Rating: 4 of 5 stars.
Right now, Nina and I are reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, something we've talked about doing since before we even started Paper Boyfriends. In fact, The Night Circus was going to be our first collaborated review, most likely on our personal blogs and Goodreads and then Paper Boyfriends was born and now we're finally getting around to the book that sparked it all. In an effort to not get too far ahead of Nina while we read, I stopped myself halfway through and decided to start reading another book on my to-read list while I waited for her to catch up. (I'm a ridiculously fast reader who survives on little sleep. We joke that Nina is the old woman in this relationship, who goes to bed at 9pm and is up with the chickens, while I'm the frat boy, up all night partying and still awake the next morning. I digress.)
ENTER: POISON PRINCESS.
Have I ever talked about my deep and burning love for Post-Apocalyptic novels? Because it's there and it's A Thing. I love watching the world fall apart. I love when things get a little Lord of the Flies and when unlikely couples, people who would have never looked twice at each other before, end up together. I like seeing communities form and bands of people coming together to fight or to live or just to have human companionship. I love learning to navigate broken worlds and establishing new normals and I love watching characters rise up to become survivors.
I love guys like Jackson Deveaux.
Jackson, sometimes Jack, sometimes JD, but always devastingly handsome, the raging cajun, that hot piece of Bayou ass. Jackson? I love you. Dear God, do I love you, with your french cajun talk and your constant flask drinking and your love for that soft, rich girl who you want to protect, yet infuriates you so much. Jackson was strong and capable and a little bit archaic, but the perfect boy to survive The Flash, the doomsday type day that rendered the Earth a wasteland and killed most of its population. He carried a gun and a crossbow and whether it was militia or cannibals or Bagmen, zombie like creatures with a constant thirst for anything wet, Jackson was ready with his weapon and his flask.
Jackson, let's have babies. Sweet, foul mouthed, dirty cajun babies
Then there was Evangeline Greene, better known as Evie, a rich girl from the right side of bayou before The Flash, who spent some time in a mental institution for her "visions" that hinted at paranoid schizophrenia. Jackson regarded her as a puzzle and even while we were in Evie's head, seeing what Evie saw, thinking what Evie thought, most of the time, she was just as much of a puzzle to the reader, as well as herself. Did she have a role in the end, that was also the beginning? What was her role? How much of her visions and the voices that she heard inside of her head is true? How did it tie into the Tarot cards her grandma made her study as a young girl? Who was the Empress and what did she do and how did plants come into play and what the hell is actually going on and OMG DOES JACKSON like-like her?
Evie, as a protagonist, was believable and I liked her and if the end of the world came with a flash, I'd follow her and mind her sometimes-appearing poison claws.
There's other players in the game, other cards of the Tarot deck that are real people with a touch of more, and our boy Jackson and our girl Evie comes across some of them on this journey to find her estranged grandma in North Carolina, to get the answers. There's Selena, the archer, a doubt mongering, man eyeing bitch who wrote the book on badass, and Finn, the Magician, who has a swagger, a quick tongue and a joke always ready. Then there's Matthew.
This whole story, Before the flash, after the flash, the supernatural aspects of it, the attraction between Jack and Evie, Selena and her doubt casting, Matthew, it was all done just..hot damn. So well. AND COLE DISCUSSED END OF THE WORLD BODY HAIR SITUATIONS! HELL YES! WE HAVE ANSWERS!
I'm excited about this series. EXCITED. I'm excited to see where Cole takes us, if Jackson, who broke our damn hearts at the end will come around, (of course he will) how this war between these kids will play out when they come face to face with Death. I've been to this world and I've bought the t-shirt and I'm ready to go back.
...And I only have to wait til ...I HAVE NO IDEA WHEN. HOLD ME, JACKSON.