Goodreads TBR:

Publishes in Paperback in Australia on the 15th October, 2019.

Published by Del Ray, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Purchase Links:


QBD Books:


Angus & Robertson:

Australian RRP: $32.99

Genres: Young Adult Fantasy, Thriller, Dystopian, Science Fiction.

Page Count: 416

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Sypnosis from Penguin Books Australia:

A riveting speculative feminist dystopian thriller for readers of The Power, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Hunger Games.

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 civilization.
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…

The Grace Year is The Handmaid’s Tale meets Lord of the Flies – a page-turning feminist dystopia about a young woman trapped in an oppressive society, fighting to take control of her own life.

My Review:

I recieved a finished copy of The Grace Year from Penguin Books Australia in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.

This was such a riveting and immersive story, unlike anything I’ve read before! I could hardly put it down! I felt like I could instantly picture everything I was reading, which added so much to the atmosperic reading experience, giving me literal chills!

The Grace Year follows Tierney, a sixteen year old girl who always thought that she’d never be a bride, content to work in the fields, feeling that it’s an honest to goodness life, earning her share and working hard. She feels the life of a wife is something which never appealed to her, which is relaable, honestly. The last thing she expects is to be given a veil, deemed someone’s bride, someone’s property.

The Grace Year, just from the start to the end, was just so engaging and sometimes horrifying throughout, but completely addictive! I needed to know what would come next, if the supposed magic throughout this book was real, or if some characters, well, namely one, were having massive delusions of entitlement grandeur?

I needed answers!

See, it has been as long as Tierney can remember, generations before her, from her Mother to elder Sisters, who have gone through this supposed purification year, where these 30 odd young girls find themselves in the forest with meager supplies and scarce rations, for a year where they are to expel the magic from their systems, to return whole and pure to their soon to be husbands, if they’re fortunate enough to be chosen.

What struck me as remarkable in this book, aside from the wholly immersive and atmospheric narration and vast setting, was Tierney’s character. She was just so brave and unafraid, from when she was having her unusual dreams of a strange girl appearing, speaking to her, to a fellow Grace Year Girl, Kiersten, who thinks her magic ability is to compel people with her own will.

It’s funny, in terms of Kiersten’s character, I definitely didn’t trust her at all throughout, I mean, she blames Tierney for supposedly stealing her intended, but also she just doesn’t have a nice bone in her body! When finding themselves at the start of the Grace Year, the other girls all find themselves (is it fear? Pressure? Both?), all compelled to listen to Kiersten, and ddefinitely get even more wild and intense from here on in! And there was no way that I could have predicted her next calculating moves! But every moment that Tierney stood up against her, where she held her own, I was most definitely cheering for her!

Tierney is so brave and bold, and clever! Throughout, The Grace Year, she faces so much and honestly with what she goes through, I don’t even know if I could have been as brave as she was, I was so scared for her throughout this book, especially when she finds herself bearing the brunt of Kiersten’s fury, also when she finds herself in the clutches of an apparent poacher, I just absolutely and utterly admired Tierney’s survival instincts, even when she felt like she was on the cusp of death herself.

The other girls, from of course the manipulative Kiersten to Gertie, to Helen, all of them were completely memorable too. There were so many times throughout this book where I just hoped they would all just band together and figit as one, I absolutely was living for the underlying feminist empowerment which was woven throughout The Grace Year! If you love books shrouded in mystery and a unique fantastical setting with constant page turning, you definitely don’t want to miss The Grace Year!

Happy Reading,


About Kim Liggett (from Penguin Books Australia):

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.



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