Poisonwood Key by Chris Bostic

A shocking discovery on a remote island in the Florida Keys sends summer campers fleeing from hostage-takers and gunfire.

Every summer, Mike’s not-so-loving family ships him off for camp in the Florida Keys where he’s subjected to humorless skits, endless labor, blazing sunlight, and humidity past the edge of moistness. If it weren’t for his discovery of half-naked Heather and the other girls on the adjacent campsite, the week would feel even more like prison.

Mike embarks on a desperate mission to forge a love connection in a matter of days, stumbling his way through his shyness to impress Heather the Hottie. But winning her over isn’t Mike’s only struggle, as strange sightings lead to a darker, illicit discovery. Treasure Island becomes Displeasure Island when the teens unearth a smuggler’s fortune, and misfortune, beyond their wildest dreams.

Mike has the resourcefulness to survive the wilderness. But is it enough to lead the battle through a gang of violent thugs?

  • Classification: Moderate
  • Work is: Complete; Extract only on Authonomy
  • First submitted Sept. 18, 2013
  • Last updated Sept. 3, 2014
Poisonwood Key
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  • On 28 bookshelves
  • 44 comments
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  • Pippa Whitethorn's avatar
    Pippa Whitethorn wrote 9 months, 3 weeks ago
    YARG review Hi Chris Just stopping by for a re-read of your first couple of chapters. I like what you have here and I like the changes you've made. I made some notes, ignore what doesn't work for you Ch 1 Not sure about frantically as a description of pointing – can you point frantically? Apart from that the opening line is good – makes you read on because you want to know what he’s pointing at ‘tourist tree’ made ...
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  • Retired user
    Willow Fay [Retired] wrote 9 months, 4 weeks ago
    YARG Hey you. Thought I’d take a read of your newest addition. You’re already on my shelf and will be there too the end when you get another shiny medallion ;-) I liked the opening, the boys off to scout for some girls to stare at, made me laugh. Although, very realistic, I’ve seen boys doing that plenty of times before! And you already know, I really enjoy your style of writing, all flows really well, nothing jarring about it. ...
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  • S.M. Koz's avatar
    S.M. Koz wrote 10 months, 1 week ago
    YARG Review Hi Chris, Another great story! I read the first 3 chapters and will be back for more later. Like your last book, I love your imagery of nature. It's clear that you've spent a lot of time outside. I also think your voice in this story is very good for a teenage boy, although some of the specific plant names might be a bit of stretch. You did mention that Billy explained that to them in the beginning, ...
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  • Pippa Whitethorn's avatar
    Pippa Whitethorn wrote 1 year, 4 months ago
    YARG Hi Chris I read all you had up here - it's a good lad's story, which means that I'm totally the wrong person to review it, so feel free to ignore my comments as I'm not your target audience. I didn't make any detailed notes because it's all very well done and I couldn't find any typos, so it's just general thoughts. You do loads of things very well - particularly your descriptions of the setting, the characters of ...
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  • TSW Sharman's avatar
    TSW Sharman wrote 1 year, 5 months ago
    YARG - Additional comments...all minor CH1. A couple of comments: the dialogue “What’s up with the front yard, backyard names anyway?” was hard to understand first time. ‘Not now, Jack. Not ever.’ I think that may need to be in a paragraph by itself to stand out – and maybe add a little more hint (like, don’t get me thinking about that.) As it is, it could be just a touch too vague. Such a nuance though. CH2 I really ...
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  • TSW Sharman's avatar
    TSW Sharman wrote 1 year, 5 months ago
    YARG III review Chris, you’re like a ‘brand’ – realistic and fast-paced tales for young men who think like young men. Great, natural dialogue and vernacular, un-intrusive narration. I honestly think this is better than Game Changer, in that is has more dramatic tension – although not much up here at the moment. Very, very commercial. I’d buy this for my godsons, nephews etc – and I would have been so happy to have had these when I was growing ...
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  • DystopianGerman's avatar
    DystopianGerman wrote 7 months, 2 weeks ago
    CWOG, YARG Hey Chris, After a long latency period, I'm back to continue with Poisenwood Key! It's been quite a while, but I still remember most of what I read back then, so I already have to compliment you on that. I flew over chapter 1 and am pretty sure you added something or changed up the end, I don't remember the confrontation with the girls. Anyway, I caught up and will start with chapter 2. Your writing is still ...
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  • DystopianGerman's avatar
    DystopianGerman wrote 9 months, 3 weeks ago
    Hey Chris, I remembered your stuff being pretty good, so thought I'd take a look at poisonwood which has been all over YARG. As always: I comment as I read, so even if questions are cleared up later on, I leave them in so you get to see my train of thought as a reader. Nice first liner. I like the controversy in this. Didn't quite get the “Broseph”. Maybe it's youth jargon I'm not familiar with, but it would've ...
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  • CatMcConville's avatar
    CatMcConville wrote 8 months, 2 weeks ago
    This is a YARG review, This is very skilled story telling. I love the interaction between the boys, the annoyance, the rivalry, the friendship. It's all spot on.The girls are less finely drawn but it's a boys POV so that's exactly right too. And the boredom until the girls arrive and spice up their trip, I could almost feel I was there, camping out. The tension is very good also. I found myself wanting to get to the point where ...
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  • Roger Laurence's avatar
    Roger Laurence wrote 10 months, 3 weeks ago
    Chris, You've left me at a bad spot. Seriously? Time to upload some more chapters. The anxiety Mike feels over Heather's interactions with the other boys is perfect. So to is their interaction when they are alone. A+ on the character development. Overall same comments as before, only less so. (It's sort of funny how the first few chapters, the most important ones, are always hardest to get just right.) Still a little to heavy on the blatent foreshadowing. I ...
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  • Roger Laurence's avatar
    Roger Laurence wrote 10 months, 3 weeks ago
    There’s a major problem here. The book is ending and I need to continue reading. I’m a sucker for the dual plot with the young love. Continuing on from my previous YARG review looking at chapters four and five. Chapter four: A couple of ideas for tightening things up. “We walked past the mangroves and continued to the west.” “to the” not necessary. “Waves slowly rolled in; otherwise the ocean was tranquil now that the racing boat was gone.” Nitpicking ...
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  • Roger Laurence's avatar
    Roger Laurence wrote 10 months, 3 weeks ago
    This is a YARG review. Dude, this is awesome. That said, and since I’m really only into reviews in the hope that I’ll get lots of constructive ideas for me to work on for my book, I have a few things for you to consider. Hope they help. Short pitch: You have all the right things in there for a really grabbing short pitch, just not sure you’ve strung it into the best structure to catch the most readers. That ...
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  • RJBrown's avatar
    RJBrown wrote 11 months ago
    Chapter one: Great opening line. It threw me, as someone who lives in the rain most of the time the sun coming out is always such a wonderful feeling. Already I am wondering who your main character is and why he hates the sun! Besides my natural inclination to boredom with lying around all day – This reads slightly chunkily and my brain had to work to process it. Tourist tree because its red and peeling – nice touch of ...
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  • Retired user
    Angelika Rust [Retired] wrote 1 year, 5 months ago

    I had the privilege to read this in full before it was uploaded here.
    As is his habit, Chris leads the reader from a seemingly innocent beginning to a wild hunt. The MC is easygoing, resourceful, loyal and totally self-effacing, which makes him instantly likable and easy to understand.
    A fine YA read, action-packed and adventurous.

    2 out of 2 readers marked this as helpful
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  • Retired user
    Angela Merlo [Retired] wrote 10 months, 2 weeks ago
    YARG Okay, so I had decided to read and critique Game Changer over Lent. I had read a couple chapters originally back when I had backed it originally. I had always intended to read more but never got to it. Once I did read it all, I was going to give a long review, but by that time it was on the editor's desk and I decide "Eh. He probably doesn't need my two cents on it." So now I've ...
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  • Outdoor Dude's avatar
    Outdoor Dude wrote 1 year, 4 months ago

    This has to be one of the funniest books on the site. I'mnot sure why you haven't tagged this as Comedy. Not only is the MC hilarious, the storyline is engaging. I've really enjoyed this. It's my pleasure to place this one on my shelf. Best of luck making the desk.

    1 reader marked this as helpful
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  • skywriter35's avatar
    skywriter35 wrote 3 months, 2 weeks ago

    An interesting book so far. I'm not quite sure, but this reads between THE CAY and WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS.

    At least...that's the impression I get from the layout and the wording. It's a nice change of pace. Finally something I can get into and maybe relate.

  • Tiffany Daune's avatar
    Tiffany Daune wrote 6 months ago

    YARG Review Hi Chris. I loved the interaction between the boys and had a good laugh at their peeping Tom shenanigans. I especially enjoyed your comparison of the girl's eye color to Gatorade. My son would do the same. LOL. I'm intrigued by the mysterious boat and I'm sure this turns out to be a real thriller. This is a fantastic read for boys and so necessary in today's market. Loved it!

    This comment refers to an earlier revision

  • Retired user
    Kogin72 [Retired] wrote 8 months, 3 weeks ago
    YARG Chris, Let me start by saying that this is not the type of book that I would pick up, but that being said, I thought it was quite good. I'm not sure how much I can comment on, since it's been reviewed by so many already, so I'll leave a few basic comments: The dialogue seems spot on...it flows easily and sounds like something actual people might say. The tension is already there...I could feel it as I read, ...
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  • Retired user
    The Dude from the Sun wrote 9 months ago
    Yo Chris m'boy, This a YARG Review Chapter 1 - I believe you mean farther down the hill, that's as far I see for grammar/ spelling. I get the opening, although I must it was a little difficult to place the dialogue in the first few lines. Good foreshadowing, I can partly see where this story is going. However another well written component is the mystery left in the first chapter. The main reason I want to read on at ...
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