Standalone Sunday: A Fierce and Subtle Poison

standalone-sunday

Standalone Sunday is a weekly feature created by Megan at Bookslayer Reads which aims to showcase standalone books which you loved or would recommend.


A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry

A Fierce and Subtle Poison

Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl—Isabel, the one the señoras 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.

Magical realism has quickly become a favourite genre of mine so when I saw this book on NetGalley back before it was released, my eye caught by the bright and beautiful cover, and read the blurb I immediately requested it. Although A Fierce and Subtle Poison was a good story, with a rich setting, I can’t say it was my favourite magical realism book that I’ve read the date. I had trouble connecting with Lucas’s character and as the story was told in his POV that was a bit of a downside to this book. However I still really enjoyed the story, it’s just a shame A Fierce and Subtle Poison doesn’t have as much recognition as it deserves.

“I wish I could lift the curse over the house at the end of Calle Sol so the birds would fly over it again.”

The paper was dirty and smudged in places, as if passed through many sets of hands, and the crease in the centre was fragile, as if it had been un-folded, read and re-folded several times.

And, underneath my barely legible scrawl, in that perfect cursive: “So what’s stopping you?”

You can check out my review for A Fierce and Subtle Poison here.


What did you think of A Fierce and Subtle Poison? Have you read it yet or is it still on your to-read list? Let me know in the comments and let me know if you took part in this week’s Standalone Sunday as well.

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47 thoughts on “Standalone Sunday: A Fierce and Subtle Poison

      1. Not yet…but I think I could deal with a lot less magic than was in Vassa…if it was fantasy, then I would’ve totally dug Vassa: I think it was the fact that these things were technically normal in Vassa that threw me off, you know?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You can never really regret books you got in a sale can you. Normally it’s such a good deal even if you don’t like it it’s a bargain.
        Sounds like a good goal to aim for. I should probably try and do the same, get through the books I already own before buying too many more! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh, it’s like a surprise when you go to buy a book and realize you already bought it on sale! It’s like a Christmas present! (I have 560 something ebooks…and then Sammi and I gave each other our logins so we can share books…and she has some amazing ARCs bc she’s got the Aussie connections! So if I get denied, it’s like I still get the book! 😂
        So many good titles, so little time! And I’m reading HP now like I said I would, with a group of people as a buddy read. So you better get on some of those books you said you would read! 🤔😂

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      4. Definitely is, and probably why I have so many self control issues with book buying! Sales are like my worst enemy.
        Oh that’s amazing, because yeah there are a fair few books which are only available in AUS and some only available in the US so that must help!
        Ohh that sounds great, I can’t wait to hear what you think of the HP series. I can’t remember all the books I said I’d read but I do have the Kiss of Deception series on my Kindle waiting to go so someday soon although probably not until March now! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I don’t think I saw your review for this one (which means I need to check it out) but I do remember seeing it on one of your Top Ten Tuesday’s or something once. Either that or it was a review on another blog. I’m pretty sure I added it to my TBR then too because I thought it sounded really interesting. I haven’t read many magical realism books yet but it’s definitely a genre I hope to explore this year. I love the description of Isabel in the synopsis. It has me really curious about this book. That and the setting because I don’t think I’ve read anything set in Puerto Rico before. I’ll have to read this one if I get the chance to this year. Great pick for this week, Beth! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I posted it a long time ago now. I think back in April/March time maybe. Who knows I can barely remember what happened yesterday! 🙂
      But yeah this is one I seem to have featured a lot just because it’s a really hidden gem in the bookish world.
      I think this one is a good introduction to magical realism and if you like it, hell even if you don’t like it, I have a few others from the genre I can recommend as well. The setting in this book was amazing in my opinion, it was actually one of my favourite parts. I hope you get to pick this one up soon Melissa and I hope you enjoy it as well. Thanks! 😀 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I didn’t start my blog until March so I’ve definitely not seen it lol. I get what you mean. The days just kind of merge together sometimes.
        Which other ones do you recommend besides this? I know I have When The Moon Was Ours, Bone Gap, and The Weight of Feathers on my TBR.
        I hope so too and you’re welcome!! 💕😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. In that case I probably would have posted it before we started talking in WordPress like we do now. Actually sometimes even without taking blogging into account the days just merge into one.
        Other than those ones I would highly recommend The Love That Split the World. I think it’s a mixture of contemporary and magical realism but it’s such a brilliant and beautiful story and well worth picking up! 🙂 ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes! Especially the past few months. January, in particular, has gone by fast and felt extremely busy. I keep thinking today is Friday. I’ve had to remind myself several times that no tomorrow isn’t the weekend. 😂
        I think I remember you doing a post on that one a while back. That ones definitely on my list too. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      4. At the moment my weeks seem to be blurring into one long day. It will get to Wednesday and I’ll feel like it should be Thursday, but then it’ll get to Friday and again I’ll feel like it should be Thursday. And I can’t believe January is nearly over now but on the other hand I really want it to start getting warmer soon!
        Great, I can’t wait for you to pick it up in that case. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I hear you on that. My only differences is that I keep getting ahead of myself and always thinking it’s a day ahead of what it actually is. Wanna trade weather? It’s already warming up in Texas but all I want is for it to stay cold. 😂

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      6. Oh that always sucks, especially when you think it’s Friday but it turns out it’s not and you still have a few more days of work to get through before the weekend.
        I’d love to trade weather, but then again when it starts getting hot I’ll be complaining I want it to be cold again. I’m never happy when it comes to the weather! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Yes! It’s the worst thinking it’s Friday but it’s really Wednesday or Thursday. You know a week is going by slow when that happens lol.
        Me either. I think with the weather it’s always a case of wanting the opposite of what we have. 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      8. That is the worst, but there are times when I think it’s a Thursday and it turns out to be Friday, or like today when I thought for ages it was Tuesday. That’s a nice feeling because it always feels closer to the weekend! 😀
        I just like Spring and Autumn. Not too cold but not too hot either, perfect temperature for me.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. That’s definitely a nice feeling. Especially when you think it’s Thursday but it’s really Friday.
        Our seasons kind of blend together temperature wise. It’s either Summer or Autumn with bits of Spring and Winter here or there. I always enjoy the colder months. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Today I thought it was Thursday on the train home. I was half asleep and sort of dreading making the same journey again tomorrow but then I remember it was Saturday and it was an amazing feeling! 😀
        Oh that’s kind of a shame, here Autumn and Spring are kind of lighter versions of Winter and Summer, you get the atmosphere but not the extreme weather conditions! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome pick Beth! I actually picked up a copy of this book on it”s release date however, it ended up being pushed to the bottom of my TBR when I found Netgalley smh lol. I do however plan on reading it this year. It’s a short book & I want to see how I feel about the author’s depiction of Puerto-Rico. I’ve heard 1 person find offense with it but like Gretchen commented, i’d also like to formulate my own opinion 😉

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    1. Thanks so much Lilly. I got this book of NetGalley as well, I never got around to buying a copy of it myself but I feel with this book now it’s once I’ve read I don’t think I have the desire to re-read it at all. I hope you enjoy it when you pick it up though, and yeah I remember Gretchen saying that. Like I said to her I don’t know much about the country and culture of Puerto Rico so I can’t say whether it was offensive, but the setting in this book was one of my favourite parts so hopefully it isn’t. 🙂
      It’s great you’re still willing to give this book a try after hearing some negative things about it though. 🙂

      Like

    1. I think that perfectly describes magical realism as a genre. Definitely weird but kind of a magical weird more than anything else. 🙂
      Yeah it was a shame, but other than that I thought this was a really enjoyable book, so not all bad I guess.

      Like

  3. The cover is stunning! So colorful and eye-catching 😀 I’ve heard of this one actually but didn’t know what the premise was until now. It actually sounds really interesting! Plus, I don’t read many magical realism books, and I’m hoping to diversify my reading list this year, so I think this would be a great place to start! Thanks for the recommendation, Beth! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s certainly eye catching. In fact the cover was what led me to this book in the first place so long ago now.
      It’s definitely an interesting book, and if you haven’t read too many magical realism books either I’d say it’s a perfect introduction to the genre as well. A great place to start if you’re looking to diversify your to-read list! That’s all right Azia, I really hope you enjoy this one! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I own this book but still haven’t read it. I want to read it! However, I’ve been hesitant because I heard that this book misrepresents Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans…although I live in NYC, I am Puerto Rican. But nevertheless I do want to read it and form my own opinion. I love magical realism, I’m sure I will appreciate those elements. Great post =)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully you’ll be able to get around to it soon then. Although I’m not really one to talk because I have tons of books that have been on my bookshelves for a while now and I still haven’t gotten around to them.
      I hadn’t actually heard anything like that, and actually I really loved the setting but I can’t really say anything about the representation because I don’t know a lot about Puerto Rico as a country or a culture. Still I hope you enjoy it Gretchen. If you enjoy magical realism it’s definitely one I’d recommend picking up someday. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This sounds amazing, too bad you didn’t end up loving the book! Magical realism is a bit of a trial-and-error genre for me so I’m not sure if I’ll be picking this up, but I’m rather intrigued by the setting – did it feel original and different?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s still a good book. I guess when it comes to magical realism as a genre the others I’ve read have all been hits for me so I had higher expectations for this book than maybe I would have if it was the first in the genre I’d picked up you know?
      The setting was definitely original, in fact it was my favourite part of the whole book. If you do decide to pick this one up Reg I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

      Like

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