The Poison Eaters

Reader: Elise S.
Age: 15
Title: The Poison Eaters
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderberry
Pub Date:
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: Yes
Annotation: From modern unicorns, to living books, from poisonous kisses, to real vampires, and everything in between, these 12 short stories are told with humor and creativity.
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: The short stories showed a wide variety in style and time period. Some were more gritty and modern, and some had more of the quality of a fairy tale, which provided a refreshing diversity. And the stories themselves were interesting, with different ways of looking at mythology. They all were finished, too, which sounds kind of weird for a published book, but they were. It didn't feel like the author took scenes from a novel and slapped them together to make an anthology, they were developed, with interesting characters, and a story arc.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: With an anthology, you can't really say that the plot was enthralling, but each story kept me interested, and wanting another one. I stayed at the train station reading, rather than going home because I pulled into it, which is a good sign (but I might just not have wanted to do the dishes).
Cover: The way the girls' bodies were arranged on the cover was the most interesting thing. The shapes and movement, especially with the light on darker, it drew my attention. Most of the plants were cool, the dresses made me jealous, but their hair bugged me. It looks like the photographer forgot, and, at the last moment, put that straw matting that you use to cover strawberry plants on their heads.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: Under 12 to 17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

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