I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Candlewick Press) in exchange for an honest review.
I’m a fairly new Marilyn Monroe fan. I’ve only seen “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “How To Marry A Millionaire” and loved her in both of those. I was so excited to read this because I wanted to learn more about her. I knew she had a tragic life and this book dove right into it.
This novel in verse goes through Marilyn’s entire life, starting from when she was a kid to a few weeks before her death. All aspects of her life are explored, painting a stunning portrait of this complicated woman.
As for the poems themselves, some of them were amazing but some fell a little flat. A novel in verse is a little harder to write since it does tell a story, so that is forgivable.
Some of my favorite poems were:
- Stand Still (pg 2)
- From Wonderland to Oz (pg 26)
- Baby Siren (pg 56)
- Dare I Wish? Dare I Dream? (Pg 75)
- Blondes Prefer Gentle Men (pg 106)
- No Pink Tights But a Gold Band (pg 114)
- I Got Rhythm (pg 124)
- Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover (pg 128)
- Living Up to My Name (pg 136)
- No One Malady (pg 137)
- Miscarriage Blues (pg 150)
- Dogs Are a Girl’s Best Friend (pg 162)
- Secrets of Style (pg 164)
- Rx: “Vitamins” (pg 169)
- The Kennedys (pg 175)
- Who Is Marilyn Monroe? (pg 178)
- Epilogue (pg 181)
I really liked that there was a poem about how she helped Ella Fitzgerald (I Got Rhythm). I am happy that was highlighted. I also loved the whole poem dedicated to Marilyn’s love of reading (Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover). I’ve always loved that she was a bookworm. Lastly, the last poem (Epilogue) was a clever way to end the book. That poem just consisted of a series of headlines relating to Marilyn after 1962, which gave you a glimpse of her lasting legacy and mystique.
Overall, this was a fascinating take on the life of Marilyn. If you’re Marilyn fan, or just want to learn more about her, I recommend reading this book. It’s a quick read but it does leave a big impact!
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