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.
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?
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. (From Goodreads)
Best Bits: I knew that Poison was something special when I was a couple pages into it. I had heard the hype, of course, but as I started the book I was a bit giddy with excitement. An adventure novel with a female heroine, and a love interest named for Fred Weasley? Everything about it was made of awesome. I thought Zinn did a particularly good job in revealing why Kyra attacked the princess, and what motivations lay behind it. I often questioned her decisions, but I wasn't smacking myself in the forehead over them (this has been happening to me quite a bit lately). The characters were real, funny, and I wanted to know more about the world that Zinn had created. To reiterate, awesomesauce.
There are a special groups of book that have a place on my shelf, my re-reads. These are the books that I've read countless times, and have needed replacement copies. Poison is getting a spot smack dab in the middle of the books I revist (somewhere between Tamora Pierce, Harry Potter, and Jennifer Crusie).
Amazingly, I really don't have any nitpicks. I absolutely loved every second of this book. Bridget Zinn did pass away before her book was released, and so my nit pick is with the universe taking such a talented author (one who writes female characters without placing them into pre-made molds) so young. There's a facebook page where people have been leaving comments about how fab the book is here: https://www.facebook.com/InMemoryBridgetZinn.
This is a bit of a rambling review, but I do want to say that this is what I think YA needs more of. It may be nostalgia, since this book reminds me of all the great YA books I read as a pre-teen, but it was adventure without the drama. There was no back-stabbing, no competition to be the superior female (in looks, boys, etc), instead it was about friendship, loyalty, and the choices people make out of fear.
By Bridget Zinn
Published by Disney Hyperion