The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl – ARC Review!

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.

I received a copy of this book form the publisher for review & can confirm all thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Grimrose girls is the perfect blend of Pretty Little Liars and Grimms fairy tales, blending the magical with the mundane and adding a good old murder mystery into the mix.

After the sudden death of their best friend, Ella, Yuki and Rory are at a loss. Ariane was the glue that held them together and without her it would be easy to fall apart, but there is one thing keeping them from completely falling apart. They don’t believe Ariane’s death was an accident. The arrival of a new student sets into motion a chain of events that change the friends lives, and fates forever. As they delve deeper and deeper into Ariane’s death, they learn things about the school, previous students and about themselves, things that show them a dark and gruesome fate. They will have to fight their destinies if they are to make it out alive, and make sure no other students face Ariane’s fate.

Grimrose Girls is told from 4 perspectives; Ella, Yuki, Rory and Nani, all students at Grimrose academy. As you can guess from the description, all the characters are linked in some way to a Grimm fairy tale, although I won’t tell you who is who. They each stand out as a POV, with their own unique voices and stories which slowly come out through the book leaving you little breadcrumbs as to what fairy tale each character fits in to. Pohl uses her characters to explore some dark and gritty topics, and managing to weave in the fairy tale elements whilst also writing incredibly real and fleshed out characters was something special. With this being set at a boarding school we also get introduced to a wide cast of diverse and entertaining side characters, all of which further the story in some way.

I quickly found myself engrossed in the story line, as well as invested in the outcome of the characters. Pohl perfectly blends the magical with the mundane, and with the addition of the mystery of what exactly happened to Ariane, as well as what is currently happening at the school I found it hard to put this book down. The setting of the book also added an extra creepy factor to the story, an isolated boarding school that’s in an old castle. It’s definitely dark in places and a little gruesome, but this just added to the overall atmosphere for me, and made working out the mystery that much more intense an experience. There are plenty of plot twists thrown in for good measure, some you can see coming such as which fairy tale our characters fit into, but others that seemed to come out of nowhere and ensured I stayed glued to the pages.

I do feel like the pacing was slightly off. The first 25% was a little slow, and I felt like the ending was rushed, but I’m still incredibly excited to see where the story will go in book two. Pohl ends this book on a sort of cliffhanger, with a little bit of the mystery being solved, but still manages to leave us wanting more. I need to know that my faves will get their disney style happy endings and not the dark ones promised to them from the Grimm tales. Overall it was a slightly dark but fast paced read, filled with well crafted characters and a brilliant mystery style story line interwoven with magical elements.

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