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THE POISON DIARIES By: Maryrose Wood January 24, 2011

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.

     There is a world famous tourist destination in the north of England where everyone goes to marvel at poisonous plants. This Poison Garden was created by the Duchess of Northumberland, and she was Maryrose Wood’s inspiration for this novel.

     The book is the story of sixteen year old Jessamine, and her apothecary father. Jessamine is often left alone in the isolation of the abandoned monastery’s chapel that the two call home because her father is always being called away to heal someone. He tends numerous gardens of various plants and herbs, but one garden is forever kept locked — the poison garden — and Jessimine is forbidden to enter it. Everything changes the day the owner of an insane asylum arrives with an odd bundle tied to his horse. The bundle is a boy near Jessamine’s age who is thought to be an idiot. But the idiot is being removed from the asylum because of his ability to create teas that heal the inmates. As this asylum is inhabited by the wealthy, the owner simply cannot afford the loss of all that money when his “patients” recover from their insanity.
     Jessamine and the boy, Weed, bond and, predictably, fall in love. She also learns his secret to his vast herbal knowledge. The plants talk to him and tell him what to combine to heal which ills. Now is the time to stop before too much plot is revealed.
     One thing the Lycan Librarina did not like about this book was that it was written in first person and then changed from Jessamine’s point of view to Weed’s. Although it had to be done due to what happened in the book, this reader found it distracting. Everything else was a pleasure and it took only one day to start and finish this YA selection. You will want not just a single cup, but an entire pot of tea at your side as you read this book. Just be certain you make it yourself.



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