ARC Review: The Girl and the Grove – Eric Smith

The Girl and the GroveTeenager Leila’s life is full of challenges. From bouncing around the foster care system to living with seasonal affective disorder, she’s never had an easy road. Leila keeps herself busy with her passion for environmental advocacy, monitoring the Urban Ecovists message board and joining a local environmental club with her best friend Sarika. And now that Leila has finally been adopted, she dares to hope her life will improve.

But the voices in Leila’s head are growing louder by the day. Ignoring them isn’t working anymore. Something calls out to her from the grove at Fairmount Park.

The Girl and the Grove was on my TBR the day I heard about it. Environmentalism. and fantasy in one book! My previous MSc was in the field of environmental sciences and I’m always looking for fiction books that have environmentalism as a theme. I received an ARC from NetGalley.

This book is #ownvoices for adopted representation.

Leila was a lovely character. She has seasonal affective disorder. At the beginning of the book, she is adopted by her foster parents. I loved how we see her relationship with the people around her deepen with time, and also how supportive her best friend Sarika was of her, and vice versa.

I loved the environmental themes. I didn’t actually quite comprehend that I haven’t read many books where the main character has environmental conservation as a hobby. It was really cool to read, and I really liked it that the main character still ate meat. It showed that there are people who are environmental activists and eat meat.

I would have liked a bit more worldbuilding. I felt that there were some aspects of the magical world that were left unexplained, and seeing how this is a standalone, I know that we won’t be receiving answers to these questions.

I kept expecting some more information about what happened to Leila’s father and I was surprised when it didn’t happen. However adopted people not knowing what happened to their parents is not uncommon.

There was a transphobic line in this book, which states that all living things that give life are female.

I really enjoyed The Girl and the Grove. A little more worldbuilding would have been nice, but it was still a very fun read.


4 stars


Have you read The Girl and the Grove? What did you think of it? Do you know of any other books that have a environmentalism theme?


4 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Girl and the Grove – Eric Smith

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