Book Review – Belladonna by Adalyn Grace
I want to apologize in advance if this review seems all over the place and incoherent at times… it’s just this book right here is one that has made my list for top books I thoroughly enjoyed this year thurs far.
The chokehold this book had on me was unreal. I could not put it down but when I did, it was because I was too overwhelmed with blushing or gasping or accusing the different characters of murder!
It had intrigue and most importantly, it had an immortal shadow being that was handsome and mysterious and oh-so-witty.
Reading this was like the world had disappeared and I was encased in a time-stopping dimension where it was just this book and the story. Each time I looked up from the page, hours would have gone by and I was dumbfounded at how I hadn’t even noticed.
I truly loved every single second of reading this and cannot wait to deep-dive (without any spoilers… obvs) into telling you how and why!
Note: this is a non-spoilery review
The story follows an orphaned girl called Signa. She gets shipped off from home to home to live with her various remaining relatives waiting until she turns 20 years old so she can access her freedom in her inheritance left behind by her wealthy parents.
Throughout her time with her relatives, Death follows. It’s the reason she is forced to up and move every so often as he comes to collect whoever she is staying with. The thing is, Signa can see Death and she hates him for it. She has always seen him, especially when she realizes he comes whenever she’s about to die. Only she never does.
After her current relative dies, Signa is then forced to move to Thorn Grove estate with her uncle and cousins.
When she arrives, she realizes Death had already been there first, claiming the life of her sick aunt. Except her aunt did not die from an illness. Signa quickly realizes that she could be the only person to find out the truth. The problem is, she might need Death’s help after all.
I thought Signa was such a solid main character. She had this level of growth that was perfectly seen throughout the progression of the story. Her desires and outlook on life shifted the more she learned about herself, making her feel more true and relatable.
Obviously with any murder mystery story, I am always screaming at the main character to not be stupid, so Signa was no different, but she was one I was rooting for no doubt.
Death is what every fictional male counterpart wants to be. He has a sense of mystery, a morally grey professional but still anchored in kindness and justice.
I loved the teasing and witty banter he had with Signa and anytime he came across the page, I sat a little straighter just waiting for what he was going to say or do.
I mean, we love a broody, dark, and handsome immortal being.
Surprisingly, I did not enjoy Sylas as much as I thought I would.
He was well-rounded, mysterious and an overall great friend to Signa at some points, but I did not feel a pull towards him like I felt with Death or any of the other characters. Maybe it was because he was rarely seen, and even when he did appear it was brief in conversation that he did not bring anything out of Signa or move the story any more forward then she would have on her own. Maybe this is an unpopular opinion, but I liked Death a little more.
Blythe is what I wish I could be most days.
She was strong willed, sharp-tongued, and confident in her own skin. Despite her being in a terrible state throughout the book, she still had bite and a good sense of self for a 19-year old girl. She held her own when speaking to the men in her life, to Signa, and to fake socialites she did not have time for.
I might be alone in this, but sometimes it is very hard to not care what people say, random or not, and it could get to you to the point of making you doubt yourself. The slivers of self-assurance Blythe had that came out of her even in her ill state gave me a little bit of motivation and inspiration, as silly as it sounds, to actually be slightly more confident in myself and not care about other’s opinions.
I really hope we see more of her in future books.
Throughout the book, Percy did not interest me until he was interacting with another character. It was then, that I felt sorry for him or understood who he was. When he was described on his own, even through Signa’s point of view, I didn’t feel like I really knew him. I think this was intentional, but he was definitely a character that tugged at your heartstrings a bit.. to a certain point.
He had a sexist outlook but considering the timeframe the book was set in, it made sense. I did find him to be very funny, a bit of a comic relief during the tough moments, and even interacting with Signa he brought out more of her character which was nice to see.
I found the world-building to be well done but there was definitely more that I wish was shown or talked about! I loved the description of the gardens, the great house, and the town they were living in. It gave me such Bridgerton vibes and I adored it.
I feel there is so much more we haven’t seen yet so I am excited for the next book where we will see Signa inheriting her family’s estate and more of the town and the people.
I think the book was so well written. It gave me all the feels and an intricate story that had mystery, love, and some strong characters that made the world and story that much better.
The ending was a cliffhanger so I am at the edge of my seat just waiting for the next book to release.
📜 Plot: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
🧙🏼♂️ Characters: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
❤️ Romance: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🧕 Diversity: ⭐
Please let me know if you have read this book! What were your thoughts?!
*Please note that when clicking any links above, they are affiliate links, which means I receive a percentage of the revenue made from purchasing products through the links. This does not affect you as the consumer of the price of the product. More importantly it does not compel me to recommend products that I do not believe in.*