Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “This Poison Heart (This Poison Heart, #1)” as Want to Read:
This Poison Heart (This Poison Heart, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

This Poison Heart

(This Poison Heart #1)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  14,836 ratings  ·  3,102 reviews
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 the
Paperback, 372 pages
Published June 29th 2021 by Bloomsbury YA UK
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about This Poison Heart, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
sophie ✌ The main character is bi/pansexual and there's a female love interest! The romance isn't a very large part of the story, though, however the main char…moreThe main character is bi/pansexual and there's a female love interest! The romance isn't a very large part of the story, though, however the main character has two mums, which is also great rep(less)
Elle Khupe
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,836 ratings  ·  3,102 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of This Poison Heart (This Poison Heart, #1)
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
I liked this one but I didn’t love it unfortunately. I think after having such a good time with Cinderella is Dead my expectations were a bit too high. It was a really unique urban fantasy with the plants and poisonous plants in particular being a main part of the story. I loved how it was inspired by the Secret Garden. And I definitely loved Briseis and her parents. But I felt like things meandered a bit too much in the beginning. I think the pacing was off as the book starts with just a lot of ...more
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

Gorgeous cover aside, I'm going to need everyone who enjoyed Tracy Deonn's LEGENDBORN to add this to their TBRs a.s.a.p., because this book does with Greek mythology what that book did with Arthurian legends: strong Black heroine, magical heritage, Gothic elements, and family secrets. Can you say "YES"? Because I can.

THIS POISON HEART is about a girl named Briseis. She works in a flower shop with her two moms and she has a natural affini
Mar 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: love, arcs
↠ 4.5 stars

Ever since Briseis was a young girl the plants around her have bowed to her touch, even those with the potential to harm. It's a strange affinity she cannot even begin to understand, having never known her biological parents. When she receives news that she's inherited a rundown estate from an aunt she’s never met, the potential to learn more about her background is achieved. Along with her parents, she leaves Brooklyn behind to spend the summer at the house and hopefully discover mor
myo (myonna reads)
i feel like the author was trying to put too many black culture things in the book to make it and bri seem more relatable but it got really annoying at certain points because sometimes characters would say black phrases that didn’t fit into the conversation and it felt like the author was forcing it. i don’t mind having black culture things in books, i love it honestly but authors need to learn when they’re doing it too much. i also felt like the book never really got to the point like the book ...more
Dec 16, 2020 marked it as to-read
the math is simple, and the math does not lie:
gorgeous cover
+ ownvoices fantasy retelling
= me screaming over why this book feels so far away while aggressively clicking the want to read button

also, that cover. my my. clutches fist in cottage core lesbian.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This woman writes the best books with the best covers, you can't change my mind ...more
Dec 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021-releases
Star Rating: —> 5 Stars


The fun mix of retellings coming together and all of the greek mythology and the queer rep omfg omfg OMFGGGG this book is a DREAM!

Literally recommend this with my whole heart! SO DAMN GOOD!!!!!

rachel ☾
look at this cover and cry with me, it's so beautiful

Trigger warnings for (view spoiler).

Representation: Briseis (mc) Black, wears glasses & sapphic; Black & sapphic scs.

BlogTrigger Warning DatabaseTwitterInstagram
!Minor Spoilers!
I'm so disappointed. This book did not meet my expectations. It wasn't down-right awful, but it wasn't necessarily good.
It was(mundane):

M ostly Briseis ranting about her abilities. I swear, the amount of times I had to read a ten dialogue page about how she was "dIfFeReNt FrOm OtHeR gIrLs" was so annoying. It felt like a conservative situation where they're "oppressed" because they're forced to wear masks. I'm not saying a girl struggling makes her a pick-me. In shatter
Dec 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This Poison Heart has been on my radar since before it was published. This was my best friends favourite book of the year, and she has been pushing me to read it for a while now. We usually like the same books so I randomly decided to pick this up the other day when I had no idea what to read.

All I can say is, this book is absolutely incredible. I had hoped I’d like it, but I didn’t expect it to be a genuine new favourite! This Poison Heart follows Briseis, a teenage girl who has the ability to
Wow wow wow. 10/10. Douze points. Stunningly perfect reading experience.

I came for the vibes, and I stayed for them too, but also for the amazing reading experience, the creepy, mysterious vibes, the way Greek mythology was interwoven in the story in a way I've never seen before. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, could not put it down but could also not get myself to read faster in case I missed something, and there were so many amazing secrets and reveals. Book 2 is immediately one
Amy Imogene Reads
4 poisonous stars

Poisons, mythology, secrets, creaky old mansions, and more—OH MY. Really nice setup for a series! Wish the first half had been less boring.

Concept: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★★
Pacing: ★★
Last third of the book: ★★★★★

Briseis has a strange skill. A gift, maybe. Some might call it a curse. Growing up adopted in Brooklyn, Briseis and her two moms discover that she can grow any plant. She can rebirth a plant from its withered ashes. The plants also want to... be close to Briseis. In fact, whe
Wren (fablesandwren)
May 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
RTC but damn.. I’ve never read a more unique take on mythology. This book blew my mind.

Thank you Net Galley and to the publisher for a e-reader and a physical ARC of this book.

I absolutely love this book.

I did not know what I was getting into when I started this one. All I knew was that the main character could grow plants, aka a dream power I would love to have. Little did I know that there would be LGBTQ+ representation through out the book, the most healthy relationship between a daugh
Kezia Duah
Hmmm, I really tried to make sure I found this exciting, but it just want giving. It had a great ending though, so definitely looking forward to read the next book.
Have you guys seen the cover for the next book??!! It’s so pretty!!! I wanna tear up. In fact, I just made it my wallpaper.
Jul 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
atlas ♡
DNF @ 71%

Mainly DNFed because of the horrible age gap between the MC and love interest, (376 to 17 i'm pretty sure). The whole "immortal" love interest trope is overused and just gross. The pacing was weird and barely anything had happened.

Thank you to Bloomsbury for sending out a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Jul 29, 2021 rated it liked it
ARC received in exchange for an honest review 🌱

From an early age, Briseis has known she's different. She can get flowers to bloom at her touch, and trees bend towards her wherever she goes. When she inherits a mysterious house from an unknown ancestor, she finally has a place with enough space to let herself explore her gift to its fullest. But privacy comes at a price, and the house comes with generations of family secrets and a deadly poisonous legacy.

I really liked the characters in this. Br
Jun 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Overall 4.5/5
Just wow this book was just everything & more. I loved the modern references such as Get Out & Tiktok as they made me chuckle. One of my favourite parts of this book was the inclusion of Greek Mythology as I didn’t expect it & learning about all the plants mentioned was super interesting to me. Sometimes the main character was a little slow putting clues together but otherwise I really enjoyed reading about her. I went into this book expecting a standalone & was pleasantly surprise
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
Aug 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
This review was originally posted on Happy Indulgence Books. Check it out for more reviews!

What a fun and unique read! This Poison Heart features a blend of plant loving, Greek mythology and a haunting tale to find one's own mysterious heritage. I thought Briseis was such a fun main character, particularly with her powers of growing and understanding plants (like Poison Ivy). Although this isolates her from other people, she has a strong bond with her two mothers which was lovely to see.

Jun 13, 2022 rated it it was amazing
A magical Queer story of a Poison Garden, close family bonds, small town secrets and Greek myth, this was such a fun ride. I loved that Briseis magic was specific to plants, and I enjoyed following her as she finally found a place away from the chaos of the city where she could truly test her magic.

Briseis's moms are two of my favourite parents in YA, they're loving, hilarious and work with Bri when she's gifted the estate and starts to learn more about her biological family. As they work in a f
Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany)
Definitely a step up in storytelling from Cinderella is Dead! This Poison Heart is a cross between Little Shop of Horrors and Greek mythology with Black girl magic. While not a perfect book, there is a lot to like here and I think this will be a hit with a lot of readers. It's fun, creative, mysterious, and has pretty great family dynamics.

Briseis was adopted by her two moms, and I LOVE her moms and their relationship with each other- one of the best parts of the book in my opinion. They live in
2/5 stars

This book was so boring that I can barely write a review for it, so I will write an acrostic poem instead (channeling all that big-brain grade 5 energy here):

B – Briseis being stupid and not being able to connect any simple plot points
O – Only one real setting, which is a gothic mansion that contains like 3 rooms of note and 0 intrigue.
R – Romance straight out of a terrible, terrible 2000s paranormal book
I – Ingeniously flat characterization all around the board*
N – No plot until 80%
Brittany McCann
I loved this book, and I loved Briseis. I love the poison garden and this new twist on Poison Ivy and Little Petshop of Horrors.

This is a fun and excellent debut. There were a couple of parts in the end that felt rushed, but otherwise, I had a great time with this one.

4.5 Stars rounded up to 5
Artemis Crescent
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I loved this so much!! I need the sequel right now!! I really enjoyed Cinderella Is Dead when it came out, but This Poison Heart has me at stan levels for Kalynn Bayron. Ma'am can do no wrong. I will read ANYTHING she writes. Also desperate for the sequel *cries in queer*

This Poison Heart is about Briseis, an adopted Black girl with two moms. She's always been able to grow plants well past what would be considered normal. Then when a lawyer comes to visit, she tells Briseis that she's inherited
Jude in the Stars
Jun 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not all gifts are welcome. Briseis is bright and determined and if keeping herself in check didn’t require so much of her energy, she’d be an excellent student. But as it is, trying to stop plants – flowers, trees, grass – from reacting to her presence takes a lot of focus. Furthermore, when you’re hiding who you are, it’s hard to keep your friends or make new ones. So when Briseis learns that her birth sister’s mother willed her a property in the countryside, Briseis and her mothers decide to l ...more
buddy read with the wonderful FLOAB group!

ahh i don't know what's wrong with me... i think this might be a case of 'it's not you, it's me' and i wasn't in the mood for this. might change my rating later, but i just didn't love this, and that breaks my heart!

i loved the greek mythology aspects of this, that's for sure, and coincidentally i'm actually studying Medea in literature class right now, which is pretty cool! the magic, the dramatic family history, the combination of mythology, magical pl
Jul 11, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021, 2022
this was truly a beautiful and spectacular book 😭 i'm in love with kalynn's writing and you can see how much she's grown as a storyteller since she wrote/published cinderella is dead... everyone needs to read this asap ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Amelia Unabridged
  • Interior Chinatown
  • Cool for the Summer
  • Don't Hate the Player
  • Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet
  • Network Effect (The Murderbot Diaries, #5)
  • Love Is a Revolution
  • Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries, #3)
  • Forever Wild (Wild, #2.5)
  • Such a Quiet Place
  • The Soulmate Equation
  • Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man
  • A ​Queen of Gilded Horns (A River of Royal Blood, #2)
  • Boyfriend Material (London Calling, #1)
  • The Memory Thief (Thirteen Witches, #1)
  • Into the Heartless Wood
  • The Undocumented Americans
  • You Had Me at Hola (Primas of Power, #1)
See similar books…
See top shelves…

Other books in the series

This Poison Heart (2 books)
  • This Wicked Fate (This Poison Heart, #2)

Articles featuring this book

  As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
44 likes · 5 comments
“Whenever you hear a story about villainous women, you should ask who’s telling the story. Medea’s tale has been told and retold a dozen times, but always by men who seem to revel in her heinous actions without addressing what caused it. Sometimes her story is used to showcase women as crazy, unpredictable, or vindictive.” 11 likes
“The people we love are never really gone from us,” Mom said. “Try to remember that. I know it’s hard. It feels like the whole world should just stop spinnin’, but it doesn’t. And we’ve gotta find a way to pick up the pieces.” 8 likes
More quotes…