REVIEW: The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood

REVIEW: The Poison Diaries by Maryrose WoodThe Poison Diaries (The Poison Diaries #1) by Maryrose Wood, The Duchess of Northumberland
Published: Balzer + Bray (2010), eBook, 304pg
Source: Bought
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Gothic Romance, Historical Fiction, Romance

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 her father, Thomas, a feared and respected apothecary. His pride and obsession, a poison garden, contains exotic and local specimens of the most dangerous plants in the world. But Jessamine is absolutely forbidden to enter.

Her life changes forever the day a traveler brings a stranger to their cottage, claiming that the young man has special gifts that Thomas might value. Jessamine is intrigued by the young man, who goes by the name of Weed. He has an intense sensitivity to growing things, and an even rarer and more specialized knowledge about plants than Thomas does. As Jessamine falls in love with Weed, she learns his extraordinary secret—and is drawn into the dangerous world of the poison garden in a way she never could have imagined. . . . (from Goodreads)

This was on sale a few months ago and I snagged it, since I’ve got the second book packed and waiting for me to read it and I hate reading sequels before I read the first book.1 I couldn’t remember exactly what either books were about, but I thought it’d have magic and possibly something tragic happening, based on the cover.

The author

Things this book has in it:

  • melodrama!
  • the kind of romance which is nice but also slightly skeevy, because it’s the kind where the heroine has only ever known, like, one dude before and it’s her dad, and then this other dude shows up and treats her kindly and of course she falls in love. Which is nice! But I kind of want those sorts of heroines to be able to live a bit more before they decide to live forever with this one dude who they’ve really only known for about a month or something. It seems more fair?
  • nifty magic involving plants! I can’t say more because of spoilers, but it’s neat.
  • thrills and chills and some excellent writing, actually.

Once I stopped worrying about the romance and just read the book, I really enjoyed myself. It’s that kind of (melo)drama that’s gothic romance-y and fun, and if you don’t mind the fact that the heroine spends the last half of the book in a stupor, it’s exciting as well. I definitely want to read the next book2 to see what happens, because the ending was slightly cliffhanger-y.3

Read: March 12-13, 2012

Here’s the trailer! Not all that exciting, but I like the plant images.

I also kind of like the UK cover more. Maybe it’s the shiny gold? What do you think?

Similar books: New Girl, Jane Eyre, Entwined

I also reviewed Maryrose Wood’s Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 1: The Mysterious Howling back in 2010, a really cute MG historical fantasy series with orphans and wolves and things!


  1. it almost always ends badly, tbh
  2. which I got autographed at BEA last year, btw!
  3. but not so much that it was annoying, if you know what I mean

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.