Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Poisoned” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.95  ·  Rating details ·  769 ratings  ·  301 reviews
From Jennifer Donnelly, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller Stepsister, comes a fairytale retelling that'll forever change the way you think about strength, power, and the real meaning of "happily ever after."
Once upon a time, a girl named Sophie rode into the forest with the queen's huntsman. Her lips were the color of ripe cherries, her skin as soft as new-
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 20th 2020 by Scholastic Press
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 Poisoned, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Annette If you ask me? Yes, it certainly does! It's just as feminist and female empowering and Sophie has a really wonderful story arc!

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  769 ratings  ·  301 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Poisoned
Charlotte May
My copy just arrived today 😁 🍎


Yes yes yes! To all of this!

Thank you Jennifer Donnelly for bringing us all of the feminist retellings!!!
Jennifer Donnelly
May 08, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
To all you lovely advance POISONED commenters: THANK YOU! Your enthusiasm and kind words mean the world to me. I'm SO excited to share Sophie's story with you, and get your feedback when I do!

So ... since you're here, I'll share a few spoiler-free tidbits about POISONED:

Q: What is the POISONED story based on?
A: Snow White. But the older, Grimmer version of Snow White than what you may have seen or heard as a kid. It's not pretty. And mine is even a little less pretty than the Grimms'. The hunts
Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell
I really liked the feminist spin of STEPSISTER, which is based on a really passive fairytale heroine. Snow White was even worse in the Disney version, so I'm excited to see how Donnelly empowers her!
Jasmine from How Useful It Is
This book started out interesting but the end unfortunately didn't wowed me. I loved stories with people having two face where one was likable but deep down they have other intentions. The wicked stepmother was truly wicked. She was constantly disgusted by Sophie's kindness. The seven dwarfs in this story were cool and funny. I like this retelling for the adventures of Snow White's deep sleep. Her adventures taught her many life lessons and gave her the opportunity to act with her own beliefs.

Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach
I wanted to love Poisoned as much as I loved Stepsister... Unfortunately it was a mediocre follow-up.

I just couldn't connect with the story or the characters. There were definitely some shining moments, and Jennifer Donnelly just has this incredible ability to craft sentences that bring tears to my eyes, but this Snow White retelling with just not for me.
Oh man! Just like with Stepsister, Poisoned had me completely sucked in. There was just something about Sophie, aka Snow White, that kept me engaged and entertained. Of course, there's also Will and I completely shipped them together. Sometimes people ship the huntsman and Snow White together.. depending on the story but nope - not this time. I was on team Will for sure.

Honestly, this retelling was a lot different. Unlike the previous ones, the main character wasn't named Snow or any other versi
Lenore .
Jan 05, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anticipated-2020
after the glory of stepsister i would ready any fairytale retelling by this queen
♡ jules ♡

Jennifer Donnelly turns her feminist eye to this most delicious of fairy tales and shows Snow White as she's never been seen before. JENNIFER DONNELLY IS OUT THERE SAVING THE RETELLING GENRE. I SAID WHAT I SAID.
Man this book dragged. As much as I loved Stepsister, this book was it's opposite in every way. The main character (Sophie) is not compelling. I didn't give a crap about the two love interests. The plot meanders all over the place. Donnelly made me sit up and shout in glee when reading her last book and this one was just very good. I think I was hoping more of a Snow White story a la Neil Gaiman's The Sleeper and the Spindle. This one was exhausting and as one character said, kept doing stupid t ...more
Amber J
Nov 16, 2020 rated it liked it
I try to express only my most honest opinion in a spoiler-free way. Unfortunately, there is still always a risk of slight spoilers despite my best efforts. If you feel something in my review is a spoiler please let me know. Thank you.

This is a Snow White retelling in case you couldn't tell by the cover. :) It's an interesting take on the story while still holding pretty close to the original tale. You get to know the Queen better, making her more real and not just some villain in a story. I also
Oh this was so good. So so amazing. After reading Stepsister, a Cinderella retelling by the same author, I went into this with a lot of expectations. This book made me love Snow White. It was off to a slow start for me and I thought it was going to be another Snow White retelling I'd end up not liking. However, Jennifer Donnelly did a madness here. She broke down the old tale into bits and took each one and remade it, and rewrote it into something beautiful. The way she rewrote the dwarves, the ...more
Sep 11, 2020 marked it as to-read
how the FUCK did I not know about this book until now???!!!!! If this is anything at all like Stepsister we all know it's going to be my next obsession so um
Vee_Bookish // YA Book Blogger
Sep 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wordpress Blog | Twitter | Pinterest

📗 I wasn't even aware that Jennifer Donnelly was releasing a new book until I spotted this in a giveaway, which I won! I'm so happy I found it though, because this is a seriously fun, dark, feminist retelling of Snow White, with a shocking ending that I never could have guessed.

📕 I love stories featuring a ragtag group of friends, making their way across the land (or across space in some cases) on an epic quest. Snow White's quest to win her heart back from Th

Jennifer Donnelly has got fairytale retellings on lock. I loved this...absolutely fantastic...I do believe I liked this one more than Stepsister even. It was the perfect blend of fantasy, darkness, badassness, and much heart in this one.

As for the narrati
Sep 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When I started reading this, I honestly wasn’t certain about it. It started a bit slowly and I thought that the cruelty the stepmother was demonstrating would be a little too much for me. However, as I kept reading, I was suddenly enthralled.

No spoilers of course. I’ll just say that the author turned this old fairy tale into a story that the Brothers Grimm would have loved. It was dark and twisted, yet had moments of pure whimsy. I loved all of our characters and thrilled to some who were most u
Nov 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-ya
3.25 ★

This is the second book I've read from Jennifer Donnelly, the first being Stepsister (a Cinderella retelling).

Poisoned is a retelling of the Snow White fairytale and is heavily inspired from the original version by the Brothers Grimm. We follow Sophie, the princess of the kingdom, who her stepmother orders to be killed by a hunstman. The huntsman carves out her heart, but she is saved by seven dwarves who give her a mechanical replacement. The plot centres around Sophie trying to refind he
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I do enjoy a good twist on a classic fairytale and this one didn't disappoint!

In Poisoned Sophie (Snow White) must take a journey to overthrow her evil stepmother and take her rightful place on the throne, where she can be the kind and gracious ruler the realm needs.

This one had elements of the Brothers Grimm fairytale and some new ones the author added. I really enjoyed the author's take on Snow White and found myself imagining the woods and the creatures described in the book. There are fami
Oct 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Jennifer Donnelly has done it again.
She’s somehow taken a story so familiar, most of us could recite in our sleep and made it new. There are just enough familiar elements to recognize the curve of the story, yet Donnelly manages to layer enough creative twists to make it all feel fresh and new. Absolutely brilliant.

If you’re like me, you look at a Snow White retelling and go “um…sis was fourteen and stupid and lived with seven strangers and married a stranger why would i ever care about that”. H
Rating 4.5/5*

This is a dark but superb retelling of the classic Snow White fairy tale with its own, unique twists. 

Princess Sophie is about to become the Queen and inherit her father's throne . . . . but her stepmother is determined she won't! She has spent years convincing Sophie that she's inept, incompetent, too kind hearted and just too weak and silly to be able to truly be queen. This is a story that shows how Sophie, with a lot of help from her new friends and her own nature, learns to sta
Oct 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-netgalley
The beautiful cover drew me to this book and also the synopsis which describes a dark retelling of Snow White and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. Poisoned stays true to the original story for the most part, with the addition of one or two clever and innovative twists by the author. Sophie’s clockwork heart, which has a limited time to beat, clicking and whirring in odd ways, added some tension and urgency to the storyline. The plot is engaging and action-packed and there are a plethora of creat ...more
Lisa Mandina
I have loved the books I’ve read by this author in the past, so I was very excited to read this one. I have Stepsister sitting on my TBR to read as soon as I get the chance as well! And after finishing Poisoned, I’m even more eager to go back and read it, as well as hopeful for what other fairy tales this author might tackle in the future, based on things mentioned in the epilogue.

While I don’t know that I’ve actually read the Brothers Grimm version of Snow White, I have read some of their other
I really enjoyed this book. One of the things that always bothered me about Snow White was the fact that she never really did anything, she just fainted and got happily ever after. That has clearly been remedied in this book. The fact that she didn’t get everything she wanted but still managed to have a happy ending was also greatly appreciated.

(view spoiler)
Booktastically Amazing
For full review please visit:

Okay. I liked this. I liked it a lot. Was it as good as Stepsister? As far as my memory(which is NOT that good to start with) goes, no. It is not as good as the first book, but they seldom are. Also, OH MY GOODNESS THIS AUTHOR'S MIND IS GOLD. Like, I do not understand how someone has such a great gift, even when the story shifts to middle grade in the last half. No hate on my part though just rants, as usual, *snort*.

RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Jodie- Readthewriteact
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ok, so Jennifer Donnelly is the Queen of retellings. Queen. Looooved it! And there was even a giant spider in it (whoops, spoiler) but I still loved it! After reading the opening sequence of what happened to Sophie I thought, well what are they going to do now? Fantastic magic is what. Full of adventure, twists and turns, this book will be a favourite for any fairytale fan.
Oct 20, 2020 rated it liked it
As a big fan of retellings and of Donnelly's previous book Stepsister I had high hopes for this Snow White inspired story. Unfortunately however it didn't quite live up to expectations. It may just have been a case of wrong book at the wrong time but it never really grabbed me in the same way Stepsister did and I found my concentration wandering a little as I was reading.

I have to confess the Snow White fairytale is probably not one that I know particularly well, and there are surprisingly few r
Rachel Hall
Oct 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Darker YA retelling of the Brothers Grimm version of Snow White and a lesson in kindness.

Poisoned is Jennifer Donnelly’s second retelling of a classic fairy tale and comes after the success of Stepsister which was a smart and subversive take on Cinderella. On this occasion the fairy tale is Snow White and Donnelly hijacks the Brothers Grimm version of the story and adds a layer of darkness to deliver a powerful and persuasive message on the power of kindness and ignoring the insidious voices tha
Bonnie (A Backwards Story)
“Mirror, mirror on the wall...
...Who will bring about my fall?”

Remember that feeling of anticipation when you are holding one of your absolutely most-anticipated books in your hands? You're breathless with excitement to dive in, but also feel a nervous flutter, because what if it can't meet your expectations after all the time you've spent building it up? Maybe you read it right away. Maybe you wait another year until that flutter finally flees and allows anticipation to overpower it. I
The Bookish Faerie
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Jennifer Donnelly took the most original grotesque Snow White fairytale written by the Brothers Grimm and retold the story around it, spinning it into her feminist version of Snow White with the gore and cruelty that reflects reality in a parallel fairytale. Reading it is like returning to a childhood home that felt familiar and new at the same time.

I adore retellings, especially dark ones. You do not need to read Stepsisters before reading this book. However, if you enjoyed Stepsisters or Pois
Oct 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Not as strong or good as stepsister for me. It was nicely written but fell flat at a lot of points. Just didn't vibe with it which sucks.
Nov 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book it was a great dark fairy tale retelling in more the style of the brothers grimm. I really loved the characters especially Sophie she grew so much as a character from a kind yet timid girl to someone strong that would become a great queen. I also really loved the romance in the story with Sophie and Will that is they just fit so well together I like that he was not a prince and the story only focused on it at certain points. I really loved the plot it started dark and ju ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
Jennifer Donnelly is the author of thirteen novels - Poisoned, Stepsister, Lost in a Book, These Shallow Graves, Sea Spell, Dark Tide, Rogue Wave, Deep Blue, Revolution, A Northern Light, The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose and The Wild Rose - and Humble Pie, a picture book for children. She is a co-author of Fatal Throne, which explores the lives of King Henry VIII's six wives, for which she wrote the ...more

Readers also enjoyed

  • I Still Believe
  • The Windsor Knot
  • The Last Story of Mina Lee
  • Heartstopper: Volume Two (Heartstopper, #2)
  • Heartstopper: Volume One (Heartstopper, #1)
  • What You Did
  • A Cornish Betrothal
  • When We Were Alone
  • Ghost Squad
  • What We Find (Sullivan's Crossing, #1)
  • Evil Thing (Villains, #7)
  • Code Name Hélène
  • The Grizzly Mother
  • Twice in a Blue Moon
  • Into the Heartless Wood
  • Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close
  • How It All Blew Up
  • Broken Wish (The Mirror, #1)
See similar books…

Related Articles

The author of 'Salt to the Sea' discusses the historical events that inspired her new YA novel.
17 likes · 4 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Mirror, mirror on the wall... who will bring about my fall?” 2 likes
More quotes…