Poison Princess

PJV Quickie: Holy Mother of YA Goodness…did Kresley Cole write a book! I’m still getting the chills thinking about this ‘Poison Princess!’
Title: Poison Princess
Author: Kresley Cole
Series: The Arcana Chronicles, #1
Type: Dystopian, Paranormal Romance
ARC Copy provided by Grace
To Be Published October 2nd 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Rating: 5 Stars Purchase Goodreads

Review:

Can I just say that I love Kresley Cole? I think I need to elevate her as my new favorite author. Her writing makes me happy and wiggly and I ponder it for days afterwards. I want to roll around in her words and fall in love with her main characters. Her latest adult addition to the Immortals After Dark series had me all aflutter and now ‘Poison Princess’ was no different. Welcome to Young Adult Kresley Cole, why didn’t you do this sooner?

Evangeline “Evie” Green is your typical Southern Aristocracy. Rich, pampered, popular and suffering from a mild case of mental instability. Don’t fault her, we all are a little bit crazy down here. The difference though, in Louisiana, is that they call you a “character”,  not crazy. Unfortunately Evie is still in high school, so when she begins “seeing” horrifying apocalyptic landscapes and events in her dreams and waking nightmares, her mother has her committed. At the beginning of the book she is just getting out from her “time away” and trying to get in the swing of things in school. But it is becoming increasingly hard to do as the hallucinations increase in strength and she seems to be unwittingly drawn to a new addition to her school, Cajun bad-boy Jack Deveaux, a swoon-worthy character if ever there was one.  Then just as you are getting settled into high-school life and Evie’s fight for sanity, the end-cometh and suddenly Evie’s hallucinations aren’t just in her head anymore.

‘Poision Princess’ has a richly drawn out and complex plot which left me breathless as Cole sped me through scene after scene. It is non-stop, hard-hitting and emotional from page to page. Cole brings her perfected writing style to the young adult genre and owns it. She found a young adult voice and exploited it in such a rich fashion I wouldn’t have recognized her as the adult paranormal romance writer that I love if I didn’t see her name on the cover. Yet, in signature Cole style, the richly crafted world-building was perfectly construction with all her i’s dotted and t’s crossed. She let nothing slip through her fingers, even though the plot was very intricate. And speaking of plot, the idea behind the characters, represented by the Major Arcana of a Tarot deck was a very original idea. I’m quite familiar with Tarot decks and spent most of the book trying to figure out which card represented which character and I was rather impressed with Cole’s interpretation of the representations. It was beyond interesting.

What also lured me in was the beginning of the book, how she foreshadowed later events that built up anxiety throughout the whole book. I have to admit I even flipped to the end just to see what would happen — even though I couldn’t figure out where everything fell in to place. Worthless exercise – don’t do it.

Then the characters. Oh those characters! I did enjoy Evie, she was just a fantastic heroine, but I was smittten with Jack. I could kill him at times and fall all gaga over him in others. Again, typical Cole with her larger-than-life heroes. Even though this one was human, he still had the makings of a great Alpha.  Am I gushing too much?

Read the book. Adults, teens – whatever – get the book read it. Love it.

Recommendations:

Mature teens, there is a smidge of sexual interaction, nothing over the top though, but there is a substantial bit of violence, evisceration, death and destruction. I passed it on to a fourteen year old, but I know she is a mature reader. So, I’ll mark this as a 14+, but parents you might want to read this one if you have concerns. Fans of Julie Kagawa and Kelly Keaton should enjoy! YA Paranormal Romance fans — this is a must read.

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