Rambling Reviews: Poison by Sarah Pinborough

It’s review time! As you guys can probably tell, I haven’t read nearly as many fairy tale retellings as I had planned to. Unfortunately, this book is what led to my slump.

I haven’t only avoided fairy tale retellings, I haven’t read a single thing. (excluding a few pages of Death Note Black Edition, Vol 1.) So here’s why.

20890567According to Goodreads, Poison is a beautifully illustrated retelling of the Snow White story which takes all the elements of the classic fairy tale that we love (the handsome prince, the jealous queen, the beautiful girl and, of course, the poisoning) and puts a modern spin on the characters, their motives and their desires. It’s fun, contemporary, sexy, and perfect for fans of Once Upon a Time, Grimm, Snow White and the Huntsman and more.


Now for the review.

This book is marketed as an adult retelling of snow white. I suppose it accomplishes that in some ways. Snow is repeatedly described as Earthy, Wild, Beautiful. Nothing wrong with any of that. But the writing seems more geared towards a YA crowd. Except that the first sex scene occurs in the first five pages!

That first scene wasn’t anything too explicit, but it was enough to set this squarely out of the YA range. In my opinion, the sex scenes, especially the last one (which was very very detailed, more like a scene from an erotica novel.) felt so unnecessary. Both scenes with the Huntsman didn’t make a single lick of sense. It didn’t suit the way his personality had been prior to them.

The writing itself was fine, if a little basic. The plot featured a good bit of what you would expect from a snow white retelling, plus a couple of things from the original story that the disney version left out. That was a nice little treat.

My favorite character was the queen. I think I would have preferred to read a story about her, how she came to be the way she was, who she was before, etc. She had moments in the story where what had to have been her original personality, before whatever cruelties turned her cold occurred, shone through. Her story could have been interesting, mysterious and fun to read. Most of the other characters felt hollow, forced even. (Don’t get me started on Prince McJerkface.)

The ending left me with not only an unwillingness to continue the series, but a decidedly foul taste in my mouth. I won’t go into depth just in case some of you would like to read this, but the ending……wow. (Please refer to above reference to Prince McJerkface.)

To sum everything up, I think this book was confused about what it was. There were moments that the author’s talent shone brightly, especially in her writings of the queen, but this story fell short of what it was supposed to be. If I had to recommend this to someone, I’d probably say a person who is an older young adult, perhaps between 18 and 20.

Sooo the rating?


One Quill. This book was certainly not for me. So much so that I’ve been in a slump ever since!



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