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Nightshade (Poison Diaries Series)

Nightshade (Poison Diaries Series)

4.0 8
by Maryrose Wood, The Duchess of Northumberland

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Sixteen-year-old Jessamine Luxton is heartbroken. Her true love, Weed, the strange but intriguing young man who came into her life so suddenly, has disappeared. How could he have left her with no farewell, and no word since?

Jessamine may not know why Weed vanished, but she does suspect that her own father, Thomas, may have had something to do with it. Thomas,


Sixteen-year-old Jessamine Luxton is heartbroken. Her true love, Weed, the strange but intriguing young man who came into her life so suddenly, has disappeared. How could he have left her with no farewell, and no word since?

Jessamine may not know why Weed vanished, but she does suspect that her own father, Thomas, may have had something to do with it. Thomas, who was so obsessed with Weed’s secret knowledge of dangerous plants that he would do anything to learn it. This suspicion—and her experiences with poisons—has changed her. She is no longer innocent, and now she has her own intimate knowledge of the power of the plants.

So when Jessamine learns that Weed is alive, she will do whatever it takes to be reunited with him.

She is, after all, her father’s daughter. . . .

Editorial Reviews

Ally Carter
Praise for THE POISON DIARIES: Lyrical and lovely, a fast-paced literary gem.
Children's Literature - Julia Beiker
The young apothecary, Jassamine, trains to help others with their ills while her father toils in his special garden of plants that when administered have the potential to kill. This garden leaks poison into his soul, and he teeters between good and evil. Evidentially evil wins. While still innocent to the poisonous garden, Jassamine must protect mankind and makes a major decision that changes her life when she defends herself and leaves home in search of the love of her life, Weed. Weed creates his own destiny while backtracking to Jassamine. Although the plot twists and turns in the right places, the switching back and forth between Jassamine and Weed creates confusion mainly because the characters' voices are not distinct enough until the reader recognizes the scenery and storyline. I did appreciate the gradual changes and struggles for Jassamine as she fights for her soul and soul mate. The originality of the story allows for a distinctive audience of young readers that is intrigued by historical fiction combined with the usage of old fashioned plants like the poisonous nightshade. This book is part of the "Poisonous Diary" trilogy. Reviewer: Julia Beiker
VOYA - Lindsay Grattan
The second book in Wood's planned trilogy begins with Jessamine recounting her illness and how her true love, Weed, has left her. Now that she is well, she has taken over her father's healing practice and taught herself the curing properties of plants. Jessamine soon suspects that her father has played a role in Weed's disappearance, and upon reading his journal, she learns that he is responsible for the illness that almost killed her, and for her own mother's death, by using them as guinea pigs for his poisons. Jessamine turns the tables on him and mixes up a poisonous concoction of her own. She is aided by the Prince of Poison himself, Oleander. After she kills her father, Jessamine sets off to do Oleander's bidding with the hope that he will lead her to Weed. This historical novel leads the reader on a dark journey as Jessamine falls deeper under the evil Oleander's spell. What began as a quest to be reunited with her love leads her to Oleander's ultimate request—to kill King George III. The action in the story is well paced, and readers will appreciate how toughened Jessamine has become since the first book. She is no longer a sheltered, dutiful girl but has gained life experience and a determination reminiscent of many young adult female heroines. There is less romance in the sequel as the characters battle with good and evil, and the reader is left to wonder if Jessamine has been lost to Oleander forever. Reviewer: Lindsay Grattan
Kirkus Reviews

Second of three, this fine paranormal gothic continues the tortured journeys of estranged teenage lovers Jessamine Luxton, a healer, and Weed, an orphan who communicates with plants.

Jessamine, possessed by preternatural Prince Oleander, poisons both her father (a murderous apothecary) and—collaterally—a visitor, Mr. Pratt. She flees Hulne Cottage; Weed arrives, sets the scene of destruction afire and pursues her. Oleander, who malevolently subverts Jessamine's innocence to engender his dominion, bargains her increasing submission for a vaguely promised reunion with Weed. She's transformed into a dissolute poisoner-for-hire and laudanum-addicted prostitute. Enmeshed in a plot to assassinate King George in Italy, Jessamine arrives in Padua. Weed has journeyed there, too, after fruitlessly searching England. Seeking clues about Jessamine from the wise plants in the University's Orto Botanico, he finds an extraordinary ally in the beautifully characterized Signora Baglioni, head gardener and keeper of a secret library of rare cross-cultural plant lore. Weed and Jessamine alternate narration, the pace of both accelerating desperately. Good and evil entwine at the King's debauched costume party, and Oleander's voice intrudes in a penultimate, riveting scene.

Promising Weed's continued pursuit (and, hopefully, reviving the intriguing issue of Mr. Luxton's poisoning), part three's sure to levy as much page-turning enthrallment as its predecessors. (Paranormal romance. 13 & up)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Poison Diaires Series
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)
HL720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 Years

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Meet the Author

Maryrose Wood is the author of the first five books (so far!) in this series about the Incorrigible children and their governess. These books may be considered works of fiction, which is to say, the true bits and the untrue bits are so thoroughly mixed together that no one should be able to tell the difference. This process of fabrication is fully permitted under the terms of the author's Poetic License, which is one of her most prized possessions.

Maryrose's other qualifications for writing these tales include a scandalous stint as a professional thespian, many years as a private governess to two curious and occasionally rambunctious pupils, and whatever literary insights she may have gleaned from living in close proximity to a clever but disobedient dog.

Jane Northumberland is married to the twelfth Duke of Northumberland and is mistress of Alnwick Castle. The earls and dukes of Northumberland have lived in Alnwick Castle for seven hundred years. The Duchess has spent the last fourteen years creating beautiful public gardens in the grounds of the castle and, because of her fascination with and knowledge of poisons, has created the world-famous Poison Garden. Alnwick Castle and the Alnwick Garden are the most popular tourist destinations in the north of England, attracting more than 800,000 visitors each year.

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Nightshade 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the book its a twisted journey and serious journey can't wait for the 3rd book cause I just can't wait hope it's good and enjoyable as the 1st and 2nd books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not the biggest fan of this book, because the heroine makes some choices that makes me dislike her quite a bit. I read the previous one and I liked it, but now the book has turned very dark (not in a twilight, beautiful creatures) kind of way. However, if you want to read a book about a girl being manipulated and brain-washed by evil than you'll love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
Aik More than 1 year ago
Nightshade picks up where Poison Diaries end. Now awaken, Jessamine is heartbroken to find out that Weed has left, his whereabouts unknown. Her father tells her about how Weed, feeling helpless, left her to die because he knew that he could not save her. However, Jessamine doubts her father¿s words, for when she was in a delirium, the Prince of Poison, Oleander had shown her everything. When she finds out the truth behind her mother¿s death, she wants to get revenge¿ and no other way is better than using what she knows best: poison. After she gets a taste of revenge, she flees from the place she once called home in a quest to search for Weed. On the journey, Oleander seduces her to do bad things and causes her to degrade both mentally and morally. She changes into a whole new person: a beautiful, seductive and heartless woman called Belladonna. (Sounds familiar? Yes, that is the name of the deadly plant which her father planted in the Poison Garden.) Weed, on the other hand, embarks on a journey to search for his beloved Jessamine, and eventually reaches Italy. He learns about a plot to overthrow the King and set the world in chaos, and he knows that the perfect medium for killing the King is poison. He is determined to stop this from happening. In this installment, the story turns toward the dark side. It is fast-paced, gripping and infused with elements of fantasy, but there is some confusion between the narratives as the point of view shifts from Jessamine to Weed and then back again. Nightshade ends drastically, leaving readers anticipating the final book in the Poison Diaries trilogy.
ParaBooks More than 1 year ago
I have to admit, I didn't read the first book, THE POISON DIAREIS, but now I have to. I need to see how Jessamine and Weed fell in love, and understand more of her relationship with her father. But, I do think you can dive into the second book without having read the first. It's easy to see where the story started and get to know the characters. I can envision Jessamine being very timid and accommodating, maybe almost weak, in the first book. I'm glad she wasn't like that in this one. She was dark and disturbed. She was taunted and pulled along by a dark force, Prince Oleander. This is the kind of story that I get lost in. I loved the poetry of the writing, and the haunting feel, the wickedness and the history. Jessamine is in a very dark place, being seduced and lured in by Oleander, and she's full of guilt. She chases the guilt away by deadening her senses and finding oblivion in Absinthe. And as the prince continues to feed her lies and mold her into an assassin, Weed searches for her. He's not giving up on her. I would have liked them to find each other a little sooner in the book, but I loved how this story ended. **Spoiler* Except for Jessamine giving herself to the king. I know it was necessary, but I would have liked her to stay true to Weed. I'm a hopeless romantic.* This story was imaginative and gripping and never let me go. It only makes me wonder what will happen next and how the author will conclude the series. I'm hoping for a resolution for Jessamine and Weed, a way for them to purge themselves of all the evil they've committed and find a way to be together . . . but, I also wouldn't be disappointed with a darker twist ending. I just can't wait to find out what happens next. I can only say, if you're looking for a story full of dark passion and lyrical writing, this is an amazing series. Recommended for older readers of YA: Sex, murder, and drug use.
Icecream18 More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the Poison Diaries Series. The reader will enjoy finding out what happened to Jessamine and Weed. The novel begins innocently enough, Jessamine has recovered from her devastating fever and remains in the cottage with her father, wondering where Weed is and if he truly abandoned her. Weed has been warned away from Jessamine by Jessamine's cold-hearted father. This book contains twists and many thorns. Jessamine will discover several lurid secrets and Weed will make a final decision regarding his true nature. Several new character are introduced to the reader with the most integral being Rye. Rye will become Jessamine's diversion and possible "special someone." The characters in this novel are dynamic. Jessamine's character develops further, she finds that she might not be "all good." Weed attempts to create a useful talent from his unusual ability with plants. The story alternates as the reader follows first Jessamine's and then Weed's point of view. The secondary characters serve to round out the novel, the reader will enjoy getting to know some of them and prefer not to know some others. The authors' style of writing is incredibly fluid and manages to incorporate many plant allusions and adjectives. The reader will form an easy connection to the likable main characters as well. This book is highly recommended to teens/young adults.
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the change in the characters. It was not the turn most characters take, but I loved that the author surprised me with something real. The plot line picks up right where it left off. Both characters are now on the run, and the king is now running the show. I loved how the plot kept the reader going. It was intense and full of so much new information that I was just taking it all in. What I really liked it how dark the book got. So many dark emotions and thoughts. As the reader, you filled with angry and rage. Learning the secrets that was held back from the characters for years, made it easy for the reader to see. Ms. Wood did a great job in taking every detailed emotions fueling it in her writing. The best part of this story is the king. I was glad to see things from his point of view. It was a very interesting point of view, I might add. Seeing him play two different sides really perked up my interest. The ending was what I expected and not so. What the king did at the end, left me gasping. Nightshade, darkly written plagued me to finish it to the end. So many new turns, dark feelings, and the taste of poison lied in my mouth. If you want to enjoy a whole new spin on plants read this book.
KimballSK More than 1 year ago
If you have read my review of The Poison Diaries, then you already know that the cliff-hanger at the end of the first novel had me clamouring for the second right away. I can tell you with my whole heart that it was worth it! Nightshade does not disappoint. Questions get answered, more questions are posed and thrilling international treachery ensues. Have you ever thought you were having the worst day, month, year ever, only to have it get worse? Like, maybe you stub your toe, get a flat tire and lose your wallet and you think that your life is over. Only to later break your leg, drive your car in a lake and lose your job. You then find yourself looking longingly back at the good ol' days when you could fix your problems with a phone call to AAA. Poor Jessamine, just when you thought she was put through the ringer in The Poison Diaries...( please...you don't know from tough times!) In Nightshade the darkness the Wood and The Dutchess hinted at in their first book come to fore with a vengence. Nightshade explores the dark and very dangerous natures of Jessamine and Weed and hints at what sacrifices might be necessary for their redemption. Of course, just as in The Poison Diaries, the cliffhanger at the end is amazing (amazing if you like to be tortured at the thought of not knowing the resolution for another year or so, Ugh!) Overall, Nightshade is a beautiful, fast paced, heartbreaking read. Drop everything and pick up this series, stat!