State of Grace

State of Grace - Hilary Badger

Thank you to Capstone for providing me with an egalley of the book to review.


I dropped this book at 36% after being unable to sit down and get through more than a couple pages at a time before putting it down again. I didn’t like it at all and was very annoyed by the main character Wren. I got up to the part where the “big reveal” was only beginning to occur, but even then it was nothing big or surprising enough to make up for all the cringing the book had made me go through up to that point.


I’m not quite sure whether the author was going for it intentionally or not, but the whole obsession with Dot was not only creepy and weird, but bordering on impossible to swallow. There was a handful of illogical details, such as how did everyone in the garden manage to use the Books of Dot, which were really tablet-like devices, when there was no electricity or method of charging them? Other illogicalities, such as the fact that everyone couldn’t have been “born” if they magically appeared as teenagers in the garden about a year ago, would’ve been explained later on in the book probably. My biggest issue though was the different vocabulary used, such as “predotly” and “dotly”, meaning unnatural and natural respectively, or at least something along those lines. They made the whole story fall apart in my mind and take the disconnection to a new level. I won’t explain my reasoning so that it doesn’t spoil the story for those planning on reading this book, but I felt like the author didn’t know how to twist her way through the story. It didn’t seem well thought out, coming across as something written in the spur of the moment by taking ideas that have been appearing in popular utopian YA novels lately and regurgitating them back out. The book offered nothing new or interesting, instead being too weird and annoying to attempt to get through.


None of the characters were developed enough to say much about. They were just there, taking up space designated for characters to take up and act their part. I cannot say much more than the fact that I, once again, didn’t like any of the characters, especially Wren, and my dislike grew so strong that I couldn’t be bothered with forcing myself to read on. It was obvious the author attempted to create a buildup of suspense, and even perhaps frustration, around the main characters in order for the reader to want to read on and find out the truth, but the story was way too flat and linear for my taste with no incentive to continue.


I’ll let people who are more patient than me give this one a go. I found nothing redeeming in the 36% that I read to keep trying to trudge through the rest, as it made reading a chore in a way it shouldn’t be. I won’t say anything more, because the distaste I felt is too big to put into words, and I can’t help but wonder with what purpose this book was written, or what the goal even was. It completely eluded me.