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Saturday, December 1, 2012
Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1)
Kresley Cole
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Source: Purchased
Goodreads | Purchase
She could save the world—or destroy it.
Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.
But she can’t do either alone.
With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?
Who can Evie trust?
As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side….

I loved Poison Princess. I really, really did. It started off slow and was difficult to get into, but once I really connected I became totally immersed and tumbled head over heels into love. It was definitely one of those unputdownable books! I was always wanting know what happened next, and I burned through the words of this one. Fast. It was just fantastic. It wasn't perfect, but it was truly enjoyable and sexy.

Evie was very, very hard for me to connect to. For a long time she's very shallow and wants her life to remain exactly as it is. Because of this, she ignores many obvious signs. I guess I don't blame her for wanting to stick to the familiar, but her life isn't very fulfilling. She's popular and has the perfect friends and boyfriend. She gets all the best parties. I just couldn't relate to her values, and I got really frustrated with her. She was very dense too. Eventually, though, I started to warm up to her as she began to embrace who she was and owned it.

Jackson is, like, all lit up with sex appeal. I honestly don't know how else to put it. He is just like ridiculously hot. He is sometimes something of a jerk, but for some reason, it works on him. Normally I don't tolerate that kind of behavior, but on Jack, it just…I don't know, it works. But at the same time, even though he's not always thinking correctly, it's clear that he really, truly cares about Evie. He wouldn't do some of the things he does if he didn't. He's a muscular bad boy, but it isn't overdone and overly clich√©d. And while he does have a soft side, it's not stereotyped at all.

Arthur narrates a few of the chapters, and it's clear from the beginning that he's not all right in the head. He's clearly a psychopath, but he has this twisted way of looking at things and his obvious insanity was fascinating. The way he saw things provided a different look on everything that Evie said, and he also was a brief look into the other side of things and the opposer.

Selena is actually a really interesting character. She clearly likes Jackson, and doesn't care too much for Evie. Yet, she still helps both of them out. She could just be doing it for Jackson, but I actually suspect somehow that maybe she might be doing it for Evie too. Honestly, I'm not sure. But while I'm not sure I liked her, I didn't dislike her. She's still very mysterious, and I'm looking forward to learning more about her.
Ah, Matthew. Matthew was a very interesting character. He's not completely normal, but he doesn't seem insane. He can see the future, and that's slowly started to mess with him. He'll do anything for Evie, which is clear from the beginning. He almost seems like a little boy and a man at the same time.
Finn is fascinating. We don't meet him for a long time, but I really like him. He has this awesome sense of humor and he's somewhat of a rascal. He has a playful personality and made me laugh more than once. The way he sees things is humorous, and even ridiculous. I'm really looking forward to learning more about him.

Plot. The most crucial, important part of any story, of course. Without a good, solid plot, a novel in nothing.

Poison Princess' plot is definitely unique. It's based on Arcana, a set of tarot cards. A group of teenagers have been assigned to cards, and that is part of who they are. They can't escape it. Evie is one of these teens. She tries to deny her abilities, deny who she is, but she can't. Ultimately, fate catches up with her. That's when she hits the road, knowing that something's up. Jack is there, and though she isn't sure why, she's grateful.

Evie doesn't want any part of this. For one thing, she's sure it will scare Jack off, and she needs him. But she can't seem to run from what's destined to happen.

I really, really liked the original story. The Arcana is, as far as I know, a previously untouched subject in YA, but it was done so well here. I was seriously impressed. I like the way there's an entire history that goes along with it, and that we don't learn everything at once. Some things I could eventually conclude for myself, but some things I was surprised to learn. It was pretty much the ideal balance.

Like I said before, it did start out pretty slowly, and it actually took me a while to really get into it. For the longest time, it was so hard to keep reading. It was good, but it didn't grab me. It spent too much time on Evie's life before the apocalypse, when they way she lived was shallow and unremarkable. Still, once it started to get interesting, it got really interesting, and I started to really love it.

The romance was a bit unique. There's certainly a love triangle of sorts, although it doesn't involve two guys. Evie and Jack have some seriously sparkling chemistry, but Jack wants to take things too fast and Evie doesn't like that. I really liked that, the fact that she didn't get carried away. Her heart was hot but her head was cool. When they meet Selena, things get complicated. Selena clearly has a thing for Jack, and it seems that Jack might like her too. So that's when things start to get really messy. Strangely, it didn't bother me that much.

I love, love, love Kresley's writing style. Even though I couldn't connect to Evie's voice for a while, the writing itself is just beyond gorgeous. It's both young and worldly, the voice of a girl who's seen too much and yet doesn't know enough. And the characterization is incredible. All of the secondary characters are very fleshed out, with promises of more backstory to come. And I love the dialogue and banter between the characters. It's realistic, and can be both fun and serious without being melodramatic.

The ending…wow. I must say, I honestly did not see that coming at all. I really didn't. It completely shocked me. It ended in this totally unexpected and dramatic way that just kind of put everything into perspective. Then it got even more unexpected and dramatic, and I just loved it. Okay, I know that really doesn't make too much sense, but I'm trying to avoid spoilers. Oh, also, it's like this huge, ginormous, totally cruel cliffhanger.

So, yes, I loved Poison Princess. It's a unique and fun dystopian that kept me on my toes. While it's not for everyone, I'd definitely recommend it. It's not your average post-apocalyptic novel, so I genuinely think that many, many people will love it just for that. I myself will most definitely be continuing this series. In fact, I'm highly anticipating the next installment of The Arcana Chronicles! It was a wild and sexy ride, a bit slow at first but escalating, and I gobbled it up. Kresley has herself a proud new fan!




  1. The love triangle doesn't involve two guys? Hmm... That's new... And your review for the ending was as usual, something I look forward to... Cause it means it will give me an idea on how the book will end... I honestly don't like reading a book with an ending I don't like... =)

    I was actually surprised at first that Kresley Cole was writing a YA novel... Anyway, she's very good at what she does...

    Thank you for this review... I hope I can get a copy soon...

    Uhm... Don't get me wrong but, uhm, the blockquote design is kinda hard on the eyes... It's only my opinion okay... No offense... It's your blog, so I respect your decisions... Please, don't be angry...

  2. I've been looking forward to this one, and have seen some great things about it!! The issues you had with Evie worry me, though...I tend to be very character oriented and if I can't connect it lessens my enjoyment of the book. Hopefully I can overlook it.
    I do adore surprises in books, though, so I'm extremely curious to know what happens at the end!! I think I'll try to pick this one up sometime early on next year. :)


  3. I really want to read this one, I've seen it around for a while and it just looks so good :).

    Hopefully I will be able to ignore the character issues you cited, it really depends on the author and the story for me, sometimes what bothers someone else works for me or vice versa but we'll see :).

  4. Yes, I agree that the beginning was achingly slow. Maybe that's why I stopped reading the book....

  5. I have this book and I was DYING for it when I got it but I keep putting it off because it seems to be somewhat polarizing. It's nice to see a review that is somewhat in the middle, makes me feel as if I'll enjoy it no matter. I think it's time to finally move this up on my TBR! <3

  6. Another dystopian read for me to devour.. looks great and I must say Jack seems very interesting!

  7. Love dystopians! Hope this one doesn't leave me disappointed like the last few I've read. I've heard mixed opinions on it. It sounds like I will like it from your detailed review. Thanks for your thoughts!

  8. Great review! I love how you do such a detailed breakdown of everything. I can't believe I still haven't read this one! It's patiently sitting on my shelf, but now I really want to read it! :)

  9. Awesome review! I have a sample of this book on my kindle. I haven't read it yet, but I have heard really good things about it. I really enjoy the dystopian genre, so I think I would definitely enjoy this book!

  10. I just finished the book today and I love it. I really enjoyed Evie and Jack's relationship and the whole concept of the book. The story is unique and I don't know how I'm going to wait for book two.. Awesome review!

    1. This is also my comment for the Winter Wonderland giveaway!

  11. I had a tough time with this one for the first half of the novel. But then something just clicked with me, and I ended up really liking it. The ending especially. I think that the second book is really going to be something very unique, and very special!

  12. Love the review! I hope I get the courage to start the book :D

  13. I'm a bit confused by the synopsis, but it sounds amazing! I know of a ton of books that start of slow, and pick up afterwards, and hope that I don't give up in the middle . . . Anyways, I'm glad you enjoyed it, and would want to pick it up and see how I feel!


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