Book Reviews

Review: This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron

When I finished This Poison Heart I may have shrieked. Talk about a book I loved with my entire heart. I have been in such a plant magic mood and This Poison Heart hits the spot. It’s a story about friendship, self-acceptance, and family. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts and raving.


Briseis has a gift: she can grow plants from tiny seeds to rich blooms with a single touch.

When Briseis’s aunt dies and wills her a dilapidated estate in rural New York, Bri and her parents decide to leave Brooklyn behind for the summer. Hopefully there, surrounded by plants and flowers, Bri will finally learn to control her gift. But their new home is sinister in ways they could never have imagined–it comes with a specific set of instructions, an old-school apothecary, and a walled garden filled with the deadliest botanicals in the world that can only be entered by those who share Bri’s unique family lineage.

When strangers begin to arrive on their doorstep, asking for tinctures and elixirs, Bri learns she has a surprising talent for creating them. One of the visitors is Marie, a mysterious young woman who Bri befriends, only to find that Marie is keeping dark secrets about the history of the estate and its surrounding community. There is more to Bri’s sudden inheritance than she could have imagined, and she is determined to uncover it . . . until a nefarious group comes after her in search of a rare and dangerous immortality elixir. Up against a centuries-old curse and the deadliest plant on earth, Bri must harness her gift to protect herself and her family.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

This Poison Heart delivers all the Black girl plant magic. But even more so, it’s a story about accepting the love we deserve. Calling out friends who don’t see us for who we are. It’s a story about family and the love that defies danger. I was entirely immersed in This Poison Heart from the beginning and my obsession only grew! The internal narration of Bri is endearing and engaging as Bri begins to uncover even more secrets. There is intrigue layered from the beginning and there is so much I want to scream about, but I can’t!

So besides the botany magic which is seriously fascinating, This Poison Heart is an emotional story. Featuring doors we shouldn’t always open, centuries old secrets, and high action, This Poison Heart captured my heart. Bri is a fantastic narrator who learns how to show herself to those she loves. I barely took any notes because I was so engaged with the book. I finished it in two days! There’s also some Greek mythology within the book that had me screaming with joy. Talk about a passion hobby of mine and Bayron nails it! With some recent books with Greek mythology elements, I’ve had some issues with complexity and relevancy.

But Bayron manages to infuse new life, critical thinking, and classics all in one. This Poison Heart is truly multi-faceted like the layers of a flower. As the plot unfurls, you become truly captivated – like a Venus Fly Trap until Bayron has you in her clutches. It’s truly a book which will lead you on a journey of flowers, poison, and curses.

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Find This Poison Heart on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


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