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The Poison Diaries Paperback – June 21, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Jessamine begs her father to let her help him with either his healing work or his poison garden, but he insists the former is too gruesome and the latter too dangerous. Instead, he relegates her to being his housekeeper, which involves maintaining three gardens of her own, for vegetables, herbs and dye plants, as well as sewing, cooking, cleaning, and caring for their small collection of farm animals. Her father is often gone for days at a time treating sick people, and when he is home he rarely talks to her, to the point that Jessamine worries that she has forgotten how to speak. Then one day Tobias Pratt, the owner of the local madhouse, shows up and insists Thomas take charge of an odd orphan named Weed who appears to be about Jessamine's age. Pratt claims Weed has cured so many of the mentally ill in his keeping with herbal teas that his asylum is almost empty. He says that while Weed is putting him out of business, he'd be a welcome help to a healer like Thomas.Read more ›
It was the biggest issue I had with the book. It’s a very stilted, throwback kind of voice that harkens to something more akin to a fairy tale or some kind of old time story. That in and of itself isn’t so bad. I’ve read quite a few books with that kind of voice and didn’t have an issue with it. But this voice, whether it was in the POV of Jessamine or Weed, was so lacking character or personality that it made whatever was happening on the page dull. It didn’t matter what was going on. It made Jessamine sound like an insufferable twit and Weed I felt nothing at all for. I didn’t care that he was there, I didn’t care when he was talking, I didn’t care when he collapsed in the poison garden. The only character that had any personality at all was Jessamine’s father and he turned out to be rather repugnant so I’m at a loss all around here.
Beyond that (way beyond that) I did like the tale that was being told. At least Weed’s story, anyway. Jessamine is such an insubstantial character that she’s just shunted from one scenario to another and what’s her story ends up being Weed’s story and she becomes secondary in her own life. It made me a little sad for that. She’s just this diary-writing girl that doesn’t have much going on in her life beyond plants, falls in love with the weird boy, and ends up being a pawn all around. Considering most of it is her story it’s a rather crappy story to tell.
But Weed’s story is the interesting one. He adds some life to this book that otherwise would have just been a really dull horticulturalist’s diary. He basically hears nature and all of the plants have their own lives.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good book for a fun read but not good enough for me to want to read the sequel. Since I'm an herbalist with a stocked apothecary, it was entertaining.Published 2 months ago by Ohio Grandma
This is the first book in the series. Jessamine lives with her father in an abandoned church. Her father is a botanist/apothecary and is consumed by finding lost recipes for cures. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Michelle Boytim
This book had very well-written prose. It sucked me into the storyline from the moment I started reading, and kept me enthralled until the last page. I really enjoyed it. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Oh my, this book is intense, there should be more of this available, its so catchyPublished 6 months ago by Sarah
This. Book. Was. BRUTAL! Brilliant, but brutal!
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
The start was a bit sloppy for me but once you get to the next ten pages things gets really interesting until the last.Published 6 months ago by Charles
The Poison Diaries is a young adult’s novel set in 18th century England. It was inspired by Jane, the Duchess of Northumberland of Alnwick Castle, who has a great knowledge of... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Martina A. Nicolls
Stupid soap opera with no point. Unfit for children demeaning to the adult reader. Fairytale plot leads nowhere. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Craig Leslie