Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Monday, March 28, 2011

Plot Summary:
In this world, there is an unstoppable force known as Keren Birj. Not only has he managed to create a dictatorship that everyone fears, other countries question his methods and ethics. Grace, the main character of this story, lives on the outskirts of "The City," called the "Hills" where young people are are trained to fight and die in the name of freedom. Abandoned by her father, she is raised in the Angel Sanctuary where orphans are indoctrinated to become suicide bombers, or "Angels," whose sole purpose is to destroy Keren Birj. However, Grace doesn't want to die and decides that it was time to make her own choice for once and escape this world aboard a rickety train to the border of the country, out of Birj's control. On this journey, she meets a boy named Kerr who not only knows her secret, but carries a dark past that not only frightens Grace, but could cost her her life. 

Critical Evaluation:
Elizabeth Scott has done it again--she has created yet another masterpiece. In this provocative fantasy, children are being taught to not care for life, but to destroy it in the name of principal. Grace is one of many innocent children who were brainwashed and used as weapons. Like most teenagers, Grace is trying to figure out her purpose in life and refuses to believe that death is her destiny. Moreover, when she runs away from her mission, she pays an enormous price to escape the realm of Keran Birj. Kerr, her traveling companion, happens to be the boy who is very close to Birj. Grace involuntarily gets wrapped up in something larger than she could have imagined, but the more she gets to know Kerr, she realizes that they have a lot more in common than she thought. This story is incredibly thoughtful where Grace struggles with heavy moral issues, which will engage readers to think about their own principals.

Information about the Author:
According to her  website, Elizabeth Scott grew up in a tiny town in Virginia and her parents were both educators and actually took three classes taught by her father (para.3). After graduating high school, she went onto college and had every intention living a glamorous life and to not get married. Well, she ended up meeting her husband at college and held down a variety of odd jobs such as being a secretary, selling pantyhose, working as an editor, and burning CD's. She started writing young adult novels and can't imagine doing anything else. Scott has written nine young adult novels and has gained a solid audiences. According to Scott:

"I read a lot, and I love all kinds of books, but young adult books hold a very special place in my heart. Being a teenager is both the most amazing and the most frightening thing — there's so much going on with you, your friends, your parents, and handling that and school and having to think about your future... it can be really exciting, but it's also a lot to deal with!" (para. 7).

Teen Dystopian Thrillers

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up

Books Similar to Grace:

Awards & Recognition:

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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