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Lies Like Poison by Chelsea Pitcher - Review

Saturday, September 4, 2021


Where did I get it? Amazon, recently. I needed to buy something and this was £4 so I added it. 

What's it about? Let me start by saying I didn't like the book. It's needlessly complicated and over written, and while I think that is in part a choice because it's supposed to be like a fairy tale, it's also just done in a bad way. I'd read a hundred pages before anything really happened, and by that point I was invested so I kept reading. I had hopes that the book would redeem itself, but it really doesn't. Sorry! Not for me.

But anyway, it's about three friends, Raven, Belladonna, and Poppy, plus Raven's stepsister Lily. Three years ago, when they were all fourteen, Raven was being tortured by his wicked stepmother, Evelyn. Belle and Poppy hatched a plan to poison her to free Raven, using belladonna and poppy petals in her tea. Lily got wind of this plan, and stole the 'recipe' Belle had written. Raven swore he could hear his dead mother talking to him, so he was sent away to a school across the country. Lily was sent to a mental health facility just outside of town. Belle and Poppy grew apart, and Poppy changed her name to Jack. 

But now it's now, and Evelyn has been found dead. Belle is the prime suspect, because Evelyn was indeed poisoned by belladonna. But she has an alibi -- but Jack doesn't. Belle gets back in touch with her, and then learns that Raven is finally allowed to come home. 

Jack and Lily then break into Evelyn's office - she's a therapist - and look for clues, and steal some files. Jack then also has to set fire to a bunch of Raven's clothes, for some reason? I don't know, I didn't follow that bit at all.

There's so much stuff that is kept from the reader, for apparently no reason. Then there's stuff that's told to the reader in such a way that it makes out like we are stupid. It's so complicated, with so many threads... I didn't get it. I didn't hate the characters at all, but I wish they had been written better. 

What age range is it for? 14+ 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Yes, no spoilers, but yes 

Are any main characters people of colour? Raven is mixed race. There's a really big emphasis on characters' looks and clothes, and I don't really get why. Also, fourteen year old Belle owns a black negligee and thigh high boots, which I absolutely don't buy, and Raven owns black satin sheets and black satin pyjamas. Come on. 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? Not really... I guess there's some mental health stuff, but it's just kind of hinted at rather than being on page per se. 

Is there any sex stuff? Not really 

Are drugs mentioned or used? The poisons, I guess 

Is there any talk of death? Yes, it's quite graphic 

Are there swear words? No 


What criticisms do I have? Oh I think I've covered them. I liked the sound of Chelsea's other book but now I don't think I'll bother

Would I recommend the book? No 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? It was down the side of the bed. 


What do I think of the cover? I think it's a bit dull actually, it doesn't give away too much 


What other books is it like? It's just not as good as anything I could mention. 

How many stars? Two out of five 


Where is the book going now? I'll probably donate it 

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