Member Reviews

4 stars

You can read all of my reviews at Nerd Girl Loves Books.

This was a satisfying conclusion to a good YA Fantasy duology. The events pick up a few months after the first book. The girls continue to search for a way to break the curse, but are waylaid by personal issues that distract them from their goal. As they make progress on finding out the origin of the curse, more girls start dying.

This book delves deeper into the girls lives and stories. We find out more about their curse, and how the girls try to come to terms with it. Nani continues to search for her father and gets closer to finding answers. Yuki starts learning to control her new powers as she struggles with the relationship she has with her stepmother. Ella races to find answers as she quickly races toward her 18th birthday. Once believing that it would spell her freedom, now she realizes it could actually be her end. Rory continues to fight against the confines of her future as the ruler of her country, as well as her growing feelings for her fencing nemesis.

I enjoyed this book more than the first one, perhaps because we got to learn more about the girls and their individual stories. I liked the ending, although the way the author got there was a bit convoluted and confusing. However, it didn't deter from my enjoyment of the book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

This was a lot darker than the first one, but I loved every second of it. The story and the mystery kept me turning pages, just like in the first book. Will definitely be interested to read whatever else this author puts out. This book and it's story were so unique and the execution was awesome.

Was this review helpful?

The Grimrose Girls flipped the script on what you may expect from fairy tale retellings with a dash of murder, mystery and the power of female friendships. The Wicked Remain takes it a step further, drenching the book in even more blood and darkness.

I liked how we delved more into the origin of the curse and the differing impact it has on each of our characters. After the initial mystery of the first book, there is still plenty more to discover and Pohl does not lay it out on the table immediately. Instead, we learn through glimpses and flashes, with a few horrible surprises lurking in there as well.

Again Pohl captures the essence of the original tales and weaves something entirely new and wonderful out of it. I liked how much this book leaned into the romances established in the first book. There is still a lot to be said for how damn sapphic it is. Seeing that representation in the kind of tales that have been portrayed to embody the cisheteronormative standards of society is still amazing. These dynamics grew fairly naturally from their previous iterations, with plenty of drama and curveballs thrown in. It adds that extra layer of messy complications and also a sense of something else to fight for; that glimmer of hope and happiness in the world. However, there is still an extremely prominent focus on the power of female friendships. These are not straightforward, they are as complicated and fragile as the characters themselves but they are important sources of connection and understanding between one another. I loved all of their arcs of realisation and development, which are so well-executed over the course of the book.

The Wicked Remain is a brilliant conclusion to an original and exciting duology.

Was this review helpful?

Nami, Ella, Rory, and Yuki are back, and this time they are out to break a curse, a curse that could be deadly for one of all of the girls.

I really enjoyed the character development in this second Grimrose girls. I think each of the girls got fleshed out a lot more compared to the first book. I think the character I enjoyed the most was Yuki, but apparently I'm not the only one there. I found myself somewhat disinterested in Ella's story, though I did feel for her for what she suffered at the hands of her stepmother. Rory was also kind of boring in this book. I enjoyed the way Nami's story played out. I think if any of the girls would be considered the main character, it's probably Nami.

All in all it was a satisfying conclusion to this duology. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this ARC.

Was this review helpful?

The girls are back to find a way to stop the fairytale style deaths from happening!

If you loved book one get to reading this right away. The friendships and relationships motivate the girls in to solving the problem and saving the lives of friends and loved ones!

Definitely recommend and if you haven’t read book one for sure read that one first!!

Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read/review this book.

Was this review helpful?

I LOVED book one of the series and was so excited when I heard book two was coming. The book picks up following the same core four of Nani, Rory, Ella, and Yuki. The curse of the fairytale death was still very much present and the reveal of who did it was a bit shocking.

I loved the twist and turns throughout the book, the LGBT+ representation, the boarding school setting, and the multiple points of view (I wish more books did this). While not a major aspect, I really enjoyed the romances that happened between the characters. It gave a needed break in the story and provided some positive vibes.

Was this review helpful?

Hi everyone! Today I'll be reviewing The Wicked Remain, the sequel to The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl.
Well, this one was a real page-turner.
In this book we meet Ella, Yuki, Rory and Nani once again as they try to fight the curse that haunts the girls studying at Grimrose Académie.
I really liked the story and the characters —Ella is still my favorite— and it was really interesting to see how they delved deeper into their relationships. Also, I absolutely loved how the author entwined all of those fairy tales together and made them fit so seamlessly into the plot.
I think this book is a great follow-up to the first book and an amazing conclusion to the duology.
If you liked the first book, I would definitely recommend you to read this one.
I’d like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This was a really solid sequel. It did a great job of incorporating different fairy tales and retelling them in a unique way.

Was this review helpful?

Although a really cool story idea I had a difficult time getting into this story. I loved the diversity but kept getting Ella and Rory mixed up. The book has its parts that were interesting but seemed to move slowly for the most part. It was a decent read but maybe I’m not the target audience. Definitely still recommend others read it but it was just ok.

Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

Lauren Pohl continues to weave a modern fairytale in the conclusion to this duology. The Wicked Remain picks back up at Grimrose Academie with the girls working to try and break a curse. Because, of course, there's a curse. We finally get some answers and a pretty satisfying conclusion. My favorite part of Lauren Pohl's stories are the diversity and rep that are included.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a review copy of The Wicked Remain.

Was this review helpful?

In this riveting conclusion to the Grimrose Girls duology, Laura Pohl promises a great story and delivers a marvelous edge-of-your-seat conclusion with loads of plot twists. The Wicked Remain will surely please those who have been hooked by the first book.

The Wicked Remain picks up the storyline where The Grimrose Girls left us, with Ella, Nani, Rory and Yuki committed to breaking the curse which can kill them and their colleagues at Grimrose Acadèmie. But, even though the four of them are so keen on solving it, they seem to be stuck at the same point and with no clear way ahead.

At the same time, we also get a deeper understanding of the four friends' stories, their own psychological traits. Ella’s relationship with Frederick gets kinda interesting but what really caught my attention was Yuki’s feelings development and how that affects her own ties with Ella. Also, Rory has some really fascinating action taking place in her love life and getting to terms with her feelings. Last, but never least, one of my favorites, Nani keeps her search for acceptance and a place in the World, her relation with Svenja, while still looking for clues on her father’s whereabouts.

With a great number of plot twists, romance and suspenseful moments, The Wicked Remain has an amazingly woven story which hooks the reader from the first pages. Every new discovery made by the girls gives the one reading it a boost to go forward and uncover a bit more of the mystery revolving around Grimrose Acadèmie, all the way leading to such a wonderful last battle scene that makes you breathless.

The way Pohl rebuilt these fairy tales with more of a modern and empowering takes gives it all the interestingness it needs to attract readers of various ages. It is a compelling reading and greatly entertaining.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.*

Was this review helpful?

“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

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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!

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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!

Was this review helpful?