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: Far From The Shallow

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Rating: ★★★★

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

The thing I love most about poetry is how personal it can be. This collection was the epitome of that. I could tell that every poem came from the heart.

I really liked the water theme that was woven throughout the poems. It made the collection very cohesive. 

The end included a note from the author that further explained the meaning behind the collection. The author’s note really helped bring the collection full circle. 

My one critique is that I would have liked to see the poems divided into sections. A lot of poetry collections, especially ones centering around trauma and healing, often use sections to help guide the reader through their journey. The poems clearly told a story and sections (perhaps one dealing with water) would have elevated the book even more. 

I loved a lot of the poems. Here is a list of the ones that really stood out to me: 

  • Lilac Notes (pg. 12)
  • Needle and Thread (pg. 21)
  • Peace in the Rain (pg. 24)
  • Blooming (pg. 32)
  • My Guardian Angel (pg. 34)
  • Brave (pg. 56)
  • Lost Girl (pg. 72) 
  • Recollections of Unlearning (pg. 75) 
  • Natural Love (pg. 80)
  • Irreplaceable (pg. 88)
  • Abandoned (pg. 99)
  • You’re Not Alone (pg. 102)
  • Write Your Way (pg. 105) 
  • Be Mindful (pg. 110)
  • Her Love (pg. 112)
  • Bouquet (pg. 120)
  • Break Free (pg. 125)
  • A Bright Girl (pg. 156)
  • Nostalgia (pg. 159)
  • A Rare Soul (pg. 166)
  • Peace (pg. 171)
  • Dreamer (pg. 189)
  • Moonflower (pg. 193)
  • Dear Gentle Soul (pg. 202)

Overall, this was a powerful poetry collection! 


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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: Curing My Venom

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Rating: ★★★★

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

This was a very emotional collection of poetry that centers on the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. 

After reading the first two sections (denial and anger) I was a bit unsure whether I was going to like the collection. I didn’t connect to many of the poems in those sections. But I ended up loving the last three sections. The last one, acceptance, was my favorite. I had so many favorites from that section. 

One thing that was unique about this collection was the paired poems. I’m not quite sure what to call them but after some poems there would be a, “go to page __” and that poem would be a sort of response to the original one. Sometimes, there would even be another page direction on the response poem. I haven’t encountered that before and thought it was a clever touch. It made the book very cohesive and managed to tie all the sections together in a subtle way.

There were also illustrations throughout the collection and I loved them. They complemented the themes of the poems well.

Overall, this is a wonderful collection. I recommend it for fans of Amanda Lovelace and Rupi Kaur. 

Review: When I Walk Through That Door, I Am

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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers in exchange for an honest review.

This was a very powerful narrative poem that deals with immigration into the U.S. from South America.

I love narrative poems. I think they are such a creative way to tell a story and it worked well for this particular story and message The author really put you into the main character’s head and you got to know her thoughts and feelings in an intimate way. There are just some things you can do in poetry that you can’t necessarily do with prose, so this was a successful way of telling this story. 

I do have a few minor critiques of the book. One being that it felt a tad bit over the top and dramatic which made parts of it unbelievable. The second critique is that I wanted more. I was super into the story and then it just kind of ended. Certain parts could have been fleshed out more to give it even more depth.

Lastly, I loved the author’s note at the end where he talks about his experience with a Burmese refugee. It was a very touching story. I kind of wish that he had written the book about him instead of creating a something new. There was something very special about their friendship. 

Overall, this is an important and beautifully written read that highlights the difficulties that many South American immigrants face when trying to come into the U.S.