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Most Helpful Favorable Review
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.
good start to a unique YA fantasy trilogy.
Jessamine's life changes when a mysterious orphan boy named Weed, who is close in age to her, is brought to the cottage by a stranger who thinks Jessamine's father will be interested in Weed's abilities, as he seems to have some strange knowledge of herbs or healing. Weed is close in age to Jessamine, and she is determined to get to know this strange boy. A romance begins to develop between the two, however Jessamine becomes dangerously ill with a mysterious ailment and Weed must use his special knowledge of plants to try and find a way to save her.
The Poison Diaries is the first in a trilogy and as such it ends rather abruptly and somewhat unsatisfactorily as a result. This isn't really a book that can stand on its own, I think you will need to read the whole series and I'm disappointed the next book won't be out for a year since I really want to know what happens. I really enjoyed the first half of the novel, and reading about Jessamine and Weed's growing relationship. Later on however the book does get very dark and some of the decisions made by characters are morally questionable. I did love the creepy gothic historical setting, it was very atmospheric, and the plot was definitely something very different, and for that reason I would recommend this book to readers who love unusual young adult fantasy novels. This is definitely a book that stands out, and in a good way in my opinion, from all the endless young adult paranormals about werewolves and vampires. However, if you really hate cliffhangers, you may want to wait until the entire series is available before reading.
Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher.
posted by rebecca_herman on September 5, 2010Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.
The Poison Diaries
When I first started this book, I thought it was going to be good. The premise was unique and the writing was lovely. I really liked Jessamine's journal and how her voice fit the time period. Quickly, though, I got sick of it. The writing soon became (pardon the pun) too flowery, and the beginning was incredibly boring. No conflict was introduced until nearly 50 pages in.
And once Weed was introduced, it was too late. I already had a sour taste in my mouth. Jessamine proved herself to be a weak character. All she did was cook, clean, and then become unconcious. I thought we had gotten past the whole Disney Princess concept. I guess not. And Weed and Jessamine's romance was incredibly awkward. I kept wincing and getting embarrassed for them. Weed would have been interesting if his ability wasn't so silly. He talks to plants, or more correctly, plants talk to him. I kept getting these absurd mental images of flowers with lips, and too soon I was past the point of taking this book seriously.
And the ending was pretty horrible. Once Jessamine got deadly ill, she couldn't very well write in her journal, could she? So Weed had to pick it up. From there, things got even weirder. It would shift between Weed's POV (which was eerily similar to Jessamine's), and these weird tripped out visions which Jessamine had of a Plant Prince or something. It was quite difficult to follow. And of course it ended openly because we can't have a stand-alone now, can we?
*sighs* There are just some books that don't need to be written.
posted by Awesomeness1 on August 4, 2010Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
From a teen's perspective
The Poison Diaries is quite a gem.
I'm glad I read this book as it now one of my absolute favorite novels. I recommend it to anyone that is looking forward to reading a delightful book centered around a sweet and innocent love. The character's are interesting in their own way (some more than others...), and the plot is quite interesting my opinion. Although the book starts off a bit slow, the story begins to pick up after the arrival of Weed (the love interest of the main character) and from there the story becomes very fast paced. There is also an interesting twist that involves one of the characters (I wont say which character sorry gotta read the book to find out :P) The story ends in a way that will have you CRAVING more (and luckily there will be more it's a trilogy guys!)
My only qualm with The Poison Diaries is the relationship between Weed, Jessamine and a center poison reminds me a little too much of a center oh so popular series... Other than that TPD is an AMAZING book and has quickly climbed to the top of my favorites list, and is only rivaled by Melissa de la Cruz's Blue Bloods (which I also recommend)
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 5, 2012
Chapter by Chapter review of Poison Diaries
This was definitely a novel that I'm so glad I ended up reading. Usually, I'm not a big fan of Victorian era novels and maybe it's because I prefer the reality of our time rather than that time, but either way I ended up finding another novel that will end up going on my list of 'awesome reads'. Everything about it pulled me in, the pretty lettering on the cover, the title, the synopsis and the story itself! I finished it quickly (it took me a few hours) because once I began reading, I just couldn't bring myself to stop, though I did enjoy the large amount of details that Maryrose Wood put into the story and the way that every little scene became more and more realistic. Though I will admit in the beginning I did assume that the story would drag, but as it progressed I found myself slapping myself silly for even thinking that.
The main character Jessamine was just amazing. I loved the way her eagerness to enter the Poison Garden was presented early in the novel and the way she found treating the belladonna seeds to be a very important job. I even liked how she was daddy's little girl, in a sense. Her father, Doctor Thomas Luxton, was a character whose intentions I was constantly second guessing. At certain points in the story, I believed that maybe he wasn't good, that maybe he was bad and that maybe his obsession with being a botanist and a doctor was going to make him an irritating character.
Now as to the character Weed, I was always wondering who he really was or more what he really was for a few reasons actually: 1- he came from an insane asylum. 2- he is very obsessed with the plants and 3- his name is Weed. Seemed kinda sketchy to me *narrows eyes*. Though as the plot thickened, I began to find interest in Weed. I wanted to know why he was so caring towards the plants and of course I wanted him and Jessamine to admit their feelings to each other. The other thing I know is that once you find out why he's so interested in plants you'll think of him as a guy version of Poison Ivy (it's a comic reference yay!).
I was in love with the way that he was so willing to do anything for Jessamine when she became sick and the way we end up learning why Weed finds the Poison Garden just evil. The plants in there are just cruel and evil.
With there being a Prince of Poison, a Poison Realm and there being so much death and sorrow in the story (there are still lots of cute and happy parts though despite all the poison!) I found it to be an interesting Gothic read with a cute male lead and a girl who just wants to go into the forbidden garden and prove that she's grown up to her father. I only found one downfall with the story and it was the reason I had to stop reading for a minute or so. It was the way that I had to consult a dictionary for certain words that I had no clue what they were. I absolutely hate having to stop reading a great story because of having to find out what a word means, but it is in the Victorian ages after all *shrugs*. I did get curious and ended up Googling some of the poisonous plants to see what they looked like during the parts that were in Weed's point of view. I would recommend this to anybody who wants to read a book that is Gothic, dark and has a twist (I love twists) that you most likely won't see coming.
Now go and get it. It was pretty awesome.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 31, 2013
CAN'T PUT IT DOWN
I got this book as a gift to myself the title alone was an attention grabber.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
As I read this book i found myself fasinated by each character. I was emotionaly pulled in & fighting with & for Jessmine & Weed. Cant wait to read the next installment, judt feel like pulling my hair out waiting
Posted September 21, 2011
The Poison Diaries is an entrancing, quick read that is one part fable, one part fairy tale (sans fairies) and one part love story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Jessamine's father, Thomas, (as you read in the blurb) is an apothecary. He maintains several different gardens, including: one to feed himself and his daughter (veggies),one for medicinal purposes (herbs) and also one for research (the Poison Garden). Initially, we are not allowed to peek into the mysterious "Poison Garden" because Thomas forbids his daughter to enter for fear of her safety.
The beginning narrative of The Poison Diaries mirrors the glimpses of nature we are allowed to see. The tone is light and breezy while we are surrounded by chamomile, lavender and daises. Into this springtime bliss enters Weed (your typical Love Interest: handsome, glowing eyes, mysterious, thoughtful, weird name, enamoured of heroine....). Does it spoil the story for you to say Jessamine and Weed fall in love? Didn't think so.
In the latter half of The Poison Diaries, we get to enter the Poison Garden (finally) and here's where things take a dark turn. Again, mirroring the background garden against which this part of the story is set, the tone is dark, sinister, cruel and deadly once we are surrounded by belladonna, foxglove and oleander.
The Poison Diaries addresses the nature (pun intended) of life, love, death and deception in a masterful way. The only drawback might be that the ending is not wrapped with a bow. I would like to say that, "neither is real life" and think that is the reason it left off the way it did. However, the truth is: the ending is a good old-fashioned cliff-hanger to keep you coming back for the sequel being released this October.
Well, then it worked Ms. Wood and Duchess, I can't wait to see what you have on store for Jessamine, Weed and Co. next.
Posted July 3, 2011
The Poison Diaries was a great book. I loved it. This book starts out great and finishes with bang. I can't wait until the next installment in the series and I hope that Maryrose Wood write many more books!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 19, 2011
Posted May 21, 2010
Reviewed by Melanie Foust for TeensReadToo.com
Jessamine has had a quiet existence living with her father on the outskirts of town. She's told not to associate with the townspeople by him. Thomas is the local area's apothecary. He's spent many years studying the healing power of plants. Always thirsty for knowledge.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
One day, a horse and rider come to their home. The rider, a man who owns a home for the mentally unstable, has a boy tied and laying over the saddle. He claims that the boy, called Weed, has a special knack for plants, even going so far as to say that the boy cured some residents of the institution by putting something in their tea. He can't have that, as it would ruin his business, so he's brought him to Jessamine's father in the hope that he would take him in.
At first, Weed is withdrawn, hardly talking or eating at all. Soon, Jessamine begins to bring Weed out of his shell. They spend their days together, enjoying each other's company, their friendship blossoming into something more.
In the meantime, Thomas is hungry for more information about Weed's gift. In the beginning, Thomas' curiosity seems normal. However, as time goes on, it begins to seem that Thomas has something more sinister in mind.
When things come to a head and Jessamine is put in danger, nothing is as it appears. Weed's past and the extent of his gifts come to light. Thomas will show just how far he is willing to go for the knowledge he craves, and Jessamine will see things she's never even imagined.
What a read! THE POISON DIARIES is a book that you can really fly through, full of great characters. Jessamine loves her father and her home, but she can't help feeling a bit restricted when he continues to treat her as a child. Weed has never had anyone to care for him, and he's always been treated as an outcast. Thomas is constantly engrossed in his work, seeming to only rarely bother with Jessamine. Although not neglectful, he's certainly not very talkative. Seeing Thomas flushed out a bit more as a character would have been nice, but readers will most likely be seeing him much more in the future installments of this series.
There's an abrupt change in the middle of the book, with the narration switching from Jessamine's point of view to Weed's. Although it takes a few pages to get used to, it's for the benefit of the reader. Getting things from Weed's perspective makes the story very exciting.
This is a fabulous start to what has the potential to be an amazing series. It's definitely one to watch.
Posted August 17, 2011
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