Review: Somebody Give This Heart a Pen

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Candlewick Press) in exchange for an honest review. 

This book of poetry was written by a performance poet and it shows! 

I’ve never read a collection by a performance poet before, so it took a little getting used to at first. But once I got the hang of it, I loved it! Just reading the poems on paper doesn’t do it justice.  I actually ended up watching some of her performances on YouTube, including a few of the poems from this book. She really is a talent! 

I had a lot of favorites, especially from the Break section. My favorites were:

  • Excerpt from a Letter to My Little Black Girl (pg 12)
  • the leaders won’t (pg 23)
  • Fearmongering (pg 25)
  • Risky Nostalgia (pg 41)
  • How We Got Here, Part 20 (pg 49)
  • Whipped on You (pg 54)
  • Trust Issues (pg 58)
  • Slow Sky, Move On By (pg 63) 
  • Scary Everyone (pg 64)
  • Fidgeting (pg 66)
  • Let Hurt (pg 68)
  • from God (pg 81) 
  • When to Write (pg 98)

I loved how authentic her poems felt. I could feel her emotions and experiences very vividly. I liked that some of the poems touched upon being black in the UK. In “the leaders won’t,” she name checks Black British people (Damilola, Stephen Lawrences, and Mark Duggan specifically) who were all killed in racially motivated attacks. #BlackLivesMatter everywhere. Being an American I had not heard of these deaths before so I’m so glad she said their names. 

Overall, this was a phenomenal collection and I look forward to seeing what else Sophia Thakur puts out. 


Below are some of the poems from the book performed by Sophia Thakur herself!


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Review: More than Marmalade

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free as part of an Instagram book tour (MTMC Tours specifically) I did to promote the book. 

This was such a delightful book for young readers! 

This book is aimed towards children aged 9 to 12, so I’m not exactly the target audience. That being said, I still enjoyed it! 

I’m a fairly new Paddington fan. I never read the books growing up. But then I saw the movie in 2014 and absolutely fell in love with him! 

I always love learning about famous authors so it was very interesting learning about the man behind the bear. It was very evident that a lot of love went into creating Paddington. 

The author did a nice job making the story accessible for the age range. For example, she explained World War II very well, in easy to understand terms. 

I also thought the author emphasized all the right things. She used a lot of what Michael experienced and saw growing up and showed how it influenced the character of Paddington. For example, Michael’s experience with WWII refugees influenced Paddington’s own journey to a new world. 

Lastly, there was one quote I really loved that summed up Michael and Paddington very well. The author writes, “In some ways, Michael was Paddington Bear. In other ways, Paddington Bear was Michael. Together, the fictional character and the writer were an ideal twosome. They spread a lot of joy, and it was doubly returned to them” (pg 106).

Overall, this biography is perfect for both young and adult fans of Paddington! 


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Review: I Owe You One

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Rating: ★★★★½

I received this book for free from the publisher (Dial Press) in exchange for an honest review. 

I just want to start off by saying that I’m a huge Sophie Kinsella fan. Her books are always so funny and a feel good read. 

This book definitely takes a while to really get going, but once it does, it’s great. 

As usual Sophie Kinsella knows how to create an eccentric cast of characters. From Fixie’s siblings to the store employees, there was no shortage of hilarious characters. One of my personal favorites was Stacey, the overly flirtatious and sexually suggestive employee. 

I was surprised at how Christmasy this book ended up being. The last chapters centered around Christmas which I found totally appropriate for the message of the book. A lot of the book centers on Fixie and her familial relationships and the Christmas aspect brought it all together nicely. 

I didn’t find this book to be as funny as some of her other books, but I didn’t mind since it was so heart warming.  It had such a strong message of family.

I also liked the character development of Fixie. Fixie starts off as being very naive and a little bit of a pushover. But by the end she learns how to stand up for herself and what she believes in. 

Overall, this was another fabulous book by Sophie Kinsella. 


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