Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Finding Grace” as Want to Read:
Finding Grace
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Finding Grace

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  887 ratings  ·  66 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)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  887 ratings  ·  66 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Finding Grace
Oct 12, 2011 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
Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Feb 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel that my life has been enriched by this book.
Jan 03, 2013 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!
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was very interesting it draws you in and doesn't let you go I highly recommend it
May 05, 2010 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
Dec 11, 2010 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.
Oct 13, 2011 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.
Mar 13, 2010 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!
Jan 26, 2011 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.
Mallory Rowley
Mar 16, 2012 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.
Jan 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An solid and thoughtful Australian YA.
Cynthia Lowell
Feb 10, 2016 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.
This is a book about a self-interested teenager who learns that people with disabilities are also people. Once she takes a brain-damaged woman into her care, after learning that she should treat her like a person and not a child, she snoops through the woman's stuff to learn about her life.

There's also some underlying racism towards the Asian love interest - I absolutely hated how she misheard his name and continued to call him her his presumed "ethnic" name. The protagonist admits that she is e
Well I have to admit I didn't think a book about teenager looking after a brain damaged woman would be my cup-of-tea but how delightfully surprised I was to be so utterly & completely wrong!

I really couldn't put it down & devoured it over a day. I can honestly say I ran the whole gamut of emotions during this tale - I smiled, I laughed, I fumed (*warning* cat lovers - your blood will boil!)& at the end I had tears in my eyes - loved it every minute of it :o) A great little book indeed.
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Quirky Rachel spent her life hiding her blushes and trying to be a sparrow among Rosellas. When a rich school supporter offers her a generously compensated live-in career job with a woman who suffered traumatic brain damage, she says yes. How hard can it be to help one person after cleaning single mums household? But who really is Grace, her her new protégée, and more importantly, who was she?
Brianna Brown
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a beautifully written book about a friendship that blossoms out of the blue. Made me laugh and really made me think about life!
This is third or fourth time I've read Finding Grace, and it's just as good as very first time. A delightful story all round. Highly recommended to all.
Dec 27, 2014 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
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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
Aug 22, 2012 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
Watermelon Daisy
Sep 19, 2011 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
Jessie Aljets
Nov 16, 2010 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
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
May 03, 2016 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 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
Jan 14, 2012 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
Melissa Ramirez
Mar 21, 2015 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
Nov 28, 2007 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.
« previous 1 3 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Any good books like this one? 2 8 Apr 08, 2011 07:13AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Looking for Alibrandi
  • It Sounded Better in My Head
  • Guitar Highway Rose
  • A Straight Line to My Heart
  • The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence (Zodiac Legacy, #1)
  • The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 3: Hotel Oblivion
  • The Dead Girlfriend
  • A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire, #1)
  • Doom Patrol, Volume 1: Brick by Brick
  • Glasbarnen
  • The Survival Game
  • The Greatest Show Of All
  • The Vanishing Deep
  • The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan
  • Tales from a Not-So-Talented Pop Star (Dork Diaries, #3)
  • The Stonekeeper's Curse (Amulet, #2)
  • The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 2: Dallas
  • Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl (Dork Diaries, #2)
See similar books…
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

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
4 likes · 2 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“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.” 9 likes
“Working is much easier than school, because someone approaches you once a week with money. That never happens at school, unless you're a drug dealer” 0 likes
More quotes…