The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl

*Spoiler free*

Thank you so much to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for the e-ARC!

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.

A book about fairytale retellings, where there are mashed together into curses. My friend introduced me to this book, and I trust her taste, so I got excited for it. And it sounded incredible as well. I adore fairytale retellings, and a book where are bunch are put together is even better. Trigger warnings: mentions of suicide, parental abuse (physical and emotional), gore, blood

My feelings about this book are complicated. I really, really wanted to like it. I really like the premise, and there were even certain aspects that I really loved. But there were also things that I didn’t love, and I think I just ended up not loving the book overall (but that’s just me!).

First off, I adored the characters. Oh, I love Rory and her anger and her grit and her passion. While my love for her runs deep, I also loved all the other characters! Ella and her sweetness, Yuki and her rough edges, Nani and her quiet, but determined nature. All of them felt so full, and so real, and they all had their individual stories. I love them all.

Though, how those story intersected, and their relationship with each other sort of felt like it was just there. It was more like they were passing each other by instead of truly coming together. I also think I would have liked more development of each emotional plotline, and more development the friendship between the girls. There are four POVs in this book, so there is a lot going on. I felt like it left some aspects with very little room to breathe, and they could have benefitted from being fleshed out a little bit more. But that’s just me!

Another thing I really loved was the premise of this book. Fairytales that are cursed, doomed. And it is just as cool as it seems. Girls in a boarding girl, each playing out their own tale, with murder and mystery and secrets. But, I felt like the synopsis spoiled one of the best parts of the book. I would have loved to go into it not knowing exactly what was going on, to figure out the mystery along with the characters, for the fairytales to be a bit of a surprise. I dunno, I guess that’s my problem with how the book was marketed as well haha.

And speaking of the fairytales, they were so freaking cool. Bloodier and darker than the ones a lot of use know and love, they were gruesome and amazing. I was absolutely fascinated with everything to do with them.

Overall, this book has a lot going for it. It has such strong characters, and it’s premise and setting are spectacular. It’s dark and twisting. Though, I personally felt like I wanted more from a couple of aspects of it. I wanted a deeper mystery, and I wanted more from the emotions and the friendships. Despite this, I do think there are a lot of people who will love this book!

The Grimrose Girls comes out October 26, 2021! You can add it on Goodreads and pre-order a copy in the meantime!

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