Hey guys! I’m so excited to be able to share my review This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron! I loved Cinderella is Dead and was so excited for this new series! Last year, I binge read Cinderella is Dead in one sitting (took me about 2.5 hours) because I couldn’t put the book down. It was so, so good and when I saw that Kalynn had a new series coming out, I was so excited!!! Surprisingly enough, I somehow managed to receive an ARC of the book, but it arrived a few days before release day, so I didn’t get a chance to read it in time. Then, I got the Owlcrate version of the book and put it on my July TBR! Well, July turned into August and two months post release, my review is finally here! Yay!
I received an ARC from Bloomsbury for This Poison Heart in exchange for an honest review. I read the finished copy so this review is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own!
This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron
Published: June 29, 2021
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Genre: YA Fantasy
Darkness blooms in bestselling author Kalynn Bayron’s new contemporary fantasy about a girl with a unique and deadly power.
Briseis has a gift: she can grow plants from tiny seeds to rich blooms with a single touch.
When Briseis’s aunt dies and wills her a dilapidated estate in rural New York, Bri and her parents decide to leave Brooklyn behind for the summer. Hopefully there, surrounded by plants and flowers, Bri will finally learn to control her gift. But their new home is sinister in ways they could never have imagined–it comes with a specific set of instructions, an old-school apothecary, and a walled garden filled with the deadliest botanicals in the world that can only be entered by those who share Bri’s unique family lineage.
When strangers begin to arrive on their doorstep, asking for tinctures and elixirs, Bri learns she has a surprising talent for creating them. One of the visitors is Marie, a mysterious young woman who Bri befriends, only to find that Marie is keeping dark secrets about the history of the estate and its surrounding community. There is more to Bri’s sudden inheritance than she could have imagined, and she is determined to uncover it . . . until a nefarious group comes after her in search of a rare and dangerous immortality elixir. Up against a centuries-old curse and the deadliest plant on earth, Bri must harness her gift to protect herself and her family.
From the bestselling author of Cinderella Is Dead comes another inspiring and deeply compelling story about a young woman with the power to conquer the dark forces descending around her.
As much as I loved Cinderella is Dead, I didn’t like This Poison Heart as much. Truthfully, I was stuck between 3.5 and 4 stars, so 3.75 seemed like the right way to go. This book is good, and there was a lot I loved about it, but in the end the characters killed the vibe of this book.
Briseis is a cool character and I would kill to have her powers, but she was a strange. At the beginning of the book she’s very reserved, untrusting, and lonely. Her friends basically abandon her, making it easy for her to go to this mysterious home left to her by her birth aunt. But when she arrives, she quickly befriends two people and seems to be extremely trusting with both of them. There were a lot of 180, personality flips in this book and it made it hard to keep anything straight with the characters. And Bri’s moms, to be blunt, were just annoying. I know they were meant to be like “cool” moms and be embarrassing of Bri, but the way they spoke to Bri and to her friends was just so unbelievable, I was just cringing the entire time.
Even with the strange personalities, I like Marie a lot and she seemed like an interesting character. I wanted to get to know her faster because she seemed like a cool character and friend for Bri! And while I understand why Bri befriends Karter, he annoyed me so much. I didn’t care about any of his interactions with Briseis or in general. The rest of the characters were okay, though a bit two dimensional. It was like every other filler character was a half-baked thought and it was hard to connect with them, especially because of the dialogue. I don’t know who talks like these people, but I really hope I never meet them, because I would lose my mind.
Saving this book from the characters, was the amazing plotline. I loved the inclusion of Greek mythology and lesser known Greek myths in this book! I loved the mystery behind Briseis’ birth family and their powers, the secrets of the manor, and the secrets plant Bri must now protect. The plot was my favorite thing about this book and I’m so excited to find out what happens next! This was the thing that kept me reading because there was so much I wanted to learn and unravel, I couldn’t put the book down. And while the pacing was a bit fast or sporadic at times, I ultimately enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who liked Cinderella is Dead!
Check out Kalynn’s debut novel, Cinderella is Dead, and my spoiler free review of it here!