Thursday, 4 May 2017

Review: The State of Grace by Rachel Lucas

Sometimes I feel like everyone else was handed a copy of the rules for life and mine got lost. Fifteen-year-old Grace is funny and plain-spoken. Just because she has Asperger's doesn't mean she's great at maths (she's not) or can draw the Eiffel Tower from memory (she can't). Like any teenager, Grace just wants to fit in, so when it turns out that the cutest boy in school likes her, she finds herself falling in with the cool crowd. But with her dad away and her mum distracted there's no one at home to see Grace's younger sister spiralling out of control, and suddenly everything threatens to fall apart - unless Grace can fix things on her own. Whip-smart, hilarious and unapologetically honest, The State of Grace is a heart-warming story of one girl and her totally normal teenage life.

Review: sometimes, when there is a lot of hype surrounding a book, it can wind up being a disappointment, but not for this one. This is a unique story, told by a unique protagonist, only it shouldn't be so unique because we should all be more aware of autism and there should be far more autistic characters in mainstream novels. I read this book both as a reader and an educator who has worked with many many different children on the autistic spectrum over the years and I was impressed on both counts!

Grace is a great character to make this journey with and I loved getting to know her. She explains her condition so beautifully, without ever actually explaining it. She talks about life having a rule book only she never got her copy, and she explains how things can be so overwhelming for her on a daily basis that others would just shrug off as normal every day life. She is also a teenager growing up, wanting to fit in and have friends and boy friends and so this is very much a contemporary novel with a coming of age aspect to it. 

One of the other things I loved about this book was Grace's family. Their story lines run alongside Grace's but I really enjoyed hearing their side of the story too. There are issues at home and Grace's younger sister is struggling with the same kinds of issues as Grace, when it comes to growing up and fitting in, and she has her own problems to deal with too. Grace's mother is having, what her daughters see as a mid-life crisis, but is quit clearly just overwhelmed by having to deal with two troubled teenage daughters on her won. 

This is a young adult book and the issues that young adults are facing today are dealt with really well in this novel. As an educator, I had a real issue with how the school in this book dealt with Grace and her needs and that made me angry, but aside from that this book really would be suitable for a teen or an adult novel. I found this to be a very enjoyable read and with there were more books out there like it. Definitely one to add to you TBR now. 

To get your copy now, click here!

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