Synopsis from Scholastic:
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-fallen snow, her hair as dark as midnight. When they stopped to rest, the huntsman took out his knife…and took Sophie’s heart.
It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Sophie had heard the rumors, the whispers. They said she was too kind and foolish to rule—a waste of a princess. A disaster of a future queen. And Sophie believed them. She believed everything she’d heard about herself, the poisonous words people use to keep girls like Sophie from becoming too powerful, too strong.…
With the help of seven mysterious strangers, Sophie manages to survive. But when she realizes that the jealous queen might not be to blame, Sophie must find the courage to face an even more terrifying enemy, proving that even the darkest magic can’t extinguish the fire burning inside every girl, and that kindness is the ultimate form of strength. A follow-up to Stepsister!
About: Poisoned is a young adult fairytale retelling written by Jennifer Donnelly. It was recently published on 10/20/2020 by Scholastic, 320 pages. The genres are young adult fantasy, fairytale retelling, and fiction. This book is intended for readers ages 12 to 18, grades 7 to 12. I have read another fairytale retelling from this author called Stepsisters and loved it. According to the publisher’s website, “Scholastic was founded in 1920 as a single classroom magazine. Today, Scholastic books and educational materials are in tens of thousands of schools and tens of millions of homes worldwide, helping to Open a World of Possible for children across the globe” and their mission is to “encourage the intellectual and personal growth of all children, beginning with literacy.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading Poisoned on 10/22/2020 and finished it on 11/3/2020. 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.
This book started with a prologue, following the Huntsman, told in the first person point of view, taking the Princess out into the forest to kill her. He admitted to killing her. Then the story began, a day before, with Sophie, 17, a Princess soon to be Queen, told in the third person point of view. She’s living a lie to satisfy her stepmother but inside she’s opposite. The third view was Queen Adelaide and Sophie’s stepmother. She has been Queen regent for 6 years since Sophie’s father died. She believed a ruler should be cruel and the people should live in fear to run a successful kingdom. She punished others to teach Sophie a lesson when she caught Sophie acted cowardly. The fourth view was the 7 dwarfs named Jakob (blacksmith), Schatzi (tailor), Julius (herbalist), Jeremias (hunter), Joost (carpenter), Josef (farmer), and Johann (clockmaker). A spider named Weber (cook) was among them. In the Darkwood, the 7 brothers found Sophie laying in a pool of her blood. They tried to rescue her before the strange man and woman arrived. Sophie was about to married Prince Haakon when her life ended. She went to search for Haakon when she realized he’s not coming. Along the way, she learned the harsh truth through life threatening lessons.
Poisoned offered an interesting retelling of Snow White. Instead of deep sleep she went on an adventure. I loved everything except the ending with Fear and Death. Will was a great character. I loved how he brought home as his grandma called it, “stray cat, stray dog, stray girl” etc. I loved Oma’s comment about unhappy people! Gretta’s sassy was great! I liked the hate to love romance, though very light in this case where middle grade readers can read it too. I enjoyed the humor. If you read, I’m curious what you thought of this book!
Pro: fast paced, page turner, snow white retelling, hate to love romance, life lessons, adventures
I rate it 4 stars!
About the Author: