Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing my review of The Grimrose Girls, which was book number 15 that I read this year.
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 anticipated read for me, and it did not disappoint. I found it to be engaging, emotive, entertaining and well executed; everything you could ask for in a book.
Told from multiple points of view – Ella, Yuki, Rory and Nani – we see different parts of the school, and different parts of the girl the original three have lost. They thought they knew everything about Ari, just like we would all like to think we know about our best friends. But she was keeping secrets, some bigger than they could possibly imagine.
As well as being a brilliant mystery I was keen to see solved, the book touches on other important topics, representing friendship, the demands of keeping up appearances, falling in love, and, of course, grief. At one point in Rory’s POV, a comment is made about how she is stunned to find a month has gone since Ari died, because of course life simply doesn’t stop just because we’re hurting. It’s as beautiful as it is painful, and goes a long way to putting loss into words.
On the topic of representation, The Grimrose Girls is also a brilliant book for doing just that. There’s multiple LGBT characters, and Rory also has Fibromyalgia. As this is a condition I have myself, I am always keen when I see it shown, and see is shown well. It’s a very misunderstood condition, and books like this help break down the barriers somewhat to help people see just quite what living with chronic pain and chronic fatigue can be like.
I really enjoyed the shifting sands of the dynamics between the girls, altered once with the loss of Ari, and again with Nani’s arrival. As well as changing dynamics between them, we see changes within them too, as they come to terms with what they are learning, and the realities that these facts pose.
I’m already keen for the sequel, scheduled for release late this year. It will absolutely be on my preorders!
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