Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 2nd, 2012
Format: ARC copy
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I was very, very surprised by how much I loved this book! After looking at the cover and reading the description on the back, I was reluctant to read this; I only picked it up in the first place because I wanted a quick book to read, and The Poison Princess had received a great review on Goodreads. However, it only took about ten pages for me to realize that I was going to absolutely love this book.
Let me just start off by saying that I wholeheartedly love Jackson Deveaux! He is a classic hot bad boy with a history of being a player and a horrible (oftentimes flat out mean) attitude, though he always has a reason for the way he acts. Jack is a Cajun player who comes from the wrong side of the tracks and shows up to the first day of school with a flask of alcohol that he openly drinks, whereas Evie, his beautifully naïve counterpart and the protagonist, is an overly friendly popular girl who dates the football star and waves to every single person in the hallway at school. However, it quickly becomes clear that they both harbor intense secrets and each have painful backgrounds.
Jackson, whom Evie describes as a criminal hardened by life, comes from a very difficult lifestyle: one that is very different from Evie’s. He was sent to jail at a young age for killing a man, who had been trying to hurt his mother, with his bare hands. He fends for himself in every way possible and lives his own life. Evie, on the other hand, was born into a wealthy family and is given everything she wants. However, the Evie that shows up to school every day as a popular girl is much different than the real Evie. The real Evie has been classified by her mother as mentally insane, and even sent to an insane asylum for an entire summer because of the apocalyptic hallucinations she has been seeing and the voices that populate her head. Yet when Evie’s apocalyptic visions prove to be true and most of the world (though, of course, not Jack) is killed, she must team up with the handy Cajun bad boy who has plenty of real life experience if she hopes to survive.
Not only do I love Jackson, but I also love his relationship with Evie. The two miscommunicate all the time – Jackson believes that Evie only sees him as “the help” and Evie is under the impression that Jackson thinks she is a useless, pampered doll – but that, and their constant bickering, is what makes them such a great couple. Jackson, who feels very overprotective of Evie from the start, has an odd way of showing his caring nature. For instance, when Evie’s stomach growls, although she never complains, Jack openly yells at her, saying that the little princess can’t always have five star meals when they are on the run, when he is really upset with himself for not providing enough food for Evie. Even though he does not always act like it, Jackson loves Evie and would do anything to protect her. Without giving too much away, I will only say that I definitely enjoyed the way that their relationship, arguments and all, progressed throughout the book.
Although Jackson sees Evie as a useless, pretty girl, she actually has a great deal of power that she is too afraid to confront, for fear of becoming like the “red witch” in her visions, who murders people for the fun of it. However, when she and Jackson meets other kids like her, each of whom has their own supernatural powers, and they run into trouble on the way, Evie has no choice but to use her powers if she wants to save her life and the lives of those she loves.
I feel as if I could continue writing about this book for another ten minutes – I hardly even breached the topic of Evie’s surprisingly powerful abilities as the Empress, one of the Major Arcana cards of a Tarot deck – but for fear of this review becoming way too long, all I can say is that I completely loved this book and I cannot wait for the sequel! Everyone should definitely read Poison Princess when it goes on sale in October!!