Cover Image: Belladonna

Belladonna

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Member Reviews

A delightfully chilling tale that hit all the right notes for my goth little heart. Extremely creative and love the dark dreamy vibes

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Bridgerton if there was a murder mystery and ghosts! It took me a HOT minute to get into this one (thanks to a previous book hangover) but once I did it was very fast paced! Wasn’t sure if I’d get the second book but I already have it waiting on my Kindle. 😇

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Belladonna is a delightfully atmospheric and chilling story - the most perfect vibes for October!

For the most part, I really enjoyed this story. I liked trying to figure out the twists and turns (I guessed correctly about one thing, incorrectly about another) and was shocked by how creepy it was - I scare easily and this book definitely gave me the chills! Signa annoyed me one minute and I was cheering for her the next.

Death, though, I absolutely loved!! What an interesting character and I LOVED the dynamic that Signa could only see him when someone near her was close to dying. I’m very excited to see that explored further in Foxglove.

All in all, I’m disappointed in myself for waiting so long to pick Belladonna up and am very excited for the rest of the series!

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I found myself feeling really bored while reading this book. I was not interested in the characters or the romance. Unfortunately, I am not interested enough to keep reading this series.

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Belladonna is a fun slowburn, paranormal, murder mystery read. I had so much fun reading and getting to know Signa. Signa is living a series of unfortunate deaths and realizes that she can meet Death after dying several times in different circumstances. When Signa is sent to distant relatives to live until she becomes of age for her inheritance, she finds that at the manor nothing is as it seems. There are so many moments between Death and Signa that just made me fall in love with them both. I loved trying to figure out who dunnit and how Signa plays with her newfound abilities. The romance is definitely worth it for me. I loved the paranormal and everything in between. I kept pausing to show my friends swoony quotes and screaming cause omg same.

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I enjoyed the murder mystery plot here and I especially loved seeing Death and Signa’s relationship develop into a romance. That masquerade ball dance was swoony and I wish we had more moments like that.

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I loved the eerie atmosphere of Belladonna and Adalyn Grace has such a beautiful way of writing. I wasn't a big fan of the love interest, though, and I feel like there were a lot of unanswered questions. Fingers crossed we get answers in the next book in the series.

The cover art is beyond gorgeous!

This eARC was provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Nothing was particularly bad about this story, but I just couldn't find it in myself to care about anything that happened in it. A true three star read for me.

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This book is very YA for me, which is fine because it was done very well. I found this book to be engaging and mysterious. I really liked Signa and Death. The way their relationship developed was probably my favorite part of the book. It was paced very well and things were pushy or felt rushed. the mystery and process of solving Lillian's death was the second favorite thing lol the main plot of course. I was shocked by the findings and the ending of this book. This book had the eery vibes i havent read in a book in while and i found that refreshing, especially coming up to the fall season.

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I loved this book and the unique perspective it took. The main characters -one being death himself- were fresh and exciting. Can’t wait to read book 2!

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Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for granting me free access to the advanced digital copy of this book.

Also- the artwork is BEAUTIFUL.

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Belladonna is a fresh and unique take on the romantasy genre. The book starts by immersing the reader in Signa's world of death and fear. I audibly gasped at the prologue. Adalyn Grace was not shy about making Signa's reality feel gritty. This made her character so much more authentic. While many YA heroines have experienced tragedy, Signa's experiences and their impact on her were clear from the earliest pages. Her character is multi-faceted. All at once, she wants to be a high society girl and act with appropriate decorum and she wants to understand her dangerous powers. Through this exploration of both sides of herself, she finds what she really wants. Death is a fantastic male MC- complicated, lonely, and protective.

I highly recommend this book.

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Belladonna was beautiful, I love Adalyn Grace’s writing so much. I thought this was a really unique story and it kept me hooked all the way to the end! I definitely recommend

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“Do not change the parts of yourself that you like to make others comfortable. Do not try to mold yourself to fit the standards someone else has set for us.”

“To me, you are a song to a soul that has never known music. Light to someone who has only seen the darkness. You bring out the absolute worst in me, and I become vindictive toward those who treat you in ways I don’t care for. Yet you also bring out the best in me—I want to be better because of you. Better for you.”

AHHHH I love Signa and the idea of death personified? So clever. This book was fantastical while also crawling with paranormal elements. I think the writing was immersive and beautiful and overall I enjoyed every single page.

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Merci à NetGalley, à la maison d'édition et à l'auteur pour l'opportunité mais étant une "MoodReader" et j'avais une vie très occupée à ce moment, je n'ai pas eu le temps de le lire !

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Thank you to Netgalley and Little Brown for a chance to read this one.

To me, Adalyn Grace can do no wrong and this book was just more proof of that! It was so much fun and the concept was something that immediately drew me in. As always, her writing style is top tier and makes the premise of making a deal with Death even more exciting! Also, she never disappoints when it comes to world building and this one felt like it was right out of an old school fairytale, but with an added creep factor!

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For some reason, my review disappeared but since I save them on a Word document, I am pasting below for records:

Belladonna is a beautiful Victorian-era mystery that brought a mix of romance and gothic elements to create a fantasy novel that captured my attention from the beginning. To start, I am a total sucker for 'judging a book by its cover' and this was simply eye-catching and I knew I had to read it. Authors have been doing a lot of the 'I'm not like other people' vibes in books but in this case, I found the statement to be true since the FMC had aspects that did make her unique without being over the top with it. We get to understand more of the family dynamic that adds to the plot, rather than distracts, and the romantic interest is there but had more positive qualities than negative (I dislike immature, whiny love interests). The ending was well-planned without being rushed and set the author up for the sequel.

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When I read this book, it quickly became one of my favorites. My favorite type of book is one that has good world building, is fairy tale-esque, and has that descriptive delicious style of writing. I found all of that within these pages! This book completely transported me into the setting and I am very excited for the sequel!

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Friends, this book was just as magical the second time! I first read Belladonna in August 2022 and never wrote a book review (oops). I remembered loving it but wasn't in the position to write the review the book deserves, so it was time for a re-read to prepare for the sequel Foxglove (coming out on August 22, 2023). I thoroughly enjoyed this atmospheric and haunting gothic mystery and can't wait for more of this world!

"The brisk autumn air grasped Signa around the shoulders, carrying the scent of sap and earth and twirling leaves underfoot."

Written in third person perspective, Belladonna feels like a fairytale being told to you as you ready for sleep, its prose washing over you and painting the scene. The writing is lyrical and beautiful, suiting the Gothic setting and themes well while not overburdening the overall pace. There's a slow-growing sense of unease infused in the narrative that is balanced with the murder mystery.

"Nights in this manor are often difficult for those faint of heart."

Vast and encompassing worldbuilding that brings you into the fictional setting, but I love that the narrative is fast-paced and engaging. I feel like I could step onto the page and onto the moors of Thorn Grove. While never being explicitly told, the setting and etiquette rules make it feel like Victorian England, but wholly its own world at the same time.

"The thrill of being presented with exactly what she'd yearned for: To debut into society. To attend parties and be courted by handsome suitors, and then to gossip about them with friends over tea. The idea of it alone threatened to burst her heart."

Signa is a nineteen-year-old girl from one of the richest families who has lived a life of misfortune and heartache. Orphaned as an infant and "raised" by a series of increasingly horrible family members who each met their death. People believe that she is a witch. She believes she is cursed by Death, and she is determined to break free so she can claim the life she desires. Signa is a sheltered romantic waiting for her own fairytale. Her loneliness permeates the page and I enjoyed watching her blossom as she interacts with people at Thorn Grove as she carves a place for herself.

"Death is only a reprieve for the dead [...] it cares little for those it leaves behind."

Ghosts haunt the halls of Thorn Grove and Signa is tasked with solving a murder mystery before her cousin dies from the same mysterious illness. (There's a particular ghost in the library who I enjoyed thoroughly.) The mystery itself is well-plotted and I found myself having multiple theories... one wound up being correct, and it was satisfying to have puzzled it out.

“Stop worrying about society and playing its game, hoping that you'll be good enough. There is no such thing as true goodness there is only perception.”

One of my favorite parts of this book is Signa's budding relationship with her cousin Blythe, and the notes of feminism spread throughout. Signa grew up longing to be part of society having been robbed of that with her parent's deaths, yet when she finally gets a place and prepares to debut she realizes that the societal rules are but a gilded cage meant to control her. She wants a love match.

Overall, I adored Belladonna and highly recommend it to readers who enjoy lush fantasy with romance. I like that this book is many things: a mystery, a romance, a fantasy tale. The series itself appears to be plotted well as this installment has a satisfying ending that both sets up for and leaves you excited for the sequel without being a terrible cliffhanger.

Content warnings: blood and gore, child neglect and abuse, death and illness, depictions of grief, loss of parents, poisoning

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I had heard rave reviews about this and requested it when it was a Read now option. I am such a mood reader and just couldn't get into this one with no fault to the story.

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