Available in the US July 20th, 2010.
Already available in the UK and AU.
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 . . .
Character Development: 8/10
Overall Enjoyment: 9/10
Total Score: 66/70
Obtained: Free ARC provided by author.
Age Appropriate? PG
Alcohol, Drugs, etc: Some drinking and drunkenness.
Sexual Content: Nothing too bad at all. Some discussion, one hazy scene that almost counts, but nothing to be weary of.
Disturbing Images/Violence: Some scenes of death, madness, and violence. But very little.
This book was an enchanting, smooth read from beginning to end. Filled with magic, mystery, danger, romance, adventure, and a glorious setting, The Poison Diaries was difficult to put down. With a fascinating cast of characters who are constantly growing, changing, revealing more about themselves, and surprising the reader, Maryrose Wood creates a world where plants are characters themselves--sometimes sweet and gentle, sometimes evil and manipulative.
Though written in diary format with each chapter being a new entry, I found The Poison Diaries to be a lot easier to read than most diary-style books. Jessamine's voice, though suitable for the time period, flowed well and really submerged the reader in her world. That, in addition to the absorbing plot and action of the story, makes it obvious that this is the work of a highly talented writer.
I recommend this book to all who crave a fascinating English adventure this summer that will leave you thinking about it long after you put it down. Though not a light and happy read, it is riddled with meaning and vivid plant imagery. Read it.
Maryrose Wood's site
Poison Diaries site
Interview with Maryrose Wood
Poison Diaries Trailer
Alnwick Castle (Duchess of Northumberland's home and part of the setting of the novel)
Alnwick Garden (Duchess of Northumberland's famous gardens and the inspiration for the novel)