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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Kim Liggett's The Grace Year can be a difficult and harrowing read at times. Physical brutality toward oppressed women is a major theme, especially involving cutting off teen girls' body parts both as punishment and for their magical qualities. Characters are frequently in danger of being caught and skinned alive and then cut up for their parts. There's not a lot of detailed gore, but blood, pain, and injuries are described, sometimes in detail. A man pinches a teen girl hard between the legs. A few kisses are described briefly, and two teens have sex but it's not described beyond kissing, undressing, and emotions. It's a great opportunity to read along with your mature teen or book club and talk about feminism, community, fear, gender relations, oppression, and especially about women's relationships with each other and society.
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if you are easily triggered by trauma,
if you are really tired of dyst... Continue reading
What's the story?
Every year, all the 16-year-old girls are sent off to spend THE GRACE YEAR at a remote encampment in the woods. By that age they're supposed to have come into their magic, which is powerful enough to lure men into sin and drive other women mad with jealousy. So they're sent off into the wild with very little in the way of provisions to survive as best they can while ridding themselves of their magic. Just outside the encampment are the ruthless, ever-present poachers, who try to lure the teens outside the safety of the encampment so that they can harvest their magic and sell their body parts for sacks of gold. Now that it's Tierney's year, she hopes she can prove to the others that if they work together, they can get through the year without losing anyone to starvation, illness, or the poachers. But when the magic starts to take hold, things become so much worse than any of them could have imagined.
Is it any good?
Haunting, harrowing, timely, timeless, this richly detailed dystopian thriller isn't easy to read, but it's impossible to put down. Author Kim Liggett's prose pulls you immediately into a world you don't fully understand yet, and she pulls so beautifully that you just have to follow even as you're not sure you want to understand. It doesn't take long before vivid pictures of the people in The Grace Year and their world form in your mind while building suspense and dread keep the pages turning. Through narrator Tierney's authentic voice, you witness brutality and fear, taste freedom as you fight for your life, and dream that the world really can be a place you actually want to live.
Mature themes about womanhood, community, oppression, gender roles ,and relationships, and so much more make it a great choice for a book club, or to read along with your mature teens who can handle the violence and are ready to take on larger-world issues.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the takeaways from The Grace Year. Is it ultimately hopeful? How does it make you feel about your place in society and your relationships, especially with other girls and women?
What are Tierney's character strengths and weaknesses? Did you like or admire her? Why, or why not?
What about the violence? Does it serve a purpose in this story? Is it glorified? Why does so much of it involve teen girls' body parts?
- Author: Kim Liggett
- Genre: Contemporary Fiction
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Wednesday Books
- Publication date: October 8, 2019
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 17
- Number of pages: 416
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: December 10, 2019
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