Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Review of Grace

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.
[from Goodreads]

Rating:  4 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience:  YA readers in search of serious literature
High point:  The prose
Low point:  The difficulty of the message
Reader maturity: 13+

If I had to sum up Grace in one word, it would be "poignant."

Grace was phenomenal! Due to time contraints, it took me two evenings to finish it, but I easily could've savored it in one sitting. Grace's life is presented in small vignettes, both in past and present, and the full picture come together like a puzzle, skillfully assembled. Nothing is revealed too early or too late; there's a perfect amount of action balanced against introspection and reflection. Though the title may seem overt, the theme of grace is subtly executed, and I am in awe of Elizabeth Scott's storytelling and writing abilities.

Grace is written in prose, which, when I dissected it, seems choppy and disconnected, but reads smoothly, like one long train of thought. It's beautiful in its sparse descriptions and limited explanations. I spent a great deal of time trying to decipher Grace's background from the bits of detail provided, but it never once took away from the story. Grace is meant to make the reader think, and it did so, brilliantly.

If you have a chance to read it, I highly recommend Grace. It's not a feel-good tale or an exciting adventure, but it's thoughtful, extraordinarily crafted and well worth your time.

Title:  Grace
Author:  Elizabeth Scott
Genre:   Teen Fiction - Dystopian
Year:   2010
Book Source:  Won from Frenetic Reader

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