This Poison Heart was a book that I had anxiously been waiting for since I first heard about it. I got the sense that it was going to be like a retelling of The Secret Garden with perhaps a more sinister calling ala Little Shop of Horrors. And I happen to love both of those things. So, when I was approved for an advanced copy, I snuggled under my soft blanket and began to read.
The main character is a teenage girl named Briseis who has a unique ability when it comes to plants. This has been helpful with the family store however also very scary because she is unsure how to control it within the barricades of small city life. She and her mother’s find out that she has inherited a house from her birth family, and decide to make the trip to check it out. On the outside it looks like an old dilapidated house with tons of land but, what is actually going on inside and outback is so much darker than that.
I was immediately drawn into the setting of This Poison Heart. It started with the descriptions of Brooklyn and the small plant shop with apartment above it. I could tell that this was a close family unit. I loved how they interacted with each other, and how you learn more about each of them as the story progresses. You also learn secrets about Briseis birth family and how they are connected into the mystery of everything that is going on around her. This mystery, a mixture of fantasy and Greek mythology, kept me turning pages. The descriptions of the house and garden and the little town of Rhinebeck. The descriptions of the plants moving and wrapping themselves around Briseis felt so very real to me. It was almost as if I was walking right next to her and feeling them brush up against me. As someone who has been to Rhinebeck before, I could visualize what Kalynn Bayron was talking about. I also found appreciation for the commentary on racial and social concerns within living in a suburb of America.
The Poison Heart kept me on my toes throughout. There was a couple times where I got suspicious of certain characters and my suspicions turned out to be either correct or way off base. I enjoyed the mystery and the connection between all of the characters. I look forward to seeing these characters and continuing on this journey in the sequel. Hopefully all of my questions will be answered too!
Rating: 4.5 Stars
**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**