As YA books become more and more popular; it’s wonderful to see that extra attention is being given to diverse subjects. I’ve always been interested in reading books aiming to create awareness around mental health because so many people are dealing with the effects of it every single day. Some do so silently, while others suffer for years without ever being diagnosed…
I think as readers, it’s so important to make an effort to find books that offer insight on these delicate matters so that we can gain even the slightest shred of understanding that would make a difference somewhere along the way…
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 anymore.
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.
When I received this books a few weeks ago from Pan Macmillan, I had no idea what to expect because I’d never seen/heard anything about it. After reading the blurb I was so excited to start reading it because I’ve been curious about Asperger’s for a long time…
The thing about this book that I really appreciated right from the beginning was the friendship between Grace and Anna. It is so seldom that I come across a friendship between two girls that is strong and meaningful. It’s as if the whole literary world decided that two girls being best friends, automatically means lots of cat fights and petty drama. It’s refreshing when I read a story that gives a different take on these relationships, so for this I commend Rachael Lucas!
The writing made me feel like I was inside the mind of Grace. It was a surreal experience reading because whenever she had the slightest change in emotion, I would notice it immediately. It was also incredible the way Rachael Lucas wrote the highs and lows and used the writing pace to express how frantic or sluggish Grace was feeling in a certain moment. When I learned that she and her daughter are both Autistic I wasn’t surprised, because of the clear manner in which she was able to describe certain situations. I doubt I’d ever fully grasp what someone living with Asperger’s goes through, but this book gave a lot of insight into what happens during these periods of extremities. And I’d like to think that I’ve gained a little bit of understanding on the matter.
I like that the author dealt with some of the stereotypes and in her own sassy way gave the reader a more personal peek into the life of someone who is autistic. Time has long since passed where we place people in boxes and treat them as though they’re a personified theory that can be found in an outdated textbook. The State of Grace is one story, and should be appreciated as such. Because there are millions of other stories out there, and every single one of those stories is unique. That is the lesson I took away from this book…
“You don’t look autistic.”
“And you don’t look ignorant. Yet here we are.”
That being said, there were a few issues I had with it too. For starters, I felt like the book was way too short to form any deep and meaningful connections with the characters. Everything was zoomed in on Grace, to the point where anything else about the story felt unnatural and detached. The romance had the potential to be one of those sweet and awkward first love kind of stories, but even that managed to feel disjointed. There was absolutely nothing that stood out about the male love interest to me – he was dull and had zero personality. Totally forgettable!
At the end of the story, I didn’t feel satisfied with what I’d read. If I had to pinpoint the reason for this, I’d say it’s largely due to the plot. Or rather, the lack of one. There should’ve been more story, and more depth to highlight the complexities of the subject matter…
I’m still glad I read it though; if only for Grace’s list at the very end that obliterates some of the pre-conceived ideas about Autistic people.
My final rating for The State of Grace is 3/5 stars.
*I received this book from Pan Macmillan South Africa in exchange for an honest review.*