***Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the ARC. All my reviews are my own honest opinions of each selection.***
WOW! I finished reading this ARC about a week ago and it has taken me this long to process all the thoughts and emotions running through as far as this book is concerned. There are so many themes weaved together in that I am not even sure what to focus on for this review. I refuse to ruin this for anyone with spoilers so I am just going to highlight a few key points/themes.
Tierney James is a 16 year old girl living in Garner County, where the women are taught to be docile and obedient to the men. The men know what's best for everyone, especially the women which is why they have a grace year. The year the local girls turn 16 they are all banished to the outside of town to live in a camp together with no one else but each other for an entire year to rid themselves of their magic. They must get rid of it so they can't lead men astray with their charms and persuasion. Once the year is up any surviving girls are returned home to begin the rest of their lives as the perfect wives, mothers, or workers they are expected to be. The main rule is literally....."what happens in Grace Year stays in Grace Year". Unlike the rest majority of the girls, Tierney just wants to get it over and done with so she can find some sort of freedom by being assigned to work in the fields/gardens. Her best friend Michael changes all that for her in a second by forcing her to do the one think she never wanted to do.
During the grace year Tierney witness murder, torture, bullying, and some other very dark things. She also uncovers some disturbing information about her town, friends, grace year itself, and her own family that changes her whole outlook on life. The true test is simply surviving to see another day let alone a whole year. All is not dark in this story though. There are moments of real compassion, understanding and even love.
This book is set to be released on October 8 and it's already been optioned for a movie (which will surely be amazing). I give this one 5/5 stars because I found not one single thing I disliked or would change.