Adalyn Grace
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Aug 31, 2023

Belladonna, a fresh new fantasy from Adalyn Grace, got me up with high hopes when I first heard of it. A beautiful cover? An intriguing premise? Young adult fantasy? Sign me up! However, I was incredibly let down with the romance. Literally everything else was fine, just I really wanted the romance to not be the way it was. 

We first enter Belladonna learning about Signa’s (our main character) troubled relationship with her current guardian, her aunt, and her mysterious powers– she can’t die. From there, a series of events lead Signa to the eccentric household known as Thorn Grove. Thorn Grove has a lot– a patriarch drowning in both grief and alcohol, a son left to pick up the pieces, and a daughter dying of the same mysterious sickness as her mother. While that may seem like a lot for orphaned Signa to have on her plate, there’s a bigger one: Death won’t leave her alone. After an encounter with the matriarch’s ghost, Signa has a mission: Find out what the illness plaguing this family is. 

What really irked me about Belladonna was the romance. Would everything Death had done be super adorable and cute if he wasn’t as old as time and Signa was 20? Yes. While I love a good age gap, this wasn’t an age gap, this was an age canyon. The way this romance was written too- Signa talking about his shadows (*gagging noises ensue*)? That was nasty. This whole romance thing knocked it down from a 4.5 to a 3 star read for me. Who knows though, maybe I’m just a grumpy little person and the romance was actually fine? 

⭐⭐⭐ Bottom line: Death killed it (and not in a good way).

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