Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly

Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly
Published by Scholastic Press on October 20, 2020
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Re-Telling
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Purchase on: Amazon// Barnes & Noble
Add to: Goodreads

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Once upon a time, a girl named Sophie rode into the forest with the queen's huntsman. Her lips were the color of ripe cherries, her skin as soft as new-fallen snow, her hair as dark as midnight. When they stopped to rest, the huntsman pulled out his knife . . . and took Sophie's heart.
It shouldn't have come as a surprise. Sophie had heard the rumors, the whispers. They said she was too kind and foolish to rule -- a waste of a princess. A disaster of a future queen. And Sophie believed them. She believed everything she'd heard about herself, the poisonous words people use to keep girls like Sophie from becoming too powerful, too strong . . . With the help of seven mysterious strangers, Sophie manages to survive. But when she realizes that the jealous queen might not be to blame, Sophie must find the courage to face an even more terrifying enemy, proving that even the darkest magic can't extinguish the fire burning inside every girl, and that kindness is the ultimate form of strength.


I am so excited to take part in the book tour for Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly! If you know me and this site, you know I love fairytale retellings. Seeing how classics we all grew up with can be subverted or reinvented truly excites me, so when I heard about Poisoned, I jumped at the chance to review it! The pacing, characters, and story are all enjoyable and well executed. It flows easily to carry you through to the end which still manages to surprise even knowing the original.

The only negative I walked away from Poisoned with was that it didn’t seem to push the boundaries far enough. And I totally understand why – this is definitely meant for younger readers starting at grade 7 and up. A true young adult book that doesn’t just throw that title on as a technicality but then proceeds to fill the novel with more explicit material better suited for the NA genre. I would have loved to have seen more of the “evil stepmother” but I think if we had, it would have gotten far too dark. Other than that, it was a really enjoyable read and I definitely would recommend Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly to middle graders and high school freshmen to sophomores!


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