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The Grimrose Girls

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Once Upon a Time meets Pretty little liars. 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 Once Upon a Time meets Pretty little liars. 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.


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Once Upon a Time meets Pretty little liars. 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 Once Upon a Time meets Pretty little liars. 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.

30 review for The Grimrose Girls

  1. 5 out of 5

    theresa

    The Grimrose Girls expertly weaves together some of the world’s most beloved fairy tales into a gripping story of destiny and the power of taking control of your own narrative. Both familiar and utterly unique, this book has all the trappings of a gripping mystery, while also exploring friendship and identity. The original darker versions of the fairy tales we all know and love have always fascinated me and so getting to explore them through The Grimrose Girls was a joy. I am in awe of Pohl’s abi The Grimrose Girls expertly weaves together some of the world’s most beloved fairy tales into a gripping story of destiny and the power of taking control of your own narrative. Both familiar and utterly unique, this book has all the trappings of a gripping mystery, while also exploring friendship and identity. The original darker versions of the fairy tales we all know and love have always fascinated me and so getting to explore them through The Grimrose Girls was a joy. I am in awe of Pohl’s ability to weave them into the story and modern setting. They form the backbone of the novel and are so thoroughly, naturally entrenched in the makeup of the characters that it never felt like the story had to contort itself to fit so many references. Guessing which characters fit each fairy tale was really fun and they were often so cleverly and subtly woven together that it kept me guessing right until the reveal, at which point everything made perfect sense and fit together beautifully. The Grimrose Girls has four narrators and I enjoyed reading from all of them equally. THey were all individual, fleshed out characters with unique voices. I loved reading about their friendship and seeing Nani (the new girl) slowly become part of the group. All four of our heroines are gloriously queer (lesbian, bi and aspec rep) which I of course adored. I also really appreciated how Ari’s death impacted each of the girls in different ways and how this influenced their decisions throughout the book. The only thing I would critique is that for their best friend dying only days before the book begins, it didn’t really feel like we got to see the girls grieve that much. The mystery of this book was really engaging and I really didn’t know where it was going at any time. It was very cleverly crafted and I felt that it was paced well. I went into this book thinking it was a standalone and while it did have a satisfying ending, I can’t wait to continue delving into this mystery and to spend more time with these characters. I am so excited to see how they will continue to grow and how their relationships will develop. If a mystery set in an elite boarding school featuring four reimagined fairy tale heroines seizing their own fate appeals to you then you need to pick The Girmrose Girls up. I also talk about books here: youtube | instagram | twitter *eARC received in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley*

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lex Kent

    This was a fairy good time. I interrupted my Halloween reading list to get back to a few ARC’s, this book being one of them. It was no hardship as this was another one of my more anticipated reads of 2021. I love reading retellings. I especially love sapphic retellings of fairytales, fables, myths and what have you. I love seeing the twists on such classics and especially how someone can put a more modern spin on them. I had a feeling this book would be right up my alley, and I’m happy to say th This was a fairy good time. I interrupted my Halloween reading list to get back to a few ARC’s, this book being one of them. It was no hardship as this was another one of my more anticipated reads of 2021. I love reading retellings. I especially love sapphic retellings of fairytales, fables, myths and what have you. I love seeing the twists on such classics and especially how someone can put a more modern spin on them. I had a feeling this book would be right up my alley, and I’m happy to say that I really enjoyed it. And while I actually looked at this book as a break from my Halloween reads, this book has this underlining ominous feeling and darkness to it that it actually fits pretty well into this time of year. This book is YA, magical realism, mystery, and a retelling all wrapped into one. I’m not really going to go into how that all works because part of what makes the book fun is figuring everything out. This is a story about three best girl friends who used to be four. Everyone assumes that the death of their friend was suicide, except them since they know she would never leave without saying goodbye. But if it wasn’t suicide or an accident, it means something much more sinister happened. With the help of a new girl, the group will do whatever it takes to find the answers before it’s too late. This is my first book by Pohl, -although I have her book The Last 8 and now cannot wait to read it- and I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I was hooked into this story. It was so easy to keep turning the pages and I ended up reading it in one sitting. The book was super queer and I loved that fact. The characters are lesbian, bi, pan, asexual, and trans and everyone had their own unique voice. While I felt like I connected more to some characters over others –it’s a big cast so that was bound to happen- but I still appreciated that all the characters had their flaws and no one was too perfect. I would not really say that this book had romance in it, but there are two wlw and one m/f couple that all have some feels brewing. The mystery of the story was pretty entertaining. There are actually two big mysteries. What happened to their friend and what is happening in general. While the mysteries are not the hardest to figure out, it is still really fun as a reader finding out if there is a real killer on the loose or is something magical and unknown going on? It was quite the ride and I enjoyed how it all came together. I also was really happy that while the main storyline was finished, the story as a whole is only just beginning. The way it was done is nice because it is not really a cliffhanger so you can read this first book now without waiting, but there is so much potential of where this story could go that you will be excited to read a book two TLDR: A fun YA, mystery, retelling. If you are a fairytale fan, than this story really is a must. It has a wonderfully queer cast of characters. While some characters were better developed than others, they all had their personal flaws which made them more relatable and enjoyable to read about. While the mysteries might be on the easier side to figure out, it is more of the journey of the mystery that made the story so much fun. This is a bit darker than I expected so it could actually fit into your Halloween read list. The main story is complete, but I'm really excited to see where book two takes us since there is so much good potential here. I will absolutely be reading it. A copy was given to me for a review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    This modern-day reimagining of classic fairytales was such a delight to read. The Grimrose Girls is a story about a group of friends who try to solve the death of their best friend Ariane. Set in Switzerland, The Grimrose Académie for Elite Students accepts students primarily of wealthy and privileged backgrounds. When one of the most-beloved students is found dead in the lake on the school’s property, it sends shock waves throughout the school. When the police rule it a suicide, Ella, Yuki, and This modern-day reimagining of classic fairytales was such a delight to read. The Grimrose Girls is a story about a group of friends who try to solve the death of their best friend Ariane. Set in Switzerland, The Grimrose Académie for Elite Students accepts students primarily of wealthy and privileged backgrounds. When one of the most-beloved students is found dead in the lake on the school’s property, it sends shock waves throughout the school. When the police rule it a suicide, Ella, Yuki, and Rory refuse to believe it, and, together, they make it their mission to uncover the truth. When Nani Eszes, a reluctant new student of Grimrose, replaces Ariane as the roommate of Yuki and Rory, she soon joins the girls’ investigation. Their desire to find answers sets off a chain of events involving more death, magic, and a mysterious curse. This book effortlessly incorporates many familiar fairytales, including Cinderella, Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, and many more. The reimaginings more closely resemble the original fairytales by Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm rather than the sugar-coated Disney versions. The chapters are short and alternate between the four girls. They all have very distinct voices. Ella is a people-pleaser and just trying to keep her head down until she’s of age to move out of her abusive home. Rory is a strong young woman who has led a very sheltered and private life. Yuki is an outwardly perfect girl, but inwardly is brimming with ice-cold anger. Nani is a lonely girl trying to connect with her father. There is plenty of LGBTQ representation, and it didn’t seem like it was only a checkbox for diversity. There’s also disability rep without any of the cliche inspirational messaging. I noticed after reading this that the students did almost no schoolwork and hardly mentioned their classes. I still have some questions about the curse and Rory’s background, so hopefully, the sequel will provide more answers. Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for the arc provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. https://booksandwheels.com

  4. 4 out of 5

    Laura Pohl

    You can now request Grimrose Girls on Netgalley! https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/boo... This is my next book! I'm so excited you'll be able to read the adventures of four girls who are reimagined fairytale princesses trying to figure out what happened to their best friend, and willing to do anything to get their happy ending. It has: 🌟4 fairytale retellings ❤️f/f romance 🍰an acearo protagonist 🏰boarding school shenanigans ⚔️swords 📚magic and murder mystery Content warnings for the readers who would lik You can now request Grimrose Girls on Netgalley! https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/boo... This is my next book! I'm so excited you'll be able to read the adventures of four girls who are reimagined fairytale princesses trying to figure out what happened to their best friend, and willing to do anything to get their happy ending. It has: 🌟4 fairytale retellings ❤️f/f romance 🍰an acearo protagonist 🏰boarding school shenanigans ⚔️swords 📚magic and murder mystery Content warnings for the readers who would like them: suicide mention, depiction of anxiety and OCD, parental physical/emotional abuse, mention of parental death, light gore.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elle

    Well color me impressed! I did not to expect to love this book as much as I did. It was just a blast for me. Is it a flawless piece of writing? Of course not. Did you have to suspend a lot of your disbelief and just kinda let it do its thing? Yeah, and once I did I was having so much fun. I’ve seen a bunch of comps thrown around for it: Pretty Little Liars, The Descendants, Once Upon a Time, Riverdale, and to all of those I say yes! Correct! Spot on! It’s just as insane yet strangely compelling Well color me impressed! I did not to expect to love this book as much as I did. It was just a blast for me. Is it a flawless piece of writing? Of course not. Did you have to suspend a lot of your disbelief and just kinda let it do its thing? Yeah, and once I did I was having so much fun. I’ve seen a bunch of comps thrown around for it: Pretty Little Liars, The Descendants, Once Upon a Time, Riverdale, and to all of those I say yes! Correct! Spot on! It’s just as insane yet strangely compelling as all of those. Four has now become three, as friends Ella, Yuki and Rory attempt to cope with the sudden death of their friend and classmate Ariane. The students of the elite Grimrose Académie are accustomed to a certain level of access and freedom moving about their prestigious campus, and most seem ready to accept that what happened to Ariane was nothing more than an unfortunate accident. But Ella and Rory have a hard time accepting that, and between Arianes’s death and the arrival of Grimrose’s newest student, Nani Eszes, there seem to be a lot more questions lurking around these old halls than answers. Their search for clues turns up an old book, a bloody legacy and an increasing amount of danger. And in order to survive these Grimrose girls will have to work together to save themselves and their peers from a curse looking to swallow their school whole. I think the best part of The Grimrose Girls for me was reading it with someone else. Being able to swap theories and cross-reference our own fairytale knowledge was not just great for guessing what may happen, but an incredibly fun way to engage with the story. If you’re a fan of looking for Easter eggs in media or like thinking through potential references across interconnecting stories, then you’ll have a ball with The Grimrose Girls. Seriously—Marvel fans, Swifties, millennials addicted to Buzzfeed quizzes that says what kind of Disney Princess you are based on your three favorite breakfast foods—this is the book for you! I’ve seen a number of lower ratings peppered throughout this page, and sorry to all you nerds but you are joyless! C'est la vie, nerds!!!!!! I’m mostly kidding, but I do think you’ve gotta go into The Grimrose Girls with the right mindset in order to get the most out of it. Like every teen drama on tv, they’re not going to be doing homework. Sometimes the rules exist and sometimes they don’t. There’s magic! The perspectives jump around a lot and the entire plot moves quickly. Also not everything is explained in detail in this book because it’s ~part of a series~. But none of these make something inherently bad, and all of it just worked for me as it was. I’m absolutely desperate for the sequel. I can’t wait to solve the cursed-princess-castle-murder-mystery-party and feel more vindication for correctly guessing the corresponding fairytales being referenced. Just a straight shot of endorphins. Love it, Pohl has found a new fan in me. *Thanks to Madison (@momandmadread), Paige (@paigethroughbooks) and Sourcebooks Fire for my giveaway copy!! **For more book talk & reviews, follow me on Instagram at @elle_mentbooks!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Avani ✨

    The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl, first in the Grimrose Girls duology is an fairytales retelling about four school girls - Ella, Yuki, Nani, Rory. Ariane, their friend died recently and Nani was called by his father who works at the school. Nani finds a mysterious book in Ariane's closet and soon things become very dark and difficult for these girls. They develop a plan in order to find out the truth behind the book. The book is filled with dark elements, thrilling plot and a very unique magic sy The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl, first in the Grimrose Girls duology is an fairytales retelling about four school girls - Ella, Yuki, Nani, Rory. Ariane, their friend died recently and Nani was called by his father who works at the school. Nani finds a mysterious book in Ariane's closet and soon things become very dark and difficult for these girls. They develop a plan in order to find out the truth behind the book. The book is filled with dark elements, thrilling plot and a very unique magic system. I must say I enjoyed this book way more than I thought I would. The plot was just perfect and it kept me hooked. The fairytale retelling aspects, the diary or the book and the twists in the story just kept me hooked till the last page. I highly recommend these to YA thriller readers. ___ Thanks to NetGalley for the book!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    Will I ever get tired of boarding school murder mysteries? No.

  8. 5 out of 5

    CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨

    This book sunk its teeth into me and it just... did not let go. The Grimrose Girls was an unexpected delight for me - I tend to shy away from darker stories with murder, but this was just incredibly compelling and terrifying and fantastic. Set in a boarding school/castle! SUPER queer! Dark murder mystery! An incredibly unique take on fairytale retellings! - Told in four perspectives, the story follows four girls: three best friends, Yuki, Ella, and Rory, and the new girl at school, Nani. After th This book sunk its teeth into me and it just... did not let go. The Grimrose Girls was an unexpected delight for me - I tend to shy away from darker stories with murder, but this was just incredibly compelling and terrifying and fantastic. Set in a boarding school/castle! SUPER queer! Dark murder mystery! An incredibly unique take on fairytale retellings! - Told in four perspectives, the story follows four girls: three best friends, Yuki, Ella, and Rory, and the new girl at school, Nani. After the mysterious death of their best friend, the girls are reeling from her shocking death... but they don’t entirely believe that her death was a suicide. Nani's arrival at school sets off a chain of terrifying events, leading the girls on a mission to uncover the dark mystery behind their friend's death and their grim destinies tied to gruesome fairytale endings. - The characters in this are so wonderful, complex, and fascinating. I'm in awe that all four characters and perspectives had such distinct voices and were so fleshed out. And though the cast have a range of different backgrounds and have different identities, they feel so much *more* than their identities; they feel like realised people. - My goodness, this was dark. And deliciously so. I loved the places that this story goes - the story explores grief and the spaces left by death, friendship in all its messiness and imperfections, how expectations can be suffocating, isolating, and enraging. - But it also explores trauma, abuse, insecurities, and rage... and I loved how the story integrates all of this so seemingly into the story. - I loved how this story intergrate fairytales - and not the Disney kind, but the Brothers Grimm kind where happy endings are far and few in between and are dark. so dark. and brutal. - The story is a bit slower to start, but once it starts to unfurl, you'll be in for a ride. I could not stop reading 30% onwards - I was glued to the story, wanting to know what happened next. It's tense, eerie, at times the imagery is utterly terrifying, yet so fascinating too? - I'm so, so, so excited for the sequel; I have a feeling that it'll be even more magical than this one and I can't wait to see where the story goes. Content warnings: (provided in the book) death, blood, body horror and gore, parental abuse (not explicitly depicted)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    This is the first instalment in the Grimrose Girls series. Ella, Yuki, and Rory have returned to their elite boarding school missing the fourth member of their tight-knit friendship group. Ariane will not be joining them for anything ever again. Whether it was suicide, which the girls highly doubt, or murder, that ended Ariane's short life, the trio become determined to solve just what happened to their friend. And then new girl, Nani, arrives, unwittingly taking the place that Ariane once occupi This is the first instalment in the Grimrose Girls series. Ella, Yuki, and Rory have returned to their elite boarding school missing the fourth member of their tight-knit friendship group. Ariane will not be joining them for anything ever again. Whether it was suicide, which the girls highly doubt, or murder, that ended Ariane's short life, the trio become determined to solve just what happened to their friend. And then new girl, Nani, arrives, unwittingly taking the place that Ariane once occupied and bringing with her new revelations to help solve this mystery. I love any isolated and elite academic setting and so I loved exploring this one. The place was foreboding and alluring, in equal measure, and I wished even more depictions, if anything, had featured to help cement the setting in my imagination. The characters that featured inside of it were painted in vivid and authentic detail, however. The diversity of the individuals who fronted the story was one of this novel's main driving forces. I loved how many different identities were represented and also how their strengths and vulnerabilities, as well as fully-detailed backstories, were presented to the reader. They stole both my heart and the show! Another of this novel's forte's was in the fairy tale elements that it also included. It was one of the most creative and unique incorporations of well-known stories that I have ever read about and I loved puzzling out the different hints and clues that were dropped, that related this to them. The mystery that fronted the book, however, became less intriguing as it progressed. I guessed the final reveal and these other elements, that I so loved about the book, overshadowed what was at the centre of it. I still had a fun time with this though, and am looking forward to continuing on with the series and finding out more about the magic that was sprinkled throughout this first instalment. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Laura Pohl, and the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire, for this opportunity.

  10. 4 out of 5

    gauri

    3.5 stars when i got to know this book was a queer dark academia murder mystery i was instantly hooked! the grimrose girls definitely delivered on the 'dark' part, all the murders were gruesome and caught me off guard. the magical element and fairytales mixed with them made the perfect mix. i really loved the representation portrayed through the characters; black, asian, lesbian, bi, pan, disabled, anxiety+ ocd, aro-ace, trans. they each had their flaws and unique struggles. the povs of the four g 3.5 stars when i got to know this book was a queer dark academia murder mystery i was instantly hooked! the grimrose girls definitely delivered on the 'dark' part, all the murders were gruesome and caught me off guard. the magical element and fairytales mixed with them made the perfect mix. i really loved the representation portrayed through the characters; black, asian, lesbian, bi, pan, disabled, anxiety+ ocd, aro-ace, trans. they each had their flaws and unique struggles. the povs of the four girls were intriguing to read about too, as they went through the course of the story and ended up on a conclusion. the twist added to the fairytales to introduce the eerie atmosphere stays throughout the novel i guess my issue was with the pacing and lack of actually feeling of being eager to uncover the mystery. i was just flowing along with the story, because as it progressed i kind of lost interest. the story has a slow start and it stays slow for a while, and so the build up is pretty slow too. it only changed to be fun in part 3, where the pieces start coming together and the potential for book two is set up. overall, i really liked the idea behind the grimrose girls! dark fairytale retellings are always a must read for me and i'm glad this held up on that front. but then again, this can be interpreted as very basic. if you're looking for an easy read which is unapologetically queer, with multiple povs and has both murder and magical aspects, this one is for you! thank you sourcebooks fire and netgalley for the arc!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rebeca Arruda

    Wow. The “Pretty Little Liars meets Descendants” pitch had me convinced from the start. But what I wasn’t ready for was the amazing characters Laura created - the four POVs are so well written and you can totally feel how nuanced each character is. The mystery is also really well done and it entertained me from start to finish. I loved all the twists and can’t wait to see how the series will end.

  12. 4 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    ... the story of four troubled friends, one murdered girl, and a dark fate that may leave them all doomed. While investigating the murder of their best friend, four reimagined fairytale heroines must uncover connections to their ancient curses and attempt to forge their own paths before it's too late. Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram ... the story of four troubled friends, one murdered girl, and a dark fate that may leave them all doomed. While investigating the murder of their best friend, four reimagined fairytale heroines must uncover connections to their ancient curses and attempt to forge their own paths before it's too late. Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  13. 5 out of 5

    BLOBBIE

    soo this was okay I didn’t understand the mystery fully bc it was kinda confusing This wasn’t bad but it just wasn’t for me I wasn’t vibibg with it much also im now so creeped out bc it dark and some dark stuff happened in the book —————————————————— ~Currently Reading~ so i only started this bc im so obsessed with the cover, i love it so much. i only know a tiny bit bout this book, but it seems good right now though ive only read 5 chapters so far. IT ALSO SEEMS LIKE A MYSTERY SO IM ALSO EXCITED! a soo this was okay I didn’t understand the mystery fully bc it was kinda confusing This wasn’t bad but it just wasn’t for me I wasn’t vibibg with it much also im now so creeped out bc it dark and some dark stuff happened in the book —————————————————— ~Currently Reading~ so i only started this bc im so obsessed with the cover, i love it so much. i only know a tiny bit bout this book, but it seems good right now though ive only read 5 chapters so far. IT ALSO SEEMS LIKE A MYSTERY SO IM ALSO EXCITED! also i have never read either of these Once Upon a Time meets Pretty little liars. so i have no idea what expect

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    Grimrose Académie is an exclusive boarding school. There, Ella, Yuki, and Rory's best friend, Ariane dies before school even begins, and the police declare it a suicide. But the remaining trio are convinced that Ariane would never take her own life and set out to determine what happened to her. Then a new girl, Nani, arrives at the school as their roommate. Taking Ariane's place in her old bedroom, she discovers some of Ariane's left behind belongings. This sets off a series of events that will Grimrose Académie is an exclusive boarding school. There, Ella, Yuki, and Rory's best friend, Ariane dies before school even begins, and the police declare it a suicide. But the remaining trio are convinced that Ariane would never take her own life and set out to determine what happened to her. Then a new girl, Nani, arrives at the school as their roommate. Taking Ariane's place in her old bedroom, she discovers some of Ariane's left behind belongings. This sets off a series of events that will soon overwhelm the girls--and threaten their lives. "The first day of school started with a funeral." I have mixed feelings on this book. Some pieces of it frustrated me deeply, and I found them skim worthy and repetitive. It felt like a pale version of a typical "bad things happen a boarding school" read. It got off to a slow start, and I wasn't sure I felt like continuing. But eventually it begins to work in a fairy tale angle. That piece is really fascinating and far more original. Tying deaths at Grimrose to ancient fairy tales and adding magic, the book picks up speed. There are still pieces that felt as if they could have been shortened, and sometimes the story is too melodramatic--even for teenage girls--but the fairy tale piece is really fun and interesting and carries the book. Honestly, in the beginning, I had a difficult time keeping Ella, Yuki, Rory and some of their other boarding school counterparts separate, though they do become more individualistic as the book goes on. Also, the representation is wonderfully diverse here, so kudos to Pohl for that. Overall, this book is a slow mover at the beginning, with a decent bit of repetition, leaning too much on character description. But as it moves into its real plot twist and focus, it picks up speed and becomes quite intriguing. The fairy tale piece is original and exciting. I will give the next book a chance. 3 stars. Also, please note a trigger warning for suicide, self-harm, anxiety, and OCD. I received a copy of this book from Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley in return for an unbiased review. Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Smashbomb ~ Instagram

  15. 5 out of 5

    birdie

    does repeatedly saying “what the hell” count as a review? no?? oh. well, rtc?!

  16. 4 out of 5

    julia ☆ [owls reads]

    The Grimrose Girls was one of those rare books I knew I wasn't going to like right from the beginning. I came into it with very high expectations since the premise sounded wonderful, but the opening scene already made it evident that there was a lack of emotion to the writing. I knew it wasn't going to get any better from there since that first chapter was supposed to introduce and set up a few of the most important people and facts in this story and it failed spectacularly for me. I do want to s The Grimrose Girls was one of those rare books I knew I wasn't going to like right from the beginning. I came into it with very high expectations since the premise sounded wonderful, but the opening scene already made it evident that there was a lack of emotion to the writing. I knew it wasn't going to get any better from there since that first chapter was supposed to introduce and set up a few of the most important people and facts in this story and it failed spectacularly for me. I do want to say that I very much appreciated how diverse this was, though. It was refreshing, in that sense, to read a book with no heterosexuals lol that sadly wasn't enough to carry everything else for me. The story was told in multiple POVs and... I think that was a mistake. There wasn't enough time for each character to be developed when the perspective kept shifting and that contributed to my feeling of experiencing this as an emotionless story. We met each one of the girls while they were grieving, but that was very quickly moved to second--and sometimes third--plane in favor of introducing secondary characters and/or have the girls interacting with each other or others. The plot was also not my favorite and that was because of the leaps of logic from the girls so that the story could move where the authored wanted it to move. None of the magic bits were explained in any way, shape, or form and it was never ever clear why things were happening the way they were. The girls just accepted them as reality and moved on from there as if no discussion was needed. The book also ended in a bit of a cliffhanger and I, in no way, felt like I got any answers at any point about anything. I understand this is the first installment of the series, but that lack of something solid to hold on to in regard to world-building didn't work for me. * ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kate (GirlReading)

    As soon I saw this being described as ‘Once Upon a Time meets Pretty Little Liars’ I knew I had to read it asap and I wasn’t disappointed. grisly murders and deadly secrets to fairy-tale curses and a killer friendships, this book has EVERYTHING and it was so much fun. I was totally hooked from the first page until the last and can’t wait to see what happens next in this cleverly twisty tale.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brogan Lane📖

    Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for approving this ARC in exchange for an honest review "We're not going to save just one girl. We are going to save them all." Set at the elite boarding school of Grimrose Académie, three troubled friends and the new girl must uncover the secrets of their school to save themselves and their classmates before it's too late. Blending beloved fairytales with Pretty Little Liars, Holly Jackson's A Good Girl's Guide To Murder and Karen M. McManus' One Of Us Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for approving this ARC in exchange for an honest review "We're not going to save just one girl. We are going to save them all." Set at the elite boarding school of Grimrose Académie, three troubled friends and the new girl must uncover the secrets of their school to save themselves and their classmates before it's too late. Blending beloved fairytales with Pretty Little Liars, Holly Jackson's A Good Girl's Guide To Murder and Karen M. McManus' One Of Us Is Lying, The Grimrose Girls is a fast-paced, diverse young-adult mystery with four brave heroines at its centre. Laura Pohl brings fairytales to the modern world, interlacing these traditional, well-known tales of caution and darkness with young love, teenage angst and strong, female friendships. I really loved how queer this book was; Pohl presented a very realistic group of students with different sexualities and identifies. Two of our main characters are lesbians, one is pansexual and one is asexual aromantic. It was so refreshing in a young-adult novel to read about girls who are very comfortable with their identities and sexuality. I thought the magical realism that existed within the novel was brilliantly done. The mysterious, sinister magic creeps closer as the plot progresses, as the girls discover more about the death of Ariane and the fairy tale book she left behind. I found myself trying to figure out which character corresponded to which fairy tale character, and it reminded me a lot of Once Upon Of Time. The gradual reveal of characters was really well done, and I actually gasped at a certain scene with an apple pie: Laura Pohl very well done! The pacing was great and kept me hooked, wanting to know more. I'm very excited to read the sequel and to see what Ella, Yuki, Rory and Nani discover next about Grimrose Académie. TW: mentions of suicide, death, graphic depictions of death, mentions of parental abuse, and gore

  19. 4 out of 5

    Maddie | bookish.pgh

    Four troubled friends, One murdered girl... and a dark fate that may leave them all doomed. Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the opportunity to read and review an advanced readers copy of this book. This in no way affects my review, all opinions are my own. I have a lot of mixed thoughts on this one. It was slow to start and I think the character development could've been a little stronger. I always enjoy getting different narrator perspectives but this one felt a little all over the Four troubled friends, One murdered girl... and a dark fate that may leave them all doomed. Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the opportunity to read and review an advanced readers copy of this book. This in no way affects my review, all opinions are my own. I have a lot of mixed thoughts on this one. It was slow to start and I think the character development could've been a little stronger. I always enjoy getting different narrator perspectives but this one felt a little all over the place, as we're immediately getting information thrown at us and I felt like I didn't' get an opportunity to connect with the characters themselves. I also had a lot of open-ended questions that weren't pertinent to the main conflict but I feel like it's odd for them to not be addressed, even if it is going to be in later books in the series. However, once we reach the part where the book is discovered, this story picked up the pace and kept it up until the very end. I couldn't put it down and was addicted to seeing the next fairytale demise that would be uncovered. I think the idea behind this book is brilliant and so much fun and I do think there's a lot of potential for more books in the series. I will definitely be picking up the next book once it's announced because I love a good cliffhanger. I'm interested to see how future books tie up the loose ends and we'll see if this fast-paced excitement can be continued into the next one. I also hope I can connect with the characters a little more in future installments! Overall, I did enjoy reading this one despite my personal issues with it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Era ➶

    I binged this in about 26 hours???

  21. 5 out of 5

    Siofra

    MY NAME WAS IN A BOOK! MY RARE IRISH NAME THAT NEVER GETS PUT ON COCA-COLA BOTTLES OR ANYTHING WAS IN A BOOK! Thank you, Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley, for allowing me early access to this book in exchange for my honest thoughts and review. Now that I have shared my excitement on that matter, let's talk about 'The Grimrose Girls'. A private boarding school where three friends are reeling from the death of their friend and a new student that arrives at this mourning school. As they try and move on, MY NAME WAS IN A BOOK! MY RARE IRISH NAME THAT NEVER GETS PUT ON COCA-COLA BOTTLES OR ANYTHING WAS IN A BOOK! Thank you, Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley, for allowing me early access to this book in exchange for my honest thoughts and review. Now that I have shared my excitement on that matter, let's talk about 'The Grimrose Girls'. A private boarding school where three friends are reeling from the death of their friend and a new student that arrives at this mourning school. As they try and move on, they realize that something sinister is at play, and their deceased friend may have been killed for a secret, and they may be the next victims. This premise lured me in, and while it had a great mysteries element to it, balancing mystery, thriller and potentially a school curse, it was super repetitive ... no, that's not the right word. It felt like a time loop, but we saw it through the other characters eyes, so it was and wasn't. The story was prolonged to capture the reader, and besides being told my name was in the book, I was a victim lol, and wanting to know what was happening, it was a little boring at times. I enjoyed the LGBTQ+ Rep although I don't know if all of it was good representation, same for the diversity representation. At times, it felt off, and I'm not sure if I read too much into something, but Yuki felt uncomfortably stereotyped.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Ruth (The best boyfriends are book boyfriends)

    Thank you Netgalley so much for this incredible arc! This gave me everything I wanted! LGBTQ+, a boarding school that's actually a huge castle in Switzerland, so many fairytale retellings and a mystery! Yes, I was all there for this! Ella, Yuki and Rory are devastated by the death of their friend Arianne. They do not believe it was suicide, which is the main rumor, so they are on a quest to find real answers. Around this time Nani shows up and becomes a new member of the group with new insights. Thank you Netgalley so much for this incredible arc! This gave me everything I wanted! LGBTQ+, a boarding school that's actually a huge castle in Switzerland, so many fairytale retellings and a mystery! Yes, I was all there for this! Ella, Yuki and Rory are devastated by the death of their friend Arianne. They do not believe it was suicide, which is the main rumor, so they are on a quest to find real answers. Around this time Nani shows up and becomes a new member of the group with new insights. This tale is full of twists and turns and surprises (some romantic surprises that made me squeal with happiness). I loved this gorgeous and atmospheric tale from start to finish! Definitely give this a shot and get swept away into this amazing world!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Madita

    Okay I need the sequel right now because I have not clue why they are doing this. Rory and Yuki became my favourite characters right from their first chapter. Rory was just a badass. I loved her fencing scenes with Poppy and Yuki was just very interesting, especially with her mother. I really like that the four main girls weren't the only important characters. There were multiple side characters that had a built out background story which is something I love. When I found out who was involved, m Okay I need the sequel right now because I have not clue why they are doing this. Rory and Yuki became my favourite characters right from their first chapter. Rory was just a badass. I loved her fencing scenes with Poppy and Yuki was just very interesting, especially with her mother. I really like that the four main girls weren't the only important characters. There were multiple side characters that had a built out background story which is something I love. When I found out who was involved, my jaw dropped. The entire mystery around Ari's death was very interesting and the clues could have not lead me towards the person at all.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Allie

    3.5 stars. Thank you to Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! I really adored the premise of Grimrose Girls. The blurb alone made it one of my most anticipated reads of the year. Set at an isolated and elite boarding school/castle, the novel follows a close-knit group of girls as they investigate the mysterious death of their best friend and unwittingly discover the dark secrets that lurk inside the castle’s walls. One of the things that really makes Grimrose Girls stand out is 3.5 stars. Thank you to Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! I really adored the premise of Grimrose Girls. The blurb alone made it one of my most anticipated reads of the year. Set at an isolated and elite boarding school/castle, the novel follows a close-knit group of girls as they investigate the mysterious death of their best friend and unwittingly discover the dark secrets that lurk inside the castle’s walls. One of the things that really makes Grimrose Girls stand out is that it’s a dark academia murder-mystery that doubles as a contemporary reimagining of classic fairy tales. As the story unfolded, I loved seeing how Pohl incorporated elements of these tales into both the plot and the characters. Rather than relying on the more well-known versions that end in "happily ever after", Pohl draws inspiration from the darker, gritter fairy tales written by the Grimm Brothers and Hans Christian Andersen, which only adds to the eerie atmosphere that persists throughout the novel. The book also has a great cast of diverse and queer characters. The four protagonists—Ella, Yuki, Rory, and Nani—all come from different backgrounds and each one identifies as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Ella and Rory also deal with mental health issues (anxiety and OCD) and chronic pain respectively. The story itself is told through multiple points of view and I really enjoyed getting to read about each girl's unique character arc. I just wish that the chapters for each POV were either a bit longer or that the novel itself didn’t switch between the protagonists as frequently. I was a bit thrown whenever the perspectives switched, especially near the beginning of the story, because it felt like I didn’t get to spend long enough with one girl before I had to start reading about the next one. My only other issue with this book is the pacing. The story, at least for me, was slow to start and it took me a while to become really engaged. And because it took a bit for the plot to get moving, I felt like certain aspects of the world, specifically the magical elements, were not as explored as much as I would have liked. However, the ending of this book does give me hope that the sequel will delve more into this side of things and what it means for Ella, Yuki, Rory, and Nani! Content warnings: mentions of suicide, parental physical and emotional abuse, self-harm, parental death, anxiety, OCD, and light gore.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    "Fairytales were warnings, things that happened to girls if they're not careful." *4.5 stars* Summary Ella, Yuki, and Rory are all reeling after their best friend drowns in the lake at Grimrose Academy. When Nani arrives as their newest roommate, a series of events is set into motion. The girls determine that Ari's death was no mere accident - and set out to find out what really happened. They retrace Ari's last steps, and uncover dark secrets about themselves and their own fairytale fates. "Fairytales were warnings, things that happened to girls if they're not careful." *4.5 stars* Summary Ella, Yuki, and Rory are all reeling after their best friend drowns in the lake at Grimrose Academy. When Nani arrives as their newest roommate, a series of events is set into motion. The girls determine that Ari's death was no mere accident - and set out to find out what really happened. They retrace Ari's last steps, and uncover dark secrets about themselves and their own fairytale fates. Review If you are a fan of dark fairytales, this is definitely the book for you! I loved how Pohl took the gruesome and dark Grimm fairy tales and intertwined them with a dark academia boarding school setting. This story is told from four different perspectives, so each character is very well defined. I loved how diverse this book was, and each girl explores their identity as the story progresses. I really felt for all of the girls by the end of the story! Grimrose Girls definitely gives dark Disney Channel movie vibes and I loved every second of it. I couldn't put the book down because the mystery kept me reading - I needed to know what was going to happen to all of the girls. I felt like this book wrapped up in a satisfactory way yet left the story open ended enough that I'm excited to read the sequel and continue to see the mystery of Grimrose Academy unravel.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elvina Zafril

    The Grimrose Girls follows three girls, Ella, Rory and Yuki of Grimrose Academy who are suffering from the death of their best friend, Ari. Then there was one new student Nina who wants to meet her father again. And then there were four. The story is told from four perspectives and I found myself enjoying reading from multiple point of views. Nina found a fairytale book that Ari left behind when she moved in the room and she’s now taking Ari’s bed and passed the book to Rory. The book is full of The Grimrose Girls follows three girls, Ella, Rory and Yuki of Grimrose Academy who are suffering from the death of their best friend, Ari. Then there was one new student Nina who wants to meet her father again. And then there were four. The story is told from four perspectives and I found myself enjoying reading from multiple point of views. Nina found a fairytale book that Ari left behind when she moved in the room and she’s now taking Ari’s bed and passed the book to Rory. The book is full of list of people that are already dead. They didn’t believe that Ari committed suicide, they knew Ari has been murdered. They want to find the truth. In order to do that, they must be careful and to not be the next target. The more they investigate, the more they know about the secrets that lie behind Grimrose. It was hard to get into the story at the beginning because of the slow introduction to get readers to know what is actually happened in Grimrose Academy. The story actually getting more and more interesting after the 40% of the book. It kept me wanting to know more. I could guess the classic fairytale retelling and the easiest guess was Cinderella. The other retellings, I’m just not so sure. LOL. They all reminded me of Once Upon A Time. Despite the slow introduction, it also has short chapters and diverse characters. Two of the main characters are lesbian, one is pansexual and one is asexual romantic. Laura Pohl left us with so many hints about what had actually happened to Ari, but I just couldn’t see it. I was too blind to see what's in front of my eyes. It was quite mystery this one. A little bit gory. Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks for sharing the eARC with me in return for an honest review. This book will be available on November 2nd, 2021 onwards.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Saima

    SO GOOD. rtc

  28. 4 out of 5

    rain

    tw & cw: murder, body horror, gore, mentions of parental abuse this book was a wonderful surprise for me!! i did not have any expectations when i picked this up and it's great that i ended up loving it. it's been a while since i read a YA fantasy book that i unabashedly enjoyed. this book has the perfect amount of heart and entertainment in it, which made me really engrossed with the story. more things that i loved about the grimrose girls: • the pacing is just right. the slow unraveling of the my tw & cw: murder, body horror, gore, mentions of parental abuse this book was a wonderful surprise for me!! i did not have any expectations when i picked this up and it's great that i ended up loving it. it's been a while since i read a YA fantasy book that i unabashedly enjoyed. this book has the perfect amount of heart and entertainment in it, which made me really engrossed with the story. more things that i loved about the grimrose girls: • the pacing is just right. the slow unraveling of the mystery and the introduction of the fantasy elements were written excellently. i was at the edge of my seat most of the time. • i really loved the main characters. at first, i thought that the changing povs would eventually confuse me but i actually thought that the pov switches were handled well. the characters had equal time to shine and every single one of them felt so real. i love my babies!! • i was amazed by how the fairytales were incorporated into the story and gave them a dark twist. i got chills. • the ending satisfied me but also left me wanting more. I WANT THE SEQUEL NOW. highly recommend this book if you like murder mysteries, fairytale retellings, and a diverse cast of characters!!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mia

    3.5 stars From the start I found myself enveloped into the setting, mysterious elite boarding school, fairy-tale retelling, a queer cast,magic just SIGN ME UP. Laura Pohl did a fantastic job of pacing and timing by sprinkling small reveals throughout the story, keeping me on the edge of my seat from the very beginning. Overall, this was a lovely and entertaining read. ARC kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alina Vale

    I swear if this is another One Of Us is Lying and How We Fall Apart stupidity-

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