Review: The Poison Diaries (The Poison Diaries #1)

The Poison Diaries (The Poison Diaries #1) by Maryrose Wood, The Duchess of Northumberland

Paperback, 304 pages

Published April 8th 2011 by HarperCollins Canada / Other (first published May 27th 2010)

ISBN: 0061802387 (ISBN13: 9780061802386)


In the right dose, everything is a poison. Even love . . .

Jessamine Luxton has lived all her sixteen years in an isolated cottage near Alnwick Castle, with little company apart from the plants in her garden. Her father, Thomas, a feared and respected apothecary, has taught her much about the incredible powers of plants: that even the most innocent-looking weed can cure — or kill.

When Jessamine begins to fall in love with a mysterious boy who claims to communicate with plants, she is drawn into the dangerous world of the poison garden in a way she never could have imagined . . .


The Poison Diaries was a different read than I’m used to. Yes, it’s YA but I normally read modern or Dystopian YA. I was a bit weary when I started reading because I had to accustom myself to the writing style and even the character speech. Once that ball started rolling, it didn’t stop. 

Jessamine Luxton is the 16-year-old daughter of the well-known apothecary, Thomas Luxton. Right off the bat, Thomas was my least favorite character. He seemed rude and very unfather-like. It’s a surprise Jessamine grew up as well as she did, all things considering (You’ll have to read to find out. No spoilers here). When the story first begins, Jessamine informs us that her father is out of town for a medical emergency. This got me thinking about what he did when she was too young to care for herself. Did he take her with him? Maybe he did and I just forgot about reading that. Anyway, when talks of her father’s poison garden started, my interest was piqued, especially with its synopsis.

Jessamine wasn’t a very strong character in the beginning. Always doing what her father told her. Being a good girl. That is until Weed enters the picture. He was a very unusual character and I was dying to know what his secret was (It’s a good one!). Jessamine takes a strong liking to Weed and vice versa. Closer to the end of the story Jessamine grows ill and we meet Oleander, Prince of Poisons. This is when the story begins to jump back and forth between Jessamine’s dreaming state with Oleander and Weed’s thoughts throughout Jessamine’s illness. The ending was set up perfectly for a second installment!

I give The Poison Diaries (The Poison Diaries #1) 5 stars. Be sure to check back for my review of Nightshade (The Poison Diaries #2) coming soon.


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