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The Poison Diaries Kindle Edition
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|Length: 309 pages||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled||Page Flip: Enabled|
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Jessamine is the daughter of a healer who is famous throughout the land for his miraculous cures. Their ancient, rambling home is surrounded by gardens. Jessamine is as talented with plants as her father, but she yearns to learn more. The gated, locked up Poison Garden is forbidden. This is something she accepts, until the boy, Weed, shows up at their door. Their attraction to one another is sweet and subtle. The respect and admiration they have for one another is a strong foundation for their fledgling romance.
The mysterious Weed is charming in his innocence but almost frightening in his power as Jessamine learns of his ability to communicate with plants. More than once, I was reminded of the classic 80's film, Edward Scissorhands. Although the setting is historical, there are parallels in the fragile beauty of Weed's personality -- a throwback to that film.
Of everything in this book, the voice of Maryrose Wood stands out. The articulation of scene, of setting and of character, is beautifully crafted. I found the words to be as haunting as the story. But THE POISON DIARIES is not a fast-paced book. It does drag along in some sequences as the young lovers struggle to hold on to one another. In contrast, the evil, eerie twist in the final pages is riveting. It definitely opens the door for more books in the series.
With reservation, I have to suggest that not everyone will find this dark, romantic tale to their liking. I would have preferred a bit more cleverness in the plotting. More sharpness in the editorial eye. However, it is a thought provoking read and a unique story that readers will be relieved to find among all the clutter of cookie-cutter Young Adult fiction
Jessamine's father, Thomas, (as you read in the blurb) is an apothecary. He maintains several different gardens, including: one to feed himself and his daughter (veggies),one for medicinal purposes (herbs) and also one for research (the Poison Garden). Initially, we are not allowed to peek into the mysterious "Poison Garden" because Thomas forbids his daughter to enter for fear of her safety.
The beginning narrative of The Poison Diaries mirrors the glimpses of nature we are allowed to see. The tone is light and breezy while we are surrounded by chamomile, lavender and daises. Into this springtime bliss enters Weed (your typical Love Interest: handsome, glowing eyes, mysterious, thoughtful, weird name, enamoured of heroine....). Does it spoil the story for you to say Jessamine and Weed fall in love? Didn't think so.
In the latter half of The Poison Diaries, we get to enter the Poison Garden (finally) and here's where things take a dark turn. Again, mirroring the background garden against which this part of the story is set, the tone is dark, sinister, cruel and deadly once we are surrounded by belladonna, foxglove and oleander.
The Poison Diaries addresses the nature (pun intended) of life, love, death and deception in a masterful way. The only drawback might be that the ending is not wrapped with a bow. I would like to say that, "neither is real life" and think that is the reason it left off the way it did. However, the truth is: the ending is a good old-fashioned cliff-hanger to keep you coming back for the sequel being released this October.
Well, then it worked Ms. Wood and Duchess, I can't wait to see what you have on store for Jessamine, Weed and Co. next.
At first, this book had a slow start. I didn't really sense a lot of chemistry between Jessamine and Weed, but went with the flow. The story picks up after about the first hundred pages or so when Jessamine falls ill and Weed must go through trials to save her. The mysteries of the plants, the locked garden, and the otherworldly, spiritual being Oleander all come into play to reach the climax of the novel, but some parts were confusing. I understand that Jessamine is seeing events and Oleander though a haze of a dreamlike state due to her illness, but the way the text was written on the page made the so-called dialogue hard to follow.
The ending is open-ended, which certainly leaves room for a sequel, but I'm undecided about whether or not I'll want to read it, which pretty much says it all. The story didn't grip me and keep me interested until the very end. However, the idea is unique. I guess I wish that the expression and execution of the idea was carried out better.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a very unique story! I was so impressed, because I have never heard anything even remotely like it, and that is...Read more