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The Grace Year
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The Grace Year - May 2020 - Reviews

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Martina | 64 comments Mod
Hello everyone!

The end of the month is approaching, so it's the perfect time to start talking about The Grace Year by Kim Liggett. Are you ready?
This discussion here is to talk freely about this book, therefore these reviews will probably have spoilers. If you haven't finished or read it yet, don't worry, you can join us in our conversation at any time!

So, what do you think about this novel? Did you enjoy it? We're eager to know all your opinions about it!

message 2: by Martina (last edited May 21, 2020 01:15AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Martina | 64 comments Mod
2.5 stars

Guys, this review is going to be very difficult for me, I have so many mixed opinions about this book.
The Grace Year is a novel that I’ve been waiting to read since its release. The plot sounded really promising and it had a lot of elements that I love to read about in books. I had really high hopes for this novel, but unfortunately, some of my expectations weren’t met. I don’t think the entire plot was rubbish, I found some things that were good and that I liked, but also some that didn’t quite meet my taste. It had really a lot of potential and some of it was quite well executed, but not all of it.
Let’s talk about Tierney The Terrible now, our main protagonist here. There were some aspects about this character that I did quite like. However, I also think that she isn’t a perfect example of a feminist character. To me, it feels like she has a feminist behaviour only when it seems she has no other choice than that. The romance between Tierney and Ryker is something I enjoyed. I know that maybe their falling for each other was a bit too rushed, but I found them to be really cute together anyway. I found Ryker to be quite an interesting character and I would have loved to read more about him and his story.When he died, I felt sorry for him because he definitely deserved a lot more, but at the same time his death hasn't really got a huge impact on me because I didn’t have the time too fully know and empathise with this character. And that’s another problem of this novel, in my opinion. We don’t really get to know the dephts of the side characters.
The ending was so disappointing for me, it was not at all what I was expecting. I came here to read about a bunch of girls who were dreaming for a better future, for a society that doesn’t turn friend against friend, man against woman or woman against another woman. And I really hoped to see them come together and fight for this better world. But this never happens. I know that a society can’t change overnight, but I wanted to see a spark and then something burn, some real and effective change. But here, we see just a few tiny changes.

message 3: by Silvia (last edited May 21, 2020 01:34AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Silvia (silviag96) | 146 comments Mod

The hype surrounding this book was very real, but sadly it was just an okay read for me. The reviews have such an high reating that I honestly believed it could be a breath of fresh air in the YA dystopia genre, but sadly it did not deliver for me.

I found the story to be good, I really liked the medieval setting a lot, and I also liked the idea behind it, but from half of the story I think this book went pretty downhill. I appreciated the inclusion of a romantic interest, because it shows that a girl can be a feminist AND be in love. Sometimes this concept isn't really well developed in feminist dystopian books.

The feminism concept was a bit blurred for me. I would have loved to see a book full of sisterly love and girls finding the sense of community, sadly I don't think this particular aspect is shown very well. Sometimes I even found some of the comments girls make about other girls to be so insensitive and completely opposite to what the concept of feminism means to me. And we don't even have a sort of redemption from it, so it did not sit very well to me.

I really really really did not like the ending. I really have outgrown all of the "the chosen one" trope, and founding out out of nowhere that Tierney was pregnant and her daughter will be the chosen one really did nothing for me. I would very much have preferred a rebellion conducted and lead by Tierney herself. She had the right fire. The ending really did nothing to me.

In the end, it wasn't a bad book, I liked the setting and the first part a lot, but I did not particuarly enjoyed nor comprehended fully some of the choices made in the second part.

message 4: by Samuele (last edited May 21, 2020 03:04AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Samuele (fernendo_7) | 89 comments Mod
2.25 Stars

Oh Gosh, where do I start talking about this book? It was a complete mess, that's for sure.
The main problem with this book was that it was really confusing and this disappointed me a bit. Not to mention that the ending were chuncks of thing put together and mixed like the ingredients of the worst cake you've ever eaten.
The only thing I could save is the first part, Winter. As soon as it ends, things start to go down like a rollercoaster. Not only with the plot but also with the main character. Tierney was double-sided and that wasn't ok. Why? Because this book is promoted as feminist and here, apart from a couple of right thoughts and actions, there's nothing feminist. There is survival, yes, but no feminism. The main character was only interested in what was an advantage for her. She thought of her sisters and her "friends" only when it was convinient to her to do so. And that's not feminism. There is a patriarchal society and the main problem of this book and its main character is that they JUST think of what should they do or how should the society be, but they did nothing to change it. There was a little spark at the end of the story, but it was very faint.
Not to mention that Tierney was always ready to do a revolution as soon as she was back to her town but when she arrived the only thing we got was silence. I'm sorry, but I think that this was not the right message at all. I felt really disappointed and frustrated by this story and mostly by this terrible ending.
Another thing that this book wasn't able to deliver me was suspence and mystery. There are a couple of mysteries that come here and there, but the problem is that they are solved in a jiffy. No suspence, no thinking, nothing at all, just a problem-solution that lasted three seconds. It could have been a lot more better but timing in this book is completely absent.

Emma | 128 comments Mod
This story could have been a lot better than this. This book felt like a mix of The Hunger Games and other survivalist/dystopian novels, maybe a bit too similar for my taste.

Some things were definitely too fast-paced for my taste, like the romance with Ryker. It was all so fast that I didn't even have to chance to like them together and his death did nothing for me.

I also didn't enjoy the ending, I was expecting a lot more because Tierney herself leads the readers to believe that, instead we almost got nothing. The Grace Year could not come to an en end out of the blue and I was fine with that, but she was supposed to give this big speech to all the people and we see none of that, no rebellion whatsoever. The relationship with Michael felt like some kind of consolation prize for Tierney, that in reality I don't think she needed. The pregnancy was unexpected and I'm sorry to say that by that point I really could not have cared less about it.

My issue with this novel is how it is advertised, which is as a feminist dystopian novel. I would have just been fine with dystopian because I see where it’s coming from, but I’m not so sure about the feminism here. Most of the time Tierney is a feminist only when she can get something out of it for herself or for the people she cares about, other than that she doesn’t care much. She doesn’t care about Ryker’s sisters or the women in the outskirts of the county, she feels like it’s okay they have to work as prostitutes just as long as her sisters don’t have to do it. This felt to me like she was thinking that there’s a hierarchy in feminism and that some women deserves better than others. I don’t see feminism as something that you should preach only when it’s beneficial to your own needs and I feel like it’s what Tierney does for most of the book. She's selfish in that sense and that's why I see this book more as a survivalist novel than a feminist one, because her main goal is to survive and being a feminist has nothing to do with that. Some times she does help the other girls, but it feels like she's doing it only not to get killed, or because she feels sorry because they're being poisoned and also because Ryker and an escape are no longer an option for her. In the end there's some kind of sisterhood among the grace years girls that remain, but if it all the feminism we're gonna get, then it's a no from me.

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