A FIERCE AND SUBTLE POISON by Samantha Mabry

A FIERCE AND SUBTLE POISON

Age Range: 13 - 17
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Lucas is a rich, blond gringo in Puerto Rico, but he actually believes the old island tales about the secretive shut-in who lives down the street from his family's luxury hotel.

Since he was a little boy, 17-year-old Lucas Knight has spent his summers at his real estate tycoon father's premier resort—a renovated convent—in Old San Juan. Despite his wealth, Luke can't escape his own brand of bad luck. His mother (an "island girl" herself) left the family when he was 7; his hotel room is reportedly where a heartsick novice once killed herself; and two days after hooking up with Marisol—his local best friend's beautiful cousin—he finds her dead body washed up on the beach, making the authorities think he's an ideal suspect. Things take a turn from mystery to magical realism when the girl from the "cursed" house on Calle Sol—Isabel, who's rumored to be so full of poison she's green—turns out to be real, and she’s simultaneously dying and deadly. If Luke wants to know what happened to Marisol, he must trust this strange and sheltered girl. The author steeps her debut novel in compelling Caribbean folklore and a lush, evocative setting. The pacing, however, is occasionally uneven, and the plot often creates more questions than it answers.

Fans of open-ended, atmospheric stories will enjoy the chilling suspense. (Fiction. 13-17)

Pub Date: April 12th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-61620-521-8
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Algonquin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2016




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