Book Review — This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron

I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book from Netgalley and Bloomsbury YA. This has not impacted my rating and this review is voluntary.

  • Genre: YA Fiction
  • Published by: Bloomsbury YA
  • Publish date: June 29th, 2021
  • Number of pages: 384 pages
  • Author’s website:
  • Support local! Buy the book on BookShop!

Darkness blooms in bestselling author Kalynn Bayron’s new contemporary fantasy about a girl with a unique and deadly power.

Briseis has a gift: she can grow plants from tiny seeds to rich blooms with a single touch.

When Briseis’s aunt dies and wills her a dilapidated estate in rural New York, Bri and her parents decide to leave Brooklyn behind for the summer. Hopefully there, surrounded by plants and flowers, Bri will finally learn to control her gift. But their new home is sinister in ways they could never have imagined–it comes with a specific set of instructions, an old-school apothecary, and a walled garden filled with the deadliest botanicals in the world that can only be entered by those who share Bri’s unique family lineage.

When strangers begin to arrive on their doorstep, asking for tinctures and elixirs, Bri learns she has a surprising talent for creating them. One of the visitors is Marie, a mysterious young woman who Bri befriends, only to find that Marie is keeping dark secrets about the history of the estate and its surrounding community. There is more to Bri’s sudden inheritance than she could have imagined, and she is determined to uncover it . . . until a nefarious group comes after her in search of a rare and dangerous immortality elixir. Up against a centuries-old curse and the deadliest plant on earth, Bri must harness her gift to protect herself and her family.

Rating: 4.5/5

Black girl magic indeed!

Briseis has always known she was a little different and as she’s gotten older she’s learned how to hide her powers. Unfortunately, in order to do this, she has had to make her self smaller and keep from being her full authentic self.

Her moms are going through economic hardship when suddenly a women appears with a will from Bri’s birth mother bequeathing a beautiful estate full of wonders in a small town in upstate New York. There is more to meet the eye as Bri and her family move to this new home and begin to get familiar with the library of herbs, surrounding gardens, and town.

Bri begins to learn more about her birth family and why she is the way she is. As she tests her limits and learns to grow more into her own, there are forces that are trying to take away something that has been protected by her family for decades.

This is a lovely, magical, coming of age mixed with fantasy-YA novel. I loved the fairy tale elements throughout the book and really grew to love the characters. I can’t wait to see what else is in store for Bri.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to know!

2 Replies to “Book Review — This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron”

  1. I’ve not read this one yet but I have it as well as Cinderella is Dead and I am really keen to read both as soon as I can. I’ve seen so many great reviews!

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