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The Girl and the Grove

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  167 ratings  ·  94 reviews
Teenager 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 ...more
Paperback, 362 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Flux
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  167 ratings  ·  94 reviews

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jv poore
Once in a while, a book means so much to me that I need my metaphorical sandwich-board and bell to adequately express my adoration. It is entirely in that spirit that I introduce The Girl and the Grove by Eric Smith. Immediately irresistible, the anomalous story of amateur arborist, Leila, branches out and grows faster than her rescued sapling, Major Willow.

Since Leila has basically bounced around Philadelphia, popping in and out of the group home, she and her best bud bonded by creating their
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
3 Stars

"Nobody gets to 'well actually' me and get away with it."

This is a really fun urban fantasy with a strong, biracial MC front and center. Lelia is a foster-child trying to navigate life in her new adoptive family and there was some fantastic discussion about acceptance and what it means to be a family.

This paired well with the strong earthy-vibes and focus on environmentalism. Without spoiling, the fantasy element directly ties to Lelia's connection with nature, and it's written rath
Erin Bembridge
Nov 22, 2017 rated it liked it
3 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️
I received this book from Netgalley in return for a honest review...:)

I wanted to first off thank the publishers for giving me the opportunity to review this book! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! :) On to the review....

So basically I came into this book with pretty high expectations. The description for the book intrigued me so I was so ready to dive in. I will analyze the characters and then tell you my problems that I had with this book and th
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Well, this was disappointing.

2.25 stars.

The Girl and the Grove brings a new, interesting perspective to the contemporary fantasy genre, focusing on themes of environmentalism and family instead of the romance or the magical creatures, although those two elements are still present and relevant.

I loved the premise of this book; my problem was the execution.
I didn't like the writing at all. It was often awkward, almost amateurish at times, and with this premise - magical groves in the park! - there
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
4/16/2018: GUESS WHO JUST GOT APPROVED FOR AN E-ARC?! *sunglasses emoji*

Thank you, NetGalley, for giving me the opportunity to read this book!

I really enjoyed Eric Smith’s “The Girl and the Grove.” The main character was likable and complex and watching her grow over the course of the novel was great. Seeing her relationship with her adoptive parents, mental health, and even plants was also just...magical (heh, get it?)

I did like the fantasy aspect but felt like it could’ve been a little more f
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this! It was quirky and heartfelt. Although I'm disappointed it wasn't a portal fantasy (that's definitely the vibe I got from description) and this at times read more like a contemporary, I wasn't disappointed by the story itself. I love anything that touches on saving the environment, and this was a great YA Urban Fantasy to tackle the topic. The adoption angle was the most profound part, simply because you know that is an #ownvoices aspect. I've followed Eric Smith for a few ...more
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
(Disclaimer: I received this free book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

I just need to say that this book moved me to my very core. As someone who is adopted, reading this was a breath of fresh air. I've had these similar thoughts about abandonment, about being broken, and about the mysterious existence of our birth parents. I want to talk about how refreshing it was and heartwarming, to see a positive portrayal of friendship between the MC and her be
Kate (GirlReading)
3.75* A lovely exploration of identity and mental health with a touch of magic wrapped in a brilliantly unique story.

This wasn’t at all what I was expecting but it was such a pleasant surprise. I was very much here for having a cast of characters so passionate about the environment and absolutely loved seeing SAD represented, as it’s something I’ve not seen discussed in fiction before.

I instantly warmed to the characters and the multiple relationships explored but I’m not sure I totally got on
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
charming, and a delightful surprise. i loved the themes in
this book, from family, to friendship, to love in all its forms,
including our mother earth. smith defly weaves in adoption
and activism as well. a magical read!
McKelle George
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read an early draft of this one and it was lovely and heartfelt and the unique formatting was a completely fascinating blend of modernism set against themes rooted to earth and nature instead of technology. Can't wait for it to hit the shelves.
Erica Chapman
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
LOVED. Such a unique story full of well-developed characters. Leila is the type of warm and stubborn, and brave protagonist I love. And SARIKA. Love that girl. I want a friend just like her. And the romance... 😍

Highly recommend!!
Shanna Hughes
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
THE GIRL AND THE GROVE is a special book for me. This is because Leila, the main character, suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Yes, it has SAD rep! This is so rare, and I’m so grateful to see that part of myself in a book. Needless to say, this book was high on my to read list when I found out, and it did not disappoint.

Aside from the SAD rep, this book has plenty more to offer. It explores a very important theme: family. Leila has recently been adopted, and although I don’t have experien
Originally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.

Trigger Warning: This book features racism.

When I read that the main character from The Girl and the Grove by Eric Smith, Leila, has seasonal affective disorder, I desperately wanted to read it. But sadly, this book just wasn't for me.

Leila has recently been adopted, and is struggling to come to believe that this is her life now, that she won't end up back in the group home. She also has seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a mental illness that has been t
Apr 23, 2018 added it
This has some of the most amazing adoption representation I've ever read. Despite my own adoption background being very different from Leila's, there were so many things I could relate to. The family dynamics between Leila and her new parents, Jon and Liz, were so sweet and heartwarming that I almost cried several times. I was also so happy to see Seasonal Affective Disorder representation, and to see the use of a light box normalized. The plot itself fell a little flat for me, and I felt like t ...more
The Girl and the Grove is a fresh take on a popular fantasy narrative--The Chosen One--while also depicting everyday contemporary life in such a way as has rarely been seen in Young Adult up to this point.

Read the full review on my blog!
Apr 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs, 2018-releases
An entertaining read, lovely characters to follow and a story with potential.
Full review coming soon :)
Leeza Robertson
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Let me start by saying, this is a very special book for both obvious and not so obvious reasons. First the obvious, this book deals adoption or more to the point, the bridge between being adopted and feeling like you belong to a family. We meet Leila, our main character when she has found herself in a new adopted family. Her anxiety is palatable, you can seriously taste the acrid raw emotions of her past and present experiences as they ooze out of her. The story takes into consideration all the ...more
LaRonda (Flying Paperbacks)
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebooks, arcs
You can see my full review here!

*I received an eArc of this book from the Publishers through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*

The first 10-20% of the book was cool. I liked the main character and loved her adoptive parents. Her friendship with Sarika was also probably the best part of the book. After that initial beginning of the story, I had no idea what was happening. It wasn't as if too much was happening, I just... couldn't understand where the story was going.

Adding Leila's Season
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received an arc from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book! Leila had a tough life in the foster system, which is definitely one of th reasons why I picked this book. I don't see many books about kids dealing with the foster system.

I also loved how she was active in the environmentalist group, which definitely sends a positive message to readers.

The supernatural element blended in well with the plot, but I can't say more or else you will lose the element of su
Ceillie Simkiss
This was beautiful. Ready my full review here! ...more
Hope Walker
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley-books
To be noted:

I was given a copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. This book was free, and my review is not biased towards that fact in any way. These are my opinions only, (as everyone is entitled to them) and should only be taken as an idea for whether or not you would like to read the book yourself. In the end, no matter what review I give, props to the author for writing what they love, and actually publishing a book.

The Girl and the Grove
Warning: Spoilers
Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
I'm sick, so this review is going to be a bit shorter than normal.   I don't want anyone to think it's because of the book because I really liked it.

Leila was recently adopted after spending her life in foster care and a group home.  She is struggling with having a mom and dad and doesn't use those words.  But her new parents are pretty awesome and I adored her dad.  He made me laugh a lot.  Leila also deals with seasonal depression and anxiety.

For years, Leila had been hearing voices, but was n
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: friends
Note: NetGalley provided an ARC of this book in exchange for a review.

Friends, this book is an utter delight that made me laugh and cry throughout.

I understand the critiques in the other reviews, that there wasn't a lot of character development/growth, that the villain was two dimensional. None of that bothered me. This book gives me fuzzy feelings of pure joy.

I'm not adopted, but I'm planning on adopting, so reading a tale of an adopted kids and her feelings around that—the what-ifs of her biol
Sinead Anja (Huntress of Diverse Books)
Check out my book blog for more book reviews and other bookish posts!

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
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, netgalley
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Leila has a lot going on in her life. She’s grown up moving around between foster homes. She lives with seasonal affective disorder. She’s recently been adopted, She has a passion for saving the environment. And she hears voices in her head, that continue to grow louder, calling out for her help.

I ended up enjoying this book a lot. It has many different elements that it touches upon. The main character has grown up in the foster sy
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book really spoke to me. Leila has been moved around from home to home through the foster system. The has a passion for saving the environment and she loves trees. Her best friend Sarika is the only one who knows she hears voices calling to her in the wind. It scares her but she has a system to keep them at bay.

I immensely enjoyed this book. The books main character is a young teen that has been shuffled around all her life. She has finally been adopted but shes scared to accept that they
Hanna Fogel
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, arc, flux
3.5 stars. Man did this book make me miss Philly. (And the author, who I’m also lucky enough to know 🙂)
Nov 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2017, 3-stars
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chelsea slytherink
DNF @ 32%

I received an e-ARC from Flux through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!

I feel really bad for not wanting to continue The Girl and the Grove because I follow this author on Twitter and I received an e-ARC. just can't push myself to read it! This is definitely not a bad book, but I'd probably end up rating it only three stars.

My main problem was the writing style. I usually prefer 3rd person POV, but it just didn't work for me in this novel! It even confused me because 1st perso
I received an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Girl and the Grove was one of my most anticipated 2018 releases. I requested the ARC months ago and I was overjoyed when I got it, but somehow I only got around to reading it in May.

It was awesome to read a book with a teen protagonist whose hobby is protecting the environment, with a fondness for trees in particular. I also think this is one of the only #ownvoices books with an adopted protagonist that I’ve read, especiall
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Eric Smith is an author and literary agent from Elizabeth, New Jersey.

His Young Adult books include the Inked duology (Bloomsbury), the anthology Welcome Home (Flux), The Girl & the Grove (Flux), and Don't Read the Comments (Inkyard Press).

His first non-fiction book, The Geek's Guide to Dating, was published with Quirk Books in December 2013. It was an Indiebound bestseller and has sold into eight

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