Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

4.4 27
by Megan Shull
     
 

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Grace Kincaid, the Anna Kournikova of the tennis world (beautiful, teenaged, and the BEST in the world), calls her mother on the eve of the U.S. Open and says three little words: "I want out." Whereupon her mother flies to her daughter's side, cancels all further engagements, endorsements, press conferences, tournaments, and gives Grace an entirely new identity

Overview

Grace Kincaid, the Anna Kournikova of the tennis world (beautiful, teenaged, and the BEST in the world), calls her mother on the eve of the U.S. Open and says three little words: "I want out." Whereupon her mother flies to her daughter's side, cancels all further engagements, endorsements, press conferences, tournaments, and gives Grace an entirely new identity. Which includes a make-under, a former FBI agent as a mentor and bodyguard, and a new life in Medicine Hat, Alaska, population 318.
How one teenager goes from superstar to almost-normal is the subject taken on by Megan Shull, a sparkling new voice in teen fiction.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA
Toward the end of this novel, a character asks, "Who in their right mind wouldn't want to be famous?" The answer is Grace "Ace" Kincaid, fourteen-year-old tennis phenom and magazine cover girl. Moments before beginning play in the U.S. Open, Grace phones her mother and utters three words: "I want out." Having anticipated this moment, her mother immediately implements plans to change Grace's name and appearance and whisk her to Alaska under the supervision of former FBI agent Ava Grady. In a tiny island community, Grace lives in Ava's primitive cabin and attends public school. She learns how easy it is to make mistakes (getting drunk at a party), how to ask for help (seeing a therapist), how to nurture friendships, and how it feels to fall in love (with Teague Denali, a sweet Eskimo boy). Ultimately the paparazzi find her, and she must leave Alaska. But not before her life "has gone from meaningless to meaningful." She will go back to tennis but not to modeling and endorsing products. This book explores celebrity worship and the price that a person pays for surrendering her life to agents and publicists. In Alaska, Grace begins to discover her identity and what she values. The writing style is conversational and highly readable with short sentences (sometimes one word) and paragraphs (sometimes one sentence), and boldfaced text that often indicates the passage of time ("THREE MINUTES LATER") or an event ("THE SECRET"), or evaluation ("PARADISE"). Touching, thoughtful, hip, and fast paced, this book will appeal to most teenagers. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined asgrades 10 to 12). 2005, Hyperion, 256p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Florence H. Munat
Children's Literature
Ever wonder what it would be like to be famous? Grace Kincade has just the opposite thought—what would it be like to be just an ordinary teenager? The story opens with Grace calling her mother who is in California and expressing her feelings, "Grace "Ace" Kincade, teenage-tennis-sensation-turned cover-girl-spoken model is quitting. Finito—I'm done." Her mother hooks her up with Ava, a retired FBI agent whose job it is to transform Grace into a "normal" teenager. Of course this entails changing her looks with a new hairstyle, getting rid of $500 purses, and learning about life in the real world. The vocabulary choice of the author is very authentic. Sentences such as, "I just puked . . . I laughed so hard I almost peed in my pants . . . " and "I saw his face, well—he's not cute, - he's gorgeous" add believability to the story. Ms. Shull has truly captured the essence of a teenager and takes the reader on a wonderful adventure that is filled with both humor and a touch of sadness. In some places, I actually laughed out loud remembering how true the emotions are that Grace was feeling and that brought back many memories. This is a delightful story and will both entertain and also comfort teenage girls with the knowledge someone else out there has feelings just like theirs. I highly recommend this book and hope it is found in classroom libraries. 2005, Hyperion, Ages 12 up.
—Kathie M. Josephs
KLIATT - Olivia Durant
For 15-year-old Grace "Ace" Kincaid, every day is full of bodyguards, photo opportunities, and constant attention. She hasn't even been to a real school since seventh grade. Life as a tennis superstar eventually becomes too overwhelming, and she finally has a breakdown at the U.S. Open. With her mom's help, she assumes the name Emily O'Brien, disguises her appearance, and flies to the tiny town of Medicine Hat, Alaska, as far from her former identity as she can get. She stays with Ava, a retired FBI agent posing as her aunt. While she is adjusting to her new luxury-free life, she meets a gorgeous boy, Teague, and his cousin, Fisher, and they become fast friends. She settles into a comfortable routine, and finally begins to feel like a normal teenager. No longer a tennis phenom, Grace must figure out whether she ever wants to go back to her former life. When the paparazzi finally discover where she is hiding, she is forced back into the limelight. Readers will cheer for Grace as she evolves into an articulate and determined young woman. The supporting characters are well drawn and likeable, and the loose ends are tied up neatly. Recommend this to middle and high school students who enjoy realistic fiction and romance.
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-Teenage tennis-star Grace "Ace" Kincaid has the talent and looks that make her a hit both on the court and on Madison Avenue. But she is falling apart, breaking under the tremendous pressure of worldwide fame. She wants OUT. And she gets her wish-a total break from her lifestyle and identity. She becomes "Emily O'Brien," everyday teenager, with nose-ring intact. She is transported to remote Medicine Hat, AK, where she lives with her new guardian, retired FBI-agent Ava Grady, in a rustic cabin, complete with outhouse and freezing-cold showers. At first shocked by her surroundings, Grace comes to love them, as it is here that she experiences a sense of normalcy in her life, including a love interest, solid friendships, and much-needed support from the local therapist. Shull's very short chapters with headings such as "three zillion years later," are catchy, fun, and full of the ever-changing world of adolescent emotions. The novel offers a consistent sense of delight and the feeling that, no matter what, Grace will always come out on top. This is due in large part to her many fairy godmothers along the way, steering her toward a level of comfort with herself, her talents, her feelings, and her desire to live life on her own terms. A Cinderella story for this day and age, indeed.-Tracy Karbel, Glenside Public Library District, Glendale Heights, IL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
"Grace 'Ace' Kincaid, teenage-tennis-sensation-turned-cover-girl-spokesmodel is quitting." In this Princess Diaries in reverse, 15-year-old, top-ranked women's tennis player, Grace, suddenly leaves behind her entourage (bodyguard, agent, stylist, etc.), hotel luxuries, and, hopefully, the paparazzi; dons a new hair color, nose piercing, and name; and is whisked away to Medicine Hat, Alaska, population 813. Freedom, breathtaking scenery and the gorgeous native, Teague Denali, temper the shock of living with Ava, a retired FBI agent, in her rustic cabin, complete with outhouse and cold water only. Painfully aware of townspeople working two jobs to make ends meet while she has enough money to buy an entire factory, the teen must reconcile her two lives. Narrating her story in a conversational voice, full of wit and resolve, Grace finds friendship, love and even normalcy for the first time. When forced to return to the "real world," she knows she will make it-on her own terms now. A chick-lit Grand Slam. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786856909
Publisher:
Hyperion Books for Children
Publication date:
10/01/2005
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)
Age Range:
11 - 14 Years

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Amazing Grace 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i loved this book on the top 5 out of the many many many books i have read it was a great story
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is simply AMAZING. I would definatley recommend this book to anybody. Megan Shull is one of my favorite authors now. Its the way that she puts things from the characters perspective. I just couldnt put the book down. I was at my grandparents house visiting them and all I could think about was getting back to the car to read my book. :'
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing. The story was captivating. At the end of the book every girl would fall in love with the boy in the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is amazing! you cant put it down once you start.. it is fun filled and leaves you wanting more!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was so good that i could hardly put it down...all my friends have been calling me a book worm...but i can she how she just wants to live a normal life im pretty close to the girl in this books age..and everyone wants just a normal life..this book was very good...i wish there was a sequal to it..
Guest More than 1 year ago
Amazing Grace is one of those books you just can't put down. You want to find out what happens, but you also don't want it to end because you really like the characters and the story! I read this book for my High School English class and I loved it. A must-read for teen girls!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If I could, I would seriously rate this book 100 out of 10! I LOVED this book!! I read it in one whole day becuase I couldn't put it down!! I would recommend this book to any girl wanting to read a book worth reading!
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Anna-Jillene More than 1 year ago
I actually got this book from the Library and didn't know that this was going to be one of those 'Suck you in kind of Books' but it totally was, anyway i sat down to read for the night and didnt get up till I was done; it was an awesome book!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this overall story was all right. There was definitely things I liked, like how she was a celebrity, and quits. Understanding how to life of celebrities really aren't how they may appear. There was a twist of romance, but it was not what the book was really about at all. But good thing because I didn't really like the boy that much. And the ex-celeb's new best friend I thought was obnoxious as anything. I thought that if the book was longer, more of her emotions could be expressed and more of a plot and story could really develop. I felt like the story could be summarized in two sentences! So, I really thought it had lots of potential, but turned out to be sort of a failure in the end. Not a total, just a slight. :-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Smartcookie More than 1 year ago
Amazing Grace was such an entertaining and interesting book. Not a word in the story is wasteful. It's all so brilliant, and it helped me understand not only some things about Grace, Fisher, and Teague, but also helped me understand myself too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing! I read it in under 4 hours. I couldn't put it down! I was beautifully written, and i'm sure any teenager can relate. One of the best books i've ever read! I would recomend it to anyone who likes to read. :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is one of the best books i read i could not put it down i think it is a good book for the age group of 12 to 15