Author: Maryrose Wood (based on the concept by the Duchess of Northumberland)
Release Date: 1st July 2010
My Rating: 2/5
In the right dose, everything is a poison... even love.
Jessamine Luxton has spent her whole life in a cottage close to her father's apothecary garden, surrounded by medicinal plants and herbs that could kill her - although her father has never allowed her into the most dangerous part of the grounds... the poison garden. She's never had reason to be afraid - until now. Because now a newcomer has come to live with the family, a quiet but strangely attractive orphan boy named Weed.
Though Weed doesn't say much in words, he has an instinctive talent for the apothecary's trade, seeming to possess an extraordinary sensitivity to growing things. Soon, he and Jessamine share a close bond. But little does Jessamine know that passion can be just as poisonous as the deadliest plants - for behind Weed's gifted knowledge of the garden lies a terrible secret...My Review:
Although I found the premise of The Poison Diaries to be rather interesting, I really struggled to get started. I will admit it now, I am not a fan of reading historically set fiction. I like it set in the present day. I usually find historical fiction boring and tedious. Taking this into account, I didn't really have any urge to continue reading the book as it really wasn't grabbing me. It wasn't until our newcomer, Weed, shows up about a quarter of the way into the book, that I was able to sit down and read without getting distracted by something else going on around me.
What I did like about the book were the lessons Weed learns. Weed can talk to/understand plants. This is not me spoiling anything (I have read quite a few synopsis's where the reader finds this out even before opening the book). Through this connection, the plants attempt to educate Weed on the concept of right and wrong. Is there actually a difference between right and wrong or will it always be based on the individual circumstances and perspectives? This is also relevant to one of the main themes of the story. How far would you go/what would/wouldn't you do for the person you love?
I also loved the personalities of the different plants, especially those from the poison garden. This was my favourite part of the book. I think they were imagined/interpreted brilliantly.
Plain and simple, I did not like the ending. It is so unjust and unfair. I found it frustrating! That is all I can say without spoiling the ending for anyone who plans on reading this.