The Poison Diaries

The Poison Diaries

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Overview

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 . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062001511
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/20/2010
Series: Poison Diaries , #1
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 729,692
File size: 3 MB
Age Range: 13 Years

About 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.

Read an Excerpt

The Poison Diaries


By Maryrose Wood

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2010 Maryrose Wood
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061802362

Chapter 5

30th March

The weather has shifted. The breeze is warm and full of promise.

No time to write more. I have to tend to Weed.

Today i s the first day of a new season.

It is the season of Weed.

He is not much company yet. All day and all night he hides in the coal bin, hunched and silent. Father says it must be because that is what he was accustomed to at the madhouse, but I think Father may have frightened him with his wild talk of throwing poison into wells; it is no wonder he does not wish to speak to us. So far he has refused to eat most of the food I bring, though he will drink as much water as he is offered.

I will be patient. Any wild creature can be tamed, if you are willing to wait and be still. I have learned this from the feral cats that lurk around the courtyard. They stare like yellow-eyed demons; they bolt and hide if you approach, but sooner or later, when they are hungry enough, they come and take the food from your hand.

So it will be with Weed -- but not yet. In the meantime I have decided that I will speak to him, to get him accustomed to my presence. He may not answer me at fi rst, but that is no matter. I have someone to talk to, at last! My words will be like sunshine and air. My voice will rain down on him, and then we shall see what glorious orchid may blossom from this shy, unwanted Weed.

I race through my chores in half the usual time so that I may spend the rest of the day taming my new friend. Since he will not leave the coal bin, I carry my small stool down to the cellar and sit as close as I dare.

"My name is Jessamine Luxton," I say, as a way to begin. "I am sixteen years of age. My father is Thomas Luxton, the apothecary. You met him already; he was the one that picked you up off the ground and brought you inside the cottage, after that dreadful man on horseback left you lying in the dirt like rubbish."

While I speak he stays facing away from me, his body curved around his knees as if he were encased in the hard husk of a seed.

"So," I say, nudging my stool an inch closer, "now you have met Father and me. That means you have met my whole family, for my mother is dead, and I am an only child. My father and I live alone together, here."

I see a finger twitch, flex.

"This place we live in, this house, which I call our cottage -- it is very old. Some would say it is a sacred place. The Catholic monks used to live and worship here."

He starts, and his mouth moves as if he would speak.

"Bells," he breathes.

His voice is so soft it is not even a whisper. More like the rustle of a leaf.

"Yes," I say encouragingly, in case I heard right.

"Centuries ago, in this very place, there were church bells ringing, and Mass bells, and the call to vespers. When the monastery was here there must have been bells ringing all the time."

"Bells."

I am nearly sure that is what he said, but it was so soft, a mere flutter of air. "Bells?" I repeat gently. "Do you mean Canterbury bells? They are such pretty flowers, I grow them in my cutting garden."

Weed’s whole face brightens. "Garden?" he asks, quite clearly.

Once more, those remarkable green eyes pierce me like emerald daggers. "Do you like gardens? We have many," I say in a rush. "In the kitchen gardens I grow all our vegetables and herbs for the table, and there is a small orchard for fruit, and a bee garden so the bees will make delicious honey, and a dye garden so I can make dyes to color the wool. And Father has his apothecary garden of plants that he uses to make medicines and cures -- but we may not enter there, for Father’s work is secret, and many of those plants are poison -- "

"Jessamine!" Father stands silhouetted at the top of the cellar stairs. "What on earth are you telling that boy?"

"Nothing -- "

"Do not lie, Jessamine. I heard you speaking. A person cannot speak nothing."

"I am sorry, Father. I should have said, ‘Nothing of importance,’" I reply with false cheer, to cover the shame I feel at being scolded in front of Weed. "I was telling Weed about us, and our home, and about the gardens -- he ought to know where he is, and in whose care, oughtn’t he?"

Father ignores my reply. "Bring the boy upstairs to my study. I wish to speak to him." Then he leaves, letting the door close behind him. The shaft of daylight coming down the stairwell is snuffed out.

I take a deep breath to compose myself and give my eyes time to adjust to the sudden darkness. Then I make myself smile reassuringly at Weed. "Father can be stern, but you mustn’t be frightened of him. Will you come upstairs?"

I extend my hand. Weed takes it and rises gracefully to his feet, unfolding his long legs in a single fluid motion. The dim light gives his pale face an ethereal beauty that takes my breath away -- the dark, unkempt hair, his wide, impossibly green eyes, his weightless form as willowy as a sapling.

"Come," I say, steadying my voice. "Perhaps he will let you see the belladonna berries; they are quite lovely. He keeps some in a jar on the shelf."

"Belladonna," Weed says, looking at me so intensely his green eyes nearly light up the dark. "A beautiful lady."

I know he does not mean me, but I blush anyway, and go first up the stairs so he cannot see my scarlet face.



Continues...

Excerpted from The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood Copyright © 2010 by Maryrose Wood. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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“Lyrical and lovely, a fast-paced literary gem.”—

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Poison Diaries 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
Awesomeness1 More than 1 year ago
Sixteen-year-old Jessamine lives with her father, an apothecary, in an abandoned church she calls "the cottage". Her father's obsession is a forbidden garden where he keeps deadly and poisonous plants from around the world. Jessamine lives a boring life- taking care of her father and the plants, writing in her journal, doing household chores. Until a stranger shows up at her home with a present for her father. The present is Weed, a strange and introverted boy, whom with Jessamine builds a friendship, and later, a romance. Weed has a secret, though: plants communicate with him, and he is especially wary of the Poison Garden. But when Jessamine falls inexplicably ill, its up to Weed to unlock the secret of the dangerous garden in order to save her life. 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.
NikiAmanda More than 1 year ago
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) 5/5
GirlintheStacks More than 1 year ago
I have been looking forward to reading this book. The plot sounded so intriguing. How could I resist a historical fiction centered on a poison garden ( I <3 gardens,) based on a real garden. Really, it's my cup of tea. However, much to my chagrin I really did not like it. Jessamine is a sixteen-year-old girl who lives in a cottage with her apothecary gardener father Thomas, near Alnwick Castle. They live an isolated life, only called on when there is a need for a cure for the sick. When not needed they tend their gardens, however there is one garden Jessamine is not allowed. The Poison Garden. Things change when they are asked to take in an orphan, Weed. Weed is a troubled young man who has a peculiar gift that Thomas envies and Jessamine finds herself drawn to. There were really lots of things I liked about this book, but at the same time I didn't like them. For example, I liked the plot. I didn't like certain elements of the plots though. There were several times I thought characters were out of character, I was actually embarrassed for them for their actions. The end explains the character mishaps, but really it had me cringing. I liked the characters, however I found them to be boring. Jessamine was probably the most boring. She really doesn't do anything in the book except garden, sew and cook. Weed is a very intersecting character with an extraordinary gift. It is the gift though that I had a hard time finding believable. I wish his character had been fleshed out more, more on his past and more about his ability. The most entertaining character in the book was Thomas, Jessamine's father. He is secretive, very secretive and all together not good. He is a trickster, only wanting to further his interests. What really got me was the last quarter of the book. It was "far out there.' I thought it completely different from the rest of the book. The ending was also abrupt and not satisfactory. All in all, this may be a great read for a twelve-year-old girl, but not for this thirty-something gal.
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
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.
Aik More than 1 year ago
Poison Diaries is a special story about plants, love and poison. Enchanting and deadly, it will surely lure you into its realms, a place filled with useful, beneficial herbs as well as the most dangerous and poisonous plants, a place where the fates of two souls intertwined. Jessamine Luxton has never been away from the ancient stone chapel she calls home, or her estranged father who seems more interested in the plants in his apothecary than his own daughter. Her life was boring; she has no friends or anyone to talk to. However, this situation changed when Weed arrived. Weed is a most fascinating character ¿ he has an uncanny ability which he keeps hidden for fear of being intolerated by most people. He shuts himself to the world, but a new understanding was born when he met Jessamine, who showered him with love and kindness. The book was realistic at the beginning, but later it shifted towards the paranormal, when the Prince of Poison, Oleander suddenly gained power to communicate with Jessamine, who was in a delirium due to her strange sickness. The story became so dark and twisted, and the villains so cruel and wicked that it was almost impossible for the young lovers to survive. Albeit I had some problems with the starting chapters of the book, I managed to delve into the story following the arrival of Weed, and it kept my attention until the last page. Maryrose Wood¿s writing is atmospheric and beautiful, and she cleverly presents an unexpected twist at the end of the novel. Overall, Poison Diaries is a captivating read, though I personally feel the pacing of the novel can be further improved.
rebecca_herman More than 1 year ago
Sixteen-year-old Jessamine Luxton lives at Hulne Abbey, in a cottage with her apothecary father, not far from Alnwick Castle in 18th century England. Her mother died when she was young and since then she has grown up in the isolated cottage. Jessamine is interested in her father's work growing plants but he will not allow her to assist him for fear the poisonous plants will harm her. Instead her days are filled with the work of housekeeping and growing the herb and vegetable gardens. 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.
tattoogirlreads on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was so lucky to get this from the Poison Diaries team. I am now a steadfast Poison Diaries fan and not so patiently waiting for the third installment. This book is darker and a little racier then the first. Weed is awesome but my tastes sometimes run a little darker so I have the biggest book crush on Oleander the poison king! And Jessamine, our little heroine isn't so pure now, is she? I think that was a big move on Maryrose Wood to take her female lead to such a dark place.How many times can I mention dark in this review? I don't know it's just so necessary. I think Wood needs to take a stab at horror because while it wasn't scary, the ending had some definitely creep out value to it. Such an amazing ending!
summerskris on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nightshade is better--darker--than the first book. Jessamine and Weed's lives have been complicated by many factors, and now they are separated. Desperate to be reunited with Weed and tired of living with her treacherous father, Jessamine allows Prince Oleander to slowly poison her mind with his tantalizing words. Angry with himself, Weed seeks solace in the forest until it brings word that something has changed with Jessamine. There is definitely a lot more action in this story than in book one. Jessamine travels the country on Oleander's orders, fueled by the promise that Oleander will lead her to Weed if she listens to him. Broken, she places her hopes in the belief that everything will be all right once she is in Weed's arms again. It is heartbreaking to watch her lose herself even as she believes she is heading towards salvation. Weed is now the one that I find strongest. Though he still has some doubt in himself, Weed has grown into a self-assured young man. While Jessamine falls deeper into the darkness, he is there searching for a way to save her from Oleander, and he is the one making someone of himself and finding his own identity. I love how the book is two from the alternating perspectives of Jessamine and Weed. As Jessamine's narrative grew darker and more disturbing, Weed's voice was always there to balance it with his brightness. In fact, the dual narrative served to heighten the contrast between the two, and it tore me to pieces that the two are so far apart. I have no idea what will happen to them in the future and can't wait to see how it all ends!
nbmars on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Note: There are no spoilers in this review.Jessamine Luxton, 16, lives alone with her father Thomas, who is an apothecary and healer in the 1700¿s in Northumberland, England. Her father lets her help with tending and preparing healing herbs and flowers, but will not allow her into his locked garden of poisonous plants. He is obsessed with discovering anecdotes to the poisons, suspecting that formulae once existed. When he finds out that a local orphan known as Weed has a special knack with herbs and plants, he takes him in, hoping Weed has the secrets he so obsessively seeks.Weed soon falls for the beautiful and lonely Jessamine, who recognizes his goodness and reciprocates his affection. But before long Jessamine is struck by a mysterious malady and is close to death. As her father and Weed struggle to save her, the truth about her illness is revealed, and the lines between healing and poison, life and death, and good and evil, become inextricably blurred.Evaluation: This book has a Gothic, sinister tone with fantasical aspects overlaying the sweet, coming-of-age young love story. It is book one of a trilogy, so you will want to have the second volume on hand, since it ends in a bit of a cliffhanger.
hrose2931 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This Gothic tale takes place in Northern England in the middle of nowhere. Jessamine and her father live in a burned out crumbling abbey. As I read it I imagined dirt floors and crumbling stone, wind blowing through the chimney and an eternal chill in the place. Jessamine is lonely, her father doesn't speak to her unless it's to say he's leaving and her only companions are her diary and her plants. But not the secret garden. She knows about it, but her father keeps it locked and she is not allowed in, even at the age of sixteen.But things change when Weed shows up, dumped on their doorstep because the owner of the local asylum is angry that he's curing his patients. Jessamine's father takes him in wanting to know his secrets, but Weed has none. No formulas to give. The plants just speak to him. Slowly a relationship forms between Jessamine and Weed and finally Jessamine's loneliness is replaced with something she's missed since her mother died.Jessamine and Weed are both innocent and naive about the ways of the world and what power will do to a person. They soon find out. Jessamine falls very ill and Weed will do anything to cure her. And such is the way with Gothic novels, the two young lovers are split apart tragically.There is a paranormal element to this novel I've not seen before, a living breathing poisonous prince. Created by the secret garden, the collection of the plants there, Prince Oleander rises to power and uses Weed and Jessamine for his own purposes.I really enjoyed this first book in the series and was so glad to have the second, Nightshade, right on hand to start as soon as I finished this one. Anyone that loves Gothic novels, ya paranormal, and just a good ya novel will enjoy this novel.
bookwyrmm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What surprised me the most about The Poison Diaries is how atmospheric it was. The mood was set from the very first page and never strayed. Very dark and intense and a wonderful quick, engaging, and very unique read. The twist at the end was riveting, and I cannot wait to see what happens next.
OBoyledBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
stephxsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jessamine lives alone with her father. Her father is an apothecarian and botanist obsessed with unraveling the secrets of plants. He forbids Jessamine to enter the poison garden, in which he keeps all the most dangerous plants he has managed to acquire from around the world.Then a strange boy is dumped on their doorstep. The boy, who goes by the name of Weed, is peculiar, with a nearly miraculous sensitivity to plants. He seems frightened of the poison garden, calling it an unnatural collection that can do no good. Yet as Jessamine and Weed fall in love, they are drawn into the poison garden in more horrifying ways than they can imagine¿Just when you think it¿s all been done before, here comes Maryrose Wood to blow everything out of the water. THE POISON DIARIES is the start of an ambitious series that combines history, magic, romance, and evil into a fast yet resonant read.THE POISON DIARIES unfortunately starts out rather slow and off-putting. The writing feels a bit stilted, the setup hard to believe. Jessamine was unappealingly weak, and her father difficult to define in his hardness and obsessiveness. I honestly did put the book down a number of times in the first fifty or so pages.But I¿m glad I stuck with it. With the arrival of Weed, we are slowly but surely pulled into their mysterious, slightly terrifying, but definitely enthralling world where evil comes in more forms than we can imagine. Weed is captivating from the start, and he slowly develops into a character we not only wish to observe but also sympathize with.I don¿t want to give any spoilers, but the back third of the book definitely makes up for its less than stellar start. You will find it impossible to put down at this point, horrified yet also fascinated at the way events are unfolding, and be impressed that Maryrose Wood has come up with this crazy-cool concept.THE POISON DIARIES ends rather abruptly, which feels slightly gimmicky but will definitely induce readers to grab the next book when it comes out. Overall, Maryrose Wood¿s new series is a departure from her previous books, not as solid and masterful as the unique premise could be, but an entertaining and gripping read nevertheless. This book is definitely worth the look!
khager on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book (which is based on a concept by the Duchess of Northumberland) is about Jessamine, who lives with her father. Her father is known as a healer and has several gardens--all but one of which Jessamine is allowed to enter. The forbidden garden is his apothecary garden (also known as the garden of poison). One day, a stranger comes to "give" them an orphan who goes by Weed. And, of course, Weed has a secret.This is a very interesting story, one that reads like a fairy tale. I received one other book of hers at BEA, and I'm interested to compare the two.
Awesomeness1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sixteen-year-old Jessamine lives with her father, an apothecary, in an abandoned church she calls "the cottage". Her father's obsession is a forbidden garden where he keeps deadly and poisonous plants from around the world. Jessamine lives a boring life- taking care of her father and the plants, writing in her journal, doing household chores. Until a stranger shows up at her home with a present for her father. The present is Weed, a strange and introverted boy, whom with Jessamine builds a friendship, and later, a romance. Weed has a secret, though: plants communicate with him, and he is especially wary of the Poison Garden. But when Jessamine falls inexplicably ill, its up to Weed to unlock the secret of the dangerous garden in order to save her life. 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.
YAaddict on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I received The Poison Diaries in the mail for review, it was my first time hearing about the book. I read the premise and was intrigued, so I was excited to get started. I have to admit it took me a while to get into this one. The beginning is slow. I also had to get used to the "voice" of the main character. But once the story got going, I really enjoyed it.I felt bad for Jessamine. Her mother died, and all she has is her father, Thomas. But Thomas was so caught up in his work and his thirst for knowledge, Jessamine was left on the back burner. She had no interaction with anyone really. Her father was afraid others would just push Jessamine for information on his work. Yea, Thomas really pissed me off. And his true colors didn't even show until closer to the end. It was when Weed showed up that it started to get good. Weed was very reserved, but slowly started to open up to Jessamine. I really enjoyed the time these two had getting to know each other, and falling in love. To me, one of the best parts of falling in love is when you realize you can tell the other person anything. Even the things you hold closest to your heart. Seeing this between Weed and Jessamine was very sweet. By the middle of the book, the point view starts switching between Jessamine's and Weed's. That was a good thing. It really added to the story to see where Weed was at, and how he felt.I loved the setting for this story. Jessamine and her father live in an isolated cottage in the remains of in old monastery. With the descriptions of the cottage, the gardens, and the surrounding lands, I had a beautiful and enchanting picture playing in my head. The writing style for this story seemed to be geared towards more of a younger audience, but I enjoyed it all the same.The ending was the most exciting part. That was where the action was. It definitely leaves you thirsting for more. This was a quick and fun read for me. It's the perfect kind of read when you want to just relax and enjoy a good book. In the next book, I hope to see more inside of Thomas' character. I'd like to know more about this intriguing mad man. With The Poison Diaries' unique idea and likable characters, I found it to be a great start to a promising series.
horomnizon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jessamine has lived a pretty sheltered life. She takes care of the gardens around the home she shares with her father, except for the Poison Garden, where he will not allow her to go. He makes herbal remedies and studies the uses of the plants he collects from around the world. One day, a man drops off a boy called Weed who has himself been known to heal (and make people crazy) using plants - he thinks that Jessamine's father might find him of interest and he's right.But Weed won't tell them how he knows what the plants can be used for. As Weed and Jessamine grow closer, he confides in her that the plants talk to him - he is constantly bombarded with their voices. She loves him and believes him, but their relationship is tested when her father asks Weed to enter the Poison Garden and tell him what he knows about the plants there. Events take an interesting turn and it becomes a race for Weed to save Jessamine's life.I see reviews that think the book starts out slow and gets better and ones that think it is good at the beginning and goes south. I tend to fall into thinking with the latter - I liked the beginning and the growth of their relationship better than the ending. Once Weed enters the Poison Garden, it just got a bit too hokey for me. I'm not sure this will be a bestselling series - I can't imagine it having great appeal, but I'm sure there are plenty of young girls who will enjoy the romance aspect. I'm not longing for a sequel. The writing was well done, but I didn't enjoy this story, even though the characters were mostly likable and I did have a small tug to wish for a happy ending for Weed and Jessamine. I don't want to spoil the ending, so I'll just vaguely say that I didn't care for the coldness of the father in the end. It didn't seem completely out of character, but it didn't quite mesh with earlier comparisons either....I think he could have been better developed earlier on to make the 'twist' a little more believable.
BookAddictDiary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Poison Diaries tells the story of young Jessamine, an innocent young woman who has spent her entire life isolated from the world in her father's cottage with little else beside her garden to keep her company. Jessamine's father is the local healer, a master of herbal cures and poisons concocted from plants. When Weed, a mysterious young man who claims he can talk to plants, comes to live with Jessamine and her father, an expected romance blooms between the two. However, after Jessamine falls ill, it's up to Weed to use his knowledge of poisons, and his supernatural skills, to save her.This novel is pretty much summed in the above paragraph -it's incredibly simple and well, certainly not too original. The basic plot is a romance turned into a "save the girl" scenario, which I found to be boring and well, not quite what I expected after I read the summary. I guess I was hoping for a heroine who is not quite such a damsel in distress, but instead Jessamine is very passive and fairly uninteresting. Plus, near the end of the novel the story shifts to focus more on Weed than on Jessamine.That brings me to another issue I had with this novel. The action is incredibly uneven and there is virtually no conflict for the majority of the story. For about the first 200 pages readers learn about the growing romance between Jessamine and Weed with virtually no conflict until there is one tiny blurb of concern with the father -which is quickly waved away barely 10 pages later.The last seventy-ish pages of the book is where things final start to get interesting. The point of view, which had been first-person through the eyes of Jessamine to this point, suddenly shifts to first-person through the eyes of Weed, which is confusing and jarring to the reader. However, this change fuels an interesting and unexpected twist at the end that nearly saves the novel.Obviously written as the first installment in a series, The Poison Diaries is ideal for young adult paranormal romance readers, and particularly for fans of Twilight, but it just didn't work for me with its overdone cliche concepts and overly simply plot.
Bookswithbite on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the beginning it was slow. At first I almost gave up in the book, then I hit chapter four, thats when things really started to get interesting. It certainly did pick up when Weed, started to do strange things. I was very intrigued from the start.Now, this book was written well, and the plot, drama was great. In the end, it had some very unexpected surprises and I really need to know what happens next.....like NOW!The Poison Diaries is what it is, poison. It seeps into you forcing you to finish the book no matter what. It was definitely a must read. I also like the fact how everything was well put together. The characters were great as well as the time period. I love to read books that are old fashioned talk. There is just something sexy about it.Also, it may be a little hard to read if you don't like reading book that are in the past, and it did take a little time to get to the good part.All in all, this was a very great, intriguing read. I often wondered a lot about plants, and I now know more now, then what I knew then. The paranormal element in this book is good. It is something different and unique.
JRlibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although beautifully written, and demonstrating a thorough knowledge of poisonous plants, I really don't feel like students would enjoy this book at all. It starts out quite interesting, but the ending where the plants are talking is really dull. Not putting it out on the shelves because I think it will just take up space.
LauraT81 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the second book of The Poison Diaries, Nightshade, Jessamine is under the Prince of Poisons influence, and will do anything he says if it will lead her to beloved, Weed...even murder.I liked the first book well enough to see what was in store for the two lovers, but for me, Nightshade was a disappointment. Jessamine becomes so flawed that she is weak and unlikeable, while, thankfully, Weed's character improves. This sequel, though sensuous, is all doom and gloom.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
I got this book as a gift to myself the title alone was an attention grabber. 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
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.