Book Review: The Grimrose Girls

By Laura Pohl

Pub. Date. Nov. 2. Sourcebooks Fire


Magic realism meets YA meets murder mystery.

There is magic as well as mysterious death afoot at the Grimrose Académie. Like Hogwarts the Grimrose is a residential boarding school with students who are predominantly teenagers. But there the likenesses between to the two schools disappears Without there being a suggestion of ‘token individuals’ Pohl presents the reader with a cast of characters who differ in social backgrounds, financial standing, home environments, racial identification, ethnic identification, gender identification and gender orientation. There are mysteries, deaths and dangers and throughout the book the characters respond in ways that are true to young adults struggling with questions of their own identities, their relationships with friends and family and, indeed, with themselves.

The mystery plot is both fresh and deeply intertwined with more traditional stories of youngsters, primarily female. Indeed the reader will likely finish the book with an appetite to learn more about old European folk tales The multiple protagonists have clear and clearly individual voices. The ending both delivers on the quest of uncover the reasons so many students at the Grimrose are dying and leaves the reader hoping that Pohl has already written the next book, the book that takes us even deeper into the magic of the Grimrose and the lives of the characters we have met.

I am NOT the intended audience of this book but it won me over. How much more would a member of that intended audience enjoy the book? There is only one way of finding out.


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