Book Reviews, YA book reviews

Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly – ARC Review

My Rating ~ Four and a half stars

RELEASED: 20 October 20209

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Format: Paperback

Pages: 411

Source:  Allen & Unwin

RRP:  AU$19.99


Snow White’s stepmother wanted to get rid of the beautiful stepdaughter who was challenging her title of ‘most beautiful’ – by any means necessary. Was Snow White poisoned? What happens to the poisoned, and the poisoner?



Thankyou to Allen & Unwin for providing me with a copy of Poisoned, in exchange for an honest review.

The task  is  hard, but you are smart. Bold and brave and strong of  heart. And never forget, when all is done: Monsters can’t chase unless you run.

We all know the story of Snow White and we all know who the villain was – don’t we?

When the Queen sends the huntsman into the woods to kill Sophie  (Snow White), she is sure it’s because her stepmother sees her as too kind, too weak, to be a ruler.  The huntsman finishes the job in this story, but Sophie is saved by the forest men (and their giant spider chef), who fashion her a new clockwork heart.  With her new heart ticking and clunking in her chest, she needs to discover why the  Queen wanted her heart, and how she’s going to get it back, before it’s too late.

This was such a fantastic dark fairytale retelling with some amazing characters, plenty of intrigue and a clever twist on the entire original story.  Although I’m terrified of spiders (look, I usually can’t even read Snow White because it has the word huntsman in it,  and that is the name of a giant spider here, ok) this particular spider in the story had my whole heart! 😄 The forest men, a faithful dog and one personable thief made for a story that was fun and terrifying at the same time.  I adored Jennifer Donnelly’s book, Stepsister, and Poisoned was  just as brilliant (although I did struggle past a few  animal cruelty scenes 😭). I really enjoyed the ‘epic quest’ in this one, with Sophie and some unlikely comrades making their way through the lands to reclaim Sophie’s heart.  Among betrayals and monsters, there were also some heartbreaking and heartwarming scenes.

I  love the way Jennifer stays just true enough to the original tales so there can be no mistake it is a retelling, but adds in the cleverest of twists and characters that either enhance, or have us question, what we already knew.

If you loved Stepsister, or you haven’t yet jumped into the world of Jennifer Donelly’s retellings, I’d highly recommend you read them both!


My Daughter as Snow White for Bookweek!

Photos via my Instagram account – Bookbookowl


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