THE POISON DIARIES
Author: Maryrose Wood ISBN: 9780061802362 7/2010 HISTORICAL/YOUNG ADULT Publisher: HARPER TEEN
RRAH's THOUGHTS AND PONDERINGS:
For a lot of people, I think THE POISON DIARIES will be somewhat confusing. The book begins much like the historical middle grade novels by Karen Cushman—a young girl going about her ordinary life. Jessamine is an apothecary's daughter, and really, for the first half, nothing else happens. We see Jessamine's day-to-day life and chores, we read about how she yearns for something to happen, and her thoughts about the various plants found in her father's garden.
As for myself, I would have happily read an entire book about such things, as I'm fascinated by what an 'ordinary' life was like back through the ages. The book, however, took a turn for the fantastical with the arrival of Weed. It began to spiral into a more conventional tale of the paranormal, young love, and melodrama.
Don't misunderstand, I enjoyed the novel, but I was left feeling dissatisfied as it became less focused on the plants and the mystery surrounding Weed, and more focused on Jessamine and Weed's growing attraction. We begin to see some of the narrative from Weed's perspective, which is at least enjoyable, since I did *love* Oleander quite a lot, but the book never recovers from its dive into gothic teen dramaland.