Mini-Review - The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood

Thursday August 5, 2010

The Poison Diaries
by Maryrose Wood with The Duchess of Northumberland
B+B (HarperCollins)
Released July 20, 2010
Goodreads Summary: 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.…

Review: I am a huge fan of Maryrose Wood and her first series that began with Why I Let My Hair Grow Out , a funny YA series that has been very popular in my library. The author's latest release, The Poison Diaries is a definite departure from her early teen offerings and delves into historical fiction with the help of The Duchess of Northumberland who is the current resident at Alnwick Castle (a trivia note here that Alnwick Castle is the castle used in the Harry Potter movies as Hogwarts.) The Duchess has grown one of the worlds largest and most beautiful gardens at Alnwick Castle and it includes a poison garden which was the inspiration for this book. Read more about the garden HERE

The setting for the story is a cottage near Alnwick Castle  and is told mainly by Jessamine Luxson whose life revolves around her apothecary father and his forbidden poison garden. When the mysterious orphan Weed enters her somewhat lonely and uneventful life, everything changes. Weed has a special ability when it comes plants and Jessamine is drawn to him. A black cloud seems to hang over their developing romance in the form of Jessamine's father who is determined to use Weed for his own ambitions. 
When Jessamine mysteriously falls ill, Weed is determined to find a cure but must battle for his love with with the Oleander plant, the prince of the poison garden who visits Jessamine in her dreams and entices to let go of life and join him in her death. The mystery of who is behind Jessamine's illness, Weed's mysterious past,  the star-crossed lovers and the eventual love triangle create the setting for a gripping YA Gothic Romance.  

The first in a project trilogy, The Poison Diaries is sure to please lovers of historical fiction, fantasy and fans of the tragic love story. Appropriate for ages 12 and up.


Lorielle said...

I've been wanting to read this! Thanks for the awesome review.