Target Audience: Teens/Young Adults/Adults
The Poison Diaries is best described as a romantic historical and gothic thriller/fantasy. Why? It has all the elements of romance, history and a fantasy world but manages to be as pacey and breathtaking as a thriller, with some twists that left me stunned.
A warning to all who read this, if your looking for a 'they lived happily every after' ending, then don't look for it here because you won't get one (you really should have paid attention to the spoilers warnings!) It's not doom and gloom, but the romantics (like me) may feel a little sad at the end.
With regards to the characters, i loved Jessamine, she was plucky, outright and i truly loved her attitude and her devotion towards her work and to Weed. When she fell ill i actually cared, which goes to show how much i got attached to her. In Weed's case, i wasn't sure at first. His strange relationship with plants took a bit of getting used to, but once the truth came out and he learned to be more human i really took to him. Jessamine's father, however, he was one of the most complicated characters to date, lets just say he's part of a major twist in the story, and i never saw it coming at all. I was stunned!
On the romance side of things, Jessamines and Weed's relationship develops beautifully and the length that Weed will go to for Jessamine was inspiring. The love between them was clear as day, and i found their relationship refreshingly different from others i have read in books. I'm not sure what made it different, maybe because it was historical, or maybe because it wasn't set in a high school as a lot of teen romances are. I just found it a nice change for it to be set in the British countryside, surrounded by beautiful wild plants, instead of bitchy teen girls and guys.
Plot-wise, i found it riveting, complex and completely absorbing. The descriptions of the plants and gardens were beautiful, and the idea of plants having thoughts and being able to think intelligently (as well as plot and plan!) was simply fantastic. There were many lessons to be learned in this. What would we be prepared to do for the ones we love? What things are we capable of when we want something badly? Are we really a sound judge of what is poison and what isn't? These among many are just some of the questions i tried to answer, but never really came to a conclusion on a personal basis, but then it's something that now has me thinking.
The ending was brilliant, and i'd love there to be another book, not because it seemed unfinished, but simply because i would love to know what happens next. What happens to Weed? What Will Jessamine do now? Questions that aren't necessary, but me being me, i'm just very curious. Anyways...