Cover Image: The Grimrose Girls

The Grimrose Girls

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Member Reviews

I really enjoyed this book. I was looking forward to it for a while and it definitely did not disappoint.
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This book was good, just not great. There were a few spelling errors, which isn't a big deal just a little annoying. This is a retelling so I understand it isn't going to stick to the original word by word, but I had no idea who some of the characters were supposed to be. It was fairly obvious that Ella was Cinderella, but other than that I had no idea who Yuki, Rory, or Nani were supposed to be until the author spelled it out. Could be a me thing, but it would've been nice if it were a little more obvious. The mystery was exciting and kept me on my toes, but there were a lot of plot holes.

Yuki's character in particular felt a little underdeveloped. She is the one that is having the most internal struggle in the book. We're told that she is tired of being perfect, but I feel like it isn't shown. She lashes out at the other girls, often unfairly. She says that the tries to be kind all the time like Ella, but she is mostly described as reserved and quiet. I loved the ace representation! Although at times it did feel like the author was building up a romance with Yuki and Penelope. Hope we get to see more character development for Yuki in the sequel, cause her character has a lot of potential!

Overall a good read. I think the description of Once Upon A Time meets Pretty Little Liars is really accurate! So if you like both or either of those shows, I think you'll enjoy this read. Excited for the sequel!
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the vibes in this book are INSANE. i cannot get enough of the setting. it was so good. i also just loved the story. i let go and was just along for the ride. great.
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This was a fun read! I liked all the storybook elements and the effortless queer cast. I'm interested in reading the sequel!
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I purchased this book for my high school library. My students have enjoyed it. and it has circulated well.
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This is YA as it should be! Laura Pohl gives us a queer mystery featuring a groups of girls whom all represent fairytale princesses or characters. There is so much fun in this; even as the primary theme is about grieving a friend lost too soon. 
Easily suitable for 12-year-olds (there is no sex, just some kissing and lusting for one another). The Grimrose Girls takes the well known fairytales (even referring to the Disney versions many times) and changes them up just slightly to fit into modern day scenarios. At the heart of this novel, a book of fairytales where there are no happy endings (and you know I can’t resist a book written about another book). 

For our leading gals there is a lot of turmoil; whether it’s being sent away for school, the death of a friend, being new to school, feeling completely ignored by family, or not having control over their own destiny; each scenario is well out together and, while allowing correlations with well known fairytales, keeps you on your toes as details may change. One of my favourite moments is when one of our girls comments that she “didn’t even loose a shoe” as a scene at a party/ball unfolds. Obviously this Cinderella knows her own story well! 

At about 25% of the way through the book, when it’s super obvious the reader is being given hints about which of our girls are which fairytale character I started a list. Working out which girl (and occasional boy) was which in different fairytales mentioned, or that I knew on my own. It was super fun! I got most of them correct; but not all. Perhaps the real magic in Grimrose Girls is that it has elements of so many stories tied into one mystery that then links in and explores teen angst and issues from a different perspective. 

I don’t want to say too much more as spoilers would be awful to have going into this story. The true magic is in the mystery as it unravels and shows us who each of our lead girls are; or who they aren’t. I really appreciated this one and cannot wait to recommend it to everyone that loves fairytales and YA books. If you have any affinity for the Disney or Grimm/Andersen fairytales and some angsty, queer, teen girls then check this one out. 
And be sure to revel in the fact that Laura Pohl wrote this book in English, her non-native language. Now that is a real feat! 

Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
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If you ever wanted your fairy tale adaptions with a little more queerness, a little more bipoc representation, and a lot more dark academia, then you're in luck. Pohl's Grimrose Girls takes all the darkness and the secrets, and a tragic murder, and weaves in a love of Disney and the Brothers Grimm.
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DNF - Did not finish. I did not connect with the writing style or plot and will not be finishing this title. Thank you, NetGalley and Publisher for the early copy!
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The first book in a fairytale reimagining series, The Grimrose Girls is a dark, haunted tale full of intrigue and love. It’s sapphic af, and has so much awesome rep (bi rep, ace rep, chronic illness rep, fat rep, I’m probably missing some). I love the world that Laura has created and the way she is twisting fairytales, making them both new and familiar.

A great start, and I can't wait to read more~
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This was the right mix of dark academia and the secrets within. While I didn’t give with the start of the book, it definitely caught up with my eager need for answers. It gave me Wilder Girls meets Dark Academia.
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This book had a lot of potential, but ultimately failed to capitalize on it. The actual genre was unclear until more than halfway through the books, and there were too many characters to follow and none of them had distinct enough personalities.
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I freaking LOVED this book! I loved the creative way of incorporating stories we know into something new. The mystery, the magic, just loved it.
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This was such a unique take on fairytales. I especially loved all of the different representation. For me, reading about queer characters and characters with chronic illness mean a lot. I haven’t read a book before this with a character with fibromyalgia (which I have) so those parts really hit home for me.
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The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl blew me away! A magical dark academia novel set in Switzerland at the boarding school Grimrose Academie. We follow Ella, Yuki and Rory after the mysterious death of the best friend on campus. Soon Nani joins their group and the four of them slowly come together to figure out the mysterious death of their friend and soon more deaths start occurring. Nani is sleeping where Ariane used to and she discovers a book of fairy tales that used to belong to her, which set the group off on a year of adventures that parallel a fairy tale retelling in such a beautiful, haunting way. I loved Pohl's style of writing and the atmosphere that she was able to create! I'm so excited for the sequel coming out this fall, The Wicked Remain, expected 11/1/2022.
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I am trying to read this book on audible. I've reached chapter 20 and tbh I am really having trouble caring about the characters or the mystery. Maybe it's the narrator but it's really dull so far.
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Boarding school murder mysteries? Yes, please!

I was so excited to read this since the premise sounded so promising plus it was dark, fairytale retellings with a dash of dark academia aesthetics! However, this enthusiasm sadly just went down the hill. Maybe it was because of my high expectations.

Told in multiple POVs, the first half was so slow and it didn't hook me right in. It just felt lacking of emotion. Although I enjoyed the mystery elements as well as the cute romance, it was still underwhelming. I was still not sure if it was the writing style or the execution that didn't work for me.

The characters had potential but they were quite bland for me. I heard this was part of a duology so maybe they would be fleshed out more in the next book. In terms of diversity, yes, it was present here but I didn't like how stereotypical and harmful they were.

Overall, The Grimrose Girls was kind of a let down. There were lots of issues that need to be addressed in this novel.

A big thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for the digital galley. Opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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This book is amazing! I loved so much how the characters blossom on the page and all the retelling fits perfectly with every arc. I can't wait for the next one! Laura Pohl is incredible!!
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Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a review copy of ‘The Grimrose Girls’ by Laura Pohl. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

This story was set at a boarding school with lots of fairytale elements alongside a murder mystery. I’ve seen other reviewers describe it as Ever After High or Once Upon a Time meets Pretty Little Liars which seems accurate to me. There were especially a lot of similarities to Ever After High but obviously for an older audience. 

The story is told through so many POVs and I wish those had been dialed back a bit. It was confusing to keep track of in the beginning. A lot of students are thrown at you all at once and I struggled to remember who a lot of the side characters were.

I can’t speak to how well the diverse representation was actually done in this book, but there were some elements that made me wonder whether the author had sensitivity readers and maybe the book would have benefitted from that. Other reviews articulated this better, but having a transgender character in the Beast role of Beauty and the Beast doesn’t seem like a great narrative choice. Other reviews have also pointed out that many of the POC characters have negative stereotypes. All the fairytales are still drawing on Grimm Brother’s lore when if you’re going to have a diverse cast why not draw from diverse fairytales too? 

The magic in this is confusing. I could see it maybe getting explained more in the sequel but I don’t know if I’ll pick it up or not. I felt like this could have been a standalone. I hope the author seeks out more diverse sensitivity readers for the next book.

2/5 stars
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I tried to get into this book, and I had to DNF it. At 25% in, I did not like the way the author approached certain topics or characters and it made me really uncomfortable. The more I read, the more issues I started to see, and the less I could read. Unfortunately, this was not a favorite for me.
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“The Grimrose Girls” follows three young ladies- Ella, Rory, and Yuki of Grimrose Academy who are experiencing the passing of their dearest companion, Ari. Then, at that point, there was one new student Nina who needs to meet her dad once more. And afterward, there were four. The story is told according to four viewpoints and I wound up getting exhausted reading the book with various perspectives. Nina discovers a fantasy book that Ari left behind when she moved into the room and she’s currently taking Ari’s bed and passing the book to Rory. The book is brimming with a rundown of individuals that are now dead. They didn’t accept that Ari is dead, they realized that Ari has been killed. They need to discover the reality. To do that, they should be cautious and don’t be the next target. The more they explore, the more they think about the mysteries that lie behind Grimrose.

This book is about fantasy retellings, where they’re pounded together with curses. My sentiments about this book and muddled. I wanted to like it. I like the plotline and there were even sure viewpoints that I adored. Yet, there were likewise things that I didn’t cherish, and I think I just wound up not adoring the book. Most importantly, I venerated the characters. I love Rory her annoyance, her coarseness, and her energy. While my adoration for her runs profound, I additionally cherished the wide range of various characters- Ella and her pleasantness, Yuki and her unpleasant edges, Nami and her exciting nature. Every one of them felt so genuine, and they all had their singular stories. I love them all. However, how that story converged, and their relationship with one another kind of felt like it was simply there. I additionally figure I would have enjoyed greater improvement of each plotline and advancement of the companionship between the young ladies. There were four POVs in this book, so a ton is going on. I felt like the book passed on certain perspectives with very little space to move around. I wanted to go into the book and sort out the secret alongside the characters, for the fantasies to be somewhat of amazement.

This book has such solid characters, and its plot and setting are terrifying. It’s dark and curving. I felt like I needed more from several parts of the book. Regardless of this, I do think many individuals will cherish this book.

Trigger alerts: notices of self-destruction, parental maltreatment (physical and emotional), gore, and blood.
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