Author: Liggett, Kim
Tierney James, sixteen, struggles to endure the year in which she and other young women are banished to the wild until, purified, the survivors are allowed to return home and marry.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 16.0 Quiz: 507239
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 06/01/2019 Gr 9 Up—At the age of 16, all girls are banished so that they can release their magic, which "lures men from their beds, makes boys lose their minds, and drives the wives mad with jealousy." Before they are sent away, the chosen girls are given a veil signifying that they will be married when—and if—they return. Tierney dreads this "grace year." She has no desire to be married. She has seen the condition of the girls who return. She has no fear of the menial labor she will be assigned if not chosen as a bride. She does receive an unwanted veil and leaves with the rest of the girls and the guards who are to protect them from the poachers who will kill them, dissect them, and sell what's left of them back to the settlement as medicine. The poachers are dangerous, but so are the dynamics of the girls themselves as they fight one another and struggle to survive. This dark tale, often reminiscent of William Golding's Lord of the Flies and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, is both disturbing and uplifting. The cruelty shown by self-appointed leader Kiersten contrasts starkly with Tierney's desire to maintain peace and keep everyone alive. When Tierney is forced out of the encampment and must survive on her own, her resourcefulness proves that magic is not all that they were told it was. While main characters are well drawn, minor characters lack real development. The plot, often harsh and violent, builds to a surprising conclusion, a paean to feminism in some respects. VERDICT This is a novel that will appeal to those who like dark stories with fairy-tale elements; highly recommended as a book group discussion choice.—Janet Hilbun, University of North Texas, Denton - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 08/01/2019 Liggett prefaces this with quotes from The Handmaid's Tale and Lord of the Flies. Add a heaping spoon of The Hunger Games, and you've captured the essence of this provocative, sometimes disturbing story. It is Tierney's Grace Year, when the 17-year-olds are sent to the wilderness to expel the magic the men of the community fear they possess. The older women don't speak of what they've all endured, so everything comes as a shock. The scarcities, the dangers, including poachers—ready to strip them of their skin—are matched by the cruel power that group leader Kiersten wields over them. Tierney comes up against it all and emerges as a fully developed heroine whose brushes with danger, both physical and emotional, have a real impact on readers. But this also does a good job of exploring the dark undertones of relationships between women that can be as destructive as the machinations men pursue to keep women down. A dark love story adds tenderness. Although this often recalls other stories, it nevertheless grabs and holds on. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.