State of Grace – book review

State of Grace by Hilary Badger

State of Grace is a powerful and slightly creepy book, written by Hilary Badger.

Ever since she was created, Wren has lived in the idyllic garden with her friends. Wren’s deity Dot makes sure everything is perfect. Wren and her friends have everything they could possibly need in Dot’s Paradise.

But when Wren starts getting strange and disturbing visions, she begins to think she’s less worthy of Dot’s love. Wren is desperate for Dot’s love, just like everyone else. But then a mysterious boy arrives in the garden, who claims he’s from the outside and brings words and ideas that make Wren’s brain hurt.

Gradually, Wren and her friend Blaze uncover the truth behind their lives. They discover that they’re part of a clinical trail of an ominous drug called Grace. As Wren struggles to deal with this disturbing knowledge, she must decide whether to return to the comforting delusion of faith or fight to face the truth.

I don’t think State of Grace was really for me. The idea sounded really interesting, I just couldn’t get into it. From the very beginning, I was confused as to what was going on in the world that the characters lived in. The world-building could have been improved because I couldn’t really visualise where we were. I also didn’t completely understand what was happening in the beginning. I felt like things could have been explained more clearly. Also, I didn’t find the beginning very grabbing personally. I read on in the hope that I might find it more intriguing, but it was hard to keep my mind focussed on what was going on between the pages. I often felt my mind wandering and realised I hadn’t taken in anything that had been said, so I had to go back to the top of the page to reread. This book really wasn’t one of the best books I’ve ever read.
Sadly, I didn’t feel connected to the characters at all. It was hard to distinguish one person from another sometimes because all of their voices seemed so similar. Another thing that annoyed me personally about this book was just the way it was written and the words that were used. I winced every time someone said ‘prehappy’ or ‘precalm’. The meanings of these words were never really explained and I guessed that it just meant ‘unhappy’ or ‘not calm’. I just couldn’t get into it. Perhaps if I found this book more amusing, I would have felt compelled to read it. But one thing I did like about the writing in this book is how the author wrote the word ‘super’, the adjective, joined to the following word, such as ‘superfun’ and ‘superquick’. I loved this because I always write these words joined together as I feel it makes sense. It was good to see that someone thinks the same way I do!
I really hoped to be more enthralled by this book. I felt that the beginning wasn’t intriguing and there wasn’t anything really keeping me reading this book. I could have easily put it down at any point without unanswered questions plaguing my thoughts and compelling me to keep reading it. But I felt like there was no reason for me to keep reading this book. I wasn’t overly connected to any of the characters and wouldn’t really care if anything bad happened to any of them. I wasn’t completely hooked by the storyline and the things that were meant to be mysterious just didn’t keep me interested. There wasn’t anything at all interesting going on in their little paradise land until much later on in the book and it was boring to read about their simple little lives. This book simply didn’t make me think and didn’t grab me enough to want to keep reading it.
Overall, I didn’t really enjoy reading State of Grace. This book really wasn’t for me. I’d give State of Grace by Hilary Badger a score of 5 out of 10. If this seems like the type of book you’d be interested in reading, I’d love to hear your thoughts once you’ve read it!

Thank you to Hardie Grant Egmont Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!

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