Sunday, August 21, 2011

Alice's review on The Poison Diaries

The Poison Diaries
AuthorsMaryrose Wood with the Duchess of Northumberland
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: July 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 288
Source: Bought
Series: Poison Diaries series Book One
The Other Books: Nightshade
Buy at: Amazon

In the right dose, everything is a poison.


Even the most innocent-looking plants can kill, and no one knows that better than Jessamine Luxton. Jessamine has lived all her sixteen years in an isolated cottage near Alnwick Castle with her father, Thomas, a feared and respected apothecary, who has taught her much about the incredible powers of plants. Still, Thomas forbids her from entering the locked garden that is his pride and obsession—a poison garden, which contains exotic and local specimens of the most dangerous plants in the world.


But Jessamine’s life changes forever the day a traveler brings an orphan to their cottage, claiming that the young man has special gifts that Thomas might value. Jessamine is intrigued by the stranger, who goes by the name of Weed. His sensitivity to growing things is extraordinary, and he seems to have even more rare and specialized knowledge about plants than Thomas does. As Jessamine begins to fall in love with Weed, she learns his extraordinary secret—and is drawn into the dangerous world of the poison garden in a way she never could have imagined. . . .

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Rating – 3.5/5 stars

Judge the Cover – To be brutally honest, the cover at first did not intrigue my interest. The title and summary interest me more than the cover.

Selecting – The Poison Diaries is a trilogy and I received the second of the series, Nightshade. I haven’t read the series yet so I had to start from the beginning.

Review – The story is told from the point of view of Jessamine, the daughter of an apothecary. She lives alone with her father in abandon monastery. Surrounding their home, there are many gardens. One, that is dear to her father, is a locked garden filled with dangerous plants from around the world.

In the beginning, Jessamine is alone while her father is out doing his duty as a healer. He has been gone for a while and Jessamine keeps to the house and some of the plants. One plant that she takes care of is some belladonna seeds that are soon going to be planted. When her father comes home, he takes the plants away from her and plants them in the locked garden. Very much to Jessamine's dismay.

Not soon after, they get visitor who leaves them a boy, who has extraordinary gifts and has been called a demon. The boy, known as Weed, has a mysterious past but does have extreme knowledge of plants, as much as Thomas Luxton, which Jessamine can see there is some jealously there. Unfortunately, the boy doesn’t talk to them or doesn’t tell them anything about his knowledge or how he attained it. Jessamine doesn’t give up though. She sees him as a new friend, and wants company, someone to talk to. She feeds him and tells him stories of the house.

After a while, Weed befriends her and starts to talk a little bit more, accompanying her on walks. Thomas Luxton lingers still, wanted to know of Weed’s knowledge, but Weed doesn’t say much about it. Jessamine becomes even more curious about him and his secrets. This I feel for her, because she lives under a roof with two men that keep their secrets and none are willing to share. That is until Weed and Jessamine become closer.

Coming to the end of the book, the point of view does change some. You will understand if you pick up the book. It’s historical fiction with a lot of mystery, but also some knowledge of nature. The ending made me gloomy and angry at the same time. I did enjoy this book, and hopefully I will love Nightsahde more.

Best Character – Weed, I feel for his pain and felt he was so misunderstood most of his life. He is quite talented but also lonely. From what I read, he is also quite handsome.

Worst Character – Thomas Luxton, he only cared about learning everything there is to know about the plants. He wanted to find cures and make recipes. I disliked him throughout the story.

Favorite Part – Weed was such a weird fellow that when he kissed Jessamine, I was almost as surprised as her.

Author’s NEWS – This is a trilogy, so the third book will be coming out next year I’m guessing. Maryrose is actually a really great author for both Children and Teen. Check out her website to see more of her books.


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