Poison was a refreshing idea. A lot of YA keeps it safe, sticking to the tried-and-tested tropes. Poison creates a whole new mythology. Success will depend on your personal preferences, but it's a bold move that should be applauded - and practiced more in YA and paranormal in general.
But the writing.
I'm not sure how to describe it. It's not merely unpolished. It's like...your first novel. Not the first one you managed to publish. Not the draft you finally managed to make presentable for the agent after slaving over it. The one you scribbled in your super secret notebook sometime in middle to high school.
One of the worst examples is a rape scene. Its necessity is debatable; it's necessary to trigger a change in a character, however, it happens shortly after an event which should have triggered the change but hasn't. We haven't seen any consequences for character not being changed when she should have been; there is no reason why, in the long run, the character shouldn't have been changed there and then. Except for a minor twist to rise stakes for a few seconds. And the plot is plagued with many similar "twists" that get instantly resolved. But, like I said, writing is what makes the scene problematic. "Feeling the soft texture of my skin" is not the phrase you want to use in a rape scene. Furthermore, due to the blow-by-blow writing style, the scene ended up being detailed and drawn-out - consequently, (unintentionally) graphic. In contrast, usual sex scenes are tasteful and non-explicit, heavy on imagery but poetic rather than purple. I really liked the balance between sensual and romantic there.
Insta-love is taken to another level - you don't even have to add water, just look in the general direction of nearest sink and there it is. That said, boyfriend was a genuinely sweet guy, any stalker-like tendencies vanished once he got the girl, and he's not prone to sudden outbursts of possessiveness and jealousy.
Sadly, for all that our cast of characters is made of mostly nice people, they are far from the brightest. Particularly frustrating is when our heroine makes a damn good point -(show spoiler)
- but it's treated like she's wrong. It's a damn good idea for a character flaw, but it's not a flaw when the character is in the right. And there are many, many more stupid decisions preceded and followed with emotional outbursts a star of telenovellas would find excessive.
All in all, if you are after some light YA reading, looking for something paranormal that is not vampires/werewolves/angels, sick of "bad boys", and are not very particular about writing, this is a book for you.
I received a copy of this book via Goodreads First Reads.