12 June 2015

Almost Grace by Rosie Rowell

Series: N/A, Standalone
Publication date: June 4, 2015
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Format: Review copy
Source: The publisher in exchange for an honest review
Pages: 224


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For the first time in my life I feel like there is a chink of light, another way. Spook's world is raw, cut down to what matters. He is the first person I've met who seems free.

Grace and her Cape Town friends are renting a house on the coast - after exams it's their rite of passage into adulthood. Yet 'maturity' means different things to each of them. Brett and Louisa have plans - university, travelling - but Grace is uncertain of her future. Anxiety drives her to take control of whatever she can, starting with her own body, and it is starting to worry those around her.

When Grace meets Spook - an older, nomadic surfer - their attraction is instant and his relaxed familiarity and assured confidence catch her off-guard. Can she allow herself to lose control, and fall in love?


An evocative, beautifully-told story of identity, relationships and freedom, set in contemporary South Africa.
WARNING: I'm a bit harsh in this review. Sorry. 

I have to admit that I mainly requested this because it's set in South Africa. I mean, a YA contemporary taking place in South Africa sounds darn interesting, right? It's not, I was actually quite disappointed.

Our main character is Grace, she's 18 and away from home for the first time. Grace and two friends, Brett and Louisa, go to Baboon Point for a week and it's far from boring. Grace, apparently, has sex with an older guy, well 35 to be exact, and he stays with them for a couple of days and then things go wrong.
Already 20 pages in I had a feeling that this would end badly for me, I hate reading books which disappoint me. When I found out about the age different between Grace and Spook it got worse. I hate big age differences, I mean 20 and 25 are not bad, neither are 18 and 24 but 18 and 35 - that's awful.

Grace's 'feelings' towards Spook is so fake it awful, yes he kissed her, yes they had sex, yes they had that great moment on the beach but her 'falling in love with him' is not a big part of the story and when you come to the ending you realize how incredibly fake this whole romance was.
I feel like I'm a bit harsh, and I probably am, but this book just took all the things I normally enjoy in books and ruined them. The main character is so incredibly annoying and depressing, her friends are well, better than her, but still not that great when it comes down to it.
Spook is probably one of the worst characters I've ever come across. In the beginning he was interesting and probably my favorite character of them all and then... Well, he's definitely not my favorite anymore.

So, when it comes to the actual story I really didn't care for it. Nothing exciting happens, or rather, when something exciting, dangerous or just funny happens, or is about to, Grace walks away. So all the bits that I would probably have enjoyed in this book isn't there because Grace keeps to herself.

I settled on a 2 star rating, the good part of the ending and the fact that I actually finished the book resulted in me not giving it a single star.
I'm sorry but I really do not recommend this book..


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