Belladonna By Adalyn Grace Book Review

Belladonna is a refreshing new take on the gothic fantasy genre. Death is one of the main characters and thanks to Adalyn Grace’s writing you might just finish the book with a bit of a crush on him.

This book is all about the Victorian gothic vibe. There’s death, poisoning, horrific spirits, possession, and sex, but all wrapped up palatably in a YA filter.

Belladonna Plot

Orphaned as a baby, nineteen-year-old Signa has been raised by a string of guardians, each more interested in her wealth than her well-being–and each has met an untimely end. Her remaining relatives are the elusive Hawthornes, an eccentric family living at Thorn Grove, an estate both glittering and gloomy. Its patriarch mourns his late wife through wild parties, while his son grapples for control of the family’s waning reputation and his daughter suffers from a mysterious illness. But when their mother’s restless spirit appears claiming she was poisoned, Signa realizes that the family she depends on could be in grave danger and enlists the help of a surly stable boy to hunt down the killer.

Belladonna Book Review

Signa just wants to fit into genteel society. She wants to force herself into the perfect lady, find the perfect husband and have the perfect life. What she grudgingly starts to discover is that being what other people expect is way more exhausting than just being yourself.

This book has a theme of feminism (in YA Victorian form) and a strong message to always be yourself. It’s very sweet, and there’s only one moment when it seemed like the author was monologuing to the reader. Luckily Signa has her escape from society in the form of money and her lifelong stalker Death.

Death is an interesting character. He’s a poet on last moments and a gentle embrace for souls passing over, which is something that Signa has to learn to see. In the beginning she fears Death and what he brings, but slowly through his endeavours her view begins to change. But don’t worry, he’s not just a poet. He’s also a lonely, smoking hot virgin who has just found the only girl in the world that he can bang— I mean touch.

To begin with I didn’t see the hype with this book. I kept on checking how far along I was and wishing I’d hurry up and finish it. Then Death started involving himself more and their intersections began to heat up and it had my attention.

I also enjoyed Signa’s journey of self realisation and the awakening of her powers. The description of the power she feels is really well done. And of course her sexual awakening is a high point, which seems quite pure and confident.

The mystery of the poisoning was probably the slowest part of the book. I was also left a bit unsatisfied with the unveiling of the poisoner. There’s too many spoilers to really go into it, but it just annoyed me that we were thrown off the scent because of a mistake!

Belladonna Rating And Summary


Belladonna is a unique read in the gothic fantasy genre. The character of Death and Signa’s growing relationship with him is the best part. If you find it a bit slow at the beginning stick with it and you’ll be rewarded.

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