TITLE: Her Name Is Grace
SERIES: Name Is #1
AUTHOR: Shidorr Myrick Gayer
PUBLICATION DATE: March 19, 2012
PUBLISHER: Orange Hat Publishing
PAGES: 259 pages
SOURCE: From Author
RATING: 4 stars
When Brooke finds out that she is pregnant, she tries to turn her life around. Unfortunately for her, things don’t work out as she had hoped and she dies before ever giving birth. It’s all part of the master plan though, because Grace, her unborn child, is taken to Mahlai to begin training to be an angel. Grace spends her life in angel training know that on her sixteenth birthday, she gets to choose whether she wants to become an angel or go on to spend her afterlife with God. But before she can even become old enough to give much thought into her choice, she stumbles across a well that changes her life, as well as the life of her best friend Max, forever.
In the beginning, this novel confused me more than a little. First you are in follow Grace and Sam as they look for his mom, then you follow Brooke as she discovers she is pregnant and is then murdered, then Aikim as he watches Brooke’s murder then retrieves her unborn child for Mahlai, then, finally, you are following Grace as she grows up. Once we get back to Grace, we stay with her and the story finally starts to come together. The different characters become connected and we are brought into the rich, gorgeous angel planet.
I’m still on the fence regarding how to feel about Grace. In the beginning she doesn’t seem so bad, but the further in life she progresses, the more I started to become a bit more irritated with her. In the very beginning, she says that she had one goal, besides the obvious stuff, and that was to prevent Lauren from leaving the house on a specified day to save her life and she fails at that. That fact in itself irks me. If you are assigned just a singular task, something as simple as preventing someone from leaving their home on a specific day, then I would have reminders everywhere and I would be sure to not forget about it entirely until it was too late, which is exactly what Grace does. She doesn’t realize that she has fucked up until it’s already too late. ****SPOILER****It also bugged me that she was willing to allow Aikim, her protector, to die in order for her to be on Earth with Sam for just a few scant years. It seemed very selfish. I get that love conquers all and that we are all willing to do crazy things for it, but I can’t say that I would sacrifice someone I love and cherish just for the chance to spend a handful of years with someone who may not even love me back.****END SPOILER**** She does some good things, but even more stupid things, so I guess I’m just in the middle about her. I don’t love her, but I don’t despise her.
Then there is Grace’s best friend, Max, who I adore. This boy marches to the beat of his own drum and I desperately wanted her to grow up to realize that she loved him and watch them ride off into the sunset happily ever after style. I won’t say whether or not that happens, but I will say that I loved the interactions between the two. He’s creative and imaginative and a little rebellious, just the right combination. When he and Grace discover the well together, their friendship was taken to an even deeper level because now they shared a secret that none of the other kids could understand. I am actually rather excited about reading book 2 because I think there will be more from his perspective. Sam is the other major male character and while I like him, I like Max more. Sam’s the steady, stay at home and protect my family type and while it’s honorable and great, it was also a bit boring.
Though I didn’t fall head over heels for most of the characters (except Max), I still found myself drawn into the story so completely that I just had to keep reading. It took me just a little longer to get into it because of the jumping perspectives in the beginning, but once I was in, there was no stopping me. The author does a beautiful job describing both the peace of the angel world and all the turmoil going on in the human realm as well. In the human world, a new form of slavery is on the rise where people are literally kidnapped on the streets and forced to work as slaves. Race no longer matters, nor does age, gender, sexual preference, or anything other than the fact that you were dumb enough to be caught alone in the streets.
It you are looking for an interesting new take on YA angels, this is for you.
****Thank you to Shidorr Myrick-Gayer for providing me with a digital copy in exchange for an honest review****