Katie's Reviews > Poison Princess

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
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's review
Jul 16, 2012

it was ok

This is a tough book to review because there is a lot to like here. The concept behind the book is great, and I loved watching the puzzle pieces unfold, guessing who was who, seeing their powers in action, taking note of the symbolism, etc. But there are definitely some big problems with the book, which make it hard for me to recommend it.

The first chapter is intriguing, but then we're subjected to many boring pages of life before the Flash. The apocalyptic event mentioned on the back of the book and in the first chapter doesn't happen until page 105 or so (in the ARC). That's 100 pages of Evie going to school, arguing with Jackson, having visions, thinking she's crazy, etc. Basically, the book could have started on page 100, because we really didn't need all that backstory before getting to the exciting stuff.

Once the event actually happens things really pick up and I couldn't put the book down. There's the usual surviving the apocalypse stuff, which is fun, but there's also a very unique element here, one that I'm a particular fan of. But since it isn't listed on the back cover I don't want to spoil it - which is ironic, since I would never have picked up this book if I hadn't known about this twist before-hand.

Unfortunately, the book suffers from weak, or downright repulsive, characters. Evie is pretty bland and pathetic for most of the book, and I wish that she'd had some useful skill or something. But then again, I'd probably be a lot like her (terrified, useless) if the apocalypse happened, so I could still relate to her.

But the worst character was the love interest Jackson. I'm not sure I have ever disliked a love interest in a book so much. He drinks whiskey constantly. He beats people to pulps with his fists. He's horrible to the autistic kid. And with Evie he acts like a horny stalker, treats her like a possession, verbally abuses her, and pressures her to have sex with him throughout the entire book.

An actual quote from Jackson (ARC, page 241): "Hell, Evie, you're probably the last girl on earth for me. Would it KILL you to put out?" And trust me, this isn't the only quote like this. I could go on and on. I kept waiting for Jackson to redeem himself, but if anything he only gets worse.

Is this the kind of guy we want teen girls to fall in love with? I was so happy that Evie didn't put up with his crap most of the time, but SO disappointed she fell in love with him anyway. I wanted to put the book down because I was so disgusted by him, but I was so intrigued by the premise I kept reading anyway. I'm still on the fence about reading the next books.

In a time when Goodreads reviews are being called "bullying" I'm very hesitant to post this review at all. But I seriously hope Jackson is made less of an ass before the book actually comes out, because otherwise it was very enjoyable. The author is definitely talented and has a lot of great stuff in this book, but Jackson completely ruins it. I'd love to recommend the book to everyone, but right now I can't.
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Comments (showing 1-27 of 27) (27 new)

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Jess (The Cozy Reader) Kennedy I made it to page 89 of the ARC and I just can't keep reading!!
Your review makes my decision make sense. It wasn't just me!

I am glad I stopped before the flash started. I feel no need to keep reading at this point and by your review I would not get much satisfaction if I had kept reading. I do not like Jackson or Evie from this point and could not see myself liking them any more from reading the rest.

I am highly disappointed because I have read Cole's other adult books and enjoyed them very much.

I would strongly recommend Gena Showalter's YA series over this one any day! I read ALICE IN ZOMBIELAND just before starting this book and thought for sure I'd go from one great book to another. Didn't happen. :(

Katie Oh good, I'm not the only one who felt this way. I'll have to check that book out!

message 3: by Ana (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ana i completely agree about jackson. he just sort of disgusts me throughout the whole book and i wish evie would dump him and move on already.

message 4: by Ashley (new) - added it

Ashley I'm a fan of Kresley Cole and this sounds a bit like her adult series type male characters. I'll still read this but, I guess her writing doesn't suit the YA genre.

message 5: by [deleted user] (last edited Oct 05, 2012 06:07AM) (new)

This is exactly how I felt about this book. My "favorite" quote of Jackson: "would it kill you to put out?"
This isn't sexy bad boy anymore

Sheifali Khare I want to add that jackson could be a lot more engaging if he wasnt human

Eva Rose Jackson is horrible, he has zero redeeming qualities and I was actually scare he would start to beat Evie at any moment. This whole book is horrid.

Grace I think Jackson is a rough kid that was born in a very different place than Evie, so he have different characters. When Evie goes to his house his mother was beaten by a drunk guy, what do you expect of him? Flowers and chocolates?
For once the "prince charming" is not super rich and fancy. I'm not saying it's ok how he talks, he actually tells Evie that she should tell him how to treat her.

message 9: by Miranda (new)

Miranda quick question: i was planning on reading it but does it have a really bad love triangle or a potential one? And does Jack show any interest in "the other woman", making Evie feel jealous and really stupid?

Katie Not really a love triangle but he does seem to hook up with the other girl and Evie is jealous.

Olivia--Porcrastinator Extraordinaire I completely agree with you Grace, I had the same reaction. I kind of liked that he was legitimately a "bad boy," not just some idea of one who seems bad, but really does uncharacteristically sweet things. I felt like all of his nasty comments were pretty obviously derived from some pretty serious insecurities. Did I like him? I don't really know, but I felt like in this setting, he really was all Evie really had, and he was trying really hard to figure himself out. It was nice to read a diverse and somewhat authentic male character, for once, in my opinion. Either way, I totally get why people would hate him.

Wendy Darling Oh wow--this is such a great review. Apparently I stopped reading JUST before things started happening! But clearly they didn't get any better, either.

Do you mind telling me what happened that you disliked so much, in spoilers?

Wendy Darling P.S. I back up Jess on comment #1--Alice in Zombieland has a similarly lighthearted vibe, but it's actually fun and nowhere near as offensive as this book. The behavior in PP was just a real turn-off for me, too.

message 14: by Tamikia (new)

Tamikia I agree about Jackson, he's probably my least favorite love interest of any book series I've ever read.

message 15: by K (new) - rated it 5 stars

K Jackson is nuts, but I think he's redeemable. He reminds me of most of Kresley's male characters in IAD. I was wondering if she'd tone it down a bit for a YA, but not really. lol

Also, Brandon was the one pressuring her for sex. Jack only tried that one night when she told him she'd wanted ~more~ while they were kissing. Not excusing the stuff he said to her afterwards, tho. He is an asshole, no doubt.

Olivia--Porcrastinator Extraordinaire I agree K. I think his character is also somewhat of a true redneck southern "male alfa hero." If as a reader you're unfamiliar with the subtle ingenuity of that type of Louisiana culture, it can come across as crass and unlike-able rather than creepily heartening (the whiskey is just so hilarious to me). He's smart in his own way, but there are some things he just doesn't get. I don't think he cared that she didn't want to have sex, but he was being an ass because, in his own insecure mind, she didn't want to have sex because he was a dirty Cajun not because she had normal virginal concerns. I know I'd hate him in real life, but for the context of the story, I thought he was fascinating. Then again, ironically, despite the hardcore liberal feminist in me, I always love that redneck crap in books. Either way I think it's awesome when readers have hugely different reactions to characters. Particularly morally ambiguous male love interests, and I totally get why many people would just put this down before they even got into it.

message 17: by Miranda (new)

Miranda Thanks guys for saving my time from reading a book with a crappy-sounding guy!

Audrey Jackson isn't crappy. He continually watches out for Evie and saves her life constantly. He's had a rough life and it makes him rough around the edges, but he's also very tender with her.

message 19: by Tamikia (new)

Tamikia Audrey wrote: "Jackson isn't crappy. He continually watches out for Evie and saves her life constantly. He's had a rough life and it makes him rough around the edges, but he's also very tender with her."

Just cause he looks out for her doesn't mean he isn't a douche. Seriously! Having a rough life is no excuse for being a total asshole.

Grace Actions speaks more than words. When Evie was with Brandon their relationship was more like superficial. Brandon didn't seem interested in Evie decisions, he didn't discover that Evie was delusional, he just seem to be with her just for fun or image.
Jackson was intersted on her since he saw her the first time. In her life, her things, etc. His approach was not the best, but I think as the story continues he will be better with Evie. At least better than Brandon!

message 21: by Tamikia (new)

Tamikia Grace wrote: "Actions speaks more than words. When Evie was with Brandon their relationship was more like superficial. Brandon didn't seem interested in Evie decisions, he didn't discover that Evie was delusiona..."

Yeah I agree with you on that. While he maybe a douche at first I think he's very redeemable and will probably get better as the series goes on.

message 22: by K (new) - rated it 5 stars

K I totally agree with Olivia--Procrastinator Extraordinaire and Grace. Perfectly explained.

Kellie I agree that the 100+ pages of high school drama were unnecessary. The events and characters were horribly cliche, and aside from introducing Jack, nothing seemed to have any meaning in the post-Flash world.

Clare dooley I live with someone like Jackson, for 15 years. He grew up completely different than I did, we ground eachother. It's not always a "lifetime "/ after-school special situation ". In regards to the book I am in complete agreement that the whole beginning was annoying. I had read a sample *spoiler ** that started @ Arthur's, & I didn't save it even after googling "the flash " I read along & thought ohh this is not the same book! I had it sitting there for a while because I had put it down only to end up talking to another book freak & it was confirmed. I was shocked at how long it took to get to it. There are also some really obvious foreshadowing. I do think that the premise is cool, I really dig southern Gothic / the accents the flavor of it.. So I enjoyed this book but I'm really getting tired of cliff hangers & never ending series. I hate waiting for years for the next installation :( Though when series do end I hate that it's over. Never happy I guess (welcome to me):) happy reading

Holly Webber I can see how Jacks attitude could be offputting, but maybe im just used to her straight forward males in her others adult novels so im used to it. I personaly loved this book.

mirkt Couldn't agree with you more, T-Rex

message 27: by MegK (new) - rated it 3 stars

MegK God, I feel the same way. I'm about to rage quit this book because Jackson is the worst love interest I've ever come across. Worse than Christian Grey! And that's saying something. Everything he does makes me mad. I try to tell myself, "But he's only 18." But then, no, that's not an excuse. I don't even really know what to do with myself because I want to finish, but the further on I go the angrier I get. He has yet to redeem himself in any freaking way and I hate that Evie is so dependent on him and still likes him.

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