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: Love and Other Things

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Rating: ★★★★

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

This is a really sweet and touching collection of poetry. 

The poems really resonated with me and I found them to be authentic and very “real”. The poems never felt like they were trying too hard to convey a particular message. They also didn’t feel like imitations of other poems or poets. They seemed to come straight from the author’s heart in a beautiful and effortless way. 

Some of my favorites were, “Rosie,” I did it for the boys,” “L-O-V-E,” “Dear Sophia,” and “My girl.” My favorite poems centered on the theme of motherhood. Prior to reading this book, I hadn’t read any poems that dealt with that particular topic so it was wonderful to read about the love between mother and daughter. That was really special.  

My only critique is that I wish the collection was longer. I really enjoyed the poems so I wanted a bit more. The author has the potential to expand this collection more and make it even more powerful. 

Overall, I really recommend this short and sweet poetry collection. 

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: 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.