REVIEW: “The Poisons We Drink” by Bethany Baptiste
It’s been a long time since I’ve reviewed a book! When I read the description for The Poisons We Drink by Bethany Baptiste, I couldn’t help but want to review her debut novel.
In a country divided between humans and witchers, Venus Stoneheart hustles as a brewer making illegal love potions to support her family.
Love potions is a dangerous business. Brewing has painful, debilitating side effects, and getting caught means death or a prison sentence. But what Venus is most afraid of is the dark, sentient magic within her.
Then an enemy’s iron bullet kills her mother, Venus’s life implodes. Keeping her reckless little sister Janus safe is now her responsibility. When the powerful Grand Witcher, the ruthless head of her coven, offers Venus the chance to punish her mother’s killer, she has to pay a steep price for revenge. The cost? Brew poisonous potions to enslave D.C.’s most influential politicians.
As Venus crawls deeper into the corrupt underbelly of her city, the line between magic and power blurs, and it’s hard to tell who to trust…Herself included.
The Poisons We Drink is a potent YA debut about a world where love potions are weaponized against hate and prejudice, sisterhood is unbreakable, and self-love is life and death.
Bethany Baptiste’s debut novel, “The Poisons We Drink” transports us to a world where witchers are dealing with a great deal of discrimination. It reminded me of the struggles from the pre-Civil Rights era – super relatable.
Baptiste’s attention to historical detail is pretty impressive, considering she couldn’t have lived through that time herself. The whole vibe she gives off, especially with the discriminatory laws and attitudes, definitely channels the 50s and 60s.
And can we talk about the characters? Venus Stoneheart is just the right mix of spunk and naivety, and her love interest embracing both his feminine and masculine sides is just perfectly crafted. It’s like you can really connect with them.
The diversity in the cast is a win for sure! Plus, the bonus material in the back of the book—potions and a glossary – are an extra treat for the readers.
Some of Baptiste’s word choices earned a star deduction, but blame it on my inner editor. Overall, “The Poisons We Drink” is a stellar debut, and I’m crossing my fingers for a follow-up! 📚
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