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04 April 2013

Book Review: The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood

I bought The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood at The Alnwick Garden, where the gated Poison Garden really strikes you - even more so once you have read this book. Visiting the Poison Garden at Alnwick Gardens can only increase your enjoyment and understanding of this young adult historical tale. This is a fantastic quick read which will leave you impatient for the next installment.

The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood coverAdd to Goodreads button
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...

Source: Purchase

5 Words: Family, attraction, responsibility, , poison.

I liked Jessamine's spunk and nature, Weed's weirdness, and her father's evil plots. The characters are passionate to a flaw: Jessamine in her growing love for Weed and her need to impress her father; Jessamine's father in his obsession in knowing everything about plants, particularly those in his poison garden; and Weed with his love for Jessamine and his distrust of the poison garden. Oleander is a sly, poisonous character, which fits absolutely perfectly as that's what he is - poison.

I did get exasperated at some points, but I think that as a reader you were meant to - it added to the characters and plot.

The Poison Diaries is filled with passion and energy and a hint of the supernatural. The romance is subtle and builds slowly, the crucible in this intense story.

This book appeals to my love of all things local and tea. Especially tea. Jessamine makes her own teas and tissanes, and I smiled as I recognised the ingredients of my own mixtures. I have a pot of lavender by the front door and some lemon balm on the kitchen windowsill and I brewed up my own blend after reading.
I take my metal canister of tea off the shelf. It is my own mixture of dried lavender blossoms and lemon balm, harvested from my garden and hung in the storeroom to dry. Weed helped me hang these stalks, I think. His hands touched these tender leaves, just as they touch me.

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