Member Reviews

A 3.5 rounded up to 4.

This is a formidable sequel. I have to say, the overall series gives me Wednesday + Once Upon a Time vibes.

I felt like I struggled to get into this one more than the first one. To be fair, I read the first one a while ago and didn’t entirely remember the premise. Once I picked up on it, things made a lot more sense. Obviously, that’s on me and has nothing to do with the storytelling. I thought the storytelling was fantastic. It’s rich and has a lot of moving parts.

I thought the story stretched on during parts that weren’t necessary. It felt a little filler-y at times, so I would skim. I also felt like some elements got thrown in at the end to tie up loose ends that I thought were random? Maybe that’s my lack of memory though.

Don’t let that scare you off—It’s a refreshing retelling; I haven’t read one quite like it. I’m personally a fan of when the stories intersect, so I was thrilled to see somebody do that AND put a unique twist on it.

I think fans of fairytale retellings, Wednesday, Once Upon a Time, and other dark academia type of stories will enjoy this duology!

Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the eARC! My review has been posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

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Thank you Netgalley for the chance to read this ARC!

I loved "The Wicked Remain" just as much as the first book and enjoyed diving back into Laura Pohl´s amazing world full of magic and secrets.
The character development was so good and I liked the way the whole story unfolded.
Until the end the story was filled with twists and turns which were absolutely thrilling.

All in all it was a perfect sequel with a great ending, that leaves me fully satisfied with this series!

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Grimrose Academie houses a curse related to fairytales and death. This is book 2 of The Grimrose Girls, which follows Yuki, Nani, Ella, and Rory - all who represent fairytale characters. If you have not read the first book (or if it's been a while) you may need to go back to the first book as the sequel jumps into action from Ella's perspective after they've uncovered the existence of the curse and why girls in the school are dying.
As I mentioned in my review of the first book, this definitely reads like fairytale fan-fiction, but the story/plot flowed more than in the first book (the perils of world-building!); however, there were still some slow-going parts that seemed irrelevant to the main plot. There are also instances where things happen for our heroes way to conveniently...
Overall, I enjoyed the storytelling more than the first book, but there were some really slow-moving plot points, but the ending definitely got me so 3.5 rounded to 4.

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After reading (and loving!!) The Grimrose Girls, I just knew I had to pick this book (its sequel) up. And honestly, I have no regrets! The mystery/thriller aspect was done just as well as in Grimrose Girls (if not better!), and I really appreciated seeing each of our main characters fleshed out more. We even got some really cute couple-y moments, which were absolutely adorable!

Overall, I would highly recommend this book for fans of the original book! It's a solid four star read, and I'm looking forward to reading more of Laura Pohl's books in the future (maybe even more books set in the Grimrose Girls universe?)

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I love The Grimrose Girls, and so it stands to reason that I'd enjoy the follow up -- and if you guessed I did, you'd b right! Laura Pohl writes a great, if not slightly unsettling, sequel in The Wicked Remain.

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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me an e-ARC of this book!

The Wicked Remain and its prequel, The Grimrose Girls both revolve around four teenagers at a boarding school, all of whose lives are similar to some particular fairytale. When the girls discover books that seem to have all of their stories in them, things are set into motion.

I have to say I'm not a big fan of fairytales. I probably won't even be able to tell you more than a few really popular ones so that aspect of the book did nothing for me. I can still appreciate how intricately the author wove these tales around the main characters and it would've been amazing had I been a little interested/informed on the fairytales beforehand so that I could draw my own conclusions and links and theorise on what would happen next based on that knowledge, this would've been an absolute treat to read.

In spite of that, I did enjoy the book and liked this one a lot better than the first book which was a little predictable. This one though? This one had me interested throughout and I enjoyed all the plot twists and turns a lot.

My favorite parts are of course the queer cast of characters and the little moments between them and their partners or about their identities. Yuki was a special favourite of mine and I loved her POV in this one!

Highly recommend if you like fantasy mixed in with a healthy dose of fairytales!

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NetGalley ARC Educator 550974

A wonderful end to the series. Themes of friendship, PTSD and parental abuse, beware of the latter two. The friends band together to lift the curse and save each other. There are some twists and turns throughout. This is a series that you can reread from time to time. Would love to see it on the big screen.

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An enchanting and enthralling ending to an incredible series. After reading The Grimrose Girls, I was beyond excited to start this book and it did not disappoint. These were exactly what I wanted from a darker fairytale type of book. I am beyond excited to buy the physical copy of this one as well.

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The Grimrose Girls are back in the end of their saga to break the curse. Yuki, Nani, Rory and Ella, still grieving the deaths that the curse has left behind, decide to end the curse once and for all. They assign amongst themselves girls to guard so that no other deaths occur while they try to untangle their own stories and why the curse exists in the first place. With that the girls eventually realize that the reason the curse exists and that Yuki has magic is that she as Snow White should never have existed. Once that was determined, they realized that the teachers are witches who cursed Yuki's step-mom for creating her in the first place and the girls decide to band together to defeat the curse. It's a lovely story about friendship and chosen family.

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

TW: parental abuse, death, PTSD

The wicked remain is the brilliant and intriguing sequel of Grimrose girls and after the shocking ending of the first book, each girl has to face their own problems, traumas and what they discovered with the White and Black books.
The fairy-tale deaths continue and to break the curse the girls have understand how to do it, while facing themselves and trying do do the right thing. But each girl has her own secret. Yuki is struggling with her new power, Nani is investigating her father's presence in the school and why she was sent there, Rory is facing herself and her sexual orientation, with her own health issues and Ella is fighting to understand how much time she has left to live and enjoy.

In this eerie, amazing and compelling sequel, Laura Pohl wrote an unforgettable story, with her characters growing up, facing themselves and each other, discovering secret passages, confronting enemies and trying to save the girls in their school from an undending and cruel cycle that killed girls years after years. Trapped in fairy-tales, cycles and curses, Ella, Nani, Yuki and Rory have to be ready to do anything in their power to stop the curse and save themselves and everyone else.

It was such a pleasure following each character growing up, facing themselves and their fears and desires. Ella goes through a tough journey in order to accept herself and her value, recognizing what she's been through, with her stepmother's abuse and accepting her being loved and appreciated. Yuki starts to embrace herself and her own power and family, embracing all of her, while Nani struggles and finally accept to tear down her own walls, taking people in and also Rory finally opens her eyes towards what and who loves.

I loved how much the author underlines the girls' bond and love, their sisterhood, how much they supported, helped, loved and embraced each part of each other and themselves and it was such a brilliant conclusion of this intriguing duology.
A story about love and self-love, about fighting to be free and themselves, accepting themselves in all their parts, good and bad and I truly loved everything!

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Many thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for an early copy of The Wicked Remain. I was really excited to get to the sequel to The Grimrose Girls as I really enjoyed the first one! I liked the sequel but I wasn't as into it as the first one. The mystery wasn't all that twisty and I think I wanted it to be a bit more dark than it was. I also love this world so much that I'm kind of sad that we don't have anymore coming (that I know of). I liked it, I just didn't love it and that was disappointing to me. I definitely think it's worth the read and good, it just wasn't as great as I was hoping.

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Overall, I think this was a good ending to this dark fairytale series. I enjoyed the relationships between the girls. The first half of the book is extremely slow. I almost stopped reading because it was so slow. That being said the last 100 pages or so are extremely action packed. Some of the reveals didn't make sense to me but overall it's a good book for people who are fans of fairytale retellings.

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Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the ARC in exchange for an honest review! I recently finished (and loved!) The Grimrose Girls, so I was very excited to have the opportunity to read the conclusion to this duology. In The Wicked Remain, Ella, Yuki, Nani, and Rory are back and delve into figuring out how to break the curse that's upon them and many of their classmates. Each girl's life seems to be foretold by a magical book of fairy tales- and it's predicting their deaths.

I loved the furthering of the themes that we were introduced to in the first book- friendship, found family, and making one's own identity. Although both stories took pace over the course of a year, the students seemed to experience a lot of growth throughout the novel. Romance and friendships both blossomed but there were many thorns along the way. Despite the maturing of our protagonists, the ending felt a bit flat. The Wicked Remain fell into overdone happy endings of fairy tales. It was full of tears, cheers, and the reinforcement of found families and the importance of friendship.

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Thank you to SourceBooks Fire and Netgalley for an arc of this book.

In the sequel to The Grimrose Girls, things are even more tense at Grimrose Academie as Yuki, Ella, Rory, and Nani deal with the fallout of Penelope's death and try to solve the mystery of the curse that is trapping them in fairytale retellings and killing off girls left and right.

This was so good! I loved everything about it. The entire time I was thinking about Midnights by Taylor Swift and trying to figure out which song works for each. I got one for every girl but the two that felt the most right to me was Anti-Hero for Yuki and You're on Your Own, Kid for Ella. They feel so right for both these girls and their character arcs.

This was great! I'm glad we got some more of Rory and Nani in this one. Such a great duology and definitely recommend for those Dark Academia vibes!
Content Warnings
Graphic: Blood, Child abuse, Child death, and Death

Moderate: Physical abuse and Cancer

Minor: Transphobia, Ableism, and Fatphobia

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This book has the same ability to entrance and entice the reader as the first in the series. While we began to touch the surface of the secrets and sacrifices each character has made previously, as a reader we begin to future in the fairytale connections. Great book for someone looking for a touch of fantasy while they explore the mystery of the curse.

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4.00 Stars. A good ending to this fairytale duology. If you like the feel of books like The School for Good and Evil or shows like Disney’s The Descendants or Once Upon a Time, but want something darker, grittier and wonderfully queer, than The Grimrose Girls is just the duology you are looking for. I’m a huge fairytale retelling fan, especially when they get a queer spin, so this underrated YA dark duology was right up my alley. Imagine going to an academia in a castle where there are certain girls who live out fairytale stories but are cursed to die before they ever get their happily ever after. And now imagine what would you do if you found out you were one of those girls, one of those living breathing fairytales come to life. Could you write your happy ending before it was too late?

While I do have to admit that I liked book one a little bit more than this book, I still thought that this was a good and fun ending. I just enjoyed the whole premise and while this is a darker fantasy series with the premise of girls dying, for one most fairytales are dark, and two there are plenty of moments of friendship and love between best friends, and some romance, that give this duology the lighter moments it needs to balance things out nicely.

As a character driven reader, this is where the book really shined for me. With a cast of four main characters, it is not easy to give them all such distinct voices, but here they all had them. Each chapter starts with the name of the character, but they are so well written that I could always tell whose POV I was in without even reading the name. How impressive is that?! Not only were they all unique, but I found that I enjoyed them all and while I had my favorites, I enjoyed reading every POV and never felt bored or wished I could jump to the next character. I can’t tell you how rare that is when it comes to me reading character ensemble books.

I don’t know if I was the biggest fan with how everything wrapped up. One of the characters said something like “I don’t know if I understand everything that just happened” after the big climax ending scene and I could not help but LOL since I felt a little bit the same. I really liked how one of the characters storylines tied-in to play a big role in the ending, I thought it was well done, but I wish there were some better clues thrown in on who the “bad person/s” was as it wasn’t as much as a solvable mystery as I would have liked. I liked the feel of the mystery in book one better, but overall, it didn’t take away my reading enjoyment and it was a satisfying ending to the series. Last small complaint, I also would have shaved a chapter or two off the book’s length, it felt a little long overall, but that might be more of a personal preference.

TLDR: An underrated YA queer dark fantasy series. I would recommend this duology for fans of fairytale retellings, especially if you don’t mind your stories a little on the grittier side. This was an entertaining series and I’m really going to miss the well written characters the most. I’m excited to see what Pohl will write next.

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This was just not the book for me. Sometimes YA just doesn't work out and this was one of those times.

I found it hard to connect with the main characters and didn't really enjoy any of their page time.

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Firstly, I would like to thank Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for an e-arc of this title for review.

I made a joke on my Instagram last month that Netgalley was very ambitious to grant me an arc of the title when, at the time, I hadn't even started reading the first book in this duology. But I made the time to read book 1 over the summer and then jumped onto book 2.

What attracted me to this book originally was the fairytale reimaging and inspiration. I love classic fairytales and I love when they are reimagined. And this book had such a unique way of reimaging the original stories.

My only real criticism of this book was the villain reveal. While I enjoyed Act 3 and the climax and reveal - the only issue was that we didn't get enough information or backstory on the true villain of the story. It sprung on the readers quite suddenly and without any real lead-up. I feel that retrospectively readers should be able to look back after the villian reveal and pick out the clues which were subtly placed to indicate the true nature of the villain. However, while they were characters we had been introduced to and followed throughout the two books - it felt like too much of a surprise that these were the true villains of the piece.

But overall, I did really enjoy this duology. I loved the story, the reimagining, and the diversity. Such a thrilling read.

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This is the second part of an intriguing and entertaining duology: a dark fantasy featuring a group of girls who discover their potential, love, and who they are.
The book starts just after The Grimrose Girls and it's a well plotted story. I loved how the author developed the characters and world building.
The story is well plotted and it kept me hooked.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this arc, all opinions are mine

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I enjoyed the first in this series with the students discovering the curse and the journey they went through albeit some were gruesome. Though this time as they are trying to break the curse. Their relationships are continuing as their stories are playing out. The romances between the characters are sweet and all the first love/crush type.

I love fairy tales though we get the Disney versions the original versions were pretty brutal especially to the females of the story. These girls all are well developed and very strong characters. Loved the representation within the LGBTQ. The multiple POV helps understand each of the girls motivations and know their secrets.

Definitely recommend if you like boarding schools, mysteries, fairytales and fighting to save your friends!

Thank you sourcebooksfire and netgalley for the e-ARC for my honest and voluntary review.

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