Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review of The Poison Diaries

In the right dose, everything is a poison. Even love...
Jessamine Luxton has lived all her sixteen years in an isolated cottage near Alnwick Castle, with little company apart from the plants in her garden. Her father, Thomas, a feared and respected apothecary, has taught her much about the incredible powers of plants: that even the most innocent-looking weed can cure -- or kill.
When Jessamine begins to fall in love with a mysterious boy who claims to communicate with plants, she is drawn into the dangerous world of the poison garden in a way she never could have imagined...
[from HarperTeen]
Rating:   2 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience:  Fantasy readers looking for something different
High point:  The fresh concept
Low point:  Jessamine and her father
Reader maturity: 15+

My feelings about The Poison Diaries are mixed.

On one hand, I love the concept--that plants can talk and have personalities that coincide with their ability to heal or hurt. And the idea of a poison garden, where are the wicked plants can converse and plot is a first for me. Weed, the boy who can talk with plants, is a gentle soul, faced with terrible decisions, but he struggles valiantly to be upright and good.

On the other hand, I thought Jessamine was far too flip to get along well with Weed. He was so serious and unassuming, while she's immature, with a childish self-centeredness. Although youthful, she's also so smart and suspicious at the beginning that I have a hard time believing the lies she fell for that create the primary conflict in the novel. The bad guy in this book is too much; his motives were so obvious that it makes Jessamine's belief in his deceit that much harder to swallow.

I'm not really sure what to say in my final words about The Poison Diaries. It was a good novel in concept and in writing, but I disliked several of the plot points and character traits. Even though I didn't love The Poison Diaries, because the concept was so unique and fascinating to me, I'm probably going to try and pick up The Poison Diaries:  Nightshade.

Title:  The Poison Diaries
Author:  Maryrose Wood, with The Duchess of Northumberland
Genre:   Fiction - Fantasy, Historical
Year:   2010
Book Source:  Won an ARC from Pirate Penguin's Reads

1 comment:

  1. This doesn't sound like it would be my taste. Thanks for the honest review! :)