Review: Belladonna (Belladonna #1)

Title: Belladonna (Belladonna #1)
Author: Adalyn Grace
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Gothic, Mystery
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: August 30, 2022
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Adalyn Grace brings to life a highly romantic, Gothic-infused world of wealth, desire, and betrayal.

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.

However, Signa’s best chance of uncovering the murderer is an alliance with Death himself, a fascinating, dangerous shadow who has never been far from her side. Though he’s made her life a living hell, Death shows Signa that their growing connection may be more powerful—and more irresistible—than she ever dared imagine.


Nineteen-year-old Signa Farrow was orphaned as a baby and has spent her years with a variety of different guardians who all met an early death. Signa can see ghosts, and she can also communicate with Death, who appears to her before her relatives die. After her aunt dies, Signa is sent to live with her distant relatives, the Hawthornes, at Thorn Grove. Elijah Hawthorne is coping with the loss of his wife by throwing extravagant parties. His son, Percy, is trying to take control of the family business, and his daughter, Blythe, seems to be suffering from the same illness that killed her mother. When the mother’s ghost tells Signa that she was actually poisoned and murdered, Signa has to solve the murder in time to save Blythe’s life. 

This was such an enchanting gothic mystery. The setting was gorgeous and evocative, with Thorn Grove filled with decadent architecture, food, and clothing. I loved the paranormal aspects, especially that Signa could communicate with death. I was really shocked at the twists and reveals at the end of the story. It ended on a thrilling cliffhanger, so I can’t wait to see what happens in the next story!

Belladonna is a beautiful gothic paranormal mystery!

Content warnings: poisoning, stabbing, death of parent, death of grandparent, vomiting, substance abuse (mentioned)

What to read next:

All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

Other books in the series:

  • Foxglove

Have you read Belladonna? What did you think of it?


Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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