REVIEW: The State of Grace

by Rachael Lucas

Pages: 272 paperback
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication Date: April 6th 2017
ISBN: 9781509839551
Received From:  Macmillan Children's Books


Sometimes I feel like everyone else was handed a copy of the rules for life and mine got lost. 
Grace has Asperger's and her own way of looking at the world. She's got a horse and a best friend who understand her, and that's pretty much all she needs. But when Grace kisses Gabe and things start to change at home, the world doesn't make much sense to her any more.  
Suddenly everything threatens to fall apart, and it's up to Grace to fix it on her own. 
Whip-smart, hilarious and unapologetically honest, The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas is a heart-warming story of one girl trying to work out where she fits in, and whether she even wants to.


I wasn't sure what to expect from The State of Grace, I mean it seemed like an interesting story but I wasn't sure if I would be able to really connect with the narrative. I couldn't have been more wrong though, the POV of this book is unique and compelling and there is something about the way in which Grace sees the world that drags you into the story. It was one of those books that was hard to put down. 

The State of Grace is the story of Grace, a fifteen-year-old with Asperger's, as her life goes from ordered and precise too the unexpected. Grace has her routines and her safe places which make her feel in control, adding an air on normality to her world, but when things start to change she has to find a way to adapt. For some people the things that happen to Grace may seem a part of growing up but it is the predictability's that make Grace feel secure so when even the smallest of changes begin to take place she finds herself fighting for her life to go back to the way it was. 

I think with YA we feel the need to search for stories that seem out of the ordinary. We look for world to escape into and want to read about impossible situations we can connect with on an emotional level. However, with The State of Grace the evens that happen are (for the most part) rather ordinary. Parents argue, friends fall out, younger siblings grow up, you go on dates but because of Grace's Asperger's these things seem like the impossible. Reading from her point of view as these things happen you are challenged to see things in a different way and it's that challenge that made me fall in love with this book. 

I know someone with a similar form of autism and I will hold my hands up and say I've had arguments with them because I - quite simply - don't understand why they can't just get on with certain things. It's frustrating at times and not understanding why makes it harder. Reading from Grace's POV opened a discuss between me and this person because I was able to understand a little better. You have to understand that any form of autism affects individuals in different ways but I spoke about the way Rachael describes Grace's experiences and they said it was similar. They can't ignore the world around them, with every sound and smell flooding their senses which makes being around people hard at times.

Much like The Perks of Being A Wallflower, 13 Reasons Why and A Quite Kind of Thunder this is one of those books that matter! I don't often read a book that I can honestly say changed the way I see certain things but this felt like more than just a book and I actually feel really honoured to have read it. 

Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was compelling and heartwarming and it felt very real and honest. When you read as many books as I do (or more) it is hard to find a book with a POV that you haven't heard some variation of before but Grace's voice was new and refreshing. I hope you all take the time check this book out because I can honestly say I loved its ups and downs, it's humor and honestly, but above all else the way in which it was written. 

1 comment:

  1. As someone with AS, I've heard quite a bit about this, so I'll have to check it out. It's refreshing to come across a book with an Aspie protagonist who A) is a girl and b) isn't just obsessed with maths/numbers.
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