Book Review: The Forest Grimm by Kathryn Purdie

About the Book:

Title: The Forest Grimm

Author: Kathryn Purdie

Series: The Forest Grimm #1

Page Length: 336

Publication Date: Sept. 19, 2023

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Synopsis“Grandmère, tell me again the story of how I die.”

The Midnight Forest. The Fanged Creature. Two fortune-telling cards that spell an untimely death for 17-year-old Clara. Despite the ever-present warning from her fortune-teller grandmother, Clara embarks on a dangerous journey into the deadly Forest Grimm to procure a magical book—Sortes Fortunae, the Book of Fortunes—with the power to reverse the curse on her village and save her mother.

Years ago, when the villagers whispered their deepest desires to the book, its pages revealed how to obtain them. All was well until someone used the book for an evil purpose—to kill another person. Afterward, the branches of the Forest Grimm snatched the book away, the well water in Grimm’s Hollow turned rancid, and the crops died from disease. The villagers tried to make amends with the forest, but every time someone crossed its border, they never returned.

Now, left with no alternative, Clara and her close friend, Axel—who is fated never to be with her—have set their minds to defying fate and daring to accomplish what no one else has been able to before. But the forest—alive with dark, deadly twists on some of our most well-known fairy tales—has a mind of its own.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

Dark and atmospheric, The Forest Grimm is a unique and entertaining reimagining of the Grimm fairy tales. The story weaves in tales like Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty, and Rapunzel in a new and fresh way.

Much of the story takes place in the Grimm Forest, which is a dark, twisted, and sentient entity. It almost feels like a character itself in how it manipulates and works to thwart its inhabitants. In unique, magical, and dangerous world, Clara and Axel never know what to expect, and their journey to rescue their loved ones is treacherous. I love the wild twists and turns the story takes as Clara and her friends venture deeper and deeper into the forest.

I loved Clara’s journey as she uncovered the secrets of her village and the Forest Grimm. With a curse upon her village and her mother lost to the forest, Clara is determined to find her and bring magic back to the people. Clara travels with Axel and encounters people in the forest who are twisted versions of the classic fairy tale characters, barely reminiscent of the villagers they once were. It was so cool how the author took classic pieces of the original tales and twined them together with new material.

The story also has a slow-burning friends-to-lovers romance that I totally adored. It wasn’t the main focus of the novel, but it definitely raised the stakes for Clara and Axel. The story delves into their relationship from when they were kids, and you can see how important the relationship is to both of them. I liked seeing this couple slowly admit their feelings to themselves and each other.

This is the first in a duology, and after what happened at the end of the book, I can’t wait to read the next one. I would definitely recommend The Forest Grimm to readers who enjoy younger YA fantasy. Special thanks to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.



Favorite Parts:

  • The characters.
  • The magical elements.
  • The romance.


  • fairy tale reimagining
  • friends to lovers

17 thoughts on “Book Review: The Forest Grimm by Kathryn Purdie

  1. I thought this was a very interesting retelling. I think I liked how it was done. I definitely liked it a whole lot better than many other retellings I’ve read. Excellent review!

  2. Wonderful review, Julie. I will have to move it up the TBR, I have both the ebook and audiobook so will do a read/listen. I am interested to listen to this one with the dark atmosphere.

  3. Great review! I’d been wondering about this one having come back to it several times on NG. I appreciate that you say it’s more younger YA, which probably means a library borrow for me rather than a purchase. I’m still intrigued by it, though!

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