Reviewed by Melanie Foust for TeensReadToo.com
Jessamine has had a quiet existence living with her father on the outskirts of town. She's told not to associate with the townspeople by him. Thomas is the local area's apothecary. He's spent many years studying the healing power of plants. Always thirsty for knowledge.
One day, a horse and rider come to their home. The rider, a man who owns a home for the mentally unstable, has a boy tied and laying over the saddle. He claims that the boy, called Weed, has a special knack for plants, even going so far as to say that the boy cured some residents of the institution by putting something in their tea. He can't have that, as it would ruin his business, so he's brought him to Jessamine's father in the hope that he would take him in.
At first, Weed is withdrawn, hardly talking or eating at all. Soon, Jessamine begins to bring Weed out of his shell. They spend their days together, enjoying each other's company, their friendship blossoming into something more.
In the meantime, Thomas is hungry for more information about Weed's gift. In the beginning, Thomas' curiosity seems normal. However, as time goes on, it begins to seem that Thomas has something more sinister in mind.
When things come to a head and Jessamine is put in danger, nothing is as it appears. Weed's past and the extent of his gifts come to light. Thomas will show just how far he is willing to go for the knowledge he craves, and Jessamine will see things she's never even imagined.
What a read! THE POISON DIARIES is a book that you can really fly through, full of great characters. Jessamine loves her father and her home, but she can't help feeling a bit restricted when he continues to treat her as a child. Weed has never had anyone to care for him, and he's always been treated as an outcast. Thomas is constantly engrossed in his work, seeming to only rarely bother with Jessamine. Although not neglectful, he's certainly not very talkative. Seeing Thomas flushed out a bit more as a character would have been nice, but readers will most likely be seeing him much more in the future installments of this series.
There's an abrupt change in the middle of the book, with the narration switching from Jessamine's point of view to Weed's. Although it takes a few pages to get used to, it's for the benefit of the reader. Getting things from Weed's perspective makes the story very exciting.
This is a fabulous start to what has the potential to be an amazing series. It's definitely one to watch.