Poison's Kiss, book 1
Published January 10, 2017 by Random House Books for Young Readers
e-ARC provided by Netgalley
A teenage assassin kills with a single kiss until she is ordered to kill the one boy she loves. This commercial YA fantasy is romantic and addictive—like a poison kiss—and will thrill fans of Sarah J. Maas and Victoria Aveyard.
Marinda has kissed dozens of boys. They all die afterward. It's a miserable life, but being a visha kanya—a poison maiden—is what she was created to do. Marinda serves the Raja by dispatching his enemies with only her lips as a weapon.
Until now, the men she was ordered to kiss have been strangers, enemies of the kingdom. Then she receives orders to kiss Deven, a boy she knows too well to be convinced he needs to die. She begins to question who she's really working for. And that is a thread that, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose.
This rich, surprising, and accessible debut is based in Indian folklore and delivers a story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
♫Hoo boy. Hoooooo boy.
Look. I desperately wanted to like this book--as far as I know, it was based on Indian mythology, how cool is that?! But it was just.... so bad..... and poorly written.... and boring..... How many ellipses can i add to get my point across in this review? Let's find out.
(Partially kidding on that account) But for real.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: ROMANCE. Basically a form of insta-love. I mean, they knew each other for maaaaaaaybe two days? Three max? And BAM. She's willing to take STUPID risks for him; he's willing to ANYTHING for her. It's the same old, same old.
And that's not my ONLY complaint, either. Their interactions were TERRIBLE and so cringey. The dialogue between them was so uncomfortable to read, let alone to endure.
That brings me to THING TWO: THE DIALOGUE. Baaaaaad. It was baaaaaaad. It felt clunky, and as I should have said, awkward. It's the type that gives you second hand embarrassment, and maybe you'd expect that from a cheesy romance novel (who doesn't, though? I live for those), THIS WASN'T A CHEESY ROMANCE NOVEL. At least, I'm pretty sure it wasn't supposed to be--Indian mythology if I do recall (and I DO. I DO RECALL). Point is: the dialogue was not well developed. Yikes.
Which would bring me to THING THREE: DEVELOPMENT. There seemed to be none whatsoever in regards to our (not so) lovely characters. They were boring and flat and quite honestly, a bit stupid, in the beginning and in the end.
THING FOUR: BAD! FEMALE! FRIENDSHIP! If you've been reading my reviews (read: rantings) for a while now, you should know that I am HUGE on female friendships. I love strong lady relationships, be it a cute romance or someone who just has the heroine's back, and the fact that this didn't have either was a downer. Now, I know all books don't have this, but when it's said that the heroine only has one real friend, you kind of expect some sort of strong relationship. Or, at least I do.
But what I got was Marinda either being jealous of her "friend", Ilya, or extremely critical of her. It was a terrible friendship, if you can even call it that, one that was full of lies and bitterness. Frankly, I found it to be melodramatic too.
THING FIVE: MARINDA. She needed an entire section to herself. I'm sorry but I did not like her at all. Not only was she a terrible friend, she was hypocritical, whiny, annoying, and a bit obsessive/possessive. It was unnerving. She also had a tendency to make the same mistakes--i.e., trusting people when she was apparently raised never to trust people, time and time again. On the basis of little to no proof to about everything they said to her. She'd cry about how unfair it was when someone lied to her despite the fact that she lied or told half truths most of the time. She was jealous on Ilya and possessive of Deven (the love interest) despite the fact that she only knew him THREE DAYS. She went out of her way to someone who could have easily told their leader dude what Marinda was up to for the sake of the guy she knew for THREE DAYS. It was so annoying. She was so annoying.
OVERALL. No. No no no. I'm sorry, I genuinely am. I know this is a debut so I shouldn't be so critical of it, but no. I can't.
My rating used to be two and a half stars but after thinking it through and writing this over-due review, I'm lowering it to one star.