Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #57: Poison

Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #57: PoisonPoison by Bridget Zinn
Published by Disney Hyperion on March 12, 2013
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 288
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
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five-stars

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.

Now 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?

Kyra 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.

Recommended by: Debby (Snuggly Oranges)

Yayyyyyy! I am SO glad that Debby forced me to read this book. Though I think it was on my to-read list anyway, I’m not certain I would ever have found the time to get to it, because there are an absurd number of books on my to-read shelf and I ALSO love rereading. I actually remember when this book was coming up, because I kept adding and removing it from my to-read shelf, because the reviews were ALL over the place, and I kept being convinced one way and then another, like a giant tug of war. The winner of that tug of war was Debby. *doffs hat to Debby*

Though I truly delighted in every page of Poison, I can see where it might not be everybody’s cup of cocoa. It’s all going to depend on your expectations and what you’re into. Thankfully, I went in with fairly low expectations and a feeling that the book would be flufftastic. It IS. There is NOTHING wrong with some well done fluff, and I had a big grin on my face the whole way through, so what is better than that?

If you’re in the mood for nuanced world building and a focus on Kyra’s work as a poisoner, you are going to be disappointed. I’m not saying this to be mean, because I loved this book. Thankfully, that’s not what I was looking for and I don’t think it’s what the book was trying to do. Poison is sheer, character-driven entertainment. In fact, Poison would make an awesome Disney movie, but maybe that’s just the fact that I’ve just watched Frozen talking. It’s light, funny, bantery, has great ships, short, and full of awesome female characters.

Though the focus isn’t on the world building, I LOVE the world in Poison. One of the common complaints in fantasy worlds is women being treated like second class citizens. So many fantasy worlds are medieval in their gender roles, and it gets old. The female characters in Poison are empowered. The society actually runs the royal inheritance through the female line. So often, it’s only the heroine who’s a badass (which Kyra is), but basically all of the women are awesome in their own right, and none of them are pushovers.

Kyra charmed me immediately with her snarky judgmentalness and unfriendliness. Basically, she is my soul sister and a lot of people probably won’t like her, which seems to happen with the characters who I most identify with. Anyway, she’s a potioner and a criminal, having fled town after dumping her hot fiancee and trying to kill her best friend, the princess. You know, as one does. I knew for sure that I loved her on page three when she thinks this, as she’s climbing a building to steal some things:

What she wouldn’t give for a sturdy length of rope to climb. She cursed quietly. What was she doing wishing for rope? If she was going to wish for something, it should be something really important.

Like pie.

Warm from the oven, all crispy, crackly crust and oozing juicy berries.

I LIKE THE WAY THIS GIRL THINKS. Also I like that she’s not an innocent little darling and that she has walls up. I like that she really did try to assassinate her best friend (for the good of the country). She is hard-hearted. She even hates animals, like the little pig who is going to help her find her best friend again to successfully assassinate her this time. That is comedic gold. Though I don’t actually find pigs adorable, watching Kyra open up to Rosie, the pig, and to Fred is heart-touchingly adorable.

Oh yeah, Fred. I KNOW you didn’t think I would review a book without talking about the ship, right? THAT’S WHAT I DO. IT’S WHAT I LIVE FOR. Fred and Kyra are the adorbs and entirely non-instalovey. In fact, everything about them is made of banter. The whole book is very showing not telling. Most of the characterization is done through dialog, which is tricky to get right, but they were all so real and wonderful. I can’t speak to some of the relationships, because they’re spoilery, but I really love the dynamics of all of Kyra’s relationships: View Spoiler » Feelings, guys. I have them.

Do you like adorable things? Do you like banter? Do you like ships? If you answered yes to all of these things, time to down some Poison. This was the perfect fluffy, fantasy read for me, and just what I needed as I’m coming out of a streak of non-fantastic reading.

Favorite Quote:

“Hi,” Kyra said, squeezing her eyes shut for a moment. Looking at children made her skin crawl.

She didn’t like children at the best of times, and now was certainly nowhere near the best of times.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

The cutest Fred since Harry Potter

The cutest Fred since Harry Potter


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13 responses to “Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #57: Poison”

  1. YAY THIS REVIEW MAKES ME SO HAPPY I’M BOUNCING IN MY CHAIR WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

    That first paragraph pretty much slayed me. NEVER DOUBT ME AGAIN MUWAHAHAHA. I HAS THE POWER.

    “Though I don’t actually find pigs adorable, watching Kyra open up to Rosie, the pig, and to Fred is heart-touchingly adorable.”

    *dead* MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

    I should stop with the caps seriously. I loooooove that quote you picked out omg I forgot about the banter and awesomeness. I really should reread this. I don’t know why I only gave it 3.5 stars, because now I’m thinking I didn’t give it enough credit. WHATEVER 3.5 IS STILL GOOD. Yay for strong females, fluffiness, awesome ships, and ROSIEEEEEEEE. 😛
    Debby (Snuggly Oranges) recently posted…Book Haul #7: In Which #LoveThyself HappenedMy Profile

  2. Yes, this book totally reminded me of a Disney movie and I think that’s also the reason I love it so much. I loved Kyra! I thought it was very cool that she was willing to sacrifice her friend for her country. Fred was absolutely the best. Kyra and Fred were ADORABLE together. This is a ship that I ship. I agree about the dynamics in all the relationships 🙂
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Love-a-thon: spreading the love.My Profile

  3. Angie F. says:

    Adorable was the main word I used in my review to describe this book! It is just utterly adorable! I am sooooo glad that you loved this one! Fred and Kyra were sooo cute!!! I loved them. 😀
    Angie F. recently posted…Review: Nightwalker (Dark Days, #1) by Jocelynn DrakeMy Profile

  4. Danielle says:

    I have been going back and forth about buying this book for months but totally convinced I need to read it now! Good job 😉 This sounds so cute and how did I miss the part about the pig? I needs it!

  5. This book sounds so good! I feel like such a fool for not requesting this on NetGalley because it really sounds like my cup of tea; the world building, the main character and the none insta-love romance, damn me and my silly mistakes! This is going on my want-more-than-most shelf asap, great review! 😀
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted…Five Friday Favourites #3 – Favourite CouplesMy Profile

  6. Gillian says:

    I loved this book. It was just the cutest cute, and your review said it all. I’d forgotten so many things, and now I want to reread! DAMN YOUUUUUUU.
    Gillian recently posted…Book Haul, or the One In Which I’m Very Eco-FriendlyMy Profile

  7. Anya says:

    So agreed about this one! Yey Debby 😀 Based on the cover and description, I was well-prepared with what to expect and love Poison for what it is. I don’t think it really makes any attempt to “trick” people into thinking it’s going to be serious fantasy anyway with that back of book blurb, haha. I adore light-hearted, fluffy fantasy done well and Poison is definitely that, yey to fun reads!
    Anya recently posted…Updates from the Lair 2/16/14My Profile

  8. Larissa says:

    I actually haven’t heard of this book till now, so thanks for putting it on my radar. The main character not only has an awesome name, but sounds like one I’d be able to enjoy reading about. Kyra seems to have that perfect mixture of snark and badassery I love. I also am interested in the relationship between Fred and Kyra. My favorite relationships in YA are ones that are well developed and full of fun banter, which that one seems to be.

    I’m so excited to read Poison now! Lovely review 🙂

  9. Aww yay I’m so happy that you loved this one! Lili from Lili’s Reflections was so nice enough to give me her ARC about two years ago and I absolutely LOVED it. It’s kind of fluffy and cute while also being totally badass and awesome. I agree, Kyra’s character was so fun and especially how she reacted to being around animals and children. I kind of loved her character and it was so much fun! I could definitely see this as a Disney movie, too, maybe also because it’s published by Disney Hyperion lol. Fantastic review, Christina! <33
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…Feminist Sunday (4): Slut-ShamingMy Profile

  10. FRED AND KYRA!

    I love your love of this book.

    I agree that medieval gender roles in fantasy are boring, like come on authors let’s stretch those wings and do something awesome and different.

    Glad Debby had you read an AWESOME BOOK instead of hate reading something.
    April Books & Wine recently posted…Brotherhood | AB Westrick | Book ReviewMy Profile

  11. I’ve been thinking that I need to read Poison soon. i also have a ton of books on my TBR (which book blogger or avid reader doesn’t?) so it’s easy to forget about certain books. But Poison have been on my mind lately, and now, after reading your review, I’m thinking this just might be my next read.

    I love fluff books. Fluff is wonderful! And I don’t think writing an excellent fluff book is an easy thing to do. Also, I’ve heard so much about the pig, Rosie, that i Have to see what all the fuss is about. 🙂
    Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook recently posted…Review: Be with Me by J. LynnMy Profile

  12. Dani Sarabia says:

    This is on TBR but I was afraid of romance taking focus in this story, but I didn’t get that sense from your review.

  13. Nori says:

    We agree on this one!!!

    It was my number 5 book of 2013 actually. I just ate it up. And I also love that the main character is not an innocent darling. I loved the humor (and pie) too.
    Nori recently posted…A Good Week in Books (68)My Profile

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