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Finding Grace

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  766 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
RACHEL HAS JUST graduated from high school and thinks she knows everything. Well, maybe not quite everything. Then she meets the mysterious Mr. Preston, who offers her a live-in job looking after Grace—a brain injured woman with a lovely house, grasping sisters, feral neighbors, and a box full of unfinished business. As Rachel tries to cope with the demands of her employme ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 25th 2009 by Laurel Leaf (first published February 28th 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Cory
Oct 12, 2011 Cory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Kevin Canty and Melina Marchetta
Recommended to Cory by: Karen
Shelves: favorites
So, this morning I woke up and checked my GR feed. And, on a whim, I noticed that someone (Karen) had added this book to their to-reads list. Out of curiosity, I clicked through and read the blurb. It didn't amaze me, but I clicked on the preview anyway. Then I went to Amazon and purchased it. And I sat down and finished it in less than three hours.

This is an aussie book. It's contemporary. Only one aussie author has failed me and we all know who that is.

Anyway, this is a pretty awesome book. I
...more
Reynje
2001 called, it wants it's Melanie C reference back! No, seriously - this was lovely.

As the title implies, Finding Grace is a story about discovery. It’s a touching and funny glimpse into one young woman’s realisation that perhaps she doesn’t know as much about life as she thought she did.

Eighteen-year-old, slightly socially awkward Rachel has just finished high school when she accepts a job offer to become a live-in carer for Grace, a woman with a severe brain injury. Gradually, as Rachel beg
...more
Emily
This is one of my overall favourite YA novels. I'm so proud of our Aussie authors - they just keep amazing me!

A few nights ago I was browsing my bookcase. I picked up All American Girl, filled with affection for my first Meg Cabot book. I loved, no – adored those books. I think that’s what inspired me to admire writers and have a go at writing myself. I’m talking about the books that I loved when I was a teenager. Books that made me laugh, books that made me cry... the books that made me feel l
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Sarah
Feb 20, 2009 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel that my life has been enriched by this book.
Judy
Jan 03, 2013 Judy rated it it was amazing
An unexpected little book that I found when I was looking for young adult books featuring people who have experienced brain injury.

The narrator is quirky, awkward and her little thoughts and comments made me smile. Even though some of the content is heavy, how the narrator approached it made it light-hearted and hopeful.

A good start to the new year!
Jill
May 05, 2010 Jill rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
The author portrays a young woman on the verge of adulthood who decides to work for a woman with a traumatic brain injury. The writing was both humorous and touching, as well as very realistic and relatable. I felt like I really knew this girl, and would like to be friends with her. I especially enjoyed how the author used the phrase "I know everything" throughout the book. It was a sort of tongue-in-cheek response to youthfulness, and you could see the girl grow via the way this statement chang ...more
Debi
Oct 13, 2011 Debi rated it it was amazing
Oh how I adored this book! I loved the main character, an Australian teenaged girl who is convinced she knows everything, as we all did when we were 18. I loved feeling as if, uncomfortable as it may be, I was walking around in her skin. I wish I hadn't read it because I would love to get to re-experience the book for the first time.
KC
Dec 11, 2010 KC rated it really liked it
A gem hidden in the YA section. I ransacked the library shelves looking for just one decent YA novel that I hadn't read, and I certainly found one. My only confusions comes from the fact that I know very little about Australian college, and it seemed like Rachel didn't have to go to class much. Great story.
Lizzy
Jan 26, 2011 Lizzy rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing. Perhaps because it's about something I am particularly interested in (caring for mentally disabled--in this case brain damaged), but I found Finding Grace fascinating, realistic, and uplifting.
Brenda
Mar 13, 2010 Brenda rated it it was amazing
Great characters, very real. I loved how Rachel goes from not very interested in Grace, to finding out more and more about her. She learns to not be so self absorbed, as we tend to be at that age! Recommended!
Mallory Rowley
Mar 16, 2012 Mallory Rowley rated it it was amazing
I think that this book was a very good book. I would recommend other students to read it this book. A teenage girl who just started college is helping an elderly lady. She helps the lady regain her memory after a car accident.
Christine
Nov 05, 2013 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the few books that I really couldn't put down. In SF at the moment - might review this. An excellent read.
K
Jan 12, 2008 K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An solid and thoughtful Australian YA.
Cynthia Lowell
Feb 10, 2016 Cynthia Lowell rated it liked it
I liked the story. Would like to know more about what happens to Grace and her care giver Rachael. I liked the "Spooky Box" . everyone has one.
Bridget
Dec 27, 2014 Bridget rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested by brain injuries, or rather an 18 year old taking care of an injured patient
4.5 stars

I quite liked this novel. I picked it up from my library purely because I saw the book's spine and was intrigued. I'd never heard of it before, nor did I have any blurb on the book to read. I just read the first sentence, "Grace had a brain injury." I was interested.

I really liked the main character, Rachel. She was just so quirky, like she calls herself. I could identify with her during a few chapters, and couldn't help but smile when she would talk about her problems with blushing. It
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Aneirys
Jul 21, 2014 Aneirys rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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Finding Grace is about a girl named Rachel that has the opportunity to take care of a bran injury lady. Rachel tries to bring Grace life around, while trying to understand life itself.

A fantastic summer read. It had a simple plot but it was filled with funny characters and beautiful messages. This search for the meaning of life that everybody has, we experiment it thru Rachel's eyes, a quirky and clumsy character who's comfortable with her own weirdness (something I really like).

I also like the
...more
Michelle
Aug 22, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it
Rachel is a rather quirky 18 year old who accepts a job caring for Grace, a brain damaged woman. It's Rachel's first year at University, and Grace's house is close by, rent free - how hard can it be? Well, it's a lot harder - and more tender - than Rachel ever thought it would be. She becomes pulled into Grace's life - both before the brain damage and after - and begins to create her own new life.

This is an easy read, and I finished it quickly because I couldn't put it down. It is sympathetic to
...more
Watermelon Daisy
Sep 19, 2011 Watermelon Daisy rated it really liked it


Finding Grace is probably one of the best books I’ve read this year.

It reminds us all about how brain-damaged people (throughout their life, not born) once had a life before. It’s not exactly a depressing story; it’s hopeful. And personally, I think hope is something a lot of books lack these days. Grace. I loved Grace. Even if she was brain-dead and wasn’t aware of her surroundings from time-to-time, I loved her. And the person she used to be before the accident.

The thing that made this book s
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Kimberly
Surprisingly good. I picked this up randomly at the library, which usually isn't a recipe for success, but I feel like I lucked out this time. This was a nice, quick, funny-at-times, and touching read.

Here are two of my favorite quotes (and similarities I share with the main character):

"Das ist eins meiner Probleme. Ich werde beim geringsten Anlass rot. Ich habe druchsichtige Haut. Ich bin so was von weiß, ich bin der weißeste Mensch, den man sich vorstellen kann. Meine Haut ist mein größter Fe
...more
Jessie Aljets
Nov 16, 2010 Jessie Aljets rated it it was amazing
This is the sixth book I read and its called Finding Grace by Alyssa Brugman. Its about a girl named Rachel who takes a live in job where she takes care of this woman named Grace who has brain damage. Rachel thinks she knows everything well almost everything. While taking care of Grace and going to college. She soon realizes she doesn’t really know Grace. She starts to go snooping around for clues trying to figure out who Grace was. She then discovers a box filled with letters that Grace had let ...more
Salsabrarian
College student Rachel is hired to work as the "carer" (must be how they say "caregiver" in Australia) for Grace, a young woman brain-damaged in an accident. Mr. Preston, the man who hired Rachel seems to have had some sort of romantic relationship with Grace but Rachel isn't sure of the connection. Grace cannot speak and is unresponsive so when Rachel finds her "spooky box" of letters, she reads through them to try and learn who the real Grace was. Mr. Preston's revelation of their relationship ...more
Brenna
May 03, 2016 Brenna rated it really liked it
I picked this book up on a quick jaunt to the library. I was so desperate for something to read that when choosing this book, I merely skimmed the front flap and threw it in my bag. As you can guess, I did not have high hopes for it. I started reading at that point, and was three sentences in when I decided to stop. But I couldn’t. I literally couldn’t. I finished the entire first chapter before even coming up for air. The subject matter may be touchy, but Brugman approaches it in a humorous, cl ...more
Maggie Lynch
Nov 19, 2010 Maggie Lynch rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. I was looking for something with a more literary feel to it and I found a book with great writing and excellent heart. The author does a great job of juxtaposing learning about Grace, the woman the protagonist is caring for, with Rachel's own growth into understanding herself and finding her path in life.

The only thing I didn't like about this book is that it's in first person. I know that is the trend in YA but for me it makes it harder to get into because I feel like
...more
Peggy
Jan 14, 2012 Peggy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I came across this book while sorting books at Lifeline for their bookfair. I loved the title and the cover, so I thought I would take it home and start off 2012 with what I hoped would be an interesting book.
It turned out to be a highly worthwhile, inspiring read about a teenager's struggle finding her way through frustrating emotions while caring for a disabled person. It was also a compassionate yet unexpected funny story.
Alyssa captured my imagination because she presented the storyline with
...more
Melissa
Mar 21, 2015 Melissa rated it liked it
This book contains one of my favorite quotes. I read it awhile back; but it still sticks with me.

"What are you going to do?" Everyone asks me. "What are you going to do?" Sometimes I just want to scream "I DON'T KNOW, MAN! I'M JUST TRYING TO FINISH WHAT I'M DOING NOW!"

Any book that succeeds in crafting a relatable main character (especially at a time in your life when you feel like you really don't know what to do with your life) is a win, for me!

Plus, this book is Australian; and I love Austr
...more
Lisa
Aug 04, 2008 Lisa rated it really liked it
I picked this one up randomly at the public library-I thought it was a different cover for Amazing Grace-got confused for a minute. I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I immediately liked the narrator Rachel and though it took me a couple of chapters to get used to the Austrailian vocab, I thought this was a wonderful story about a woman with brain damage. Another strong point was that it is written with a very mature teen character, but the content is still very PG.
Neville Ridley-smith
A fairly random read for me. Not even sure why we have this book.

It's a nice story. Heart-warming and quite funny in parts. In fact, yes, it was really rather humorous. And it's always nice to read a book with references to local things - ie Sydney surrounds.

I considered giving this 4 stars but ultimately it didn't seem to go anywhere in particular. Still, a pleasant journey I didn't mind taking.
Victoria
Sep 13, 2013 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Alyssa Brugman is probably one of my favourite authors of all time. Finding Grace isn't some masterpiece in terms of techniques and pretty words, but the narrator's voice is so honest, sincere, and (at times) funny, that I keep coming back to this book. The storyline is probably one of the most original ones I've ever stumbled across, the characters are unique and special and the book is written in such a way that makes it really easy to read and, at least for me, so very relatable.
Kewpie
Nov 28, 2007 Kewpie rated it really liked it
When Rachel works as a caregiver to an unresponsive brain damaged patient, she discovers a box full of letters she wrote before her injury. Discovering the reality of Grace’s past helps Rachel feel more sympathy for her charge and reach out into the community for support and friendship. Red Flags: One or two minor references to sex and out of wedlock pregnancy. Age 11+. Read-alikes: Being Bindy by Alyssa Brugman and Stuck in Neutral if the reader is interested in brain injuries.
Jenny
Mar 29, 2011 Jenny rated it liked it
Shelves: teen, realistic
Rachel has just graduated from high school and knows she knows almost everything. She takes a job as the primary caregiver for a brain damaged woman named Grace. Rachel must learn to cope with the responsibilities of her new job, starting university, and making new friends. She begins to learn that she might not know everything after all.
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Alyssa Brugman was born in Rathmines, Lake Macquarie, Australia in May 1974. She attended five public schools before completing a Marketing Degree at the University of Newcastle.

Alyssa has worked as an after-school tutor for Aboriginal children. She taught management, accounting and marketing at a business college, worked for a home improvements company and then worked in Public Relations before b
...more
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“Because I am eighteen I know a great many things; for example, I know that sticks and stones are indeed very effective mechanisms with which to break bones; however, a few poorly aim (or sadly, well-aimed) words can have some's metaphorical eye out and therefore one out not wave one's words about willy-nilly.” 8 likes
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