Cover Image: The Forest Grimm

The Forest Grimm

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Member Reviews

The Forest Grimm is a dark fairy tale mashup that I found rather disappointing.

There are two types of books that I will finish reading. The first is the enjoyable, fun to read type of books. The second is addictive, where I finish the book because I am so confused; these types of books generally leave me feeling the most grumpy. The Forest Grimm definitely fell into the latter category.

I found the cover pretty.

The idea of the story was intriguing. I love fairy tale retellings. Quests? Sign me up! I just wish the story had been executed better.

See the content warnings.

It never really felt like the characters were getting anywhere. These were some of the most passive characters I have ever read. They were just roaming through the forest with no sense of direction, plan, or goal the entire time. While I realize that there might have been a bit of reality, it still was frustrating to see how much the characters weren’t even trying to come up with a plan.

This book was very dark. And it definitely did not have enough levity to balance it out. Reading this book was kinda like wading through Tolkien’s Dead Marshes without even getting the nice sense of melancholy or Howard Shore’s gorgeous music playing in the background.


LANGUAGE: Three instances of d*** in quick succession. True, that was the only instance of profanity in this book, but it bothers me a lot more when many instances of vulgarity are used in quick succession.
*Attempted strangulation
*Attempted cannibalism
*Decomposing corpses
*Ghosts (I did not find them at all creepy, but they weren’t supposed to be)

SEX: Umm… I’m not exactly sure. There’s one scene where I think the characters might have had sex, but that scene was so confusing that I honestly have no idea. Granted, it was not graphic/descriptive enough for me to tell, so I guess it had that going for it. There are several kisses throughout the book.

DRUGS: Characters are drugged with psychedelic mushrooms.

OTHER: Fortune-telling is a major part of the story.

I received an ARC copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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This was absolutely lovely! There are so many teen fantasy books in the market nowadays, but this one stands out from the rest. I have been craving a book like this for years. Think early Sarah J Maas or "Poison Study", or Maggie Stiefvater. This book is that level of quality.
This book was everything I had been wanting and missing. Excellent dialogue, solid world building, an independent, likeable heroine, romance. And that cover is GORGEOUS! I just savored each page and was very sorry when it ended. I will definitely be buying this book in print! TEN STARS!
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Thank you to NetGalley and St. Marten's Press/Wednesday Books for an eARC of The Forest Grimm!

This Fairytale retelling, centralized on Little Red Riding Hood, has a gothic, creepy feel and a slow burn romance. I definitely want to read more from Kathryn Purdie and continue on in this duology/series.
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A modern YA retelling of the Grimm fairy tales but twisted in a nightmare.

Grimm’s Hollow has been cursed and Clara Thurn ventures into the Midnight Forest to save her mother, find the book of fortunes and lift the curse plaguing the town. This is a dark and magical adventure with engaging characters and many gripping action scenes that kept me invested in the story. 

The twists to classic Grimm fairy tales were layered and woven delightfully, you knew what to expect but also not! I enjoyed the friends to lovers plot but it wasn’t over the top, it’s more of a fantasy than romance. Our protagonist, Clara, has disabilities and while they are mentioned a few times, they certainly do not slow her down.

Wonderful world building and supporting characters - Henni and Axel, the trio had an easy going camaraderie and I just about died of cuteness when Henni took out a sewing kit for emergencies!

A bit of a slow burn novel but overall well written, quite enjoyable and unique!

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an early copy to review.
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Clara must head into the dangerous Forest Grimm to seek the magic Book of Fortunes so that she can lift the fuse on her village and save her mother. 
The Forest Grimm is a dark retelling of the fairy tale of Little Red Riding. The Forest Grimm will appeal to readers of Hannah Whitten’s For the Wolf and watchers of Once Upon A Time.
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A Grimm-inspired book interwoven with classic fairy tales, more appropriate for a younger audience (ages 11-15yrs). Overall this wasn't my favorite book, but it wasn't are the things I liked:
- The twist on the Red Riding fairytale that was carried throughout the book
- The personality of the FMC, Clara
- The side character, Henni, was solid and I liked her a lot!
- Interesting storyline
- Good creepy forest that hearkened to the classic Brothers Grimm vibes

The things I didn't like:
- Struggled to keep reading it. The book just didn't grab me enough to where I couldn't put it down.
- Pacing felt off; at times it was really slow, other times it moved quickly
- Romance happened too quickly and I wasn't sold on it

I think the marketing is a little off on this book, too. It seems much too juvenile for a teen/YA audience, and would've fit better in a Middle Grade/Teen section. 

It feels a bit like the book Gilded (by Marissa Meyer), so if you liked that one, then you'll love Forest Grimm as well!
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Siri, look up the definition of "conflicted."

I'm not sure how I feel about this one. I mean, it does not come anywhere close to how good Bone Crier's Moon was, but I still had a good time. The characters are mostly awesome and I like the horror aspect to it. There's even some disability rep. I'm unclear if it is authentic rep but it's nice to see. 

So, yeah, I enjoyed this, but it felt really hokey and not fully thought out. A dark and scary forest that moves around you as you sleep so you are forever lost is so fun, but throwing in unhinged characters like Rapunzel and Cinderella makes it super cheesy. If they had been made more unique rather than so on the nose, I think I'd have liked this much more. 

I'm baffled as to how this is a series. Everything wraps up. Everything. Except for one little blip that I'm pretty sure was added to the last 3 pages just so it *could* continue. Honestly, I'm still treating this as a standalone because it ended well for me, and I'm not interested in seeing more of this world.
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This is not just a re-telling of the old Brothers Grimm tales - it is so much more!  It is a tale of a lush forest turned dark and vengeful.  It is a tale of hope and love and perseverance and magic.  It is a tale of woeful beings in the forest and how they came to be there.  Clara may be Little Red Riding Hood, and this may be about her travel through the Forest.  But Clara's interactions with the wolf are more complex than predator and prey.  We learn previously unknown backstories as she meets other Grimm characters in the woods.  The forest is abundantly magical, and may be a character itself.  The story is so rich with detail that I can see the film in my mind!  Delightfully sinister with many new twists!
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The story takes us through a creepy forest where you’ll meet characters from the Grimm fairytales. It had enough twists and turns and action to keep the story interesting. I enjoyed reading it, but felt like it’s more for the younger range of the YA genre.
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I have to admit, I loved the story premise and the childhood friend romance. I feel though that the book would be best as a standalone not a series. Since all loose ends felt tied up. Hence the ending feels like we’re prolonging it, however… if it is a new protagonist in the second book maybe Ella or Henni or even another new heroine then I could see a second adventure. Over all the story was really well. The plot of little red riding hood and adding other grim stories and certain stories being grim parts of their fairy tale counterparts  is a fun twist
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The Forest Grimm is a wonderful mix of Once Upon A Time and Into The Woods. I’m a huge fan of fairytale retellings and felt like this was such a unique twist. Purdie did an excellent job making the story intriguing with a dash of spooky. I was completely immersed in the world and loved the creepy twist on the fairytales we know. I will say, I was surprised to see that this isn’t a standalone. While it did end on a small cliffhanger, I feel like everything could’ve been wrapped up in one book. 

As for characters, I really loved Clara and Axel. The romance was written well and I enjoyed seeing the development from friends to lovers. The only character I did not like was Henni. At first I was indifferent to her but as the story progressed, I disliked her more and more. I found her to be quite rude and selfish at times. I’m honestly hoping she has a less prominent role in the next book. 

Of all the books I’ve read by Purdie, this one is by far my favorite and will definitely be recommending to friends and family.
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3.5 Stars!

The Forest Grimm by Kathryn Purdie is a YA novel that puts a spin on the memorable Red Riding Hood, Hansel & Gretel, Cinderella, and Rapunzel stories that we we know so fondly. We follow our MC, Clara, who believes that she is cursed based upon the fortune telling cards her Grandmere has shown her throughout her life. 

This is a quick read that I would recommend to those who are into young adult fantasy retellings - the book is paced well and there are fun adventures to go on with our main characters. There's some great world-building and pretty good character development that moves the plot along. I'd say that the outcome isn't as predictable as you might imagine it to be. 

Thank you so much to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you NetGalley and St Martin's Press for the ARC!

My obsession with sentient forests has no bounds, no matter if they're malicious or gracious. The concept of this story is what first drew me to The Forest Grimm. Oddly enough I didn't quite grasp that the book was going to be an amalgamation of Grimm Fairy tales. However, I will give two thumbs up to how Purdie integrated the other main characters into her story about Clara and Axel. It was a little like being Hansel and Gretel. Purdie left breadcrumbs throughout the story for us to follow along and guess at which fairytale they were going to encounter next. 

There are two pieces of constructive criticism. First, there were a handful of typos throughout the book that need cleaned up. Some of the sentence structure is a little convoluted in places and could use some editing. Separately from that, my biggest frustration is that Clara is 17. 


The world of fairy tale adaptations is plentiful, but why do we continue to have literal children be the main protagonist. There were several distracting parts in the narrative where Clara is spiraling because she fails to process what is in front of her face and instead has this childlike mentality where the world can only be one thing. Instead of building suspense and bringing the reader along this journey of growth and maturity, it's distracting from the overall story. While Axel is only a year older than Clara, it also makes their relationship feel a bit...icky. Clara reads very young, throughout the book. Throughout the story, her actions are growing to become that of a more experienced young lady, but her internal dialogue and perception of herself do not progress at the same rate.
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such a fun fantasy adventure but i felt that the characters fell a little flat. the setting was lovely but i just found myself a little bored.
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3.5 stars

This was a fun story! It involves a spooky forest with a mind of its own, a cursed village, a wish granting book, tarot cards that truly read your fate, and a girl determined to change hers. I loved how it incorporated all of the different fairy tales with a darker edge. I thought Clara was great and I admired her determination to save her loved ones despite the cost to herself.

The romance was childhood friends to lovers, which was sweet but not really overly memorable. I thought the ending was going to be predictable but it actually wasn’t which was a nice surprise. While this isn’t necessarily a book I would return to, it was still an enjoyable read and I would continue the series.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the arc!
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Thank you  St. Martin's Press, Wednesday Book/Netgalley for the eARC!

So, while I have not read Kathryn Purdie's debut series (BURNING GLASS), I was a big fan of her follow-up series (THE BONE CRIER'S MOON.) This was one of my most-anticipated reads of this year, and I have to say, I enjoyed it a lot. Fairy tale "retellings" (in this book's case, I use that term loosely, and that's a good thing!) are often a mixed bag, but I felt this was done well for the most part. Close enough to the original stories that inspired it, yet different enough to remain interesting and engaging. I should add that this felt like it drew inspiration from many Grimm tales instead of one. I enjoyed that. 

One of the sticking points was the main character, Clara. I didn't particularly like or connect with her, and my enjoyment of a work usually hinges on the protagonist. She felt very young--more so than a YA requires--and I wonder if teens these days will relate to her. As an adult, I never know if I should comment of things like this--that's for teens after all!--but I mostly wondered if there's a disconnect with Clara and real-life teens (whom I work with every day.)

I also wonder if this book isn't too "late" when it comes to YA fairy tale retellings. As a whole, I feel like the industry is moving (or has already moved ) away from this trend. Nor did I find this book as unique as THE BONE CRIER'S MOON, with its fantastic use of cultural folklore and concepts woven into a neat, interesting duology. 

While disappointing, certainly, it was a decently solid read. I'll likely pick up the sequel and I'm eager to see what Purdie will write after.
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Thank you so much for the opportunity to read The Forest Grimm as an ARC! I was excited to see what this book is all about, and I can definitely see how this would appeal to fans of gothic YA literature and fans of classic fairytales. The Forest Grimm exhibits a unique blend of chilling mystery, dark fairytale retellings, and a fast-paced setting with a strong YA voice. I rated this title three stars only because although it kept me entertained, I'm not sure it was entirely for me. However, I highly recommend at least checking this out and giving it a shot, if it seems like something you might enjoy. 

The Forest Grimm comes out in September of 2023!
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I thought that the mysterious aspects of this book were really compelling--I found myself thinking about it at work when I *should* have been doing other tasks, haha. I also think that the fairy-tales and the Grimm Wolf and the cute love story worked really well together to create a tightly plotted, interesting story that I devoured in just a few sittings. I cannot wait to get physical copies of this for my library--I already have ideas for a fairy-tale themed display rattling around in my noggin.
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I really enjoyed this book and found myself wanting to pick it up all of the time to keep uncovering the mystery of the Forest Grimm. Between the love story, the fairy tales playing out amongst its pages and the secret of the Grimm wolf, it kept me up late trying to race to the end. I can't wait for more from this author. 

Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for a chance to read an ARC of this book!
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Solid 3 storage. Nice fantasy retelljng for young adults.  Quick read. First in a series.  Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book
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