Review: The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood

The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood

  • Published: May 27th, 2010
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Pages: 237
  • Source: bought
  • Challenge: none
  • Other: First book in the Poison Diaries series. The second book, Nightshade, was published in 2011 and the third installment will be published in 2012.
  • Buy the book: Amazon
  • Rating: ★★★★

Jessamine Luxson lives with her father, Thomas, an apothecary, in an isolated cottage near Alnwick Castle. Thomas’s pride and obsession is his locked garden full of dangerous plants, which Jessamine is forbidden to enter.

When a traveler brings an orphan to their cottage, he claims the boy has special gifts that Thomas might value. Jessamine is drawn to the strange but intriguing boy, called Weed. Soon their friendship deepens into love. Finally, Weed shares his secret: He can communicate with plants. For him they have distinct personalities—and some are even murderous. From the locked garden the poisonous plants call to Weed, luring him with promises of deadly power.

When Jessamine falls inexplicably ill, only Weed’s relationship with the Poisons can save her. But Thomas is determined to exploit Weed’s abilities, even if it risks Jessamine’s life—or drives Weed to the brink of madness…

Very dark and deliciously twisted, The Poison Diaries took me on a poisonous trip that I couldn’t resist.

Let me start out by saying that I didn’t know what to expect of this book. It looked dark, but I hadn’t heard a single thing about it until I got a pitch for the second book in the series. I decided to pick it up, and I’m so glad I did. It proved to be much darker and more complex than I could have expected.

Jessamine lives quite isolated from people. She lives with her father in a cottage outside the village, and when one day a man brings a boy to their home, everything gets turned upside down. Weed, as the boy is called, turns out to have some talents of his own that might interest Jessamine’s father, who has a garden with dangerous plants. Jessamine’s father takes his interests so far that he deliberately makes his daughter ill, forcing Weed to fight for a cure.

The story is told from both Jessamine’s and Weed’s point of view, who takes over writing in the diary when Jessamine falls ill. I liked how the story turned around when she was unable to write anymore and we get to see how Weed experiences everything without her company. At first I thought he was a bit of a weird character, but he grew on me and I admired his loyalty and determination to find a cure.

While I wasn’t expecting to like it so much, I really did enjoy reading their story. The ending left me with quite a few questions, so I hope they will be answered in the second book. I wonder what kind of explanation Jessamine will get, so I’ll just have to keep reading..

My overall rating:

A four minus for Jessamine and Weed – and I’ll be back for Nightshade..

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