The Grace Year by Kim Liggett is a dystopian young adult fiction that features gender inequality, oppression, survival, and the strength of female friendships. It’s about a county, and within this county, they have a lot of rules for regulating women. But they believe that when women enter their 16th year, they become their magic, which makes them irresistible, and they’ll tempt men away from God.
So people round up all the girls turning 16 that year and send them out into the woods to live alone for a whole year to burn out their magic. But out here in the woods, many things are going on. There are also these men out in the woods poaching these girls because they believe they will get some of their magic and vitality if they cut up. So these girls will have to deal with each other and these men who want to cut them up and eat them.
Books like The Grace Year provide you with diverse stories and opportunities for self-reflection, deep discussions, and exploration of important social issues. Each brings something unique to the table, ensuring an enriching reading experience.
10 Books Like The Grace Year (Dystopian Feminism)
The Grace Year follows the main character, a girl named Tierney, which goes into freedom. She doesn’t want to be a wife. She is determined to survive The Grace Year and expose the truth behind the rituals. So throughout the entire book, the author describes her journey and other women. Now I will talk about ten feminist books similar to The Grace Year. Let’s go!
1. The Handmaid’s Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale is set in the Republic of Gilead and somewhere in the future. It’s dystopian in which the Book of Genesis and the Bible are used and followed word for word in this new society. The story follows our protagonist, Offred, and that’s not her real name. We don’t get to know her real name throughout the novel. But she’s called that because she belongs to Commander Fred Ergo Offred and is a handmaid. It means she is one of the few fertile women. Therefore, she is used to producing children for other couples.
As a handmaid, it also means her rights are entirely stripped. It has so much depth and complexity to it. The descriptions and the little details mentioned set an atmospheric setting for the whole reading experience. The book is written from Offred’s point of view, and we get into our innermost thoughts and experience things the way she’s experiencing them. The resigned behavior of the protagonist allows getting accustomed to the world she’s living in.
At times you have to keep reminding yourself that, no, this is terrible. This isn’t supposed to be happening. At the same time, their options are limited to either fighting or living in this society and dying slowly. So women’s options are very limited.
It was so beautiful and descriptive, and throughout the story, as things were happening, Offred would apologize for her nature and the events we were reading about. Also, we have to read them because things are so terrible. Her pain would often create all of these alternate scenes that never happened. If you like The Grace Year, you must read it.
Author: Margaret Atwood
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Category: Dystopian Feminism Fiction
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle
2. The Power
The Power tells the story of women who have developed power. So at the beginning of the book, we meet a character called Roxy. She and her mother are in danger. She starts feeling this buzzing in her hand, and she can create an electric shock. She gets her and her mother out of trouble.
We read from four different perspectives most of the way through this. We meet a character called Ali, who has been in foster care for most of her life in America. Then Margot, who is a local politician, and then we follow one male character called Tim Day. He gets thrown into reporting what’s going on in the world.
So the idea behind this power is that girls have this extra muscle or something below their collarbone here, which is where the electric current comes from. Naomi Alderman based that on some research that she’d done about electric eels. It’s in young girls, and it starts spreading throughout the world. So this book deals with switching gender roles in a world where women have all the power, similar to The Grace Year.
Author: Naomi Alderman
Average Rating: 4.2/5
Category: Dystopian Science Fiction & Fantasy, Women’s Fiction
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD
3. Red Clocks
Red Clocks follows five female characters who all live and interact in the same town, with one exception we’ll get to in a minute. The United States of their world has passed a personhood amendment. The author talks about imagining coming to pass based on proposed legislation. The personhood amendment is based on an amendment proposed by socially conservative lawmakers.
Abortion and fertilization are now illegal. She also examines e type of lawmakers who often propose personhood amendments and full fetal rights. They also want a quote-unquote traditional male-female home for every child. A law that has been passed but has not yet gone into effect requires a married mother for all adoptions. So you could not adopt, and same-sex partners couldn’t adopt a child as a single person.
So it makes sense that if this is a society in which a personhood amendment could pass, likely other socially conservative pieces of legislation could also pass. We follow five characters, and they are all defined by their role. We have the mother, the daughter, the biographer, the mender, and then the biographer writes a biography.
Author: Leni Zumas
Average Rating: 3.9/5
Category: Dystopian Science Fiction, Feminism
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD
4. I Will Make You Pay
I Will Make You Pay is a classic, suspenseful crime thriller as The Grace Year. It is about an investigative journalist named Alice who finds herself the target of a demented stalker. This guy comes every Wednesday and does something increasingly creepy, escalating towards violence, perhaps to deadly consequences, with the help of a private investigator named Matthew Hill. She tried to determine who was targeting her, why their target area was, and what Wednesday had to do.
Matthew Hill is an ex-police officer turned private investigator. He’s very empathetic and relatable. His struggles between family life and work and his career’s effects have affected him over the years. Alice gets the police involved, but she withholds information to help them with their investigation. She feels locked away in a panic room for the rest of her life.
Author: Teresa Driscoll
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Private Investigator Mysteries, Women’s Psychological Thrillers
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | MP3 CD
5. Parable of the Sower
Parable of the Sower is dystopian and takes place in the year. It takes place in the year 2027. The government, society, and environment are all falling apart. This is told through the eyes of a young girl named Lauren, who is 17. She’s a preacher’s daughter living in California with her father, stepmother, and brothers. The only sci-fi aspect is that throughout the book, we’re told that Lauren has hyper-empathy, where she can feel the pain and pleasure of people around her.
Lauren and her family are black. As the world has fallen apart in this society, people have started to segregate themselves. So people only surround themselves with people of the same race, and interracial marriages or relationships are looked down upon and rare.
Lauren’s father is a preacher, and their family is Baptist. But she secretly does not share any of those beliefs. She loves reading the Bible and picking out the pieces that she thinks coincide with her beliefs about what God is and in her mind. The overarching theme of her religion is that she believes God is changing. So at the beginning of every chapter, there are almost poems from her religious text that she’s writing called Earth Seed. So they are so beautiful and fascinating to read, similar to The Grace Year.
Author: Octavia E. Butler
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Science Fiction
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Mass Market Paperback
6. Vox by Christina Dalcher
In “Vox,” Dalcher presents a chilling vision of a society where women are limited to speaking only 100 words per day. This thought-provoking novel explores the power dynamics between genders and the resilience of the human spirit. This writing is both gripping and disturbing, leaving you questioning the fragility of their freedoms.
7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games is a gripping dystopian trilogy set in a future North America. The story follows Katniss Everdeen, who volunteers for the brutal Hunger Games to save her sister. Collins creates a world where the wealthy Capitol controls and exploits the impoverished districts. The series focuses on survival, sacrifice, and rebellion against an oppressive regime.
8. Legend by Marie Lu
Legend is the first book in a thrilling dystopian trilogy set in the future United States divided into two distinct societies. June is a prodigy from the elite class, and Day is a wanted criminal from the impoverished sector. They find themselves on opposite sides but form an unlikely alliance. Lu’s fast-paced narrative and intricate world-building create a compelling love, loyalty, and rebellion story.
9. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Maze Runner is the first book in a popular dystopian series. Thomas wakes up in a clearing surrounded by a massive maze with no memory of who he is or how he arrived there. Dashner’s gripping plot and mysterious world-building keep readers hooked as Thomas and his fellow Gladers face the deadly maze and uncover the truth behind their existence.
10. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
In “Delirium,” love is considered a disease, and a cure has been developed to eradicate it. Lena undergoes curing but falls in love shortly before her scheduled treatment. Oliver crafts a compelling narrative exploring the power of love. The book’s emotional depth and romantic tension make it a captivating read.
These books offer dystopian and speculative fiction narratives that explore themes similar to “The Grace Year.” Each novel presents a unique take on societal control, female empowerment, and the resilience of the human spirit.
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