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The State of Grace

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"Sometimes I feel like everyone else was handed a copy of the rules for life and mine got lost."

Grace has Asperger's and her own way of looking at the world. She's got a horse and a best friend who understand her, and that's pretty much all she needs. But when Grace kisses Gabe and things start to change at home, the world doesn't make much sense to her any more.

Suddenly everything threatens to fall apart, and it's up to Grace to fix it on her own.

224 pages, Paperback

First published April 6, 2017

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About the author

Rachael Lucas

24 books402 followers
Rachael Lucas lives by the seaside in the north west of England with her partner and her four children.

For more about Rachael, visit her blog here

You can add Rachael on Facebook here
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You can also follow her boards on Pinterest.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 270 reviews
Profile Image for Dash fan .
1,457 reviews707 followers
April 18, 2017
5☆  I urge everyone to read this gem!

State of Grace is a beautiful and insightful story told by Grace who has Aspergers.
It is beautifully written, Well researched and for once Aspergers/Autism has been written about.
 Autism and Aspergers is very close to my heart. I worked with children with Autism and know the daily struggles trying to make sense of the world.

So when I was given the opportunity to read this beautiful book I jumped at the chance.

It was so nice to see the story told from Grace's point of view instead of how everyone assumes she feels.

We quickly come to read the teachers don't understand Grace.
Often they are not given enough resources and information to help understand.
They assumed Grace was being disruptive in class when really she was overwhelmed.

The "time out room" was not thought out well as it was too noisy so Grace felt unable to use it.

One part that really sticks out in my mind was when the teacher tells her to face the wall for being disruptive....i was gobsmacked I wanted to scream at the teacher. It's unacceptable!!

Also when the teacher tries to embarrass Grace when she hands the teacher her time out card.
Often cards like Mackaton are used in schools to help children feel safe enough to express what they want without stress and upset.

I loved Anna she was the one thing apart from Grace's horse Mabel that made her feel safe and was a constant. Their friendship was truly beautiful. I loved watching the relationship blossom with Grace and Mabel. It was a joy to see.

Grace's homelife was chaotic at times and often unsettling for her. Especially with her Dad away and her mum's new friend.

It was so nice to see Grace develop a romance too. It was a big part of the story.
It is assumed that if you have Autism then you are unable to form a relationship. While it is very difficult for some, others have little or no problems. The Autistic spectrum varies a great deal.

I would like to applaud Rachel for this beautiful, sensitive, Well researched, informative and very special book.

I had so many mixed emotions reading this book. At times it was difficult to read, but also a joy at the same time. I smiled, I got upset and angry but I felt a lot of Love and warmth for Grace. She had a lot of courage and strength even when she was struggling.

I want everyone to read this book!!
Aspergers and Autism is not represented anywhere near enough.
 I urge everyone to read this gem of a book. #Autismawareness

I received this book from the Publisher in exchange for a honest and fair review via Netgalley.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,687 reviews1,266 followers
April 2, 2017
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to Pan Macmillan and NetGalley.)

“it’s like living life in a different language, so you can’t ever quite relax because even when you think you’re fluent it’s still using a different part of your brain so by the end of the day you’re exhausted.”

This was a contemporary story about a girl with autism.

Grace was an okay character and it was clear how overwhelmed she felt by certain situations. I really did feel quite sorry for her when it came to having to deal with awkward teachers and mean girls.

The storyline in this was about Grace’s day-to-day life, and we also got a bit of romance between Grace and a boy called Gabe. I did feel like not a lot really happened in the story though, and I lost interest a bit.

The ending to this was okay, and things did eventually seem to be getting a bit more interesting. The book then seemed to end rather suddenly though.

6.25 out of 10
Profile Image for Justkeepreading.
1,789 reviews70 followers
April 1, 2017
Thank you to Netgalley, Pan McMillan and Rachel Lucas for the opportunity to read this book for an honest review.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance reader copy of this book.

You can find my review on both Goodreads and Amazon. On goodreads.com/karenwhittard and on Amazon under k.e.whittard from publication date.

What a wonderful book highlighting Asperger's syndrome in a beautiful and sensitive way.

This book tells the story of Grace who has Aspergers. Grace lives at home with her younger sister Leah and her Mum. Grace's dad works away a lot filming wildlife documentaries. So the family rarely get to see him.

Grace has a wonderful best friend called Anna who helps Grace live the most normal life that she can with her condition.

Grace also loves horses, and Gabe Kowalski. Although she is far to shy to talk to him. On a riding trip she bumps into Gabe on his bike. When Gabe speaks to her Grace is determined to say something whitty but she stumbles and the right words don't come. I know we've all been there right?

However Grace doesn't know that she will soon be kissing Gabe at a friends party. I know autistic people are not usually staring in their own romantic book. But that's why this book is so refreshing. It breaks down the barriers of what is expected of an Autistic person in books. Just being cast as the best friend/family member and gives them their leading role. Which is how it should be.

But there are a lot of changes happening in Grace's life. Both good and bad. Which Grace struggled desperately to deal with.

Rachael is a wonderful writer and fills the pages with her soft humour and realistic scenarios. Showing Autisium in all its shapes and forms. The way people talk down to you assuming you aren't listening or are incapable of understanding. The way you are desperately trying to be normal and not defined by your disability. Shining a light on all aspects will make you laugh, smile and cry. This book really is wonderfully written.

This is such an important book for people to read. Not only to shine a light on Aspergers but also to highlight the fact that people can be fighting invisible battles no one knows about. Just because the person doesn't look sick. Doesn't mean that they are not fighting a battle you know nothing about. I especially found it wonderful as I have a disability people don't see and this will highlight all of us fighting every day just to survive.

I think everyone should read this book. Because it breaks down the barriers of what society deems perfect people and that you need to look a certain way and be a certain type of person to get love. This shows that everyone can find love and happiness no matter who you are or your medical background.

I really hope that this book does well and I feel that it will be spoken about everywhere.

Well done Rachael you did it again. Let me know what you guys thought in the comments. Happy reading everyone
Profile Image for Lizzie Huxley-Jones.
Author 6 books197 followers
February 5, 2017
Rachael Lucas has written the most absolutely charming book about a teenager with Asperger’s who has a romance storyline. Yes, really.

A little aside here, people with autism are not often the subject of romances. We’re more often the problem child talked about through the eyes of a parent or we’re the weird relative, the best friend.

But not in A State of Grace, and that’s one of the many reasons why I loved it.

“Sometimes I feel like everyone else was handed a copy of the rules and mine got lost.”

Grace is a fifteen year old girl living in the North-West of England who lives with her younger sister Leah, her mother and – sometimes – her wildlife filmmaker father. But when her father goes off on his latest shoot, things start to feel a little off-kilter.

At the same time, along with the encouragement of best friend Anna, Grace ends up kissing the most desirable boy in school, Gabe Kowalski.

But as things get more unsettled at home with the arrival of mum’s school friend Evil Evie, Grace begins to struggle the changes, be they good or bad.

I absolutely loved this book. Rachael has written a lovely romance in a 1st person narrative that feels real.

But it’s more than that, its deeper. A State of Grace touches on casual ableism, the way autistic people are talked about less to, the way it is often assumed we aren’t taking things in and so are spoken about, the way we are assumed to be desexualised people, not romantic prospects.

Her insight into being an autistic person fills the pages with moments that made me smile and cry – the realities of being autistic, the wonders and the drawbacks. The full colour spectrum of it all.

This is an important book that I must urge everyone to press into the hands of young girls with autism so they can see themselves on the page, but also it is such a wonderful story of growing up that you will love it.
Profile Image for Bee.
430 reviews859 followers
March 7, 2017
A cute slice-of-life story with a wonderfully relatable main character, even if she does have Asperger's that doesn't 'other' her, she also isn't infantilised or desexualised so YAY!
Profile Image for Suze.
1,878 reviews1,311 followers
April 10, 2017
Social situations are difficult for Grace. She has Asperger's and she would love to have a manual that tells her exactly how she should behave. Grace loves animals and has her own horse, Mabel. Being with her is simple, as Grace doesn't have to talk and she knows how to take care of her. Mabel feels safe. The same goes for Grace's best friend Anna and home, where Grace can be herself and find solitude and warmth.

When Grace's mother restores contact with a former best friend Grace's stability at home starts to disappear. Grace's nemesis at school is always trying to sabotage her as well. There's a boy they both like and he seems to be interested in Grace, but what if she can't handle dating? Grace is socially awkward, what if Anna suddenly has enough of it? Being a teenager is already hard, but being a teenager with Asperger's is even harder. What will Grace do when her whole world evolves around uncertainties and unpredictability all of a sudden?

The State of Grace is a beautiful moving story. Grace is a wonderful person. She's strong and she's kind and she keeps trying to do things the right way. My heart ached for her when she felt like she was losing her much needed control. She's an incredible person and even though social situations that are easy for most people are difficult for Grace, she continuously challenges herself. I admired the gorgeous and impressive way Rachael Lucas describes Grace's personality. She's got many character traits I immediately loved, like being great with animals and liking Doctor Who for example, and I will definitely read this book again, because it's such a good story with a brilliant main character.

Rachael Lucas writes in an open and honest way and I felt like I had the chance to come really close to Grace. Her descriptions are genuine and realistic and they perfectly suit the story. Rachael Lucas has captured Grace's essence so well that I had the idea I could see straight into her soul, which was both fascinating and humbling at the same time. The State of Grace is such a special book and I think it's an absolute must-read. I highly recommend this fantastic story.
Profile Image for Jessica (Jess Hearts Books).
677 reviews386 followers
March 2, 2017
This is such an important book by #ownvoices author Rachael Lucas that follows teenager Grace as she navigates Asperger's and teenhood. Grace has the warmest, kindest heart and I loved every moment of being in her company. I predict that it'll do for autism what The Perks of Being a Wallflower did for mental health. Simply brilliant.
Profile Image for Atlas.
677 reviews28 followers
April 29, 2018
And the funny thing I've figured out is that sometimes, when it seems like everything is falling apart, it's not the end - it's the beginning.

* * * .5
3.5 / 5

The State of Grace is a book about being young, growing up and having Asperger's by, I'm informed, an author on the autistic spectrum. I think these kinds of books are particularly important, so I was impressed not only by the sensitive depiction of Grace but by the fast-paced plot, solid writing, and the way Lucas managed to capture the awkwardness of being a young teenage girl.

I need to be quiet, somewhere, and just let myself settle, like a snow globe. But it's hard to make people understand that.

Grace has Asperger's - loud noises and sensations overwhelm her, sometimes she can't recognise people that she knows, or misses social clues which cause other people to get unfairly frustrated with her - but she also loves horses, in particular her horse Mabel, her cat Withnail, her sister Leah, and her best friend Anna. She's also about to kiss Gabe Kowalski at the biggest party of the year. Another reviewer said that they so rarely get to read about people with Asperger's getting love stories - and this love story really is much like any other. Gabe is a sweet fifteen year old boy with ADHD, and is the most popular boy in the year.

Alongside the romance, the book deals with family issues, Grace's sister Leah is thirteen and growing up fast, wanting to try new friends and alcohol whilst their mum seems a bit absent. She's reconnected with her university friend "Evil Eve" who is single and childless and wants to pick up her friendship with Grace's mum where it left off, fun and carefree and complete with copious amounts of wine. Then there's their dad, always jetting off around the world on wildlife photoshoots and filming documentaries. All the while Grace is trying to fit in, figure out dating, and worrying about what to wear to her mate's sixteenth birthday party.

I've been on a date, nothing disastrous has happened and today I'm winning at being a human

The State of Grace pretty decently captures growing up a teenage girl and it has a lot of love for horses. Grace spends a lot of time riding Mabel, grooming her, and mucking out her stable. If you aren't that big on horses - beware, Mabel features a lot. This book is also wonderfully diverse - aside from Grace, there's Gabe who is Polish with ADHD and the older lesbian couple who works at the stables.

However, I think The State of Grace tries to tackle a bit too much. Whilst it does justice to the mum and romance storylines, there's also the absentee father and Leah's plots. Their dad only appears in the book once, but he's mentioned quite a bit and it feels like he's wrapped up a bit too neatly. Leah is having friendship troubles and there's quite a serious incident which is sort of swept under the rug. I think Lucas tries to cram too much into what is quite a short novel. It's also got the very typical "mean girl" antagonist.

But, The State of Grace is a really good and quick read. It goes into the nitty gritty about how living with Asperger's can be difficult and how people can treat you like you are lesser, but simultaneously has a really sweet romance.

My thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for providing me with an ARC.

Read this review and more on my blog: https://atlasrisingbooks.wordpress.co...
Profile Image for Cora Tea Party Princess.
1,323 reviews802 followers
December 19, 2017
5 Words: Family, friends, growing-up, first-love, control.

It took me about five chapters to settle into this book, there was something about the style that took me some time to get into. But once I was in that was me, and I couldn't put it down, I couldn't stop turning the pages.

I loved Grace and her relationship with her sister and her mother, and how it wasn't all sunshine and fluffy white clouds. Evie (booooooo) comes into their lives and just astonishingly awful, a big dark cloud that sets in motion so many little bad things. I loved Grace and her relationship with her friends, especially Anna. I loved Grace and her relationship with her horse and the people at the stables (even though I'm not a fan of horses).

Although not a huge amount happens in the story itself, it feels like an awful lot happens as you're reading. Grace goes through so many little things, so many little moments of her and her life are presented, and as a whole you feel like you've gone on an adventure by the time you finish.

This was a quick read that had me smiling and raging and laughing and shocked... It made me feel so much.

Friendship is a weird sort of thing when you think about it.
Profile Image for Sophie.
Author 28 books405 followers
May 24, 2017
A moving, honest, heartfelt and informative Own Voices story about Grace, who has autism, and the struggles she faces in a particular period of her life. I couldn't put this book down! A great read for young teenagers.
Profile Image for Samantha (WLABB).
3,374 reviews233 followers
August 20, 2018
I was really curious about this book for several reasons. I was eager to read an #OwnVoices YA romance featuring a character with ASD, as this is not something I see often, and I must say, my experience was rather wonderful. NOTE: I have read a ton of reviews from reviewers with ASD, and all approved of the rep.

• Pro: I'd be hard pressed to find a person out there, who didn't fall in love with Grace. She was funny, smart, and really honest. Her commentary on most situations left me smiling and sometimes even laughing out loud. She didn't always do everything right, but she always tried her best and had good intentions. I know I was rooting for her.

• Pro: I wasn't surprised to read that Lucas was autistic and also, the mother of an autistic child, because Grace's emotions regarding her autism came across as wholly authentic. Not only did I get keen insight into her feelings, but Lucas also shared some many important ideas about autism and people with autism.

• Pro: The romance was so adorable. The nerdy conversations and awkwardness kept me grinning, and all those firsts were terribly sweet. So, yeah, I shipped them. I would have loved to get to know Gabe a little better, but what I did see was pretty wonderful.

• Pro: Grace's grandma was a pretty awesome human. Her love and acceptance of Grace was really beautiful, and she just was so in tune with her.

• Pro: The friendship between Anna and Grace was lovely. Anna was really supportive, and had an understanding of Grace's needs. It pained me, when Grace would question why someone like Anna would be her friend, because it was obvious that Anna loved Grace dearly and also got lots of their relationship.

• Pro: Lucas did a beautiful job conveying Grace's state of mind. In the part where she was really stressed, the words whipped me about and pulled me into her emotional state. She also deftly illustrated how much effort it took for Grace to adapt to neurotypical expectations.

Overall: This was a terribly sweet, heartwarming, and touching story of a neurodiverse girl in a neurotypical world, which was told with humor, honesty, and quite a bit of positivity.

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Kirsty.
413 reviews27 followers
May 22, 2017
This review is about someone with mental diversity so if I have made a mistake with wording please let me know, like I ask for all my reviews!

The State of Grace follows Grace, a teen with Asperger's whose dad is a wildlife photographer as a boy takes a romantic interest in her for the first time ever. But then things start to change at home and her whole world seems to go skewiff.

I haven't heard much about this book online really which I think is a shame because it's a nice read. It's an own voices book so I'm sure it'll ring true with a lot of people.

This book was a really good read. I would say it was a joy but it wasn't because I got so annoyed all the time by the mother's terrible parenting. Grace's mum was having a midlife crisis of some sorts, and wanted to be a teen again, which is how it read to me and so she took it out on Grace.

Continue my review here: https://kirstyreadsblog.wordpress.com...
4 reviews
March 3, 2017
I want all my friends to read this. I want to give this to anyone who looks at me like I'm stupid/rude, to anyone who thinks I'm a freak, to anyone and everyone who doesn't understand what it's like to live with Asperger's. I feel like this is definitely one of the most important books of 2017 and I want everyone to know. I think this makes a great 'comfort book' in that I will reread this over and over when I have a bad day or when I want to connect to someone similar to me. The way it's written just makes me realise how not-alone I am and I want to know Grace in reality so badly because I know we are one and the same (except for the part where she loves horses and I have quite a substantial fear of horses because they're big and could probably kill me with their eyes).

Grace is the best character; she speaks so honestly and bluntly (in her head of course) so that even if you don't have Asperger's, the story will still have a good impact on you. I love the way all the characters are so distinctive and separate and I also love that each has their own sub-plot which all make sense at the end. I also love that since we're seeing everything through Grace's eyes, everything seems negative and all her worries affect the way the reader will see the story; I think that's so clever and I wish I could write like that.
The story is fast-paced and at the start, everything is happening quite quickly but by the end, you will be tense, anxious and concerned for Grace as everything speeds along to a nice, relaxing, all-wrapped-up ending. I love that the end of the book actually did wrap up every mini-plot and everything was answered, because I would've been heartbroken if anything had been missed out. I also love the two Taylor Swift references, because I am a Swiftie at heart and I love to see references to the old, country, curly-haired Taylor Swift. I also really appreciated the German Shepherd having a good representation; that line about the perception she's aggressive made me so happy because breed stigmas/representation is where my little animal-student heart lies...

I love that it describes that feeling of being so emotionally drained and physically tired after socialising with people because I feel like that's an important aspect that people don't really seem to understand unless they experience it themselves. I also love that it featured an autistic main character who has *shock* a romantic relationship. That's often not seen as possible since autistic people supposedly have no emotions, don't want to touch anyone or just aren't interested in relationships. In this book, Grace is completely 'normal' and is a 'normal' teenager, just with a mental problem which affects her social skills and thinking, not her desire to date or have friendships. I also love that she's that 'normal' in that she's not a train enthusiast, can't do complicated maths in her head and isn't obsessed with space like a lot of autistic characters seem to be. She's just an animal-lover who likes Doctor Who and there are quite a few of those who aren't autistic.

This was honestly such a good book, I can't say enough good things about it. I will be buying a finished copy, I will be lending it to anyone I can convince to read it and I will be praising it for months to come. This is truly an important read for anyone who has Asperger's, knows someone who has Asperger's or simply wants to see what it's like. I genuinely feel books like this (as well as Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall and Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne) should be taught in schools or at least promoted so that they can explain these mental health issues to people who possibly don't understand it, or who don't want to feel like a 'weirdo' or like they're alone in the world.
Profile Image for Kelly.
314 reviews31 followers
April 10, 2017
The State of Grace is such a charming and heartfelt read. Rachael Lucas has truly put part of herself into Grace and I am so thankful to her for writing this wonderful #OwnVoices young adult novel.

This book tells the story of Grace, a teenage girl with Asperger’s. Grace has a unique view of the world and those around her and this book truly allows us a glimpse into her world. Not only do we get to share this unique view of her world, we also see how Grace is often treated differently because of her autism. Grace has a voice and all she wants is for people to listen and understand her. She may not always have the right answers but she at least wants to be given the chance.

Rachael Lucas’s writing style is simple yet gorgeous. She truly puts us in Grace’s shoes and helps us to understand how Grace feels in all sorts of situations. Whether that be the overwhelming sounds and colours of the world around her or those tricky moments where Grace just doesn’t know how she is supposed to respond. Grace is a character that I think everyone will somehow relate to, it’s easy to empathise with her and on multiple occasions I just wanted to let her know everything would be okay.

I am so in love with Grace and Anna’s friendship in this book. They have easily become one of my favourite female friendships in YA books. I love that Grace considers Anna to be one of her safe spaces and that with the love and support of her best friend Grace feels more able to put herself in new situations and have new experiences. That’s a real friendship right there. I also really loved Grace’s relationship with her horse Mabel. If you are a horsey person then you will love this book!

I have to point out that this book is not all sunshine and rainbows. At the beginning of this book there was a scene that made me feel completely and utterly sick to my stomach and that was the particularly disgusting treatment of Grace by one of her teachers. As a teacher myself I cannot even fathom the idea of making any child sit in the corner of a classroom and face the wall but especially a child who has shown a pass to get them out of a potentially terrifying and harmful situation. It just doesn’t sit well with me and I was so sad that this is something that some autistic children may be put through. I feel sickened just thinking about it now but I want to thank Rachael for putting this scene in there because it is something that needs to be acknowledged.

As a secondary school teacher I love Grace and cannot wait to introduce her to some of my pupils who I know will see so much of themselves in Grace. They will be so delighted to find a book they can relate to and they are sure to love Grace and her journey in this book. Thank you, Rachael, for putting yourself out there so those young people can have a book where they are represented.

This book is very well written and a super quick and adorable read. A fantastic addition to the amazing year that UKYA seems to be having in 2017!

Thank you to Netgalley, Macmillan and Rachael Lucas for my copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Profile Image for Lucy Powrie.
Author 5 books5,593 followers
June 29, 2017
I’ve been a very big fan of Rachael Lucas’s books ever since I read Sealed With A Kiss and fell in love with it. That meant I got super excited when I heard that Rachael was working on a YA novel. I was very lucky to get to read an early chapter of The State of Grace back when it didn’t have a book deal, so I’ve waited patiently ever since to read the final thing. I was not disappointed!

It’s hard to describe exactly what The State of Grace is about because it’s one of those books that you really do need to read to discover how good it is. To put it simply, though, it’s told from the perspective of 15 year old Grace who has Asperger’s. The book breaks down what it’s like for a teenager with Asperger’s, dispelling all the stereotypes and assumptions that people have. All the while, Grace has to deal with the confusion of her dad being away for long periods of time, her mum introducing a new friend that Grace doesn’t like, and her sister spiralling out of control.

There are some books that you love because they’re full of action and big, surprising moments; there are other books that you love because they’re the polar opposite, because they amble along at a natural pace and have you thinking about them all day long. The State of Grace was the latter.

I felt so close to Grace, who you get to know so well throughout the course of the novel. Having written it in first person, Lucas allows you to nestle in amongst Grace’s brain and see the world through her eyes. For this reason, The State of Grace has achieved an incredible feat – it simultaneously allows girls with Asperger’s to have a voice in YA, and allows those who don’t have Asperger’s to understand what it’s like to see the world as they do.

I’m getting increasingly frustrated with YA romances that adopt the “Hollywood effect” and romanticise teenage relationships to such an extent that they are unrecognisable from the reality of teen relationships. The State of Grace, however, restored my faith in YA romance. Gabe and Grace were awkward and endearing, heartening and uplifting, and Lucas left so much possibility between them, without suggesting a happily ever after. Other YA authors, take note!

It’s not until you read Lucas’s other fiction that you realise how much skill and talent she has. To write books aimed at different age groups is not an easy feat, but Lucas manages to seamlessly build a flawless writing style that reflects who she is writing for. It might seem cliché to say that my breath was taken away by the style of Lucas’s writing, but that’s exactly what happened — her ability to replicate Grace’s voice was stunning and I commend Rachael Lucas for this.

The State of Grace is a book I will be thrusting into the hands of all unsuspecting book lovers at every given opportunity. Please, please read it — it’s one of the best books you could hope to read.
Profile Image for Lauren.
478 reviews1,639 followers
September 1, 2017
I think I'm just a bit too old for this book. I wish this book existed when I was a young teen, I might have enjoyed it more then.

I picked this up because I was interested in how the autistic main character was written and if it was accurate, and it was very realistic! (I'm autistic myself.)

This is not a book about autism though. It's more of a typical YA contemporary (for a younger YA audience) that just happens to have an autistic main character, which I thought was very good because it might make more non-autistic teens pick up this book and learn about autism in girls.

I gave this two stars because other than the main character, the other characters weren't very well-developed. There was little to no explanation about why they were the way they were. I also felt like the pacing could've been better: the beginning and middle of the book were quite slow and nothing really happened, and the ending felt rushed and all over the place.

The romance was realistic for once! A new relationship between two fifteen-year-olds is often a bit awkward (in my experience anyway), and this is one of the few books that manages to handle this realistically. However, the love interest was massively underdeveloped and I wish we could've learned more about his ADHD. I also had no idea why they liked each other. From her point of view, he was good-looking and that's what drew her to him (realistic for a 15-year-old girl, but still annoying). I have no idea what he liked about her. I can make guesses, but I feel like it should've been talked about more.

Overall, good book for young teens who like YA contemporary.
Profile Image for Dominique.
31 reviews
January 15, 2018
I borrowed this book from the staff library at work. Part of me really wanted to read it and part of me was thinking “ulh yet another book about an autistic teen, where they’ll dramatise the worst ASD traits for dramatic effect and reenforce the standard stereotype like Sheldon”

I am glad I read it because this book nailed what it’s like to be a high functioning autistic female. Yes Grace is a teen (age 16) but it clearly shows how autistic minds function, how we struggle to do a simple adult shit, how we can pretend to be somewhat normal for a time but it takes its toll to and often our families are the ones who have to deal with the fallout. It also shows how meltdowns happen normally at home and we then feel enormous guilt for flipping out and treating people we love like shit because they unintentionally said or did something that was the braking point after a bad day of peopling.

If you know someone who’s autistic or you have a child, sibling, cuisine, girlfriend, boyfriend or whomever that’s autistic skip all the advice books written by the so called experts who study us like lab rats then publish their often wrong theories on being autistic and read this book.

BTW yes I’m autistic
Profile Image for Rachel007.
408 reviews47 followers
April 21, 2018
Oh goodness was this book exhausting. Mostly because I too am on the spectrum and so is Grace and her inner thoughts were tiring, just like mine. But for real, it was DELIGHTFUL. If you have ever wanted to get inside MY head, or anyone else with autism spectrum disorder, read this book!!!

I loved Grace so, so much. She is 15 years old and on the autism spectrum and says and thinks just like someone who is on the spectrum DOES. This is so rare to read about - how tired she is after many social events, how listening to conversations with things going on in the background is hard, how social cues are immensely difficult to get... I loved that aspect so much. And because she is 15, she messes up. Like any teenager might. Sometimes moreso because she doesn't always think things through, and sees things in black & white.

Must read.
Profile Image for Alessandra Crivelli.
221 reviews67 followers
June 20, 2017
This book didn't really find its way to me.

I don't know if it's the writing or it just wasn't the right time for this story but I really didn't enjoy it or even care about the MC. I couldn't really get into this book!

The writing didn't compel me.
The main characters didn't stick with me.
And I generally wasn't really interested about the storyline.

I know this book has like tons of good reviews but it just didn't leave me with anything.

I AM SORRY! Probably I am going to read again in the future but for now I had to give it a 2 stars.
Profile Image for Rachel.
42 reviews38 followers
March 31, 2017
The State of Grace is Rachael Lucas’ debut YA novel, and tells the story of Grace, a teenager with Asperger’s, as she finds her way in the world.

The State of Grace is a beautifully told story that I couldn’t put down. As an Own Voices book, you really get a sense of Grace and who she is, and this will show that there is more to those with Asperger’s than the labels we put on them. Grace is a funny and sensitive narrator, and her story will reach out to everyone who reads it.
Profile Image for Kirsty .
3,223 reviews329 followers
March 15, 2017
This book is just perfect and a wonderful example of everything I love about UKYA.

I loved this book because I got to meet Grace. Grace has Aspergers and it was very interesting to see how that affected her life day to day and I felt like it gave me real insight into how someone with Aspergers deals with day to day life and the challenges their condition throws at them making every day things that bit more difficult.

I loved Grace from the first page because she is really sweet and loving even if she can't always show it in the way others can. I loved her relationship with her best friend and I loved seeing how her first attempts at a romantic relationship went.

I loved that this book featured a human / animal relationship as you see through Grace's relationship with her horse. Our relationships with our pets are so significant as you don't always see that in fiction but this book shows that special bond perfectly especially because it is a particularly poignant relationship for Grace in helping her to be calm and sort through her headspace.

A fantastic and insightful read which I will be recommending far and wide.
Profile Image for Joséphine (Word Revel).
726 reviews280 followers
February 7, 2017
Note: I received an advanced reading copy from a local distributor in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Initial thoughts: I really liked The State of Grace. While I've had friends with Asperger's Syndrome/autism, and knew that they struggled with social interactions, I didn't realise how drained they could feel at the end of the day. Reading this book based on the author's own experiences gave me a greater insight into such experiences. It was interesting seeing things through Grace's perspective, how she processed her surroundings, as well as her general thought processes. I also loved her friendship with Anna, and how she found solace with her horse, Mabel. The plot itself was pretty straight-forward, though there still were some parts that gave rise to plenty of excitement.
February 7, 2017

This was an intriguing story about a teenager called Grace who has Aspergers . Not being familiar with Aspergers this was a fascinating look into the life of a teenager who had experience with this . I love that we see the story from Grace's perspective so we see how it effects her day to day life at school and hear the thoughts and fears going around in her head as she interacts with others , and how everyday pressure and stress effect her and what helped her during those times . Grace is a sweet girl with a big heart who loves her family and friends and animals but I think she struggled with her dad not being around much which felt like it made her more anxious . This was an awesome story with a delightful and inspirational main character . I would recommend this book to everyone.

I received this book for review from the lovely people over at Lovereading4kids.co.uk .
Profile Image for Carlie Sorosiak.
Author 8 books260 followers
December 16, 2016
Truly delightful and incredibly touching. I adored Grace's voice, and the smooth way this story unfolds. It's an important book; Grace has Asperger's, and we get a huge glimpse into the way she views the world. The State of Grace also features a fantastic horse named Mabel who is an absolute star. Place this at the top of your contemporary YA TBR pile for 2017.
Profile Image for D.J..
Author 10 books97 followers
April 26, 2017
Absolutely wonderful read! As a person with autism and a mother of a teen with autism I felt that this novel manages to show what life is like for a teen with autism without stereotyping. I wish this book had been around when I was a teen so I could have brandished it at people as a way to try explain my behaviours when I wasn't able to.
Profile Image for Abbie  Day.
459 reviews54 followers
July 13, 2017
"The day you stop learning, my love, is the day you stop living."

I picked up this book because a/ I was thinking about the Taylor Swift song, and b/ I heard that it's mental health related.

I really couldn't love this more. I connected with the main character almost instantly, I don't have Asperger's, however I was able to relate Grace's mental dialog for being introverted and having social anxiety. It really felt like I was reading about myself as a teenager, that's how fricking relatable it was! There were so many quotes that I could relate to, I literally lost count and found myself stopping almost every page to write it down. I strongly related to how Grace found being around other's 'mentally exhausting' and that feeling of crashing after a long or eventful social event. Seeing her go through good days, really bad days, and just-about-coping days was really comforting to see as someone going through spells of depression.

I enjoyed how we saw the family dynamic change throughout the book; even though it's just over 200 pages, it felt like there were loads of up's and down's within the family, and they still stuck together when things were stuff and they were struggling. It was nice to see Grace's lovely relationship with her horse Mabel, and her cat Withnails. Having that bond and comfort with animals is hard to describe.

Also, we got to see the development between Grace and Leah. We see that they are complete polar opposites and annoy each other as sister's do, but as the story develops and when 'certain events' happen i.e 'Eve-il' and Leahs 'incident', we see how strong their sisterly bond really is which was just beautiful.

And seeing how Grace grew as a person! We read through her mental dialog so were aware of the day to day difficulties she had mentally, and seeing how she changes from meeting Gabe, and slowly becomes more confident in herself. Their relationship was not a typical one, it was awkward and most importantly REAL, the book left it with so much possibility but not an exact 'happily ever after'. I haven't read much on books with the main character suffering from mental illness, but this book is already up there with Fangirl for it's mental health awareness. My only fault was that it wasn't longer because I want more of Grace and Gabe and Anna and Leah!
Profile Image for Claire Huston.
Author 3 books143 followers
April 3, 2017
An insight into one teenager’s life with Asperger’s. 4/5.

This review was originally posted on my book blog.

Being a teenager is complicated for most of us. Navigating a world of mean-girl politics, annoying parents, evil teachers and a new interest in boys and/or girls, all while in the middle of a hormone storm, is a tricky business. Add to this a lack of sensory filter and a difficulty picking up the non-verbal cues most of us read without trying, and you have an idea of the world in which Grace is doing her best to get by.

I enjoyed The State of Grace very much. It’s a good coming-of-age story with a solid plot and sympathetic central heroine. However, the best aspect of the book was how successfully the writing gave me a sense of what being Grace was like. When reading the passages describing situations Grace struggled to interpret and her experiences of sensory overload, I found myself feeling incredibly uneasy and suffocated. It always came as a relief when she managed to escape these moments and take a break, usually by fleeing to the stables and spending time with her horse, Mabel.

The secondary characters are also entertaining and believable, although I feel there’s an essay to be written on “the crucial role of useless or absent parents in YA fiction”. Although, as a parent, I found myself wanting to give Grace’s mother a good shake, it’s certainly true that if the parents in the YA genre were more capable and present, I doubt anything interesting would ever happen to the stories’ protagonists!

Finally, if you are a fan of horses (even just the fictional kind – I suspect Black Beauty fans would enjoy this), this is a book you’ll appreciate. Grace’s horse Mabel is as important a character as any of the humans in the book.
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