Belladonna Readalong: Day 1!

Gorgeous photo by @readingscape!

Hi Fairies!

Happy Monday and welcome to day 1 of our readalong of Belladonna by Adalyn Grace. I’m so excited to be reading this one with you, I hope you all love it!

Before we start, how are you all doing? I hope you had a wonderful weekend and got some reading and relaxing done.

Since today is day 1, we’ll be reading from the beginning to the end of Chapter 9. Get comfy and let’s get started!

When you’ve finished today’s section, catch up with me in the comments down below so we can discuss the beginning of the book. Happy reading!

Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for Belladonna by Adalyn Grace from the beginning to Chapter 9. Please only read on if you have finished this section!


We join Signa as a baby, surrounded by poisoned people, poisoned herself. I need to know who did this??? As Death is collecting souls, he can’t collect Signa’s. Despite the fact that she’s poisoned and should be dead… she isn’t.

Now she’s an adult, consuming belladonna in her tea. As you do. She recalls seeing Death at five years old, after tumbling down the steps in a fall that really should’ve killed her. She saw him again at the age of ten when her grandmother died. Now, in the present day, she’s consuming belladonna for a chance to see him again. She thinks he’s trying to ruin her life, stop her from receiving her inheritance. When she stabs him, it does nothing.

When her Aunt Magda intervenes, and a belladonna riddled Signa touches her aunt… she dies. Death tells her to wait for two days, then he will prove he’s not her enemy.

Two days pass, and a carriage arrives to escort Signa to her new home, with her new guardian: Elijah Hawthorne. Sylas is to escort her to Thorn Grove. He asks if she knows what she’s getting into by visiting Thorn Grove. Odd? He tells her of the mysterious illness that killed the lady of the house and now ails Elijah’s daughter. And when they arrive at Thorn Grove, he leaves her. He’s a stable boy, and says it’d be better if he didn’t introduce her to her cousins and the rest of the staff… I’m getting bad vibes? A good kind of bad though, it’s a very gothic kind of mystery and I’m here for it!

The governess, Marjorie, escorts Signa to her rooms and tells her to stay away from the first level while there are guests around.

So, naturally, one of the first things Signa does is peek downstairs into the first level. My kinda gal! She witnesses public bickering between Percy and his father, Elijah. When Percy storms out, he catches Signa. Oh, how awkward. What a welcome.

As she tries to return to her room she hears a wet cough and discovers her cousin, Blythe. This must be the girl who’s suffering from the same illness Elijah’s wife died of. When Signa mentions she thought she heard someone in the room across from Blythe’s, she tells her she must be wrong since that room belongs to her mother. Signa, without much thought, corrects her and says she must mean belonged. Oh Signa.

That night, Signa is disrupted by the sounds of crying. Lilian’s ghost is visiting her, encouraging her to visit her garden and save Blythe. Signa, who wants to best Death, decides that she will.

During her lessons, Signa is plagued by Lilian again – and she realises she’ll have to act quick, or Lilian’s ghost will not stop disrupting her life.

What a spooky and atmospheric start to the book!

Let me know all of your thoughts so far in the comments below and I’ll see you tomorrow for day 2!


25 thoughts on “Belladonna Readalong: Day 1!

  1. I’m loving this book so far and it’s taking all my self-restraint not to continue! The atmosphere is deliciously haunting.

    I’m undecided if this book is straight-up fantasy or historical fantasy (they haven’t mentioned a country name, but it’s giving me so many regency novel vibes).

    I cannot wait to learn more about Signa’s powers and the mystery surrounding her and the manor. And love that it seems we might be getting a murder mystery too (with Lilian Hawthorne at least. I reckon she was poisoned by the governess, and Blythe is being poisoned too. Time will tell!). I’m curious if we’ll ever learn why someone poisoned Signa’s mother’s ENTIRE party at the beginning of the novel.

    And one last comment/ theory before I finish this comment that’s all over the place: I hope we get more Sylas. I liked his character (who can resist a mysterious brooding groom?) and his banter with Signa. I have a sneaking suspicion he’s Death.

  2. I just finished today chapters ! And God how glad am I reading those with day light ! What a spooky and mysterious ambiance ?
    Can’t wait to discover what futur awkwardness Signa had plan for us ?

  3. I’m liking this book so far. The beginning was not what I was expecting, but I really enjoyed it. I feel sorry for Signa because of all the death that seems to follow her wherever she goes. I really can’t wait to learn more about her connection to Death.

  4. Really loving the spooky and gothic atmosphere so far, though I’m not overly invested, nor interested, in Signa yet. She seems kind of bland. I’m quite curious about the whole deal with Lilian and Blythe though, so I’m eager to see where that goes.

  5. I want to know more about the family, not sure about signa’s character yet. But enjoying so far. Definetely fitting the spooky season theme

  6. Woooooo! I’m excited for the readalong, Belladonna is one of my favourite ARCs I read this year.

    I really like the horror elements of the book. Adalyn Grace’s strongest point is probably how well she writes horror elements—her writing was atmospheric and evocative, the supernatural elements were practically leaping off the page, their descriptions were that vivid. The ghosts were leaking off the page, so to speak. ✨

    And of course, Death and the Maiden angle. I wonder what that mysterious-looking Deathman will do next? Who is Sylas for that matter? ??

    Belladonna is very Crimson Peak-esque, isn’t it? ?

  7. I love the start of the book so far! The premise is intriguing, and I really want to see where it goes and what the deal is with Thorn Grove. My only gripe so far is how hung up on marrying into high society Signa is, and her naivety comes across as her being much younger than 19 years of age.

  8. The Fairyloot edition of this book is just so beautiful. I’m loving how dark and Gothic the story is already. Several mysteries to solve already…. I really want to know how/why Signa’s mother and all her guests were poisoned. Also will be very surprised if Blythe and her mother weren’t both poison victims too.

  9. I liked the start of this book. introductions already show some aspects of possible major characters without revealing everything.
    I am also intrigued by the connection between Signa and Death, I would love to read more about that. For now I mostly want to read more about Sylas. Something tells me he and Signa might get quite close to each other…
    And the eyes… The specific mentioning of the eyes Lilian, is it just something that runs in that part of the family, or is it supposed to tell more?

    All those question leave only one thing to do: read more tomorrow. 🙂

  10. I really like the vibe of this book so far! I just finished The diviners so I love staying in this spooky, dark vibe, which this book definitely has. I’m really intrigued by Sylas… and especially his reaction to the food in the train. Is he death and does he normally not eat? Or is he really just a stable boy who isn’t used to eating the sweets in the train? No one else really acknowledged him while they were en route which makes me wonder if other people can really see him… I’m also really intrigued with the Hawtorne manor and what will happen when Signa gets to know the children and the father (and the spirit of Lilian) better. Was Lilian maybe poisoned as well as Blythe and is the antidote in the garden? I have no idea but I’m intrigued, can’t wait to continue!

  11. I’m really intrigued by the first chapters. I love the vibe and I kind of get Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes vibes from Sylas ? I hope tomorrow we‘ll get to see more from him 🙂
    Signa is very interesting as well and I’m really curious on how the story continues.

  12. I’m really loving this book. It’s giving me a vibe of “The Secret Garden” with the setting, and the mysterious illness afflicting her cousin.

    I am also very intrigued by the character Silas. To the point that I also wondered if he could be Death, but I am not sure about that yet, as how could he be there working as a groom?

    Lots of mysteries, and one that I also would like to find out more about is who poisoned Signa’s family and the entire party that night when she was a baby?

    1. I think as well that he’s Death. And he’s never seen with anyone and he does say that nobody would know his name, so definitely think the same!

  13. Lillian was so annoying… Like others mentioned I get a lot of Secret Garden vibes too!

  14. Tammy @crimsonrosereads

    I am loving the Regency Romance atmosphere of this book!! Adalyn is so masterful at keeping things moving along and I’m excited to continue this mesmerizing story!

  15. Hi My Name is Mira I just Bought BellaDonna Last week and just now started reading it halfway through the prologue right now but would like to catch up and join the read along

  16. I think this first section se the book up as nice and spooky! I am interested by death as a character and I want to know more about him and why he can’t kill Signa and how she can use his powers. I am also really interested in Signa, and Lillian’s eyes. Is it related to something spooky or just genetics.

  17. The imagery is really beautiful. I’m excited to see where it goes!

  18. These chapters are interesting. I like the character of Signa and I am wondering what is the connection between her and Death. Also the prologue was mysterious: I guess we will know later about what happened to Signa family and friends.
    Good think: Aunt Magda is already gone. Just one chapter and I cannot stand her anymore!!!

  19. Really intriguing so far, I loved the party scene at the beginning and how death was shocked when Signa wouldn’t die then. I feel bad for Signa as well with all the death that follows her, I feel like I was cursed if I was in her shoes. Can’t wait to see what happens next

  20. I’m late to the readalong but hoping to catch up by week’s end.

    I’m enjoying this – I agree with some theories re the governess poisoning Lillian and Blythe – but why Blythe? Lillian is one thing but Blythe can’t be in the way of her relationship with Elijah? Time will tell…

  21. Oops, I’ve been in Discord and forgot to come here.

    Definitely feeling the Crimson Peak vibe and I love the theory about Death and Sylas being the same! My guess was that Sylas was a spirit of some sort, but the Death theory is really intriguing too. Otherwise, weirdest love triangle ever.

  22. Hi friends! I’m having a bit of a late start, but hoping to catch up quick. First impressions are that Elijah Hawthorne is actually the evil villain in this story… Or perhaps Sylas. Waiting to see what else is revealed. The behavior of Elijah is somewhat concerning – the constant partying / drinking and Gatsby-esque lifestyle coupled with his destructive behavior (breaking glass when Signa arrives at the estate) make me think he’s a power hungry psychopath. More to come with his character, methinks. Death and Signa will deeeefffinitely be love interests later on. Manifesting this! Lillian’s mystery… Gosh, I think Elijah killed her. She can’t speak but she wants Signa to solve this mystery. I don’t think Percy and Blythe are dangerous, just selfish rich kids so far. Super excited to keep reading! I love the atmosphere so far.

  23. A bit late to the read along but I’m here! The prologue pulled me onto book at the start, it was that good and I know this book is going to be good, and 50 pages in I was enjoying this book.

  24. What a strong start! I don’t normally read books with lots of hype because I like to make my own mind up about it, before we got this from Fairyloot I already had it on my waterstones pre order list becasue the synopsis sounded perfect.

    The opening to this story is super, I love how spooky it is, I cant work out the relationship between Signa and Death yet (getting parental vibes, but not convinced thats correct) Death does seem intrigued by her, more than she is by Death anyway.

    Love the Gothic grandure and haunted feel, I do not trust any Human in this story yet, alive ones anyway!

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