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The Poison Garden

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  270 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Thomas has inherited a magical box from his dead grandmother. This box provides entry into a mysterious garden. When he sees a ghostly vision of his grandmother, she tells him to find the person responsible for her death, and save her garden.
Paperback, 276 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 2009)
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Rating details
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Apr 07, 2009 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anthony William
Sarah Singleton's The Poison Garden is wonderful novel ripe for budding readers that makes up for it's lack luster lead character with the rich mythology, world, and mysteries it presents.

While I enjoyed the vast majority of characters the book offered, Thomas, the main character, didn't leave enough of an impression on me. I never felt like I truly got to know him, which was unfortunate. Despite that the rest of the guild members, especially the older members, truly were memorable, an
Bobbie  Crawford
May 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone - 12 years of age and up!
The Poison Garden
Written By: Sarah Singleton
Published By: Simon and Schuster UK, 2009, 284 pages, paperback
ISBN 978-1847382979

The Poison Garden had me captivated from page one; with vivid scenery and flowing prose, this YA novel creates a world that is 1 part historical and 1 part fantastical. This story has a rather dark undertone throughout; it certainly isn’t a feel-good read, but it isn’t meant to be either. With curiosity, a thirst for adventure and at his Grandmother’s behest, Thomas becom
Sep 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
This is one of the best paced books I have read in a long time; the author provided snippets of information gradually, at a realistic pace, without it becoming slow or cumbersome. The snippets held my interest and kept me guessing, and I was in no rush to get to the answers, for every part of the book was so full and vibrant. I wanted to experience every part of it, rather than just see where it ended up. The characters all felt like they had extra layers beyond what was provided within the book ...more
3.5 stars.
This was pretty good. It had some really great ideas, and I loved the gardens. They probably had the best bits of description in the entire book. The characters were good, but I didn't really attach to any of them. I don't think I'll ever read it again, but I'd certainly recommend it for younger audiences (probably from about 8 or 9 years old).
Dec 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Interesting novel - I loved the idea of secret gardens hidden inside plain boxes that were bigger on the inside, that took on aspects of whoever controlled the garden; their dreams, their memories, their imagination. What wonderful places those gardens could be, and what terrible places.

The mystery of the murders was enthralling, but I found the ending somewhat unsatisfying. We never learned where the garden came from, or what the other members of the previous guild had created. Still, an entert
Alexis W
Sep 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: not eleven year olds
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jazmin Jade
Mar 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
My opinion of this book is not great. Within the first couple of pages I was getting annoyed with the style of writing and found myself drifting off while reading and thinking about other things, and it took me far longer to read because I kept putting it down and trying to find something else to distract myself so I didn’t have to keep reading. But, I hate to leave a book unfinished and I committed to trying to post a review each day, so I pushed myself through it.

The contents of the book is de
Sep 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
Thomas has always been curious about the strange life his grandmother leads and after she dies, he is surprised to be singled out in her will. A man who knew her has come to help teach him the secrets of the magical garden and its deadly plants so he can learn to continue her work. But someone or something else is after Thomas, wanting to steal those secrets from him.

This book was ok. The character of young Thomas is nicely written and it's not too 'young' which can be a problem with some YA boo
This book was entirely not what I expected. When Thomas' grandmother dies and bequeaths him a box he doesn't quite know what to make of it. A secret garden his grandmother cultivated exists inside the box. 6 other gardens exist but someone is killing the owners off one by one.

I really enjoyed the concept of this book. Secret gardens only you control and shape with your thoughts? Yes please. I could have read about the gardens alone for 300 pages but instead there is a who done it that jumps thr
Jan 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own, fantasy
I started reading The Poison Garden with very little expectations and already on the first page I was vastly impressed by it. The novel is written wonderfully with elaborate and vivid descriptions of plants and layouts of the various gardens central in the book, drawing the reader into the orchards and flower beds until you almost think you can smell the flowering blossoms.

Most surprising however was that the story rapidly turned into an Agatha Christie whodunit with elements of a fantasy novel
★ Jess
I really wish we could award half stars on this website, because this charming book was better then 3 (to me that means enjoyable) and not as good as a 4 (loved it!). This short mystery novel lingers somewhere in the middle.
I have to say: I read this straight after finishing the entire "Harry Potter Series", so this book would always be on the back foot. Also, at the age of (almost) 15, I am probably a few years old for this. Regardless, it was still an great read.

I will write a proper review
May 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
DNF - 52%

This book I received at a book signing in a goody bag. I have to admit that even starting out I had a feeling this book would just not be for me and I was correct.

The book was slow and the writing style was not a style I liked. I found myself being bored and skimming through pages until I said enough was enough. I have plenty of books to read and little time to be reading ones that I'm not enjoying so I gave up.

In all honestly I think this book would best suit middle grade kids and some
Nov 27, 2016 rated it liked it
After the death of his herbalist grandmother, young Thomas is left a box which opens his way into a magical garden. All is not pleasant in this garden, however. He sees his grandmother’s ghost, learns she was murdered, and finds he is to be apprenticed into a ring of other sinister herbalists—or witches. Then more members of the guild start to die. Can Thomas discover the killer before he too becomes a victim?

I enjoyed the 19th-century setting and the characters, but somehow I didn’t get heavily
Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really was fascinated by this book. i have never come across a book like this. its so romantic- the thought of having your own magical garden! i loved the names the most, i wrote them all down in my special book at home. as im so in love with athurian legends, i loved the garden called albion as well as broceliande... I know, i'm a hard-core magic and mythology lover. reading books with lots of magical creatures sends shivers of excitement up my spine - literally.
I'm forever indebtd to merlin
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
The Description in this book was great, beautifully written and lovely. The plot not so good. There have been better books and this might just been one of Sarah Singletons okay books.

I don't know I struggled through this book. It wasn't great and sometimes it makes you feel like giving u. However the ending was different, it was beautifully written and I quite liked it.

But yeah not the best book.
Varsha Seshan
The story ought to have been something that thrilled me, but it did not and I have no idea why. Was it too long? Too descriptive?
No, all of that was necessary to create the atmosphere.
Was the book too dark for me? Was it too detailed to retain my interest? There's such a fine, intangible line that marks the balance between creating atmosphere and retaining attention with action. For me, The Poison Garden did not achieve that.
Dec 26, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i have to admit that i didn't stick with this book to the end; i just got bored of its predictablility and only made it three quarters of the way through before i gave up, realising that i had better books to read.
it's one of those potter-along books that potter along before ending. it's like wlking along the top of the white cliffs of dover, you're all happy, then you suddenly walk off the cliff - the end.
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
I didnt enjoy this book at all. I had high expectations when i began reading this book as i had seen some good reviews on Goodreads but a few chapters into the book i was far from impressed.The authors style of writing is quite impressive and some of her descriptions were exquisite but the whole story was definetly not one i was interested in, I would recommend this book to readers who yearn for adventure and mystery but im afraid im not one of those readers :)!
Sosah ^^
Aug 06, 2013 rated it liked it
It's one of the first books I read in English. It's a good book actually. The beginning of it wasn't that much of attention-grabber. I started to like it from the middle to the end. I liked that the idea was clear yet dark at the same time. The description of the gardens' scenery was beyond beautiful especially the ghost scene. What I didn't like was the boy's age. I remember he was between 10-12. I felt wrong falling for the kid. Anyway, the book in general was good.
Jan 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
I enjoyed this one, but not as much as I thought it would. It got a little garbled in the middle with all the garden stuff, but straightened itself out again pretty quickly. Singleton has a wonderful way with words and the situations she describes almost leap off the page, so I’ll definitely be reading more of her work.
Gracie Medford
Jan 11, 2016 rated it liked it
There's something about this book that just shouts - "that was okay". Then again, I feel like I'm the wrong age audience for this book. It is after all a YA read so I could already feel like I wouldn't enjoy it as much. The writings okay, yet there's no sense of time or even narrative as such. It's okay though if you have nothing else to read.
Dec 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Alltså wooow, vilken bok. Jag satt helt fastnaglad vid boken. Den är så spännande och mystisk hela tiden. Jag fullkomligt älskar den. Äntligen kan vi lägga till en bok i den lilla grupp för bra fantasy-historier som är bra skrivna. Jag älskar språket och jag älskar historien. Läs boken eller missa något vitalt.
The Styling Librarian
The Poison Garden did have a few good twists and a big surprise at the end that made it worth completing, but honestly dragged on a little for me with the transitions between different portions of the story for me. LOVE the cover image and initial plot though!
Katie Newill
May 08, 2014 rated it liked it
I have to admit I was intrigued by the cover at first! The story was very mystical and I did really like it, I felt that the genre of the story could have some confusion as the story is rather alternative but I loved it :)
Dec 31, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
I picked up this book as it seemed to be a really interesting idea. I found it a slow read, and struggled a lot due to the internal politics taking a bigger role than the garden itself. The book only really started to become interesting in the last 75 pages or so.
Husna T.
Jul 24, 2012 rated it liked it
There was a lot of times when I just felt so darned confused, but the idea of the gardens all connected into one was definitely creative and well-thought about. For creativity, brilliant. Flow of story and keeping the reader interested, not so much.
Amanda Percy
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book a lot. It was a quick read but I loved the idea of the gardens in the book and the way they were described sounded beautiful to me. I wish i could walk threw them myself. The ending wasn't obvious either, it kept me guessing till the end.
Oct 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
Honestly, it took until about 50 pages before the end before I had any clue what was going on, even now I'm not so sure what read.

This book is pretty good, and certainly didn't deserve to be lumped in with the box of teenage Dark Romance novels it came with.
Rachel Page
Aug 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books, ya
This was confusing, but amusing enough. The descriptions of all the gardens were very well-written and I liked the imagery.
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Sarah Singleton was born in Thornbury in 1966. She was educated at the University of Nottingham and has travelled in Europe, India and Nepal. She has two daughters, Fuchsia and Poppy.

She worked as a reporter for local weekly newspapers, including the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald, before becoming a writer and freelance journalist in 2007. A novella, In The Mirror (Enigmatic Novellas #4), was repr
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