REVIEW: the mermaid’s voice returns in this one.

Thank you to NetGalley for the advance copy
the mermaid’s voice returns in this one is available March 5th, 2019


I’ve loved Amanda Lovelace’s work since her first collection and even though I don’t know her personally, I want to mention how proud I am of her for her women are some kind of magic series.

I really enjoyed this final instalment of her first series and can truly see the growth in her poetry in comparison to the princess saves herself in this one. That being said, I did struggle with getting through this one. Rather than being able to read it over the course of a few hours as I was able to do with the previous two books, this one hit closer to home. As a victim of assault myself, it pressed on a lot of nerves in a way that I’m not yet ready to deal with, which meant taking many breaks in between poems in order to collect myself.

I more or less knew that would be the case and definitely appreciate that Amanda’s books all begin with a reminder to practice self-care, even while reading her poems. This is a strong and viscerally real collection on what it means to survive as a victim and not. It reads like a slap in the face for a lot of the poems, but not in a bad way. It’s a reminder to be strong and that you are strong even when you don’t think you are.

So thank you, Amanda, not only for your poetry, but for the message behind each word. Not all of us have a voice, so thank you for sharing yours so that we might find our own.

REVIEW: Gmorning, Gnight! Little Pep Talks for Me & You

I was in a very bad place in my life when I discovered Hamilton and thus In The Heights and all of the glorious wonder that is Lin Manuel Miranda. I continued to experience different kinds of struggles but every day that I saw his good morning and good night tweets, I’d listen to my favourite Hamilton tracks and get to what needed to be done. They were a huge help.

There’s no real way to review this book of mantras since I had seen the majority of them on my twitter feed, so this “review” is honestly more of a fan letter to Lin, I think.

Things are hard. And with the state of the world, things only seem to be getting harder. But having this little book on my side table helps me feel better. Seeing Lin’s words accompanied by the soft illustrations from Jonny Sun makes things a little better. And it certainly beats scrolling through my endless “likes” on Twitter trying to find a pick-me-up. Lin’s words, as he says in the intro, are reminders for himself as much as they are to the others who read them which in it’s own way is also a strange sort of comfort.

If you’re having a hard time or are looking for something to just help start the day off with a little bit of warmth, please go pick up this book. You won’t regret it.

So to Lin, thank you.

I really mean that.

REVIEW: Pillow Thoughts II

Thank you to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing me with a free copy of this book.


I have said it before and I will say it again, I have a difficult relationship with poetry. I was never really fond of it in school and often have a difficult time relating the words to what I feel of what I have experienced. That being said, I had absolutely no trouble relating to Courtney Peppernell’s words with her latest collection: Pillow Thoughts II.

We have all experienced loss. Whether it’s a friend you lost touch with, an ex-partner, or the very physical loss that comes with the death of someone close. But this isn’t a collection about loss. It’s a collection about healing.

I honestly don’t know enough about poetry to accurately discuss the structure of Peppernell’s poems but what I can say is you can find comfort in her words and they give the feeling of understanding and compassion. The feeling that you’re not alone in your pain. A truly wonderful collection.


 

Author: Courtney Peppernell
Published: August 7, 2018
Pages: 224
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
ISBN: 9781449495084

Synopsis: Following the smash success of her best-selling book, Pillow Thoughts, Courtney Peppernell now returns with the follow-up sequel Pillow Thoughts II: Healing the Heart.

Peppernell understands that healing is a process, and Pillow Thoughts II eloquently captures the time and experience that one goes through on their journey to peace through restoration.

A collection of inspirational and comforting poems for anyone who is mending from a broken heart.

REVIEW: Chatterbox

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review


I going to start off this review like I usually do when it comes to collections like this: I’m honestly the worst person when it comes to analyzing poetry and that’s why I don’t often read it. However, I still enjoyed this collection from fellow Canadian author, Sandy Day.

Chatterbox is a collection of poems written during a terrible time, the end of a marriage. The poems the book contains are vivid with metaphors and imagery that expresses the harsh reality of coming to know someone you once loved is no longer that person. That they no longer love you back. The feeling of loss and loneliness comes through with a vengeance.

Although I have no actual negative thoughts with the collection, I did find Chatterbox has an older vibe to it. This isn’t a bad thing, more an observation as I am more used to younger voices like Michael Faudet, Lang Leav, and Amanda Lovelace. For older readers fond of the topic covered by said authors, I would certainly recommend Chatterbox as Sandy is able to combine a more “classic” style of poetry with a kind of youthfulness that keeps her words from being stuffy.

A solid three out of five from me.


38209664 Author: Sandy Day
Published: 
January 18th 2018
Pages:
132
Publisher:
CreateSpace
ISBN:
9781981942503

Summary: Chatterbox is a collection of one hundred and ten poems, tiny tellings written during a year of marriage disintegration. The poems explore a world of bewildering emotions ranging from sadness and terror to anger and enlightenment. The reader enters a world conjured from fairytales and dolls, the Garden of Eden, and the Wizard of Oz; the pages abound with moths and mice, dogs and horses, roosters and crows, oranges and apples, the moon and the sun.

A creative force, exploding after decades of silence, inspires the Chatterbox poems. The poet struggles to attend to a Muse that wakes her each morning, urging her to capture a spirit igniting inside her. The poet observes her own life as it falls apart and fragments then miraculously turns her outward toward others.

Whose heart hasn’t cracked open and broken? Do any of us withstand the pain and transcend to the other side? Can we leave betrayal and abandonment behind without bitterness and resentment? Can we move on and find our true soaring spirits? Chatterbox answers these questions with a resounding, yes!

REWIEW: the witch doesn’t burn in this one.

I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review


I just want to start of saying that I adore Amanda’s poetry. The first time I read through the princess saves herself in this one. it was the anniversary of a very difficult moment in my life. Once again, I am lucky enough to have the sequel on the same anniversary and once again it means a lot to me.

Keeping this review impersonal is something I just cannot do so I’m going to be very honest here.

When it came to the princess saves herself in this one. I felt very much like it was the story of not “playing the victim” any longer. It was about being able to pick yourself back up again after facing hardships and being able to move forward.

With the witch doesn’t burn in this one. the message is the same but the tone is different. Now that we learned to deal with our hardships now it is time to prevent hardships from continuing. It’s time to take a stand and tell those who try to push us down to fuck off or prepare to fight. It’s unapologetic and fierce in a way that is inspiring and encouraging to anyone (but mostly women) to take that stand against injustice and inequality.

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The above is the one that got me this time. Last time it was a poem reminding survivors of abuse that it is not their fault they faced what they did. I commend Amanda on her ability to give me goosebumps throughout her work and make me cry at least once.

People call this style of poetry “tumblr poetry” and don’t take it seriously, but I am not one of those people. Art is art and the work that goes into it needs to be respected.

I am and always will be a very big fan of Amanda’s poetry and look forward to the third book in her Women are Some Kind of Magic series. It’ll look gorgeous on my shelf next to the first two books and I can’t wait to see what emotions it draws to the surface.


35924698Author: Amanda Lovelace
Published: 
March 6th, 2018
Pages: 
208
Publisher:
Andrews McMeel Publishing
ISBN:
9781449489427

Summary: The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one