Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Poison Diaries - Book Review

The Poison Diaries – Book Review
Wood Northumberland
YA Paranormal
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 power 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…
I don’t know how long ‘The Poison Diaries’ has been sitting on my shelf but after reading many mixed reviews about this book, I grew curious enough to pull it from my to-be- read pile to find out what they hype was all about. I was not disappointed.

A unique and unusual story, I thought this book was beautifully written and the descriptions of the cottage and its gardens were colourful and vivid. Having spent many a weekend in and around Alnwick myself, I can agree that the book was spot on.

Although while I think the story gets off to a slow start, a few chapters in the real drama begins and I soon found myself completely captivated. With a very dark and twisted plot, the book carries within it the themes of first love, betrayal and sacrifice, all portrayed through the lives of three equally fascinating characters. Weed, Jessamine and her father Thomas.

However I must say this book was not the light-hearted read I was expecting. Intriguingly cruel in parts the story is quite dark and towards the end certain chapters really creeped me out – but in a good, ‘I cannot sleep until I finish this book!’ kind of way.

Therefore overall I found this book an interesting if unusual read. I loved the premise of the story that everything is a poison but the book itself also made me really aware of the harsh cruelty both man and nature is capable off.  For this reason I would probably recommend this book to readers of 14+

However despite its dark elements ‘The Poison Diaries’  always tempted me to read on and with questions left unanswered, I’m particularly looking forward to reading the rest of Weed and Jessamines story, continued in ‘Nightshade’ (recently released in the UK on September 1st.)  Toxic and deadly, ‘The Poison Diaries’ was a chilling and thought provoking book, beautifully written by Mary Rosewood, the current Duchess of Northumberland.

Side Note
If anyone is thinking of visiting Alnwick, after checking out the castle you need to go find Barter Books at the old train station. It’s one of my favourite places and every book lovers dream (Imagine a whole train station filled with cheap second-hand books galore!). Also a great place to exchange and clear-out your own books :)


  1. Oh my god I love Alnwick Castle, I am trying to plan another trip there for next year. And just to know it's a part of this book is enough for me to want to read it.

  2. I love that cover!! Also, the book sounds great - I'm all for dark and the sound of cruel bits intrigue me rather than put me off. Plus: a castle!

    A train station full of books! Oh don't tell me you live nearby and can visit whenever you want?! So envious...