Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly

Published: 20 October 2020

Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy

Book Trailer

Available as: Audiobook, E-book, Hardcover


Poisoned revives the nostalgic story of Snow White and provides a well-rounded depth to each of the characters. The main character, Sophie, is about to come-of-age and inherit the Greenlands kingdom from her stepmother. She struggles with controlling her emotions and falls in love with a suitor decided by her stepmother to be tough enough to make the hard choices a ruler needs to make. Readers discover that while the stepmother does talk to her mirror, it is actually a rumour spread by her servants and vassals that she asks the question, “who is the fairest of them all?” She actually asks for advice on protecting the kingdom from Corvinus, the King of Crows and the personification of Fear. In this version, the huntsman does take Sophie’s heart and leaves her to die before she is saved by the dwarf brothers. She gets a new clockwork heart and has more trouble controlling her emotions than before. She goes on a journey to find her old heart where she discovers real friendship and love and finds that being kind can have good consequences.


“Every human heart is faulty, full of cracks and scars. And every heart winds down one day. Yours will, too. But today is not that day. And today is all that humans are given.” – Pain

This is one of the many quotes that I enjoyed that also represents the themes of the text. I would recommend this book to young adults or readers who enjoy fairytales because it is nostalgic and emphasizes being in touch with your emotions in the moment, both positive and negative. The book is mostly written in third person. However, one element that did not work well are the sections in second person. I was pulled out of being immersed in the text because I was not sure who was being talked to right away. One element that worked well is the personification of states of being such as Fear, Pain, and Death. By portraying these states of being as physical people or monsters, it represents the hardships of taking time to understand your emotions that might not be represented as easily if they were portrayed abstractly.

Overall Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ–

3.75 – Would read again in free time

Ending: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ— – 3.5/5

Plot: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ• – 3/5

World-building: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ• – 4/5

Characters: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ• – 3/5

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: