January 1, 2012

Review of The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood

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 . . .

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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. kimba88

    Great Review and I do love twists..especially if I don't see them coming. I think its great you had to look up you know something is that something old ..hahahaha!

  2. Great review! I loved this book too. I'm going to have to try and get my hands on a copy of the second instalment! New follower :)

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