A Fierce and Subtle Poison Summary and Reviews

A Fierce and Subtle Poison

by Samantha Mabry

A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry X
A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry
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Book Summary

In this stunning debut, legends collide with reality when a boy is swept into the magical, dangerous world of a girl filled with poison.

Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl - Isabel, the one the senoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family's Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He's grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers - and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.

A Fierce and Subtle Poison beautifully blends magical realism with a page-turning mystery and a dark,  starcrossed romance - all delivered in lush, urgent prose.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Mabry smoothly joins dreamy, fever-induced scenes with the lore of 'la ciguapa,' a beautiful creature that leads men to insanity or death with a kiss, and her atmospheric ending guarantees goose bumps." - Publishers Weekly

"Mabry cultivates a rich setting, offering lush descriptions of the island, its stories, and the sharp divide between the old world and the incoming new one, characterized by swift modernization and the careless destruction of history." - Booklist

"A complex text best used in book clubs or classrooms where teens can discuss the dominant monocultural readings of the book, as well as the tourist perspectives of Puerto Rico." - School Library Journal

"[Mabry] steeps her debut novel in compelling Caribbean folklore and a lush, evocative setting... Fans of open-ended, atmospheric stories will enjoy the chilling suspense." - Kirkus

"Samantha Mabry's magical debut is both a chilling mystery and a heartbreaking meditation on love, longing and sacrifice...A Fierce and Subtle Poison will get into your blood." - Laura Ruby, author of Bone Gap

"A breathtaking story in which myths come to frightening life and buried wishes might actually come true. This is a hypnotic debut by a remarkable talent." - Nova Ren Suma, author of The Walls Around Us and Imaginary Girls

This information about A Fierce and Subtle Poison was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Samantha Mabry

Samantha Mabry grew up in Texas playing bass guitar along to vinyl records, writing fan letters to rock stars, and reading big, big books, and credits her tendency toward magical thinking to her Grandmother Garcia, who would wash money in the kitchen sink to rinse off any bad spirits. She teaches writing and Latino literature at a community college in Dallas, Texas, where she lives with her husband, a historian, and her pets, including a cat named Mouse. A Fierce and Subtle Poison is her first novel.

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