The Grace Year

Narrated by: Emily Shaffer
Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (239 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Emily Shaffer delivers a dynamic performance of this dystopian audiobook.... She masterfully connects listeners to the characters' emotions, creating passionate and realistic performances." (AudioFile Magazine)

This program includes a bonus conversation with the author.

A speculative thriller in the vein of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Power. Optioned by Universal and Elizabeth Banks to be a major motion picture!

Survive the year.

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their 16th year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life - a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

Praise for The Grace Year:

"A visceral, darkly haunting fever dream of a novel and an absolute page-turner." (Libba Bray, New York Times best-selling author)

"The Grace Year seethes with love and brutality, violence and hope. It is a remarkable and timely story of the bonds between women, the cost of breaking those bonds, and the courage it takes to defy a patriarchy intent on crushing feminine strength." (Sabaa Tahir, number one New York Times best-selling author of An Ember in the Ashes)

"This book is harrowing and absolutely riveting, an insidious journey from reason to madness that manages to completely refresh the concept of the patriarchal dystopia, with a beautifully realized ending that goes to a very different, and even more believable, subtle, and unexpectedly satisfying, place than I expected." (Melissa Albert, New York Times best-selling author of The Hazel Wood)

©2019 Kim Liggett (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent narration and great message

I could not stop listening to this! It was such a dark, chilling story without being too dark for older teens. It was like a mashup up The Crucible + The Lord of the Flies + The Village + The Handmaid's Tale and I was here for it. I was particularly moved by the message the story was sending about how we treat each other as women and how much stronger we can be when we choose to support one another. This is what truly makes this book worth reading and sharing with others. Also, big shout out to Emily Shaffer for doing a great job with the narration! The audio book includes an interview at the end between her and the author and it was interesting hearing Kim talk about what inspired her to write The Grace Year.

3 people found this helpful

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Great message in story line.

I loved the message this story was trying to get across. But note that it's a little wordy.. i found myself at times saying out loud "just shut up already and tell what happens next". Once you get through all that its pretty good. Very lord of the flies for girls. Also, I liked how, although the story was not very realistic.. the idea that a young girl can't just roll up and change everything was actually very realistic. It takes a village and it takes time. That's the real fight.

1 person found this helpful

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Exhausting

Almost 12 hours of bitterness, anger, "mean girl" and intense narration Even the one scene that should have been tender was laced with anger and defiance. The book and narration just exhausted me. This story has a great deal of potential, but few short scenes to give the reader a break - a little bit of hope or levity or even just a little pleasantness in the narrator's voice when appropriate - would have made is a good book.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love love love!

This is by far the best book I have read in years. Oppression. Voices coming together. Smash the patriarchy!

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My first dystopian book

This was a book club pick , not one I would have picked for myself, but it was awesome!! Maybe because I didn't know what to expect, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and didn't want it to end. I highly recommend this book and the narrator made it even better

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Loved!

Great story!! The Handmaid’s Tale meets Lord of the Flies. Kept me interested through the whole thing. Performance was great!! Would recommend!

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excellent story

absolutely loved it. couldn't stop listening. great story, so many thought provoking moments. awesome book!

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An excellent, dark, yet empowering read.d

I love seeing a break away from over conventional and typical archetypes. This is a dark fantasy book with a slight twist in the ending that will leave you curious and empowered.

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I couldn’t put it down once I started reading,

I absolutely loved this book, I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it!! It’s nice to be able to read that women are strong and not weak! Thank you very much for writing this amazing book and portraying women as we are STRONG!! I can’t wait until the movie comes out

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I needed this book

I needed this story. I needed to remember my grace year. This story makes you really sit and think and fills you with so much hope.