The state of Grace. By Rachael Lucas.
I was keen to read this because it’s about a teenaged girl with autism. I have two boys with autism and a daughter currently undergoing assessment. So the subject is close to my heart, and books about girls with autism are definitely something we need more of.
From that perspective this is a very good book. The descriptions of life with autism were, in my opinion, spot on and I believe this book is a wonderful tool for people to learn more about autism, for teenagers and adults alike.
But, and I hate that there is a but, the book is only around two hundred pages long and because of that I felt that it was a little lacking. The storyline is a good one but I thought it needed to be longer.
Grace lives with her mum, dad, and younger teenaged sister, her dad makes wildlife programmes and is away a lot, he’s filming abroad during the book. Her parents are apparently on the verge of splitting up and her mum seems to want more from life than being mum. Which I can understand, but aside from the mum being influenced by an old friend from uni, who seems to think the girls are old enough to fend for themselves, this part of the storyline felt rushed.
I wanted to know more, to get to grips with how the mum felt. And at times I was exasperated by the mums attitude to Grace. The mum volunteers for an autistic group or centre, and they’ve had therapy and yet she doesn’t seem to deal with Grace very well.
At the end of the book the dad comes home and everything seems to be ok again.
As for Gabe, the teenage love interest I can’t tell you much more about him than that he has ADHD which is explained away in an almost flippant way, he takes tablets and that seems to be it. I’d have liked to read more about that.
The sister ends up in hospital after drinking alcohol but that also seems quite glossed over, I wanted to know why. Was it peer pressure, was it rebellion against a dad who is largely absent, or against her mums current attitude towards her daughters, was it down to the difficulties of having an autistic sibling?
Grace seems to hold her own really well against her mums friend evil Eve and the prerequisite mean girl. And when she does something foolish and potentially dangerous at the end it doesn’t seem like a very big deal.
All of this may give the impression that I didn’t like this book, I did it’s just that I really felt like with perhaps another two hundred pages there would have been time to better explore all of the components of the story.
Grace’s ten things at the end of the book such as …
I’m not grumpy; that’s just my face. I can look at you and look like I’m listening, or I can listen and look like I’m staring into space. But both are tricky. You choose.
were again spot on, and useful, important, reading for everyone.
Despite my criticisms, which, believe me I’ve made with a heavy heart (I have to be honest in my reviews or there’s no point in them) The state of Grace is a book I’d recommend, and in fact I’m giving it four out of five stars, because you will undoubtedly learn something from it and it is important that females with autism are represented, I just wanted more from it I wanted to really sink my teeth into the story. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.
The state of Grace is available on Amazon.