Monday, November 21, 2011

Book Review: The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood

First of all, how apt is it that this YA fantasy about plants is written by a woman named Maryrose Wood?  Perfect.  It's about a young girl who has grown up in relative seclusion with a botanist father who is called on to perform various doctor duties using his encyclopedic knowledge of plants.  Jessamine, the daughter, is learning the tricks of the trade from her father, but there is one part of his garden that is locked and she is forbidden to enter.  A boy shows up on their doorstep (his name is Weed which is really just terribly unfortunate) and she falls for him.  Weed can communicate with plants and with his help they uncover a mystery.

The first half was fairly typical YA fantasy.  It was entertaining and easy to read and didn't jump out at me as especially awesome or especially poor.  The second half was off the charts crazy.  Weed can indeed communicate with plants, but I expected more of an ESP-type thing or an intuition of feeling.  Instead, the plants basically grow legs and turn into what I imagined as Disney characters.  The dialogue between Weed and the plants is, frankly, ridiculous.  It goes from being a pretty serious story with moderately interesting characters to an animated movie.

Entertainment Value
This one was offered by Harper Collins as a free preview before the second book's release.  I was able to read it at work (shhhhh) and it was more entertaining than work.  I actually was really into the first half and then the plants started talking and things got crazy.  The plant prince tried to seduce Jessamine (or at least I think that's what was happening) so of course Weed had to save her.  Like I said, it beat actual work, but I'm glad I didn't spend real time reading it. 

It's quick and easy and as long as it's free and you like quick, easy, YA, go ahead and give it a try.  I wouldn't recommend spending any real money on it, although I am somewhat curious to know what will happen to Weed and Jessamine's possible that I will read the sequel. 

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