Chelsea Humphrey's Reviews > The Grace Year

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
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it was amazing
bookshelves: from-publisher, bookstagram-made-me-do-it, favorites
Recommended to Chelsea by: St. Martin's Press

Happy Pub Day!!!

"I have to remind myself -the dresses, the red ribbons, the veils, the ceremonies- they're all just distractions to keep our minds off the real issue at hand. The grace year.

My chin begins to quiver when I think of the year ahead, the unknown, but I plaster on a vacant smile, as if I'm happy to play my part, so I might return and marry and breed and die. But not all of us will make it home...not in one piece."


Hello, good evening, and let me introduce you to my favorite book of 2019, The Grace Year. I know it sounds ridiculous to be picking a favorite book when half of the year hasn't even passed us by, but that's how sure I am that nothing else will even come close to measuring against what this book did to me-how it made me feel-and for how it will affect my thoughts and behavior long term. This book was horrifying and beautiful, weighty yet buoyant, and I will never be the same again after experiencing what was written in these pages. I finished the story last night, but I couldn't shake what I'd read, even in my dreaming state, and I don't think I'll be able to get a good night's sleep again until I work through this review, so here goes nothing.

"As the gate closes on the guards troubled faces, it's clear they truly believe we're loathsome creatures that need to be hidden away for safekeeping, for our own good, to exorcise the demons lurking inside of us, but even in this cursed place, anger, fear, and resentment boiling inside of me, I still don't feel magical. I still don't feel powerful. I feel forsaken."

While the county that The Grace Year takes place in is a dystopian type setting, it is certainly brought to life in a way that makes it feel real. If you've read the synopsis to this book, then you know the basic gist of the story, and the early readers stating that this has The Handmaid's Tale meets Lord of the Flies vibes are spot on. The entire story is written to the extreme, and yet every moment, down to the most minute detail, is an allegory for experiences that most (dare I say all?) females have encountered at some point and time by their sixteenth birthday.

The writing is atmospheric, breathtakingly beautiful, and evokes the most basic and raw emotion from the reader. Perhaps I had too many preconceived notions going in, but I was also surprised by quite a few of the little twists and turns that Liggett throws at us, and I utterly adore that she did not cut any corners or take any easy outs with this story. There are some really hard, horrifying, things that happen in this book, and even to the very last page, no one is guaranteed a happily ever after, and yet I've never felt more hopeful, secure, and proud to be a woman as I was when I turned the final page of The Grace Year. I know I haven't given much in terms of plot detail, but I truly believe each and every reader should go into this one with an open mind, and open heart, and a need for compulsive page turning, because that's exactly what this book will provide.

I cannot recommend this story highly enough and there aren't enough stars on the entirety of Goodreads to express how emphatically I want you to add this book to your TBR. In some ways, I think females will appreciate this book the most, solely for the feminist thematic elements and encouragement, but I also believe that many men would enjoy and benefit from reading this book as well. Beyond the priceless message it provides, The Grace Year is a highly entertaining read that I wish had been around when I was a teenager. The ending provides the type of female camaraderie that I wished for my predecessors, hope to see for myself and my generation, and feel arising in both of my daughters' generation. Well done, and I cannot wait for this story to be out in the world so that everyone else can read it and discuss.

"The things we do to girls. Whether we put them on pedestals only to tear them down, or use them for parts and holes, we're all complicit in this. But everything touches everything else and I have to believe that some good will come out of all this destruction. The men will never end the grace year. But maybe we can."

*Uncorrected Bound Manuscript provided via the publisher.
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Reading Progress

April 24, 2019 – Shelved
May 10, 2019 – Started Reading
May 14, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 73 (73 new)


message 1: by Betül (new)

Betül I am looking forward to your review! ;) Hope you enjoy.


Chelsea Humphrey Betul wrote: "I am looking forward to your review! ;) Hope you enjoy."

Thanks you! So far I'm loving it. <3


booksbikesbooze Wow what a review Chelsea!!!


Chelsea Humphrey booksbikesbooze wrote: "Wow what a review Chelsea!!!"

Thanks, love! I'm hoping to get a full review up tonight sometime. <3


Nancy McFarlane I don't normally read YA (unless my DD tells me she needs a review for the store) but I couldn't resist trying this one after seeing your pre-review. Just downloaded it so it will be one of my next reads.


Chelsea Humphrey Nancy wrote: "I don't normally read YA (unless my DD tells me she needs a review for the store) but I couldn't resist trying this one after seeing your pre-review. Just downloaded it so it will be one of my next..."

Eek! I'm anxiously awaiting your thoughts, Nancy. Enjoy! <3


Izzy Wow! You definitely put this one on my radar now. I just can’t turn a blind eye to such a stellar recommendation from you! Super excited to read your review :)


Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰ Glad you got a winner, Chelsea <3 Lovely review x


Chelsea Humphrey Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰ wrote: "Glad you got a winner, Chelsea <3 Lovely review x"

Izzy wrote: "Wow! You definitely put this one on my radar now. I just can’t turn a blind eye to such a stellar recommendation from you! Super excited to read your review :)"

Thank you so much! <3


Laura Peden Do you know the pub date?


message 11: by Dale (new)

Dale Harcombe Impressive review Chelsea.


message 12: by Kim (new) - added it

Kim Lockhart This certainly induced me to bump it closer to the top of my weighty tbr list! Thank you for a thoughtful review.


message 13: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Jordan *runs off to preorder* sounds amazing!!!


Chelsea Humphrey Laura wrote: "Do you know the pub date?"

Looks to be Sept 17th at the moment! <3


Chelsea Humphrey Lisa wrote: "*runs off to preorder* sounds amazing!!!"

Kim wrote: "This certainly induced me to bump it closer to the top of my weighty tbr list! Thank you for a thoughtful review."

Dale wrote: "Impressive review Chelsea."

Thank you so much ladies! <3


message 16: by Barbara (new)

Barbara This looks good. i've requested it from Netgalley, so I'll see what happens. Thanks for the tip Chelsea. 🙂💥🌞


Chelsea Humphrey Barbara wrote: "This looks good. i've requested it from Netgalley, so I'll see what happens. Thanks for the tip Chelsea. 🙂💥🌞"

So welcome, Barbara. Fingers crossed for you!


Lorrea - WhatChaReadin'? I did just grab a copy!! From your review, I'm glad I did!!


Chelsea Humphrey Lorrea - WhatChaReadin'? wrote: "I did just grab a copy!! From your review, I'm glad I did!!"

Hooray! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, Lorrea! <3 Happy reading!


Dennis INTERESTING!


Chelsea Humphrey Dennis wrote: "INTERESTING!"

I loved this book so much!


Letty Great review (as always! 😊). I just got this one from NetGalley. Not my usual genre to read but it sounded interesting. After reading your review, I’m glad I did and hope I like it as much as you did.


Chelsea Humphrey Letty wrote: "Great review (as always! 😊). I just got this one from NetGalley. Not my usual genre to read but it sounded interesting. After reading your review, I’m glad I did and hope I like it as much as you did."

Hooray! I hope you enjoy it Letty! <3


Michele Thanks Chelsea! I just grabbed it!


Chelsea Humphrey Michele wrote: "Thanks Chelsea! I just grabbed it!"

Yay! Enjoy!


Nadia Fantastic review, I'm in!!


Marianne I downloaded it asap after reading your review!


Chelsea Humphrey Marianne wrote: "I downloaded it asap after reading your review!"

Nadia wrote: "Fantastic review, I'm in!!"

Yay! Hope you both enjoy! <3


Karen Well, Chelsea.. you convinced me! Fantastic review! I don’t read many YA, but being it’s compared to The Hunger Games and Lord of the Flies which I loved, I’m hopeful I’ll enjoy it😊


Chelsea Humphrey Karen wrote: "Well, Chelsea.. you convinced me! Fantastic review! I don’t read many YA, but being it’s compared to The Hunger Games and Lord of the Flies which I loved, I’m hopeful I’ll enjoy it😊"

Yay! I hope you love it. <3


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin I just couldn’t decide if I would like it 😫


Chelsea Humphrey Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ wrote: "I just couldn’t decide if I would like it 😫"

I say give it a shot! You never know until you try! 😘


Emily Hitch Is it only available as read now in USA?? xx


Emily Hitch Ignore me, found it! Eek I'm excited to read this!!


Kristie I just picked this one up! Glad to see you loved it so much. :)


message 36: by Eldon (new) - added it

Eldon Farrell You've convinced me - I want to read it :)


message 37: by Dianne (new) - added it

Dianne Wonderful review! I downloaded this yesterday, so happy to hear it was a winner for you!


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin True! 😊💕🌸


Chelsea Humphrey Dianne wrote: "Wonderful review! I downloaded this yesterday, so happy to hear it was a winner for you!"

Eldon wrote: "You've convinced me - I want to read it :)"

Kristie wrote: "I just picked this one up! Glad to see you loved it so much. :)"

Thank you so much; I hope you all love it as much as I did!

Emily wrote: "Ignore me, found it! Eek I'm excited to read this!!"

No worries; enjoy! :)


message 40: by j e w e l s (new) - added it

j e w e l s Aaahhh thanks, Chelsea! This is right up my alley🙏


Chelsea Humphrey j e w e l s wrote: "Aaahhh thanks, Chelsea! This is right up my alley🙏"

Very welcome, Jewels. Enjoy! <3


Jordana Russell I got this from Netgalley because of you, thank you! I already started, it sounds sooo good


Chelsea Humphrey Jordana wrote: "I got this from Netgalley because of you, thank you! I already started, it sounds sooo good"

Ah I'm so excited to hear that! I hope you enjoy it, Jordana!


message 44: by Izzy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Izzy Thanks for the heads up, Chelsea! This is one I was super excited to read!


message 45: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Jordan Thank you!! I've been impatiently waiting for this one. I would have completely missed it if you didn't give it a 'read now' shout out. I downloaded it this morning, only planning to read a chapter or two (I have an essay to write, I shouldn't be procrastinating!) but ended up reading it in nearly one sitting. It was so, so good.


Chelsea Humphrey Lisa wrote: "Thank you!! I've been impatiently waiting for this one. I would have completely missed it if you didn't give it a 'read now' shout out. I downloaded it this morning, only planning to read a chapter..."

Omg Lisa I’m so excited to hear that!!!

Izzy wrote: "Thanks for the heads up, Chelsea! This is one I was super excited to read!"

So welcome, Izzy!


Irina Humphrey Fantastic review!! I’m even more excited to read this now!


Chelsea Humphrey Irina wrote: "Fantastic review!! I’m even more excited to read this now!"

I can't for you to read it so that we can discuss! :)


Openly Bookish I just finished it. Would love to chat with others who have read it. Message me :)


Chelsea Humphrey Openly Bookish wrote: "I just finished it. Would love to chat with others who have read it. Message me :)"

Would love to chat! Shooting you a message now. <3


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