Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is A Little Taste of Poison by R.J. Anderson. Thanks so much to Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me a copy of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

After reading the first book in this series last year, A Pocket Full of Magic, I was excited to pick up the sequel. Luckily, it didn't disappoint!

The story picks up pretty much where it left off in the first book, Isaveth has sold her tablet wrappers and has now been offered a scholarship to the elite college by the company. After clearing her father's name, she decides she can't turn down such a prestigous offer and begins her schooling.

While her one saviour is Esmond, she doesn't end up seeing him much, because he is a year older than she. However, she finds a fast friend in a girl, Eulalie, who helps her navigate the new world of the college. I don't really want to say too much about the plot itself, because it is a sequel, and it might end up spoiling the first book.

One thing that I really enjoyed was the girl power that was going on in this book. Isaveth is her usual energetic self, but there are many other female characters that also find there voice and ruffle some feathers. Esmond's sister Civilla shows that she is more than just a petty gossip, having formulated a plan from the very beginning. Isaveth's little sister Mirriam is sticking up for her family, albeit not in the best way, but her intentions are pure. And that epilogue, power to Lady Nessa. She showed she is not some delicate little flower that can be pushed around. There is some hinting at issues between her and the Sagelord, hopefully they will be addressed more in book three (I think there will be more to this series, not 100% sure though). Overall, they were all clever and intelligent, I'll even forgive the author for using the cliché of poison because they were just so powerful.

I think this is a great book, and series, for kids. It deals with a lot of issues that kids these days deal with (man that makes me sound old...), like bullying, following their family's ill-advised beliefs, and just standing up for yourself. I think any of the main characters would be excellent role models for kids to look up to, they support one another and fight for what is right.

The setting of the book helps too, set in an adventure in a magical world, this story enchant all who read it. I also loved the fact that this book is set in winter, so you get that cozy, snowy vibe that everyone starts to crave by the end of September.

I also loved the inclusion of the Moshite religion. While both the religions in this book are fictitious, one where the followers worship the Sages, and the other Moshites, with their own beliefs, often deemed radical, the inclusion helps relate the message that no one religion or group is better than the other, and that you cannot generalize all members of the religion just based on the actions of a select few. This message of tolerance and acceptance is especially vital today in a world where there are so many opinions and thoughts. It is great for kids to see that people can peacefully work together and thrive, one is not better than the other.

Even though this series is technically a middle grade read, I still enjoyed it as a mature YA to NA reader. There is something so fun about going back and reading a book that deals with simpler issues than relationships and high school and college prep. After reading so many heavy books, it is nice to lighten everything with such a fun read.

I'm not too sure if there are only going to be two books in this series, I haven't been able to find anything. The ending itself is fairly well contained, I suppose there isn't a ton to be added to the story, but this is such a fun series, I would love to see more of Esmond and Isaveth's adventures!

Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and series overall and I look forward to book three (if there is one).