Title: A Fierce and Subtle Poison
Publication Date: April 12th, 2016
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Author: Samantha Mabry
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Summary: Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl–Isabel, the one the señoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.
Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers–and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.
Fave Cinnamon Rolls: None
Needed BROTP: None
Actual Review: Well, let’s just say the scenery of this book was 5 stars all the way, the plot (for the most part) was 5 stars. The MC…not so much. If this book had focused around any of the Natives then maybe it would have been ALOT more interesting. Instead this book, that takes place in a beautiful tropical island with it’s litttle old ladies and poisonous tropical plants has potentially the worst type of MC imaginable, a teenage white boy. Who apparently, after living there all summer every year and has a mother who’s native here, DOESNT SPEAK SPANISH AT ALL! LIke he barely understands it which makes almost no sense. As much as I like that the book was then all in English (because I dont speak spanish and i’ve read a book where 1/3 of all conversations were in a different language..thanks for that assignment teach) and I could understand it, Lucas could have been ALOT better.
This book had such an interesting idea and plot behind it that sounded original to me. A girl that can grant wishes that locals had all sorts of myths and local legends about, awesome.
Even though Lucas was such a flop, Isabel and the plot were what kept me going. I enjoyed reading it and I would have loved it if the whole book was in a different POV like maybe Isabel’s. The book could have been a different but still really interesting story.
It made all of the culture and scenery almost feel a little died down because we were seeing it all through the eyes of a teenage boy who wants to basically live like a hermit when he’s older. I guess this is the type of book that has one of those unreliable narrators. Oh well.
While i dont “unrecommend” this book to anyone, I will say just be ready for a lot about Lucas and for Puerto Rico to kind of take the back burner in this. Even the ending wasn’t all that special, the epilogue was kind of a snoozer and Lucas sure didn’t change at all that much by the end of it.