Poison by Bridget Zinn.
Published March 12, 2013.
Published by Disney Hyperion.
Source: ARC from publisher via Ottawa Blogger Meet-up. Thank you to Disney Hyperion and to Kathy at A Glass of Wine!
Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.
But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.
Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?
Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.
I was really looking forward to reading Poison simply because it looked so darn adorable! I loved the sound of it and needed something fun as a break from all the dystopian/apocalyptic novels I was reading!
It definitely lived up to my expectations in terms of how fun and cute it was. I thought it was a great story for a fairy-tale, with a heroine on the run meeting a very cute boy who comes along for the ride. Kyra was overall fairly likeable, although sometimes I felt like she got distracted by Fred too easily and let him tear her away from her mission. She just wasn't all that consistent, unfortunately. Even though their scenes together were often funny, she was too willing to just hang out and be buddies with him when I thought she had serious kingdom-saving business! It also seemed to me like a fair number of the characters felt quite stereotypical, which I guess isn't so bad if you look at it like a fairy tale. Out of all the characters though, Rosie the pig and Fred's wolf companion were my favourites. They were adorable and I loved how Rosie influenced the scenes she was in. Honestly, I want a little Rosie. She was pretty much the best part of the book for me.
The journey was fun to follow, with all its twists and adventures, though I wish they had been explored in more depth. There were villains to bargain with, mysteries to solve, and poisons to use, which I did enjoy. In the end the way the story came together was fun, but very light. A lot of things, including Kyra's romance with Fred and the origin of the whole princess problem, felt like they were just being skimmed. There just wasn't a lot of depth to this book, which can work in some circumstances. I just think I went in with expectations that were a little too high. While I found it cute, it was a bit more fluffy than I had wanted. If you're looking for something fast-paced and fun, this is a good choice, but don't expect too much depth from it.
Overall this was an adorable fairy-tale like novel with interesting character types (that I only wish had been used to their full potential), potions galore, and the cutest pets around! However, I was a little let down by how quickly everything went by, with some parts feeling simply glossed over. I also wouldn't recommend this for a big fantasy lover, as it didn't feel as... epic, I guess is the word... as so many other fantasies are.