Monday, September 5, 2011

REVIEW: The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood with The Duchess of Northumberland

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 . . .

(Synopsis From Goodreads)

I wanted to start something a little different with this review because there were a few lines that really stood out to me and screamed they needed to be used as teasers. So here are a few lines that I really loved in the book.


"Remember, Jessamine," Father warned, "you will be raising a litter of assassins." - pg. 8
"The formulae all burned, the wisdom of centuries in ashes. . . . To kill such knowledge is itself murder -- it is worse than murder --" - pg. 24
"They are dark, spherical, shining, deadly. Beautiful. Like staring into the pupils of a murderess, I think." - pg. 102
"Nonsense; you are the embodiment of grace and charm, and as full of beauty as a rosebud at dawn."

My Review:
The Poison Diaries is a look into the life of a sixteen year old girl, Jessamine, who has grown up so sheltered and alone that the only company she has is her diary. Many girls are like this as they grow up, they need an outlet for their thoughts so they keep a journal or a diary.  For Jessamine the only other person in her life is her father who works as an apothecary and he tends to stay immersed in his work. The book starts out a little depressing, but she lends a dreary life that is until the arrival of Weed, a mysterious boy with an odd name.  He is the friend she has always wanted, but never knew to hope for. Weed adds a new dimension to her life. She treats him like her plants, giving him time to get used to his new surroundings, nurturing him until he feels able to intertwine with Jessamine and her father's life. Unexpected things come from their relationship and if you want to know more you will have to read the book. 

Things I Liked:
My favorite thing about this book was that it felt like I was reading a fairy tale, with the medieval feel to Jessamine's world. They depend on their gardens to feed them, protect them from ailments, and to survive. It was a magical setting that you always wish you could live in, but I would be lost without my internet abilities. I also really liked getting to know about plants in a different and unique way. Ask anyone and they will tell you that I have a hard time keeping anything plant-like alive. The longest plant I kept alive was an orchid that lasted for a full two months and that one came already grown from the store. This book is set up with the actual diary entries of Jessamine's daily life as a daughter to an apothecary then moves to tell the story as if written in the diary. You see how much time and love is put into keeping each plant alive. Another thing I really liked and was a bit unexpected was that in chapter fifteen (15) it switches from Jessamine's point of view and voice to Weed's. This was really important because of the relationship between Weed and the plants. He connects with the plants in such an unique way that to end the book without seeing the world from his point of view would have made question the book immensely.

My Complaints:
I do not have many complaints about this book. My main problem was that I am not a fan of cliffhangers. This book can stand alone, but you are left with all these questions of how will things turn out. Luckily, this book is part of a series and there will be a continuation, I just do not like having to wait. A problem for some readers of this book is that it is written in a very old English style and a lot of YA readers are looking for modern writing. While, I was happy with the way it was written I could see this being a down fall for others. 

My Ratings:

For more information about Maryrose Wood, The Duchess of Northumberland, and The Poison Diaries Series visit their website

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Happy Reading,

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1 comment:

  1. I haven't read this one yet! I need to get around to it. Happy to see that you liked it. It makes me more excited to get my hands on it!

    Amanda @ Letters Inside Out