belladonna – adalyn grace | blog tour + arc review

Belladonna by Adalyn Grace

Duology: Belladonna #1
Expected publication: August 30, 2022 by Little, Brown for Young Readers
Age Range: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Gothic


Rating: 4 out of 5.


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.

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Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tour for choosing me as one of the participants in the #Belladonna tour. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. If you’re interested in the other tour stops, check out the schedule!


After finishing up All the Stars and Teeth duology by Adalyn Grace, I’ve been anticipating what will be next from the author. In Belladonna, Death came for the Foxglove mansion. Only baby Signa could feel Death’s presence but she’s the only soul that he can’t collect. Since then, Signa has moved from relative to relative, and all of them except her grandmother were eyeing Signa’s extensive inheritance when she turns 20. The death of an aunt brought Signa to the Hawthorne family as their ward.

Weird things started happening to Signa who has the ability to communicate with Death and see spirits. While living in Thorne Grove, Signa came to suspect the death of Lillian, the dead aunt’s granddaughter, and the mysterious illness that is plaguing the young lady, Blythe. Together with Sylas, an unusually well-dressed stable boy, they uncover the secrets of the Hawthorne. 

As much as Signa wants nothing to do with Death, the connection between them cannot be dismissed. With death and spirits surrounding Thorne Grove, Death easily appeared in front of Signa. Slowly, as Signa accepted his presence, they worked together to discover Signa’s powers. Their days turned a sour, uncertain relationship to something more intimate. The delicious push-and-pull is what I’m here for. Death is charming and endearing. I loved the parts where Signa learns about Death’s job as the guide for the dead and finds out the softer side of him. Also, Signa finally opens herself to her abilities, no longer afraid of what it might entail. 

“To me, you are a song to a soul that has never known music. Light to someone who has only seen the darkness. You bring out the absolute worst in me, and I become vindictive toward those who treat you in ways I don’t care for. Yet you also bring out the best in me–I want to be better because of you. Better for you.”

I’m glad that Signa found some semblance of family with the Hawthorne even though Elijah was distant, Percy was fun, and Blythe was sick. They bonded through the multiple times death came close. Signa never had anyone treat her nicely other than her grandmother after the massacre in Foxglove. But this eccentric family has its secrets. While uncovering the truth behind Blythe’s illness and Lillian’s death, Signa finds danger looms closer than ever. 

Adalyn Grace has once again captured my heart. Death and Signa were fascinating characters with equally interesting powers. I have no idea why Signa is the first person Death can touch without her dying and the one that he can actually communicate with. However, their romance started from fear and ended up with affection. I liked that Death was soft and open to Signa about his life up till now. 

Foxglove will be one of my most anticipated 2023 releases. I already want it in my hands and Belladonna isn’t even out yet. How will I survive? Adalyn Grace created a world with a gothic atmosphere, filled with spirits and death. Yet, I’m waiting for each moment that Death will arrive. Not only that, the element of mystery surrounding a strange family is one of my favorites in fantasy books. Best believe I devoured Belladonna within hours.

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