This Poison Heart

By Kalynn Bayron,

Book cover of This Poison Heart

Book description

_______________ 'Kalynn Bayron does more than re-write a fairy-tale ... She breaks it apart and rebuilds it into a wholly original and captivating story where girls finally decide for themselves who lives happily ever after' - Brigid Kemmerer 'Brings much-needed inclusivity and contemporary flavor to the teen fantasy genre' -…

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Why read it?

4 authors picked This Poison Heart as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This book surprised me, and I do love a pleasant surprise.

I originally wasn’t that interested in This Poison Heart because I knew it had something to do with plants, and I don’t care much about plants. But I picked it up because Bayron’s first book had a twist I enjoyed, and it turned out that Briseis — the teenage star of this book— was awesome and engaging, and the story was full of twists, with a feminist twist on classical mythology, a healthy spattering of diverse characters, and LGBTQ+ relationships.

This is my kind of book because Briseis learns…

A powerful story of mothers, daughters, adoptive families, and loyalty the book draws inspiration from Greek mythology. The main character is a teenage girl with a magical affinity for plants. As she unexpectedly comes into an inheritance, for the first time her abilities seem to hold more promise than a threat. A highly readable story.

The award-winning author of Cinderella is Dead does it again in this contemporary fantasy with the intoxicating, deadly aura of a haunted mansion wrapped in creeping vines. Friendless, tough-as-nails Brooklynite Briseis has a secret: Her touch controls plants. When she inherits her aunt's estate in the New York countryside, she's immediately entwined with the poisonous garden and sinister mysteries that come with it. Watching the full force of her powers bloom is the best pay-off. Pair this one with a gloomy thunderstorm and a (non-toxic) cup of tea.

This Poison Heart is one of the most beautiful examples of a retelling I’ve ever encountered. Drawing from The Secret Garden, it weaves plant magic, science, and Greek myth into an incredibly, refreshingly, inclusive vision of contemporary society. The freshest, and cleverest, take on an old classic you can possibly imagine, it makes fantasy reality for readers of any age.

(It also includes a nod to another much-loved classic – Little Shop of Horrors! Which is a huge plus for me!)

From Zoë's list on YA retellings of the classics.

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