State of Grace, by Hilary Badger

‘Actually, no,’ I say. ‘As you can see, I’m about to go horseriding.’
I smile then, even though I Haven’t said anything particularly funny. Seriously, it doesn’t take much to make me smile. That’s how I am. Laughing, joking, having fun – it’s how Dot created me. It’s how she created all of us.
Except, of course, Blaze.

Wren and her rescinds live in a garden where everything is perfect. Nothing exists outside of the garden – except Dot, who created the people, plants and animals which fill the utopia. But as completion night draws nearer, Wren is troubled by strange visions of  people and places outside of  the garden, visions that feel like memories, even though she knows they can’t be. The gorgeous Blaze seems to have similar visions, but this worries Wren even more. If they are not Dotly enough, neither of them might be chosen on completion night. As she starts to question what s happening, Wren feels herself being pulled further away from Dot.

State of Grace is an eerie book. From a cover featuring a girl with surreal green eyes, to an Eden-like existence and on to the cracks which appear in this life, the reader experiences a growing sense of discomfort at the world which Wren and her friends inhabit, and as Wren unravels the truth, the reader journeys with her. The use of a special vocabulary for this world is a clever tool, adding the sense of this place being elsewhere. The reality, when it is revealed, is shocking.

An intriguing read for teens.


State of Grace

State of Grace, by Hilary Badger
Hardie Grant Egmont, 2014
ISBN 9781760120382

Available from good bookstores and online.