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I Belong

Review: Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood & Duchess of Northumberland

Title: The Poison Diaries

Author: Maryrose Wood, The Duchess of Northumberland

GenreYA Fantasy

Series: The Poison Diaries (Book 1)

Publication Date: July 20, 2010

FormatHardcover, 278 Pages

ISBN-10: 0061802360 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0061802362 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Bridget


A dark, gothic tale of romance… and murder. In the right dose, everything is a poison. Jessamine has spent her whole life in a cottage close to her father’s apothecary garden, surrounded by medicinal plants and herbs that could kill her — although her father has never allowed her into the most dangerous part of the grounds… the poison garden. And so she’s never had reason to be afraid — until now. Because now a newcomer has come to live with the family, a quiet but strangely attractive orphan boy named Weed. Though Weed doesn’t say much in words, he has an instant talent for the apothecary’s trade, seeming to possess a close bond with the plants of the garden. Soon, he and Jessamine also share a close bond. But little does Jessamine know that passion can be just as poisonous as the deadliest plants in the garden — for behind Weed’s instinctive way in the garden is a terrible secret.

Quick & Dirty: This was an intriguing dark tale about love, and the mysterious properties of plants and poison.

Opening Sentence: Gray skies; the rain came and went all morning.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review

Jessamine has grown up in a secluded cottage with her father. Her mother died when she was young and it has just been her and father ever since. Her father Thomas Luxton is a well known healer throughout the land. He grows a beautiful garden full of many plants that have the power to heal but he also grows dangerous plants that have the power to kill. He has a special apothecary garden full of poisonous plants. Jessamine has never been allowed into the apothecary garden but for years she has been curious to know what her father hides behind the locked gates.

Jessamine has lived a very lonely life. Her father leaves often to help the sick and even when he is around he prefers to work without interruption. Then one day a stranger comes to stay with them. Weed is an orphan who seems very strange. He is quite beautiful with black curly hair and piercing green eyes. He has an uncommon talent with plants, and Thomas Luxton can’t help but notice. Thomas hopes that Weed may be able to help him with his research and unlock the powers that the plants hold.

Even though Weed is different Jessamine can’t help but try to befriend him. She has never had a companion to talk to and even a strange companion is better than no companion. As they get to know each other better they start to fall in love. But it turns out that Weed has some dark secrets that he is determined to keep hidden, even from Jessamine. He is afraid that if she ever finds out she will think he is a monster, and he can’t lose her love.

Jessamine is a very naïve young girl. She trusts everyone far too easily. She has lived a very lonely life, but she seemed mostly content until she meets Weed and sees what else the world has to offer. I felt that she was a little bit weak for a heroine and I wish that she would have been stronger and stood up for herself more. I had a hard time connecting with her and I hope that in the next book I come to like her more.

I really enjoyed Weed’s character. He is so intriguing and I loved seeing his story unfold. As he gets to know Jessamine more and come to care for her, you get to see his vulnerable side. He will do anything to protect Jessamine and he proves it. He also has a dangerous side to his personality that can show when he feels threatened. I am excited to see what happens to him in the next book.

This was a thrilling darkly woven tale that I really enjoyed. I had a hard time connecting to some of the characters, but I felt that the story made up for it. The book really kept me interested the whole way through and it was hard to put down. I enjoyed the writing and it was a pretty fast read as well. The ending has quite a cliffhanger so I am very eager to read the next installment in the series. Lucky for me I already have a copy. I would highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys YA fantasy books.

Notable Scene:

There is movement, wriggling.  The mummy like wrapping loosens.  First the dark, tousled dark hair emerges, followed by the high, pale forehead.  Then two wide emerald green eyes appear.  They stare at Father, expressionless as glass.

My breath catches in my chest at the sight.  I have never seen such beautiful eyes-like twin jewels.  No monster could possess features of such beauty.  All my fear of their new arrival dissolve in an instant.

Those hypnotic green eyes stare at Father, expressionless as glass.

:Was it monkshood, perhaps?  Or angel’s trumpet?  No matter; someone will figure it out eventually, though a few delirious villagers may leap to their deaths in the meantime.  And you are called Weed, eh?”  Father opens the door of the cottage and gestures for Weed to enter.  “The perfect name for an unwanted sprout like you.  Now unswaddle yourself from those rags, and come inside.  I wish to discover exactly what sort of gift you are.”

The Poison Diaries Series:

1. The Poison Diaries

2. Nightshade

3. Into the Garden (2013)

FTC Advisory: Harper Collins provided me with a copy of The Poison Diaries. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood & Duchess of Northumberland, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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