A Fierce and Subtle Poison
I was provided with this ARC by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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.
I was really excited when I received an ARC of this book. I’m a fan of magical realism and this one just sounded so interesting. I don’t know much about Puerto Rico or its culture, so I was interested in learning a bit about it and the myths.
Unfortunately, I was disappointed. I don’t know if my expectations were too high or if it simply wasn’t the story I wanted it to be. You ever feel like that? It’s not so much expectations for greatness, but expectations for the story to go a certain way. Well that’s how I felt when I was reading this and it just didn’t turn out how I wanted it to.
The pacing was way off and the mystery was solved way too quickly. And it wasn’t even that good of a mystery. I just had this whole idea of how the plot would progress and it just didn’t do that. I know it’s not fair of me to hold the book accountable for my desires of how it should read, but I’m going to. Sorry. I probably could have still enjoyed it more, but the issue with the pacing was a big downer.
At the beginning I was really excited. Lucas seemed like an actual teenage boy and one that wasn’t obsessed with talking about his penis. I thought I would really like him, but he ended up annoying me. Isabel annoyed me as well. In fact, the only character I liked was Marisol and you find out she dies on the 3rd page of the book.
This book was supposed to get my out of my reading slump. I did finish it within 3-4 hours, in one sitting, but I think it did more harm than good as I haven’t picked up a book since.