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This Poison Heart, YA novel by Kalynn Bayron

“White roses. Genus Rosa. Family Rosaceae. Common name ‘Evening Star.’

“Mr. Hughes took a dozen of them to his wife’s grave every weekend, rain or shine. He had for the past year. He didn’t care about the genus or species, only that there were twelve of them waiting for him every Sunday, wrapped in brown paper and tied with string. My mom was going to have to tell him that the delivery truck hadn’t arrived last night like it was supposed to–it flipped over on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The driver was okay, but our shipment of Evening Star was scattered across six lanes of traffic.”

This hooks me in combination with the back cover–I KNOW that this is a teen who has plant magic she is afraid of, can’t control well, and gets sick using.

In this opening, the author quickly establishes that Briseis knows her way around plants from a scientific lens, not just a magical one, and in fact her family makes a living in the very environment that scares her even as she loves it. She’s clearly concerned about this customer and how they’re ruining his routine of that memento of love. She’s got a sense of dramatic humor–the way she describes the dumped load of flowers.

Add in that the author wrote Cinderella Is Dead–which I devoured. I greenlighted this book, checking it out of the library since the paperback isn’t available yet. I devoured it, too, and am waiting for the 2nd book.


Here’s me trying the second part, a hook. I chose a series, too, rather than a movie.

Star Girl: Hello, boring Blue Valley, that’s what I expected, but my step dad had one too many secrets boxed up. If he didn’t want me to find Star Man’s Cosmic Staff, he should have used more packing tape. Bye-bye, curfew, because that staff loves to fly.


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