Cover Image: The Grimrose Girls

The Grimrose Girls

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Member Reviews

This one was just OK for me. I did think it was a fun concept, but I also thought it tried too hard to meet all the talking points of these days. It's one thing to be inclusive, but if you try to cram too much into one story, it just doesn't sit as well.

The plotline is a bit blurred and not quite as interesting as I was hoping for. It was a bit all over the place and in all honesty I felt like the authors tried so hard to be inclusive that the story itself suffered.

Was it an interesting concept, yes. Unfortunately the execution wasn't quite where it could have been. I appreciate how hard the author tried though.
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I absolutely adored this book! It gave me Riverdale and Pretty Little Liars vibes the entire time I was reading it! The narrative was extremely engaging and I loved the mystery. Couldn’t recommend this book more ☺️
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I read a lot of thrillers. I also really enjoy boarding school books, so when I heard about The Grimrose Girls, it sounded like it was right up my alley.
The story follows Ella, Yuki, & Rory after the death of their friend at their elite boarding school. Each girl has her own secrets she is keeping and we learn the school is keeping secrets as well. The girls uncover dark secrets as they investigate their connection to the school.
This book weaves fairy tales into horror/thriller in a way that was very enjoyable! Definitely pick this up if fairytale retellings with a pinch of darkness is your thing.
Thank you to Sourcefire Books & NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book!
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This was a really clever spin on a fairytale retelling (or should i say retellings, plural?) that focuses on a group of boarding school girls destined to live out the gruesome endings of their respective fairy tales unless they find a way to rescue themselves.

The book has some great elements and some not-so-great, which left me with mixed feels about it as a whole. The concept was excellent, and the setting was good as well, though it lacks the dark atmosphere that should have gone along with it to ground the story in greater sense of place.

The story is better than the writing, and the characters are a mix of good, bad, and forgettable. I absolutely adored Rory and Ella, but Yuki is positively awful (and unfortunately perhaps the most centrally important character) and the others are fine if a bit unmemorable. The villain too was a bit of a letdown, mostly because the reasoning behind it didn’t have much real meaning for the story or the characters.

Thankfully, the central mystery (how to break the curse) lives on, and hopefully the way that wraps up will eventually be more satisfying whenever the series concludes than the ending of this individual book was. 

I would gladly read another, and will be hoping for some improvements to writing and character development along the way.
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The school year starts with Ari's death and her best friends grieve the unexpected loss. Ella, Yuki, and Rory don't believe Ari would have completed suicide and are determined to uncover what truly happened. A new girl has also started. Nani arrives at Grimrose Academie as the new girl and is on her own mission to uncover what happened to her father. As the four girls delve into the history and mysteries of the school, they delve into the world of fairy tales and the real endings of the original fables. 
This book is written from the POV of the main characters, which was too broad of a scope that hinders readers from connecting with characters (not enough quality time with one narrator). I truly wanted to love this book because the premise is fantastic: re-imagined fairy tales and a super diverse cast of LGBTQ+ characters. Unfortunately, this read like poorly written fairy tale fan-fiction where there was too much going on, too many perspectives, and too many mysteries with flat resolutions. The setting was great and the premise is fantastic, but the style and characters just needed more work for readers to connect with the tale Pohl weaves.
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Thank you so much @NetGalley and @sourcebooksfire for gifting me a copy of The Grimrose Girls by @onlybylaura in exchange for an honest review. 

📒 Mini Review 👸🏻
I have been so excited to read The Grimrose Girls and reading it in Oct made it even better. I was a huge fan of Once Upon A Time, so when I read that Grimrose Girls is OUAT meets Pretty Little Liars, I was stoked. I’m a sucker for fairytale retellings of any kind. 

We follow 4 girls, Rory, Ella, Yuki, and Nani. The first 3 are dealing with a new school year and the death of their best friend, Ari. Everyone says it was a suicide, but Ella, Rory, and Yuki know that can’t be true. Nani is the new girl and at Grimrose for her own reasons but gets involved with the search for Ari’s death. 

After finding out that there were deaths at the school that doesn’t add up, they realize that there is so much more to Ari’s death than they could have ever come up with. The four girls uncover the truth of what’s really been going on in the academy, a curse that has to be broken for the deaths to stop. And it seems that one of them is next on the list. 

I enjoyed reading this book and had fun trying to figure out which character went with which fairytale. It was dark at times, but not too dark, and a good creepy read for the season. I will definitely be reading the sequel and am excited to see what happens next!!

If you like fairytale retellings that have a creep factor to them, I recommend this book. I gave it ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
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I completely forgot to review this, I was just so taken in by the story that I didn't want to leave Grimrose when it ended. I had a little reading slump after it.

This book is a great new take on fairytales and giving them a much needed refreshing voice. Also who doesn't love a private boarding school with dark twisted fairytales and a possible sinister murderer? Or at least, something sinister is at work.

The characters are likable and realistic and despite my favorite fairytale character being the first to go (before the story even really starts!) I ended up loving the best friends.

I can't 'wait for book two. Thanks so much to the publisher for an earc of this in exchange for my honest opinion.
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The Grimrose Girls was not what I expected it to be at all, The best way i can describe this book is as a boarding school murder mystery, fill with drama, curses and a lot of fairy-tale twists both Disney and Grimm Tales.

While this book was good, I was never fully immersed into the story and found myself going back and rereading parts just to make better sense of it, I'm not sure if this was because of the multiple POV's with small chapters and a lot of jumping back and forth or the fact that I was reading this book at the wrong time. The Grimrose Girls is a slow start with the action picking up around 40-50% in and that is where we fully start diving into the once upon a time + pretty little liars realm.

If you enjoy the boarding school/high school murder mysteries and fairy-tales I do say give this a shot, I will most likely reread this down the line when/if the sequel comes out. 

Thank you to NetGalley & Sourcebooks Fire for the Earc.
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Thank you so much, NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire, for the chance to read and review this book in exchange of an honest review.

TW: murder, emotional and physical abuse, chronic pain

When their best friend Ariane dies, everyone is convinced she killed herself, but Ella, Yuki and Rory refuse to believe that and they are determined to find out what really happened, above all when they discover a mysterious book and note among Ariane's things. When Nani Eszes arrives as their new roomate, the four girls start to investigate and retrace Ariane's final days, until they discover a dark secret surrounding their boarding school: Ariane's death wasn't the first. They soon learn a connection between these deaths and ancient fairytales curses and how their fates are connected to them too. To stop others from dying, they will do anything they can.

The Grimrose girls is a brilliant and unique fairytales retelling, with a wonderful and complex queer female cast, a murder investigation, a boarding school mystery and so much more. Ella, Yuki, Rory and Nani are four reimagined fairytale heroines, the story is told by their POVs and they are intricate and well rounded, each of them with their pasts, traumas, desires, hopes and dreams.
Ella, determined to help anyone, but with an abusive situation at home, Yuki, willing to protect her friends, but struggling to be herself, Rory, fighting with chronic pain, her parents' desires and her own and Nani, trying to understand where she can fit and what happened to her father. Their own personal stories and struggles intertwine with their determined investigation to understand what exactly happened to Ariane, questioning the school's past and its deaths (ruled as accidents now and in the past), secret passageway, curses and fairytales, crushes and new and old friends. The characterization is fantastic, each character is complex and skillfully written, layered and realistic and their interactions are genuine, relatable, with their fights, banters and flirts.
The setting is fascinating, a boarding school in Switzerland, an elite school, a nearby picturesque small town, balls and intrigues.  
The murder investigation, the fairytale curses intrigued me right away and I was so invested in this story, full of twists, each POV intriguing and captivating, because I really loved every single character. The characters are female, except for Frederick and there's a lovely queer rep, there are aro, ace, demi, lesbian, trans and bi characters.

I loved how the author dealt with complex themes, like emotional and physical abuse, chronic pain, grief, writing relatable and wonderful characters, impossible not to love, in this empowering and feminist retelling. I can't wait to know more about the curse and these characters!
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This was a dark, twisty retelling of classic fairytales with a hyper-focus on the women who feature in those tales. There was an elegant weaving of horror, fantasy and LGBTQ+ representation. The gruesome murders and connecting of their current world with the fairytales was entertaining and I was wondering who was going to be the next murdered fairytale character. I also loved that lesser-known fairytales were woven in and mentioned so that it wasn't just the big stories. 

That being said, this book fell flat and only served as a set up for the next book. I wasn't engaged enough to find out who the bad-guy was, and once we got to midway point, I was focused on the stepmother headmistress and one of the girls our main four protagonists interact with. Lo- and behold I was right, but I still didn't feel satisfied at the end of the book.  

I kept forgetting that Grimrose was not just a girl's school since we rarely came in  contact with any of the boys aside for two. Also, what happened to Nani's motivation and questions of where her dad went? You don't really just get over that mystery even if you find friends and a little bit of adventure. I felt like the plot point got lost - and really wasn't necessary in the long run since halfway through the book it practically disappears from the narrative. 

Overall, the story was one that passed the time, and I did enjoy a lot of elements of the storytelling (the murder, horror, old academy, repeating murders, mystery spanning decades, etc.). But it fell flat in development of the magic powers that pop up, the background stories were a bit too vague in some cases, and the build to climax was just too slow. The school and the public didn't care about the deaths, and the consistency of that made me as the reader not really care. 

I'll keep an eye out for the next book, but I'm not running out to pick it up the second it gets released. Loved the cover!
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an INCREDIBLE fantasy, i absolutely LOVED this one! I’ve recommend this to so so many people and i can’t wait to see others reading this beauty. it is so amazing and beautiful and unique.
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This is the book of my Ever After High dreams.
 I loved the way fairy tales were woven into this story. I am always up for a mystery set in a boarding school and I never think it's an overdone trope, but I can see how other people might get bored of it eventually. This book takes that trope and adds in such cool and creative elements, giving a really cool refresh to my favourite trope. 
Mysteries are my favourite, and this one doesn't disappoint. I like the focus on the characters, and the way that Ariane is more than just the dead girl because of how much her death impacts the others. I like the characters, but honestly the fairy tale angle and the boarding school setting were the best parts of the book. 
I am definitely excited to read the second book!
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This book had all my favourite things in it and I absolutely loved it. I need book 2 now please!

This book weaves together several retellings of the original Grimm fairy tales, there are no happy endings in this books. There is a lot of death and mysteries which were amazing. You spend the book trying to figure out which character is from which fairy tale, while some are easy to identify, some are not. If you are a fan of retellings, this book is right up your alley.

It's also super queer which I was not expecting and pleasantly surprised by. There are lesbian, bisexual, and aro ace characters among the main 4 which is amazing. Plus, the four main characters are also very diverse and from different backgrounds and cultures. 

They other thing that I loved about this book is the multiple POV's, the fact that every chapter is told from a different perspective keeps you on your toes while reading. I could not put this book down, I just had to see how all the narratives fit together. Once you get the complete story at the end, seeing how it was all set up was just *chef's kiss* perfection. 

This book has officially gotten me out of my reading slump!
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What a good surprise I have been with
this story!

Actually, I have been quite intrigued since I read the synopsis, this vibe of pretty little lies and how many fairies caught my attention so I said ok I must read this, and Wooh what a surprise I have been with the way in which the author mixes all these elements and makes it such a good book.

Already pending for the next book!
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The Grimrose Girls is the story of a strange academy where Ella, Yuki and Rory are mourning the unexpected death of their friend Ariane. The girls don’t agree with the official police report and they work together to retrace the days leading up to her death for clues. Nani, a new student, abruptly arrives in the dorm to take Ariane’s space. As murderous events continue to plague the campus, it becomes clear that what happened to Ariane is not an isolated event. Instead, a deadly pattern related to fairy tales is unfolding. As the girls struggle to find the villain behind it all, no one in the academy can be trusted-  not even their closest friends. 

The Grimrose Girls is an intriguing and fast-paced adventure. I definitely agree with the comparison to The Descendants, though I found The Grimrose Girls to be darker and more complex. I would also agree with the comparisons made to Once Upon A Time and Riverdale. The idea behind the plot is very creative, but I struggled a little bit with the pacing of the reveal. One of my favorite parts of this story was the excellent LGBTQ+ rep and twisting of seemingly well-known fairy tales. The characters all have good motivations and plenty of secrets! If you love fairy tales, solving murders, and seek a dark adventure then The Grimrose Girls is for you. I enjoyed The Grimrose Girls and will be curious to see where the sequel takes them next! 

The Grimrose Girls is out now. Thank you to Laura Pohl, Sourcebooks Fire, and Netgalley for a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.  

For publisher: My review will be posted on Instagram, Goodreads, Amazon, Storygraph, and Barnes & Noble etc
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Thanks to NetGalley & Sourcebooks Fire for the early copy in exchange for an honest review. Sadly, I left this off at 20% of the way through because it wasn't holding my interest. 

I know murder mystery/private school books are huge in YA right now but I wasn't a fan of this book. Everyone was 2-dimensional and uninteresting which is a huge minus in a mystery book for me. How can I root for the characters to solve the mystery if none of them are interesting? 

Very slow, confusing storylines, one dimensional characters...maybe it gets better later but I didn't really want to spend so much time trying to rack my brain to figure out which character is which (because they all felt the same) so I left it.
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What a twist of the fairytales that we all grew up on!! I loved this story, and I especially loved the mystery and the intrigue that was also weaved within. Highly recommend!!
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I thought the premise of grimrose girls was fairly interesting (described as a mix of two of my high school self’s favorite tv shows Once Upon A Time and Pretty Little Liars). I was intrigued by the plot but the writing style and series of events that occurred didn’t immerse me in the story. I normally love multiple POV stories, but in this case it felt like we didn’t get to spend enough time with each of the characters to be truly invested in their struggles.
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his was not what I expected. Overall, I enjoyed it. The pacing is a little off and it takes a bit for the action to get moving (like 40-50%) BUT the storyline is intriguing enough that I needed to power through. It was fun to try and figure out each of the princesses and the murder of Ari. I am looking forward to continuing the series because I need to know what happens.

What I loved the most was the rep: trans, bi, ace, aro, lesbian, people of color - just some great rep of various identities that was there. There was enough to the characters where they felt meaty and not just random one dimensional diversity backgrounds. It felt like a magical, fun, intriguing, diverse and relevant 2021 YA novel and it makes me excited about future books from Pohl.
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Grimrose Académie is an exclusive boarding school. There, Ella, Yuki, and Rory's best friend, Ariane dies before school even begins, and the police declare it a suicide. But the remaining trio are convinced that Ariane would never take her own life and set out to determine what happened to her. Then a new girl, Nani, arrives at the school as their roommate. Taking Ariane's place in her old bedroom, she discovers some of Ariane's left behind belongings. This sets off a series of events that will soon overwhelm the girls--and threaten their lives.

"The first day of school started with a funeral."

I have mixed feelings on this book. Some pieces of it frustrated me deeply, and I found them skim worthy and repetitive. It felt like a pale version of a typical "bad things happen a boarding school" read. It got off to a slow start, and I wasn't sure I felt like continuing.

But eventually it begins to work in a fairy tale angle. That piece is really fascinating and far more original. Tying deaths at Grimrose to ancient fairy tales and adding magic, the book picks up speed. There are still pieces that felt as if they could have been shortened, and sometimes the story is too melodramatic--even for teenage girls--but the fairy tale piece is really fun and interesting and carries the book. Honestly, in the beginning, I had a difficult time keeping Ella, Yuki, Rory and some of their other boarding school counterparts separate, though they do become more individualistic as the book goes on. Also, the representation is wonderfully diverse here, so kudos to Pohl for that.

Overall, this book is a slow mover at the beginning, with a decent bit of repetition, leaning too much on character description. But as it moves into its real plot twist and focus, it picks up speed and becomes quite intriguing. The fairy tale piece is original and exciting. I will give the next book a chance.
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