State of Grace
by Lucas, Rachael

Grace has Asperger's, a horse, and a best friend who understands her, which is all she needs, but when she kisses Gabe and things start to change at home, suddenly everything threatens to fall apart, and it is up to Grace to fix it on her own.

Rachael Lucas is an author, coach and freelance writer. She lives and works in a Victorian house by the seaside in the northwest of England with her partner (also a writer) and their children. She is the author of The State of Grace and Sealed with a Kiss.

Grace, a 15-year-old with high-functioning autism, feels as if she is the only one on the planet who didn't get a handbook of how life works. She does her best to avoid any kind of attention, although some of her teachers are unsympathetic. She is also a natural target for resident mean-girl Holly, who has issues of her own. Grace is content with her best friend Anna and her horse, Mabel, but when Gabe comes along and kisses her at a party, nothing is quite the same, and Grace's life starts to spiral out of control. Meanwhile, her father is away for his work, and her mother has taken up with a former school friend named Eve, whose negativity and possessiveness is having a poisonous effect. Still, the people around Grace have faith in her, and she starts to develop faith in herself. Strong, fascinating Grace honestly articulates her meltdowns and gaffes in her first-person narrative, and if the characters around her seem less rounded, it only makes her shine brighter. Grades 8-11. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

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