Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl--Isabel, the one the senoras whisper about. Read more...
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.
"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
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-01-18
- Reviewer: Staff
Inspired by Hawthorne’s “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” debut author Mabry blends magical realism with mystery in the story of Lucas Knight, the 17-year-old son of a hotel developer spending his summers in San Juan. Instead of thinking about college, Lucas spends his time with friends Ruben, Rico, and Carlos, enjoying the nightlife despite tales of curses and ghosts, and the disappearances of several young girls in town. When a scribbled wish that Ruben’s cousin Marisol leaves at a cursed house is returned to Lucas, he investigates, meeting and falling for an occupant of the house, Isabel Ford, whose touch is poisonous. Lucas becomes a suspect after Marisol’s body washes up on the shore and her younger sister goes missing. With the police on Lucas’s heels and Isabel’s poison slowly killing her, the two race to put a stop to the disappearances and end the curse. 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. Ages 12–up. Agent: Claire Anderson-Wheeler, Regal Hoffman & Associates. (Apr.)