Book Review: Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly

by Jennifer Donnelly

Publication date: October 20th 2020
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Pages: 410


Snow White’s stepmother wanted to get rid of the beautiful stepdaughter who was challenging her title of ‘most beautiful’ – by any means necessary. Was Snow White poisoned? What happens to the poisoned, and the poisoner?

Jennifer Donnelly turns her feminist eye to this most delicious of fairy tales and shows Snow White as she’s never been seen before.

Source: Goodreads


I love the idea of this book as a feminist retelling of Snow White sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it?

Sophie is a kind hearted young girl in line for the throne. Her stepmother tells her that she needs to toughen up if she has any chance of being a successful ruler but Sophie’s not sure that’s the type of Queen she’d like to become. Just like the traditional story (but not the Disney musical version), Sophie’s stepmother isn’t her biggest fan and orders a huntsman to cut out her heart. Left to die in the woods, Sophie is found by seven brothers who take her back to their cottage to try and save her life. The story then follows Sophie on a journey to find herself, and her heart!

Unfortunately “Poisoned” really wasn’t really my cup of tea. I loved the premise, but this young adult fantasy novel didn’t really appeal to me once the story got going. I found it really difficult to feel for the characters and I feel that the writing style, as well as the story, was aimed towards a much younger audience than myself.

That said, I really liked overall moral of the tale and the idea that this book can help inspire a generation of young women to believe in themselves and not be swayed by the opinions of others.

Overall rating: I liked the short, snappy chapters and fact that the overall message is a positive one, but the story itself wasn’t to my tastes. “Posioned” was a 2 star read for me, but I’d still recommend it for fantasy fans, or someone who enjoys fairy tale retellings.

Thank you to Readers First for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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