Review: Paradox

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Rating: ★★★★½

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

This was such a refreshing poetry collection!

It’s written in the typical Instagram poetry kind of style, but still managed to stand on its own. It felt very different from what you usually see in that style. It just felt very new and fresh. 

The collection references a lot of philosophy which gave it a unique point of view. I was a philosophy major in college so this greatly appealed to me. I definitely saw the influence of some philosophers. As a whole, the collection was very thought provoking. It challenges you to reexamine the life you’re living. 

The book is divided up into 4 sections. My favorite was the section was the second one, Love Hate Desire. This section explored love in a way I’ve never seen before. It reminded me of a philosophy class I once took that was all about the philosophy of love. 

I just have to mention that I loved the acknowledgments. The acknowledgments were basically a list of names but they included a wide range of people. There were some iconic philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche and Lao Tzu, but also celebrities like Denzel Washington, Jim Carrey, and my personal favorite, Keanu Reeves. 

Overall, this collection will make you think about the way you live your life and inspire you to make changes for the better. I really recommend it if you’re looking for a different poetry collection than what is typically available. 

Review: the mermaid’s voice returns in this one (women are some kind of magic #3)

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Rating: ★★★½

I received an e-ARC of this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  

This book is really similar to the other two books in this series. So if you liked those, then you’ll probably like this one. That being said, I still think her first book is the strongest. 

The subject matter of the book is very timely. A large majority of the poems center on the Me Too movement. 

The theme of this book is mermaids/The Little Mermaid story. However, there wasn’t a lot of actual mermaid inspired poems. She seemed to revert back to princesses/queens and fairy tales in general. Given the focus on Me Too/sexual assault, there could have been a lot done with The Little Mermaid theme. To me it felt like a missed opportunity. 

This collection also contains some guest poems from other poets and I loved that addition. It added some variety and it worked well with the Me Too message because it showed strength in numbers. 

I did enjoy a lot of the poems. There were some that really spoke to me. I did love that one of her poems was an homage to The Chronicles of Narnia, which is one of my favorite book series of all time.  

Overall, this collection is perfect for fans of Amanda Lovelace. If you’re looking for something different from her, you may want to skip this one. 

Review: Sea of Strangers

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Rating: ★★★★★

This is my second time reading a poetry collection from Lang Leav. I had previously read Lullabies and loved it. I’ve also read her novel, Sad Girls, and thought that was just okay. 

Basically, I loved this collection. Her poetry is just so beautiful and I love that some of her poems even rhyme (which you don’t get all that often in contemporary poetry). Her poems are a wonderful blend of contemporary and classical poetry which I think makes it very special. There is an effortless quality to them which I love. 

This collection had the theme of water/sea/ocean and I liked that the poems touched upon that without being too much. Not every poem incorporated that theme, but a good chunk of them did. I liked that she didn’t go overboard with that theme, because that sometimes happens in poetry collections and it makes them boring. 

I had so many favorites. I’ll list them below:

  • Where It Hurts
  • Strength
  • Writing
  • A New Day
  • Poetry and Prose
  • The Mermaid
  • More to Me
  • Letter by Letter
  • Crazy Love
  • Who You Love 
  • Love What You Love
  • Misunderstood
  • Writer’s Block
  • A Letter to My Love
  • Love Poetry
  • We the Poets 

As you can see, I connected with a lot of her pieces. 

Overall, this is a beautiful and enchanting poetry collection!

Review: Unopened

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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review. 

This was interesting poetry collection. It’s different than the type of poetry I usually read (I usually read more of the Instagram poet type), but I still enjoyed it. I liked that, unlike a lot of Instagram poems, some the poems were longer (more than a page long). I like it when poems are a bit longer because it allows you to go more in-depth. There was a good mix of both short and longer poems. 

I liked how the book was divided into three sections. All the poems fit well into the section they were in and I could tell the themes (family, nature, music, etc.) of each section without it being overly obvious. It was subtle which is sometimes very hard to do.

Additionally, I loved the story behind the cover. It added a really nice personal touch. 

My one critique is that the book should have been longer. I would have loved to seen at least 20 more poems to really make it more impactful and feel more complete. I felt like I got a small taste of his poetry, but I wanted more. 

Overall, this was an enjoyable and unique poetry collection. 

Review: Winters of Summers

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Rating: ★★★★★

I’ve read all of Michael Faudet’s poetry books and he continues to be one of my favorite poets. 

This is his fourth book of poetry and I love seeing how he has grown and developed as a poet. His first book, Dirty Pretty Things, was strictly romantic. This book, on the other hand, was still focused on romance and love, but he would drop in a poem every now and then that focused on social issues. For example, “Respect” was all about treating women with respect and “Trigger Warning” was about how we value guns more than the lives of people. Those poems were a nice surprise. There was also a touch of self-awareness to that I found very clever.

Out of all of his books, this one had the strongest prose pieces. Typically, I’m a bit indifferent to his prose; they never really leave a big impression on me. However, the ones in this book really impressed me. “The Wedding Present” and “Winter of Summers” were two of my favorites. I hope he writes a novel sometime in the future because I think he cultivated his prose into something special.  

Overall, this was another strong collection from Faudet that was both romantic and smart. 

Review: I Am More Than a Daydream

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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free through a complimentary Pressed Poet box. Pressed Poet is a poetry subscription box. 

I liked this collection of poetry as a whole, but I didn’t like it as much as her other collection, Uncaged Wallflower. I related to that collection a whole lot more than this one. Uncaged Wallflower really spoke to me on a personal level. There weren’t as many poems in this collection that made me feel that way. 

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This book felt a lot like a Rupi Kaur or an Amanda Lovelace book. Many of the poems were in the same realm as theirs, so this collection didn’t feel as fresh and new as Uncaged Wallflower did. But if you like that kind of poetry (like I do), then you’ll probably like this book. 

The overall themes of this book were great. They were super positive and feminist and I really liked that. The little illustrations were a nice touch too.  

All in all, if you’re looking for a less known poetry collection similar to Amanda Lovelace or Rupi Kaur, then pick this book up! 

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