Monday, October 7, 2019

Review: The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

The Grace Year
The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
Wednesday Books
Publication Date: October 8th, 2019
Hardcover. 416 pages

About The Grace Year:

"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."

The Grace Year was intense and deliciously atmospheric and I loved every minute of it.

I was so enraptured by this book and had the hardest time putting it down whenever I was reading it. I read it back in June and it's one that I've continued to think about ever since. It's rather horrifying for a myriad of reasons, from the location of the area in which the Grace Year girls reside for a year to the general reality of what it's like to be a woman in this society--a reality that's only a slight exaggeration of our own realities at various times. I had hoped it would be dark based upon the eerie synopsis and I was surprised and pleased by how dark it actually was.

I refuse to give away anything that happens in this book, so once again details will be scarce in this review, which I apologize for--but really, it's for a reason! There are some incredibly difficult topics that are handled, so be aware of that going in, but don't let that stop you from taking in every moment of this book as we follow Tierney on her journey during the ominous Grace Year. This is a book that really dives deep into some dark topics and presents a raw, compelling look at different facets of humanity and survival, and it's utterly captivating. Liggett's prose is masterful and haunting and has such a beautiful, memorable quality to it that allows it to really get inside your head while reading it.

Tierney is such an interesting character to follow. I loved learning about her world through her experiences, both before the journey begins and afterwards when she comes to some new (and occasionally hopeful) realizations about the world around her. Tierney isn't some super outspoken girl who is constantly trying to change her surroundings; she's a normal girl trying to survive in this intense world while also trying to do what she thinks is right. Her desire to continue doing what is right is what ultimately becomes the catalyst that turns into her growth as a person and in her confidence in her abilities, which turns into a power is truly beautiful to watch.

The other characters in this book are all...ah, a little bit frightening at times. The mindset of the girls taking part in the Grace Year is truly shocking and goes in so many different directions. I'm always interested to see how group mentalities are established and what the general mood/outcome will be and in this case it turns about as wild as you might expect (or not, there were definitely still some surprises!).

I've a seen a few remarks here and there about this being 'just another scary feminine-heavy story" and I really can't disagree more. This is a book for everyone and that I think can offer insight and thought-provoking content for everyone. There is so much packed into these pages and even if you aren't going into this wanting to here some sort of message, the plot itself is incredibly well done and offers such an engaging story.

Although this book is full of horrible things and terrifying realities, it's also rather hopeful and fills me with this weird sense of pride towards women that I often get when I see how they can handle various situations and realities in life. Overall, it's five stars from me! If you like your books dark and page-turning with a haunting prose, this is the one for you!

*I received a copy of Onslaught of Madness courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review. This has no effect on my rating or enjoyment of the novel.*


  1. This sounds amazing! I can hardly wait to read it. I've really loved all of Liggett's books so far:-)

    1. I haven't read anything else by her before, but I'm definitely going to look into them now!

  2. I've been seeing so many great reviews for this one!