Monday, 19 March 2012

Book Review: Poison Heart by S.B. Hayes.

Product details:
Publisher: Quercus.
Release date: March 1st 2012.
Paperback, 352 pages.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Ages: 12+
Source: Received from publisher for review.

An idle glance through the window of a bus changes everything for Katy Rivers.

A mysterious girl, with luminous green eyes, stares back and from that moment on she haunts Katy and appears to know her every move, even what she is thinking. What is the strange connection between them? And what is the power of the emerald pendant which the girl bestows on her?

‘I’m everything you’re not and I’m going to take over your life… I’m your worst nightmare.’

These chilling words mean that Katy is gradually backed into a corner, alienated from everyone she holds dear, even her own mother. Only her best friend Luke, keeps faith and together they must find a way to defeat the girl who is determined that she will be with Katy...even until death.

POISON HEART combines psychological suspense with teen romance and makes for a thoroughly chilling read.

Have you ever felt like someone was out to steal your life?

That’s exactly how Katy feels as soon as beautiful but deadly Genevieve Paradis walks into her life one day and refuses to leave.  Everything that’s important to Katy is now under threat, from her friends, to her school work, to her boyfriend Merlin, and the worst thing is that everybody seems to be totally charmed by Genevieve. Nobody can see her for what she really is.  Katy has no idea why Genevieve has singled her out or why she wants to ruin her life, but she does know that she’s not going to go down without a fight. Genevieve is hiding something in her past, and Katy, with the help of her journalist friend, Luke, is determined to find out what it is.

My interest was immediately piqued when I read the synopsis of Poison Heart. For a start, I love a good psychological thriller and the synopsis of this one has a little of the Beautiful Malice or Choker about it.  All three books deal with crazy ass girls with dark secrets, and I for one can never get enough of that stuff!

But while I loved the premise of Poison Heart, and while it’s definitely a page turning debut that shows a lot of promise, this book fell a little flat in terms of characterization.  I never warmed to Katy, while Genevieve, who is undoubtedly a little strange, never totally creeped me out. I never got those all important shivers down my spine when I was reading this book.  Then there’s the love interest, Merlin, who might have an interesting name, but as a character, he was as bland as could be.  I wanted these characters to make me care about them, I wanted to be invested in Katy and Merlin’s romance so that when Genevieve came along and tried to split them up, I’d be positively seething at her actions, but Genevieve’s games never got that kind of response from me.  I was interested in the secrets Genevieve was hiding, for sure, but the cast of characters in this book just didn’t appeal to me.

Poison Heart is a fun entertaining read, all the same, and there are plot twists galore as Katy begins to delve into Genevieve’s past and uncovers some very strange information indeed. Is Genevieve just a normal, if slightly crazy girl with a vendetta, or is there something much more sinister, something supernatural at work here?  I bet you want to know the answer, but you’ll just have to read Poison Heart to find out those dark secrets that lie behind Genevieve’s disarming smile.


  1. Wow is the only way to describe th description.  It's a shame about the characterisation but overall it sounds like a good read, great review :)

  2. I was so excited when you said Merlin is dating Genevieve. How did that happen? Gets me all stoked.  Then, my shoulders actually dropped when you mentioned flat characterizations.


  3. Ooh I've been wondering about this one! I haven't heard ANY reviews before this one so. I love the premise and it sounds entertaining. too bad the characters weren't better though that usually breaks it for me but I may give it a try and see.

  4. Oh, damn. Lack of connection with the characters plays such a huge role in derailing a novel. I'm still glad this was enjoyable, mixed with lots of plot twists, but it's such a shame it didn't live up to the super intriguing synopsis for you =\ But fantastic review, anyway!!

  5. daisychainbooks19 March 2012 at 20:04

     I love the description too - made me want to pick up the book immediately as it reminded me of some of my fave reads, but this one was just OK for me.

  6. daisychainbooks19 March 2012 at 20:06

     It was kind of a case of great idea, not so great executio (in certain aspects such as characterization). I'd be interested in seeing your thoughts if you do check it out!

    Also, Disqus keeps on putting your comments in spam. I don't know what that is, but, apologies for it! I've added you to my whitelist  now so you shouldn't end up in spam anymore!

  7. daisychainbooks19 March 2012 at 20:07

     Merlin especially fell flat as a character. I was kind of expecting good things from him with that name and all...

  8. daisychainbooks19 March 2012 at 20:08

     I know. I so need to be able to connect too, y'know! It was still a pretty enjoyable read overall though - kept me guessing for a while anyway! :)

  9. Haha I Know it does that on almost all blogs with DISQUS. I think it hates me!

  10. daisychainbooks19 March 2012 at 20:17

    It says 'low rep' after your username on there. What did you do??? :-p

  11. Lol what does that even mean? No idea. I comment a lot so maybe they think I'm a spammer!?

  12. I tend to like psychological thrillers as well, but flat characterization is one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to books. I think I'm going to look into this one a little more before I decide for sure whether or not I'll be picking it up. Thanks for sharing your thoughts though! :)

  13. Heather@ The Flyleaf Review20 March 2012 at 20:29

    Stinks when you have the makings of something great, but just can't get behind the characters enough to care in the end:( I love psychological thrillers too, and love seeing the bad guy or girl get their due! Thanks for the honest review Leanna:)

  14. Comparing it to Choker is a definite way to get me to want this book! I loved that one! I really need to read Poison Heart!! 

  15. daisychainbooks21 March 2012 at 15:07

     It was the synopsis of this one that made me think of Choker - the books aren't actually similar though. Choker was so twisted! Really enjoyed that one! :)

  16. The characterisation issues would be a big problem for me, which is a shame seeing as the story sounds so good. Will probably read this one at some point, but probably not for a while. Thanks for the review!


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