Grace was raised to be an Angel, a herald of death by suicide bomb. But she refuses to die for the cause, and now Grace is on the run, daring to dream of freedom. In search of a border she may never reach, she travels among malevolent soldiers on a decrepit train crawling through the desert. Accompanied by the mysterious Kerr, Grace struggles to be invisible, but the fear of discovery looms large as she recalls the history and events that delivered her uncertain fate.
Told in spare, powerful prose by acclaimed author Elizabeth Scott, this tale of a dystopian near future will haunt readers long after they've reached the final page. (Taken from back cover)
When I first began reading Grace, I didn't like it that much. Part of the reason was the "spare" prose mentioned in the summary. Since it was written sparingly, it's hard to get into the novel. The fact that this is a dystopian novel makes it even worse because not much was being explained or described, so I couldn't really understand what was happening. Fortunately, the book resembles some current day theocracies (the desert and suicide bombers point to the Middle East), so I had something to go off of. But everything changes in the last third of the novel, which is where everything starts getting really good. This is where the plot thickens and major character development occurs. The spare prose begins to work well here and it really is "powerful"; even though so few words are being used, Scott does a magnificient job of driving the point home and evoking emotion from the reader. It's at this point that you really begin to understand and sympathize with Grace. And don't let me forget about Kerr - what an awesome character! He is really mysterious, and when you finally learn his backstory, it's like wow! He is a really layered and deep character, and helps Grace along on her emotion journey.
The book was also interesting if you look at it in terms of current day affairs. It eerily resembles Middle Eastern governments. I don't know if any are quite this strict, but it certainly seems like a possiblity for the future. And there used to be a ton of stories on the news about suicide bombers, so it was nice to get the other side of the story because Grace was supposed to be one but ran away instead. I would never want to be a suicide bomber so I completely understood Grace's mentality and I was able to relate to her. I liked that even though Grace's people were fighting against the bad goverment, they weren't necessarily innocent either. It reminded me a lot of Mockingjay (District 13) and it was nice to see Grace realize that not everything is as black and white as she thought.
I thought Grace was a great testament to the themes of freedom and liberty, and it serves as a reminder that democracy isn't a given anywhere and that it's important to keep fighting for it. The book really makes you think (which is why I love dystopias - it gets your brain working). I loved seeing Elizabeth Scott write another serious book (like Living Dead Girl), even though her chick lit is fantastic too. I really think Elizabeth Scott needs a round of applause for being such a versatile writer! All in all, I would definitely recommend Grace.
8 out of 10.
Release Date: September 16, 2010
FTC: I received this book from the author.
2010/Dutton Juvenile/208 pages