Google+ Reading Teen: ARC Review: Grace by Elizabeth Scott

Friday, August 20, 2010

ARC Review: Grace by Elizabeth Scott

by Andye

Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (September 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525422064
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525422068

  • 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.

Well, where to begin with this book....

It was disturbing.  It's hard for me to read a book like this because I really do read to escape into another world, and this world hits way too close to home.  Not my home, but the home of so many in the world today.  Yes, this is a dystopian, but there are far too many similarities to countries that actually exist now to ignore.  This book was like taking North Korea, Nazi Germany, and Al Qaeda and shoving them together in one crazy, messed-up country.  In fact, about halfway through the book, I was so depressed that I almost quit reading it.  If it hadn't been such a short read, I probably would have.  HOWEVER!  I am really glad that I didn't give up.  I don't want you to think the writing was bad, or that the story wasn't interesting, because that isn't the case at all.  It was just really a downer for me.  But, sometimes you need a good dose of reality to make you think about this world and just how badly things can get messed up.  

The scary thing about Grace, is that it seems so unrealistic and far-fetched that a country can be so horrific....but it isn't really far-fetched at all.  We've seen it in history, and we continue to see it now.  And something I think that Grace brings to light is how, when faced with something we don't agree with on one side of the pendulum, we often swing so far to the other side that we're just as wrong as the people we were opposing.  This is demonstrated by the People, who are a group of "freedom fighters" struggling against the evil dictatorship that has taken over their country.  They are so busy fighting against this evil, that they cease to see the evil they themselves are introducing to the world.  Namely, raising young girls (Angels) to infiltrate the regime and blow up a bomb, killing themselves and as many of the "enemy" as possible, including women, children, and anyone else who happens to be there.  

The first half of the book switches back and forth between the past and the present while Grace is on a train, trying to escape the wrath of her country, who view her as a terrorist, and of the People, who aren't pleased with her abandoned mission and see her as a coward.  The second half of the book actually got pretty exciting and interesting as Kerr and Grace find out more about each other, and Grace begins to see just how hypocritical her thoughts and beliefs are.  The world that Elizabeth Scott has borrowed, twisted, and molded is a terrifying one, and one that I won't be able to forget reading about for a long time.

4.5 out of 6

You may want to know:  Grace has quite a bit of violence, including some hinted-at sexual violence.  There is one curse word.  For more details, go to Grace on Parental Book Reviews.


  1. This book was hard for me to read as well, and hard to review! You did a good job.

  2. Thanks for the compliment! This WAS hard to review! Glad I'm not the only one who thought so.

  3. Thanks for this review. I have been on the fence about the book because of the subject - I am much more interested in reading it now, but I think it's going to be a library rental for me.

  4. I read another review that was very similar because they said it was also a difficult read, but enjoyable. I would like to read it, it sounds like a powerful book, because of the theme. Usually we want to ignore this stuff because it's unbearable to believe things like this happens all the time.

    Thanks for the review.

  5. I'm so excited for this book! Your review just makes me more excited! But at the same time... I'm a little worried. A good friend of mine was deployed to Afghanistan a few years back and the stories he told were really bad.

    Elizabeth Scott is a fantastic writer and I can't wait to see how this one is.

    Thanks for the review!


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