The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
Reviewed by Sam!
What I drank prior: well, friends. I have the motherfucking hiccups. I’ve had probably a bottle of wine, maybe more on my own. It’s the last night in the apartment with Ginny. A five year saga. Idk if you all know our story but basically we met on Craigslist and then became almost immediate best friends. She didn’t drink nearly as much as I did and I didn’t read nearly as much as she did and then we melded. I feel like I need a whole drunk post about our relationship… not a bad idea. K. That’s gonna happen. A BOTTLE OF WINE TONIGHT, THIS OUR LAST NIGHT IN OUR BEATIFYL APARTMENT.
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.
Drunk Overview: This book is basically Handmaiden’s Tale meets Lord of the Flies. Literally. In this world women can have magic powers that progress in and/or before their 16th year but they’re limited so they send the girls at that age away for a year to “exhaust” their magic and then get to come back to society. Oh but only if they’d been chosen as a wife before they left. Wait… did I forget? This place they go is an island where they have to play Survivor and win. It fucking sucks.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: I immediately loved this story. I know it sounds awful but I did. It needed a moment or two of originality that I didn’t get but… hey. Can’t win them all.
Characters: the main character’s name is literally tyrany. Literally.
So I’m gonna try this talk to text thing because I’m drunk and I don’t want to type anymore but so the characters in this are interesting because the main characters name is Tyrney which is yeah so weird but the villain sorta is another woman who makes everybody think that she has the power of mind control and therefore makes everybody else do literally horrible things and that’s terrible she’s terrible. Wow doing this diction thing with voice to talk means that I get this whole run on sentence which is really fun and also it Doesn’t understand my hiccups at school but it does stop my words after a certain amount of time which is weird. Hiccup I’m watching Pride and Prejudice as background and it’s like wow so patriarchal wow that didn’t work so I’m gonna stop doing this now and go back to typing with my thumbs.
We also have our men. They both suck. The one tryna say our lady and the one who actually does. It’s wild. Both have this unique perspective of the world and neither are what you thought. Love that.
Plot: it was VERY slow. It covers a whole yearr and YOU KNOW it does. And not in a pleasant way. The twists though were things I didn’t expect which I loved.
Writing Style: eh. Normal.
World Building: I sort of want more? I felt like this at the end of Handmaid’s Tale but nothing as much as HT. Like… in HT I was left wanting(on purpose) and this tried to do that hit didn’t do as well.
What to pair it with: A fuggin IPA cause that’s a “dude’s drink” and fuck the patriarchy I still have the hiccups.
Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,