Cover Image: Belladonna

Belladonna

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Member Reviews

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Signa Farrow is an orphan who has been surrounded by Death all her life—but when she finally confronts him, it sets in motion a series of events that leads to her solving a murder, uncovering her powers, and realizing what she really wants in life (and afterwards).

I’ve been itching to read this one since I first saw the cover and hardback design (seriously, this book without the dust jacket? I genuinely don’t think I own anything more beautiful), and even more so because the concept sounded so unique and captivating, so I was thrilled when one of my book clubs made it their January pick! I was supposed to spend the entire month reading this with the club, but once I got started I absolutely could not stop, so I “accidentally” finished it in a few days instead. Whoops.

BELLADONNA was everything I wanted it to be—dark, funny, romantic, creepy, with brilliant characters and fantastic world building. I never thought I’d be swooning over literal Death incarnate but…here we are. The plot was complex and thought-provoking, and I loved the way the murder mystery and reveal unfolded! My only small complaint would be that it started off a bit slow, but once it really got its hooks in me (somewhere between a quarter and a third of the way in) I never wanted it to end.

Suffice to say, I am absolutely dying with anticipation for the sequel (FOXGLOVE, out August ’23!)

Recommended to anyone, but especially if you like: Gothic mysteries; historical fantasy; the idea of a romance featuring literal Death

CW: Death/murder; loss of parent; alcoholism

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Unfreakinbelievable! I loved this and sincerely hope it has a sequel.

I don't wanna give anything away but I will say this had a very original take on death, life, and society back in the days of dance cards & etiquette and reputation. Wow. Just freakin' wow.

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I'm a sucker for gothic romance, and Belladonna was everything I was hoping for! It's dark, and gritty, mysterious and beautiful.

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Unfortunately this one missed the mark for me. The romance wasn’t quite there and it was all over the place. The opening was great but I lost interest as I continued. Gorgeous cover though!

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Very atmospheric, very transportive, dark and mysterious and so definitely right up my alley. I enjoyed following the main character, as she has had to learn how to take care and protect herself. There are also liked the different twists/reveals in the story. There is also a strong family aspect here. The MC knows that the family had a strong bond before the tragedy that they experienced and she is also learning how she fits in this complicated family. There are also very emotional moments as we follow and learn more about this family. The mystery element was also very compelling.

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I have so much to say about this book but for starters. This was one of the best books I've read for me it deserves a spot next to throne of glass. I started the book with high expectations, and my expectations were more than full filled. Adalyn wrote about grief and loss in the most beautiful ways and that ending had me shocked, I loved the mystery and romance it was beautiful. I cannot wait for the second one🤞

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I’m a sucker for Young Adult books specially with magical things involved. This was the PERFECT mix of mystery and all things YA and I absolutely loved it! Death himself and Signa were my favorite part of course, they’re banter was so good. I would highly recommend this if you like this particular charestisrics in this genre. Amazing!

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This book definitely have off Gothic vibes from the description to the characters. The reader feels like they are part of the story. I highly recommend this book.

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This book was really interesting! I was intrigued by the storyline and that's what initially drew me to this title. I also really love the cover artwork.

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This book was SO GOOD. It really captivated me from the beginning and I could not stop reading to see what was going to happen.

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I absolutely fell in love with this book nearly instantly. I love the way this is written. It isn’t too wordy and captivates you from the beginning.

The thought of our main character having to work together with Death himself to help solve these murders is everything I’ve been missing in my life.

When it comes to solving murders or mysteries, I feel I can usually guess who’s behind it or at least the authors make it terribly obvious. However, I had no idea who had poisoned the spirit that was haunting Signa.

I can’t go into too much detail otherwise I will spoil everything for everyone. But I cannot wait for Foxglove. I will be counting down the days.

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This one wasn’t for me. I enjoyed the story concept, but I found it really hard to connect with the characters. Additionally the plot was much too slow for me.
I did enjoy the relationship between death and the MC.

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This was definitely a book to look out for this year. It's highly romantic, gothic, and really unbeatably, imaginatively good.
The characters were amazing. The development and depth of personality really made the book enjoyable to read, unlike some of Grace's other books. This writing was more mature I'm comparison.

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ARC kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

If you ever wanted a Tim Burton-esque YA book, look no further than Belladonna.

This book had everything my gothic romance loving heart could've ever wanted. From the very first page in arguably one of the best prologues I've read in YA, I was hooked. I was obsessed. Everything jumped from the page and felt so real.

Belladonna follows Signa Farrow, an orphan girl with a unique ability to communicate with Death. When one of her relatives dies, she is brought to Thorn Grove, the residence of her last remaining family. When the wife of the patriarch of the house appears and claims she was poisoned, Signa enlists the help of stable hand, Sylas to find out the killer, fearing they might strike again.

The very first thing that jumped out for me was the writing style. This book is gloriously thematic and aesthetic and I was in awe of how the ambience was built up so well from page one. The book flowed so easily, the progression of events feeling so natural and rich with description. From the very start we discover the unfortunate circumstances that lead to Signa's orphanhood and her relationship with the mysterious figure, Death who she's tried seeking out since her parents died when she was a baby. Layering and backstory really enabled a deeper understanding of her character and I loved reading about her on the page. She was a lonely, sad, yet kind main character who was just seeking friendship, a thing she had the misfortune of never experiencing. Her characterisation was one of the best elements of the book.

We also got a lot of backstory and depth to the side characters which was a delightful touch. I found myself connecting to Blythe, Percy, Elijah, Marjorie and Sylas and I enjoyed the moments when Signa was alone with them so we could understand them better.

The one thing that brought this book down a bit rating wise was how predictable some parts of the book were. I predicted the storyline between Sylas and Death from the very start, thinking how strange it was that these characters were never seen together nor seen by anyone other than Signa. I just wished we had more emotional scenes between them so that I could connect to their characters a bit more.

That being said, I am confident the connections between all characters would further develop in book two. This book, especially the ending has left me wanting more and I'm so excited to read Foxglove as soon as it releases.

ACTUAL RATING: 4.4 STARS

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This book was awesome. I love a good clue murder mystery so I knew I would love this book. The atmosphere that Adalyn Grace creates is genius. She really makes you feel like you truly know her characters and when you finish reading it is like losing your friends. Her characters are relatable but also with a fantasy realm. I never saw the twist coming and I am pretty good and guessing these types of things. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery but also loves fantasy.

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I loved Adalyn Grace’s debut All The Stars And Teeth, so I had no doubt that I would love Belladonna just as much… and I was right! It’s a Greek mythology-inspired story with a cunning main character and Death (yes, literal Death incarnate) as the love interest. It’s dark, it’s aesthetically pleasing, and it’s a brilliant read!

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A fun, dark, fantasy with Death as a love interest—what more could one want? Belladonna was a great read, but I want more of Death! Excited to see what comes of the sequel.

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This book has an incredible aesthetic. It's part fantasy, part horror, and part mystery. Even with all of that, it still found time to have commentary on grief, which I really appreciated. I'm very intrigued by what will happen in book two!

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Signa Farrow is an orphan who has been passed from family member to family member for most of her life. Due to all her family members dying on her. Unfortunately none of her family members are even interested in Signa, just the money they receive for taking her in. Signa also isn’t really able to die. Every time Death comes for her, he doesn’t take her. After another one of her family members die Signa is taken in by one of her last remaining relatives and moves into Hawthorne Grove. After arriving Signa learns that the mother of the household actually passed away shortly before her arrival from a strange illness. Signa gets visited by the woman‘s spirit and finds out the she was actually poisoned. And if Signa can’t figure out who did it, the woman’s daughter will die too. As she is currently sick with the same “strange illness”. And Signa’s only true ally is Death himself.

I absolutely adored this book! It’s in my top 15 reads of the year. I loved the gothic atmosphere of the entire novel. It gave me a bit of Gallant (by V.E. Schwab) vibes. The mystery throughout definitely keeps you turning the page. But my favorite thing in this book was the fact that Death is personified. And might even end up being a love interest 😏. I absolutely loved his character. I can’t wait until the next book comes out. This is set to at least be a duology, if not a larger series. I’m sorry if my description did not do this book justice. But I highly recommend picking up this book if you love a gothic fantasy, with a murder mystery and a unique romance sprinkled in.

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While the premise and cover appealed to me, the execution of this novel is toward a younger YA audience than I expected. Thus, this book was not in the realm of my enjoyment and I did not complete reading it past the 20% mark.

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