No one speaks of the Grace Year. In fact, it’s forbidden. But sixteen-year-old Tierney James questions the truths surrounding this shadow year. The missing girls that never come home, the poachers waiting to strike, and the magic that can possess the minds of the town’s men…all mysteries left uncovered.⁣

That is until her time runs out, and Tierney is forced to face the truth head-on. But it’s not just the outside factors that are a threat. The real horrors lie at the heart of the experience, and without the support of one another, survival is not guaranteed.

‘The truth about the grace year, what happens during that shadow year, is hidden away in the tiny slivers of filament hovering around them when they think no one’s watching. But I’m always watching.’

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett is a hauntingly beautiful story that weaves the insecurities and deep emotional turmoil of becoming a young woman into a dark and thought-provoking YA Dystopian. For the 33 girls of fictional Garner County, these struggles include a year-long seclusion that “allows” them time to purify themselves of magic and ready themselves for marriage.⁣

The Grace Year wasn’t on my radar, but it’s one that will stick with me for a long time. With multiple underlying themes, including love, coming of age, death, and survival, it’s impossible not to feel something deeper once you reach the end.⁣
Please note that The Grace Year does contain mature content. If you’re sensitive to violence/adult situations, I would definitely do your research before reading. ⁣

This brings me to the first location of importance: The Canoes

Grace Year Canoes

We’re assigned canoes but given no oars. Only the guards get the privilege of steering us to our prison. Maybe they don’t want us going feral and knocking them out. Maybe Laura Clayton has been gathering stones for that exact purpose.’⁣

Nope, not the reason Laura Clayton has been gathering stones. 😩😩😢 It’s at this point that The Grace Year starts to get dark..well, darker. Some of the twists I predicted, but others I had no idea. ⁣

Can I just say how much I dislike Kiersten? She is seriously the worst,  and I wonder if things would have gone nearly as bad if she wasn’t around. But the real villain of the story is someone you would never expect! Be prepared!

This brings me to the Second location of importance: The Shadow Year Camp

Grace Year Camp

Peering over my shoulder, I see Kiersten sitting on the stump, stroking my clock, her nails scraping against the grain of the wool. I don’t know how long she’s been there watching me, but I don’t like it.’ ⁣

I couldn’t imagine spending a year in the Shadow Camp. Just reading through Tierney’s initial thoughts makes me want to cringe. But with each new chapter, one of my biggest questions was always ‘Who’s next?” This is one of those books where you just don’t see the deaths coming, or at least I didn’t. I tend to stay away from books that freak me out, but I couldn’t put this one down!


If you’re interested in learning more about the Young Adult Dystopian novel, The Grace Year and its author Kim Liggett or would like to purchase the book, please check out the links below.



Barnes and Noble

Author Website

If you liked this post, please follow the link to my other YA Dystopian Fiction book reviews.