Cover Image: The Wicked Remain

The Wicked Remain

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Member Reviews

Thank you NetGalley for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review! 

I was worried that this book would struggle from sequel syndrome and not live up to the first book. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The storytelling and weaving of fairytales into a modern narrative was incredibly well done.
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At Grimrose Académie, the fairy-tale deaths continue. And unless the curse is broken, one of the girls could be next. Nani, Yuki, Ella, and Rory have discovered the truth about the curse that's left a trail of dead bodies at Grimrose. But the four still know nothing of its origins, or how to stop the cycle of doomed fates.
And each girl harbors her own secret. One is learning why she was brought to the school. One struggles to keep her new and deadly power under control. One knows exactly how much time she has left.
And one, trying to escape her dark destiny, will come even closer to fulfilling it. Yes, you must read The Grimrose Girls before tackling The Wicked Remain, otherwise this story will not make sense.

*Special thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for this e-arc.*
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“Magic was a battle of wills, of pouring the essence of self into the thing you wanted the most, making it real and concrete, letting it all out without guilt.”

The Wicked Remain picks up after the winter break of the Grimrose Girls. Packed with action, suspense, friendship and some romance - I had such high hopes for this book. I read an arc of the first book last year and really loved it. This plot was so fast paced and I wanted to know so much more about this curse that was forcing these girls to live out the unhappiest endings of their fairytales!

And while I'm all for breaking the curse and rewriting these stories into more feminist takes - sleeping beauty wakes herself up, cinderella escapes without the help of a prince, etc - I couldn't shake the feeling that these tale just didn't make sense in the modern world. Was the curse drawing them to this castle and forcing them to ask in certain ways? I felt like this book really toed with the line of free will and lost unlike in the first book. I also did not see the "bad guys" coming at all - and I feel like that was due to a lack of build up entirely.

There were a lot of things I loved about this book though and the rep and diversity is on the top of the list. There are so many different characters with varied race, sexiality and disability in this book and I loved reading it. Even with 4 different POV's I felt like each one was so unique. I could always tell who's chapter it was even without reading.

Overall, I felt like this was a fun read - esp with figuring out which girl aligned with which story. There are lots of fun moments of sleuthing and self introspection as well!

rep // lesbians, wlw, ace, demi, bi, trans rep

cw// fatphobia, sexual assault (forced kissing), transphobia, violence, child abuse, cancer, death, suicide, murder
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What a great way to close this duology! I liked part 1 very much, but this was even better!!

Our friend group continues to unveil the mysteries of the books, the fairy tales, and their own lives. Laura Pohl  creates a very magical world and a lovely set of characters. You can clearly see the character development in all of the girls and how they try to avoid the fatal ends of their fairytales. 

This was a super fast read for me, and it was 400 pages or so. The story really hooks you up and you just have to continue reading to know what is going to happen next. Overall, very pleasantly suprised by this novel.
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I absolutely loved THE GRIMROSE GIRLS when I read it last year. It was such a well-thought through, engaging, addictive, dark, fun read. So, as you might expect, I was excited to revisit these characters for THE WICKED REMAIN!

The first 60% of this book, though? It kind of dragged. It was good to be back and I still loved the intrigue, but I feel like it could’ve been shorter. At some point, I was really scared this was going to be an underwhelming conclusion to the duology, but luckily, around that 60% mark, the story picked up again..

Just like that, Laura Pohl had me fully invested in the story and the girls’s lives again. The character development, the creative twists, the writing—it was all incredible. Suddenly, we were back to the action-packed story!

The way Laura Pohl incorporates the fairytales and gives them an empowering twist was so beautiful and fell perfectly into place. I kind of cried because of how amazing it was.

So, despite over half of the book dragging a little, I can’t help but love this conclusion. It’s so original, and I’m hoping to reread it from the start next year!

I love each of these characters so much, and it’s definitely a bittersweet feeling to say goodbye to them. But… I’m excited for whatever Laura Pohl chooses to write next!
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Thank you to Netgalley, Laura Pohl, and Sourcebooks Fire for an e-arc of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. 

I was really excited to get my hands on this arc. I didn’t love book one but I was definitely intrigued by the plot and the group of girls. I was really hoping that we would get a better understanding of what was going on in this book and see some depth and development. However, after finishing this book I still feel like I have so many unanswered questions. I applaud this duology on it’s premise, I think it’s a really unique way to do a fairytale retelling but it just fell flat for me. I felt that both books struggled with pacing and a sense of direction. I do love that the author includes so much representation and diversity in her characters, it’s refreshing to see! Overall, I just don’t think this series was for me.
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The Wicked Remain is the second book in the Grimrose Girls series. The girls - Nani, Yuki, Ella, and Rory - know about the curse sentencing fellow students to fairytale-esque deaths and now they have to figure out how to stop it.  Im a sucker for friendship heavy reads and its no surprise that I loved this book due to the friendships between the girls.

The storyline, charcaters and twists made an even more intriguing sequel.
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Thank you to NetGalley, author Laura Pohl, and Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for my honest review!

The Wicked Remain was a rare case of me actually enjoying the sequel a bit more than the first book. If you remember my review over The Grimrose Girls, I did not particularly enjoy the book because I don't like fairy tale retellings and didn't realize it was one. Knowing what I was getting into for the sequel helped me to enjoy it more, although I would say the things I didn't like in the first installment transferred into this book as well. I found The Wicked Remain to be much more engaging as a reader; since it was the sequel, the action started right away, and I felt that the book was able to accomplish more in its span. Again, I really enjoyed the LGBTQ+ representation, and I thought that readers were able to see the friendships develop between the girls on an even greater level. However, this book ended in just about the cheesiest and most predictable way possible, which tainted my view of the book. I was really pleasantly surprised that I was enjoying this one so much more as I was reading it, until I got to the last 1/4th of the book. Don't get me wrong, I am essentially a Disney adult and love the princesses, but this felt like a complete rip off and repeat of each Disney Princess movie that the girls were based off of. The "new" twists that were added were again predictable and didn't add any huge merit to the story. I was also a bit confused by who the villain was, as I wish that would have been better fleshed out through the course of two novels. As I said in my review for The Grimrose Girls, this wasn't necessarily a bad book, it just wasn't the book for me.
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Four girls are trying to break a curse, but they face obstacles at every turn. Yuki is trying to figure out her powers. But as of right now, she’s downright dangerous. Poor Ella is in an abusive situation and feels stuck as she waits things out. Her relationship with Freddie feels superficial, but it actually works here, considering what she’s going through. Nani is figuring out how to relate to others and to let her guard down. And Rory? Even though she can be quick to lash out at others, she’s the one I relate to most.

While I can’t pretend to understand what Rory goes through with Fibromyalgia, I do suffer from multiple polyarthritis. And being in pain, some days you start the day with most of your spoons used up. When you’re in pain, sometimes you lash out because it’s all you can do. So her bursts of anger are understandable.

I appreciate the story being told from all the girls’ points of view and that the characters are inclusive. Pohl does fairy tales reimagined really well by putting her own spin on each of them. Tack on a bit of romance and mystery to the twisted tales, and you get a very enjoyable read. Thank you, Sourcebooks Fire, for sending this along!
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The Wicked Remain is the second book in the Grimrose Girls series. The girls - Nani, Yuki, Ella, and Rory - know about the curse sentencing fellow students to fairytale-esque deaths and now they have to figure out how to stop it. The friendship between the girls was truly showcased in this installment, and I'm so here for that!

“It’s what friendship meant. That they would do things together, and no matter how hard it became, they would still be there. It was not about proving a point that you could do it on your own - that was just stupid. Besides, it wasn’t about accepting help. Friends didn’t help you because you needed it or out of charity or pity. They helped because they loved you. They helped because that’s what friends did. So no one would take the journey alone. Friends cared, and they chose to care.”

I enjoyed the fast facing, growing relationships, twists, multiple POV, diversity, and worldbuilding. An outstanding sequel.
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I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley and am voluntarily posting a review. All opinions are my own.

The Wicked Remain is the second installment and conclusion of the Grimrose Girls duology, and it’s just as good, if not better than the first one. 

The characters in particular feel richer and more developed, especially as they’ve each become disillusioned with the academy upon the revelations of the truth. It’s interesting to explore how their stories and the possible dark endings parallel the original fairy tales, and how that inspires fear in them. And I continue to love the queer rep in the books, and the romance in this one is more prominent, coming in places I didn’t expect, although I was happy to see it all the same. 

While this installment is quite a bit longer than its predecessor, it does not sacrifice brisk pacing for the longer length. It might possibly be translated a bit into some uneven pacing in places, but it’s otherwise fairly solid throughout. 

This series is incredibly enjoyable, and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys dark fairy tale retellings.
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Content warning: physical abuse of a minor, suicide, mind control

Looking back to my review of the first book in this series, I mentioned that I thought there were too many moving parts and that I hoped the kinks would be worked out for the second book. I'm happy to say that most of the things that I didn't feel worked in the first book were fixed for this one and that overall, THE WICKED REMAIN is a satisfying conclusion to this duology.

I found the plot twists interesting and enjoyed seeing Yuki lean in to her powers more. The four main characters felt more fleshed out than they did in the first book - though I kept waiting (and hoping) for a certain library cat to play a bigger role within the plot. The subtle nods to the iconic details from the fairytale stories so many of us know so well thanks to Disney movies were a nice touch. I did feel like the climax and resolution of the curse was a bit of a letdown - I'm not sure what I was expecting, but that wasn't it.

All in all, I'm glad I gave THE WICKED REMAIN a chance after not loving THE GRIMROSE GIRLS and combined together, I feel like they make for a decent read and are an interesting take on reimaging fairytales into the modern world. I do wonder what happens next.

As a note, at least in the e-galley, there are "blank" chapters towards the end of the book based on things happening within the plot that I found a little odd. Not sure if the ARC is missing something or if that's how they'll look in the published copy, but it was awkward to come upon them even though I see what their implications mean.

Advanced Reader’s Copy provided by NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for an honest review.
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With incredible twists and a combo of all my favorite fairy tales, The Wicked Remain is the incredible sequel and conclusion to The Grimrose Girls. I love the character development throughout these two books & the ending OMG fantastic! I did not see it coming!

Laura Pohl does an amazing job of showing how powerful young women can be if they just believe -- in themselves and in their friendship.
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Often times in book series that start out strong, the sequel won’t live up to the first book. This book avoided that fate by continuing to spin a can’t-put-down plot as well as powerful female friendships. The alternating perspectives and storylines of the book are well-balanced and humanize the characters in addition to raising the stakes for the reader. This book helps highlight how the fairytale endings we as girls are told to emulate may not be what’s right for us, and that when we take ownership of our stories, we can be our own heroes.
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As the sequel to The Grimrose Girls it didn't disappoint. What I especially loved about this was the writing style - when we have books with multi POVs it can be a tricky game of how much do we really get to know the characters before they feel watered down and Pohl nails it. Each of the characters felt developed and fleshed out and the writing!! was just so beautiful. Yuki's arc??? I'm emotional. 

Thank you to Netgalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Unique retelling; urban fantasy; secret identity; royal; orphan; found family; FF; first love; cursed; disability rep; LBGTQIA rep

I liked this more than the first book as many answers start to come together. This is a very unique take on fairy tales and bringing them all into the real world. Having this from multiple POVs I think allows any reader to find a character they would identify with and get a “lesson” or find a happy ending that isn’t what you would normally envision as a happy ending.

I think the conclusion dragged a little bit and the explanation of the curse could have been more clear. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves fairy tales or any YA readers that don’t want a book focusing on the romance but that’s about 15% romance(which does add to the plot)
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Following the same four girls from the previous book, this one starts with another year at Grimrose Académie. They know so much more but have MANY questions, still. 

Girls continue to die at the school and they are determined to break the curse or they will surely be among them. But, they are each holding something back from the world and slowly, they have to discover things about themselves in order to change their fate.

This was a great sequel. I enjoyed the relationships and the growth of each of them. I loved how this played out and how it ended.
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Grimrose Académie is cursed, but only Ella, Yuki, Nani, and Rory know about it. Everyone else is oblivious to the facts that they’re living out fairy tales, up until the moment of their death. But what is worse, not knowing that death is coming for you, or having the knowledge that this next semester will be your last?

Now that they know that their time is running out, Ella, Yuki, Nani, and Rory need to find a way to break the curse and save all the people in the school, and mostly, themselves. Unfortunately, the events of last semester have changed them. Yuki is unable to tear herself away from the darkest part of herself, the magic that creeps from her fingers. Ella used to dream about her eighteenth birthday, but now she knows that with it comes the end to her story. Nani is no closer to finding her father, but even more desperate than before to find out what happened to him. And Rory is being held captive by her parents, a true princess in a tower. Will they find a way to come together to break the curse plaguing the school, or will their individual stories break them?

I received an advanced reading copy of The Wicked Remain in exchange for an honest review.

The Wicked Remain is a young adult fantasy by Laura Pohl. It’s the sequel to The Grimrose Girls, which I read and reviewed last year, and is the final novel to this duology. If you read my review for The Grimrose Girls, you’ll know that I fell in love with the concept of the different characters embodying different fairy tales in the book, and that I had a great time trying to guess whose fairy tale was whose. But before I continue, I should probably warn you that there may be spoilers for The Grimrose Girls in the following review, so be cautious as you proceed!

Speaking of the first book, I should also mention that it had been a while since I’d read The Grimrose Girls, and it worked against me in the beginning of the sequel, as there were many characters and it took me a while to refamiliarize myself with who was whom. In general, I don’t recommend reading sequels without first reading the first book, and in this case, I was lucky I remembered the fairy tales the four main girls embodied, as that helped me finish placing the other many characters in the story.

But once I was reminded of whom everyone was, The Wicked Remain was such a blur, but in a good way! I just rushed through this book, and it helped that it read very quickly. There was so much going on in the lives of the individual girls, but also, Pohl doesn’t shy away from the gruesome and occasionally the gory, making me actually fear for the main characters, wondering if all of them would get their happily ever afters. In fact, I was so invested in this story, that while I was on the train to work, my Kindle glitched in the middle of a tense scene about 80 percent through the book, and I almost threw my Kindle across the train car, because I couldn’t believe it would pick that moment to glitch. Also, you should know that I nearly missed my stop back from work later that same day, because I was reading the end of the book. Yes, I did cry. Yes, the other passengers thought I was weird. What else is new?

I think my favorite part of the story was that, while each of the girls has their own lives and personal problems to deal with, in the end, they’re all friends and are always there for each other when they need it. I won’t spoil the ending, but I’ll mention that I thought that it was particularly perfect in how it brought the characters together. Also, I especially loved the relationship between Yuki and Ella, two characters who are complete opposites, with Yuki being cold, both physically and emotionally, and Ella being caring and comforting, but they’re really the best of friends, and the closest in the group. I kind of wish we’d gotten more of the two of them together, as it was such a good friendship in the book. I feel like friendship all too often gets overshadowed by romantic relationships in books, but here, it’s the friendship between all four girls that shines the brightest.

That isn’t to say that there isn’t some romance in here too! I won’t say too much about it, for fear of spoilers, but the romances do carry over from the first book, and I had a great time reading about how they developed in the sequel, especially as the main characters now knew all too well what was coming for them at the end of the school year. It added a layer of desperation to everything, knowing that every moment could be their last.

The Wicked Remain was a very satisfying ending to a magical duology. This is one I think a fan of fairy tale retellings and adaptations, or magical boarding school stories with a tinge of darkness would enjoy. I had fun reading these books, and trying to figure out the mystery for myself.

The Wicked Remain will be released on November 1. You can pre-order your copy from Sourcebooks Fire here.
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When we first start this book, a little time passed since the events of Grimrose Girls. The girls are just coming back from Christmas break, and while they are all looking forward to seeing each other again they don't want to have to deal with what they know is coming. The first half to probably three-quarters of the way through the story is on the slower side. Especially in the very beginning when the most interesting thing that happens in a rescue mission and we get to see Yuki's powers really shine. The rest of the time the girls are trying to figure out their next steps in stopping the curse, but it seems like every time they have an idea it ends up leading to a dead end, then they have to start their investigation all over again

However, once we start getting all the puzzle pieces coming together everything starts to pick up and becomes much more interesting. I loved the friendships, and how in the end Ellie stood up for herself. She was one of my favorites and even though she didn't get the HEA I was expecting I enjoyed how the story ended for her especially.
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I was really hoping this book would be better than the first one, but it was disappointing. I love the concept of having all of these fairytale characters at a school together and giving each of their stories a darker twist. The details and descriptions are so atmospheric and this book does a great job letting each of the four main characters have their own story. Some of the ways the author used the elements of the original fairy tales to give them a twist were so fun and interesting.

But this book was also so slow. Nothing happens for ages. The girls are attempting to figure out a way to break the curse and while they do, in the end, I couldn’t follow their thought process. A lot of the reveals about what was going on behind the curse seemed to come out of nowhere without much build up. I wish there had been foreshadowing leading up to the different reveals.

Near the end of the story one of the characters mentions they have “so many questions still about the curse, about magic, about how all of it had started, and how the ending still felt so raw, so abrupt” while another mentions that she “didn’t understand like, one third of what was going on” and that’s exactly how I felt while reading. I wanted to be able to follow along with the girls as they figured things out, but it just didn’t pan out that way. The characters themselves didn’t even understand everything that happened, which I feel like is a big indicator that this story needed more editing. 

Overall, this book disappointed me because of pacing and how things ended. There are elements I did like, such as the messages and themes and the darker aesthetics with the retelling twist, but it just didn’t capture me enough.
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