Saturday, November 19, 2011
The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood
"In the right dose, everything is a poison. Even love . . . "
Jessamine Luxton has always been alone, her protective father, Thomas, ensures she rarely interacts with anybody but he, himself. But her life is far from average, for her father is both feared and revered for his extensive knowledge on plants and poisons, yet his obsession coupled with his need for knowledge leaves him disappearing abruptly for days without reason and many hidden secrets.
Thomas' thirst for the lost dangerous and potent recipes cannot be quenched, and when a paranoid traveller yields a disturbed and mysterious boy, Weed, who seems to possess hidden knowledge on plants, Thomas is more than happy to take him in.
Jessamine, who has never before had a companion, befriends Weed and their relationship soon deepens to love, their passion is strong but so too are the forces working against them...
Ok. First, I'll start with what a quick read this is, yes, I know... I've said this before but honestly I finished this book in a couple of hours! Honest!
The use of poisons and "living" plants is very intriguing, and I can now proudly say that it has kick-started my new found obsession for poisons, however morbid that may sounds :) The plot was quite original but I thought it was a little choppy at times, with random bits of information thrown in to keep the story flowing. But it still worked out in the end. The idea to start each chapter off with a diary entry is also quite interesting because it sets the mood. Um... The overall pace of the book is good, the beginning had some essential background info and then it started to delve into the good stuff. The ending was a little abrupt for my taste, almost as if it had to be squished into a couple of pages, if that really makes sense.
The characters... I can't say that they were completely epic, but they weren't dead boring either. As far as I can see, the book only focuses and goes into detail on a handful of characters, Jessamine, Weed and Thomas, with mentions of Jessamine's mother, a friar, the duke and couple more nameless faces.
Jessamine, the 16 year old protagonist of the book, hmmmm.... she lives a very sheltered life and is quite oblivious to what goes on in the world. She lives with her father in an abandoned chapel and tends to her father's many gardens... That is about it really, Jessamine is so naive, she's very trusting but also quite childish at times, despite the fact that she states that she's 16. If I wasn't told, I would have assumed she was much younger. She finds joy is such small things and in my opinion, she's far too helpless. But, there's hope for her yet! She still has so much more time to grow and develop in character.
Weed, he's this mysterious supposedly green eyed, black haired boy that Jessamine falls head over heels for. Woop-di-doo. hm. I actually quite liked his character, he's straight forward and he has a very unique gift. He is an excellent addition to the story, but he too is far too gullible and trusting.
Agh! why is everyone so trusting these days... I suppose it's a good thing... but why?!?
Jessamine's father is really something else, at times he comes off crazy, almost feverish, but then he's all happiness and unicorns... bleugh. I really won't say anything else.
I has a problem with the introduction of one character in this book, I mean seriously... who the heck are you?!?! I won't say who, for fear of spoiling, just that it was a tad odd, and annoying. It was a little sloppy, I think it would've been better if said character were always a looming presence from the beginning, hiding behind the shadows but still retaining their air of mystery.
The Jessamine+ Weed relationship came on quite suddenly, and I suppose it's because they were both so lonely and the presence of an available person-of-the-opposite-gender was just too much for them :) They were quite cute at times, but there was still this "way" in which they acted which kept them so different.
I quite liked the dialogue in this, it sounds like that from an older time, it suits the time that the book is set.
Originally, the book is from Jessamine's perspective but then switches to Weed's when the time arises. I had no problem with that, though with certain books I might've been a little annoyed, this one felt perfectly reasonable.
Overall... looking forward to reading the next book, not to sound too crude, but I really hope that Jessamine grows some backbone and can kick-ass.