Review: Inheritance

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher for promotional purposes. 

This was a beautifully illustrated and powerful poem!

Being a huge poetry lover, I surprisingly have not read any of Elizabeth Acevedo’s previous works. I’ve heard countless amazing things about her work, so I was excited to finally read something by her. I was not disappointed! 

The poem was short yet so impactful. It beautifully highlighted the struggles of natural hair as well as the complexities of being Afro-Latinidad. It’s personal, real, and authentic, which are all qualities I look for when reading poetry. 

Since it is a visual poem, I have to talk about the illustrations and the role they played. The illustrations were gorgeous. They were so colorful, bold, and vibrant. They complemented the poem and its message very well. I can tell a lot of thought went into the illustrations. For example, some of the words are written in cursive which mimics the curves and coils of curly hair. 

Overall, I highly recommend this little book! Get it for yourself, or gift it to a friend who loves poetry and/or Elizabeth Acevedo (I cannot reiterate how stunning this book is. It would make a great gift).


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Review: When the Bee Stings

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Rating: ★★★★★

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

Last year, I read the author’s other book, This Woman is Still Girl, and enjoyed it, so I of course wanted to read her newest collection. It did not disappoint! 

The growth from her other book to this one is so apparent. I liked her other book (I gave it 4 stars), but this one took it to the next level. IT tackles a wide range of topics from heartbreak to mental health. Every poem hits the right note. It’s raw. It’s real. It’s authentic. It’s inspiring. 

So many of the poems resonated with me. Here is a list of my favorites:

  • When I Wear Red Lipstick (pg. 10)
  • All The Stupid Things I Considered After The Breakup (pg. 12)
  • Heartbreak Survival Guide (pg. 18)
  • Walk Away (pg. 33)
  • Hunters (pg. 38)
  • Sunday Service (pg. 40)
  • Faith (pg. 54)
  • Inside Voices (pg. 59)
  • When The Bee Stings (pg. 61)
  • What I Live For (pg. 78)
  • My Own Advice (pg. 83)
  • Coloring Outside The Lines (pg. 87)
  • Hope Will Be The Shelter (pg. 92)
  • Catch Fire (pg. 94)
  • Winter (pg. 105)
  • Thankful (pg. 110)
  • My Honest Poem (pg. 117) 
  • On Her Own Terms (pg. 128)
  • Your Body Is Poetry (pg. 138)
  • No One Tells You (pg. 241)
  • Women’s Evolution (pg. 151)

Overall, this was a stunning collection of poetry that comes from the heart! 


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Review: The Lamps of History

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Rating: ★★★

I received this book for free from the author as part of an Instagram review tour with TLC Book Tours. 

I find that poetry is always the toughest genre to review. It is so personal and subjective that it is hard to critique it in the same way as prose. Because of this, poetry can be a hit or a miss and that is how I felt about this book. It is hard to put into words exactly what I thought about this book.  

This was a very interesting collection of poetry that didn’t quite resonate with me. There were some poems that I liked but others I didn’t really get. I felt like I missed some of the references in some pieces and struggled to make out exactly what the poem was about. That being said I still enjoyed some of the poems. My favorites were: 

  • Lokshen Kugel (pg. 12)
  • When Literature Made Something Happen (pg. 18)
  • After the Party, We… (pg. 20)
  • Thought Thread (pg. 30)
  • Garlic Press (pg. 44)
  • All Souls’ Day (pg. 48)
  • Iridescence (pg. 49) 
  • Acnestis (pg. 53)
  • Knock (pg. 58)
  • Still: Softening Stale Bread (pg. 59)
  • Cenobite (pg. 76)
  • After Certitude (pg. 89)

Overall, this collection wasn’t my kind of poetry but I’m sure others would love and resonate with it. 


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Review: Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass

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Rating: ★★★★★

First I just have to preface this review by saying that I am a huge fan of Lana Del Rey. She is one of my all time favorite singers and I’ve been in love with her music for years. I’ve always resonated well with her songs so that made me super eager to read her poetry. 

This poetry collection is very atmospheric. Reading the poems is like being  transported to a sunny and dreamy day in LA. It’s very on brand for Lana Del Rey.

I liked how a lot of the poems had substance. A lot of poetry collections nowadays have very short poems so I was glad to see that this one had long ones. I really liked how a lot of the longer poems told a story. 

Additionally, I liked how there were some haikus (my favorite type of poem) and that they were separated in their own section. 

The book itself is also incredibly gorgeous. Throughout the book are photos taken by Lana Del Rey herself. The photos are really beautiful and add to the overall vibe of the collection. The poems themselves are presented exactly as Lana had typed them out making the book feel really personal. 

Lastly, I loved the Notes For A Poet section, which was a lined section where the reader could write their own thoughts/notes/poems. I thought that was just a brilliant touch.

Overall, I loved the poems in this collection just as much as I loved the overall presentation of the book! 


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Review: Walk With Wings

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Rating: ★★★★★

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

This was such an inspiring poetry collection! 

The book is divided into 5 sections each with its own theme. My favorite was Monsoon Love, which was the shortest section but it was filled with love poems. I have a thing for romantic poems. I am such a sucker for them. A lot of poems from this section reminded me of Michael Faudet and Lang Leav’s poetry. The following sections were very reminiscent of Rupi Kaur and Amanda Lovelace’s poetry. So if you like any of those poets, you’ll probably like this one. 

I had a lot of favorite poems. Here is the list of my favorites:

  • I Write To Heal (pg 5)
  • Missing You (pg 9)
  • Synchronization (pg 10)
  • Love Song (pg 13)
  • Forever (pg 17)
  • True Colors (pg 24)
  • Makeup (pg 33)
  • Heartbite (pg 34)
  • Masking Pain (pg 36)
  • Dying Love (pg 38)
  • Almost Right (pg 39)
  • Caged (pg 40)
  • Numb (pg 47)
  • Still I Dream (pg 51)
  • Bitter Trials (pg 53)
  • Blessings (pg 61)
  • A Letter To My Natural Hair (pg 65)
  • Celebrate Yourself (pg 71)
  • No Ordinary Woman (pg 75) 
  • Rejection (pg 78) 
  • Girl Power (pg 87)
  • Girl Boss (pg 98)
  • Irreplaceable (pg 107)
  • Love Hurts (pg 108) 
  • Shit Happens (pg 109)
  • Inner Battles (pg 111)
  • Situationship (pg 114)
  • Dignity (pg 118)
  • Love Exists (pg 123) 
  • Someone’s Favorite (pg 124)
  • Introvert (pg 131)
  • Self-Development (pg 151)
  • Partnership (pg 160)

It’s a lot, I know! I just loved all the bits of wisdom in these poems. The whole collection was very uplifting and positive. It’s a great book to read after a heartbreak or just when you’re down. 

Overall, I loved this collection! 


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Review: This Woman is Still Girl

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Rating: ★★★★

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

This was a really powerful poetry collection. 

I really liked how this collection told the author’s story and portrayed her life experiences. It was very raw, personal, and real. I felt like I really got to know her and what she went through. I particularly liked that she talked a lot about her mixed heritage. 

I liked how the book was organized into three sections (is Girl, is in Between, is Woman). Sometimes with poetry collections, poems are just scattered throughout with no particular thought to the order of them. Having the sections helped tie it all together and led the reader on a journey through her life. It made it very easy to see her growth. 

Some of my favorite poems were: 

  • Mixed Girl (pg 12)
  • Dating (pg 52) 
  • I am still girl (pg 62)
  • How I Became A Writer (pg 71)
  • I am woman (pg 109)
  • Khaleesi (pg 126)
  • Hard (pg 133) 

Overall, this was an amazing collection about growing up as a woman of color and discovering who you are. 


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Review: Cult of Two

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Rating: ★★★★★

I haven’t read much of anything this January but I’m glad the one book I did read was this one. This book was exactly what I needed right now. 

So many of the poems spoke to me. For example, one of my favorites was “If Someone Really Cares.” I related a lot to that one. Other favorites of mine included, “The Staircase,” “Never Close Enough,” “Happy New Year,” ”When Will I See You Again?” “Awake,” “Pleasure Bound,” and “A New Romance.” Also, I loved that he made a reference to Lana Del Rey (my favorite singer) in “Our Pretend Summer.” 

I’ve been a huge fan of Michael Faudet since he published his first book, Dirty Pretty Things. None of his subsequent books quite lived up to that except for this one. This book reminded me so much of Dirty Pretty Things. If you missed his romantic and sometimes erotic poems, look no further than this collection. 

Overall, I really loved this collection and it is just as strong as his first book. 


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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!