Hi everyone! Since I’m finally getting back into the swing of things with my blogging, that means it’s time to start posting reviews again! This time around I’m reviewing an ARC for The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl, which is being compared to The Descendants meets Pretty Little Liars!
The Grimrose Girls
by Laura Pohl
Series: Grimrose Girls #1
Release date: October 26th 2021
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating: ★★★☆☆ .5
Four troubled friends, One murdered girl… and a dark fate that may leave them all doomed.
After the mysterious death of their best friend, Ella, Yuki, and Rory are the talk of their elite school, Grimrose Académie. The police ruled it a suicide, but the trio are determined to find out what really happened.
When Nani Eszes arrives as their newest roommate, it sets into motion a series of events they couldn’t have imagined. As the girls retrace their friend’s last steps, they uncover dark secrets about themselves and their destinies, discovering they’re all cursed to repeat the brutal and gruesome endings to their stories until they can break the cycle.
This contemporary take on classic fairytales reimagines heroines as friends attending the same school. While investigating the murder of their best friend, they uncover connections to their ancient fairytale curses and attempt to forge their own fate before it’s too late.
This was a really interesting read, and I’m so glad that I got a chance to read it early, even though my review is going up late! Initially I was drawn to this because of the idea of multiple fairy tale retellings in one setting combined with a murder mystery, and that’s exactly what I got plus a TON of rep! The four main characters are all LGBTQ+, “2 are lesbians (on page), 1 of them is a biromantic demisexual (doesn’t use these labels on page, only mentions having no preference of gender as long as she feels a connection), and the fourth is aromantic asexual (written on the page).” (directly from the author on Goodreads).
I liked that this was set at a boarding school and that the book the girls find sort of ‘predicts’ the deaths of people at the school. I also liked that each girl was tied to a specific fairy tale, and for the most part I caught on really quickly to what fairy tale they were each connected to.
That said, there were some things that I didn’t really like. I didn’t like how rushed the ending felt especially compared to how slow the beginning was, and I quickly became confused as to how things even got to that point in the first place. I also felt sometimes like the girls personalities were pretty shallow, and just boiled down to the one who fights, the one who is tall and perfect, the one who is kind, and I wish that we had just gotten a little bit more about them, and how they fit into the fairy tales.
I had a lot of questions that were left unanswered, and I definitely prefer when there are some plot points wrapped up within each book in a series to give you that satisfaction that things are happening and being resolved, and I didn’t really feel that here. I also struggled a bit with the characters and how they always seemed to be referencing ‘the thing under my skin’ like there was something wrong with them that we were supposed to know about but never were told. It made me feel like I was missing something important to understanding the characters fully.
The last thing that kind of threw me off a bit was the writing/editing. I realize that I read an ARC which means that it’s not the final version of the book, but the amount of spelling and grammar errors made it hard to completely focus on the story itself, and it seemed like in some places the wrong character name was used which also contributed to my confusion.
Overall, I really liked the concept of this book and the atmosphere that it had. I think that this would be great for younger teens looking to expand their reading to include more rep and some darker topics.
Have you read this book? Is it on your radar? I’d love to chat!