Review | September Love by Lang Leav

A book that will change the way you think about love, relationships, heartbreak, and self-empowerment. Breaking the rules, challenging perceptions, and exploring the secret desires we keep hidden from the world. 

Beautifully composed and written by international bestselling author Lang Leav, this new collection of poetry and prose will positively influence your life.

September Love captures the magic of each passing season, a pearl of wisdom waiting to be discovered with every page turned. A book that will inspire you to reach for the stars.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

As soon as I saw that Lang Leav had a new collection on NetGalley I knew I wanted to pick it up, I have enjoyed her poetry in the past and was eager to check out this collection. I have to say that this is probably my favorite of what I’ve read from her. There was a lot of self exploration and I could feel the rawness in her words. It’s a quick read, as most poetry collections can be, but it is full of impact and emotion.

Happy reading!

Review | Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith

Award-winning poet Danez Smith is a groundbreaking force, celebrated for deft lyrics, urgent subjects, and performative power. Don’t Call Us Dead opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police, a place where suspicion, violence, and grief are forgotten and replaced with the safety, love, and longevity they deserved here on earth. Smith turns then to desire, mortality the dangers experienced in skin and body and blood and a diagnosis of HIV positive. “Some of us are killed / in pieces,” Smith writes, some of us all at once. Don’t Call Us Dead is an astonishing and ambitious collection, one that confronts, praises, and rebukes America–“Dear White America”–where every day is too often a funeral and not often enough a miracle.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

With current events I’ve been hearing more and more about this poetry collection, so I knew I had to check it out. Be forewarned, this collection is not for the faint of heart. Smith’s use of language and the raw imagery created is amazing, heart wrenching and very in your face real. The collections takes on a lot of current and continuing issues in society regarding racism and prejudices. The collection in and of itself is beautiful, but at times hard to read emotionally – which I think it should be. This is the type of writing where you should slow down and actually absorb what is being said. All in all it’s an amazing collection of poems that definitely shouldn’t be missed.

Happy reading!

Review | Crown Noble

Crown noble, the breathtaking debut by Bianca Phipps, navigates the crossroads of familial ties and forgiveness. Phipps ruminates on the ways we are shaped as humans. Is it nature or nurture? Is it fate or a happen chance? What teaches us to love our generational inheritance, no matter how harmful? Phipps takes us to the most intimate parts of family matters in hopes of underantdatning conflict as a means of overcoming. 

This poetry collection was an interesting mix for me. A lot of it is very stream of conscious style poetry, which I often enjoy. Some of those included in this collection didn’t flow for me, which can make this style quite hard to read. The content of the poems were written beautifully and had great metaphors and imagery, but the enjoyment was dampened when they became a little clunky in flow. That being said, if you enjoy poetry that really examines difficult familial relationships and how our upbringing can shape us, this has a lot of good content surrounding that.

Happy reading!

Review: Love Looks Pretty on You

Filled with wisdom and encouragement, every single page is a testament to the power of words, and the impact they can have on the relationships you build with others. And most importantly, the one you have with yourself.

Lang Leav captures the intricacies of emotions like few others can. It’s no wonder she has been recognized as a major influencer of the modern poetry movement and her writing has inspired a whole new generation of poets to pick up a pen.

Love Looks Pretty on You is truly the must-have book for poetry lovers all over the world.

Here’s the story of my life. Hoping they would care about me or wishing they wouldn’t care so much.

I’ve never heard of Lang Leav before, but when I saw the cover of this book I was immediately sucked in. I picked it up on a whim and am so happy I did. While the writing perhaps isn’t as atmospheric or lyrical as a lot of other poets, it is very raw and compelling.

The poems and prose in this collection are empowering and honest while they cover a number of subjects such as love, loss, growth as we move through life and the relationships we build with others – especially females.

Leav’s poetry and prose were so easy to read and have a great flow. I will definitely be picking up more of her books in the future!

Happy reading!

Review: We Were All Someone Else Yesterday

A hybrid text that deals most urgently in the articulation of growth and grief. After the loss of his mother, Omar Holmon re-learns how to live by immersing himself in popular culture, becoming well-versed in using the many modes of pop culture to spell out his emotions. This book is made up of both poems and essays, drenched in both sadness and unmistakable humor. Teeming with references that are touchable, no matter what you do or don’t know, this book feels warm and inviting.

This poetry collection hit me super hard. As someone who lost a parent to cancer some of the poems were truly heartbreaking. Each one was a vignette into another facet of experiences the author had, whether it be the loss of his mother, things that happened in his family, relationships or other important events.

The writing was beautiful, even when there were changing tones and themes. It’s very much a collection about human experience, grief and more. I would definitely recommend it, but take note that there is definitely a trigger warning for death of a parent.

Happy reading!

Review: Dear Girl

Aija Mayrock published her first book, The Survival Guide to Bullying, at just sixteen. A fierce advocate for women, girls, and all youth, Mayrock performs spoken word poetry as part of her activism work and has performed live to an estimated four million people. Dear Girl, her powerful debut poetry collection, includes some of her viral spoken word poems like “Dear Girl,” “Dear Sisters,” and “The Truth About Being a Girl,” as well as many never-before-published pieces. Aija’s poetry—fierce, conversational, inspirational—speaks to the pain and the beauty of being a woman in our society today. Dear Girl is a love letter to all women, amplifying Aija’s message of understanding, empowerment, and support.

If you’re looking for a poetry collection that tackles subjects such as rape culture, inequality between men and women and much more. Mayrock really takes on these subjects and addresses what many girls and women experience growing up. Not just in society but in their families, friend groups and more.

I really enjoyed this collection as it was filled with empowerment and understanding. There are definite trigger warnings as there is a lot of talk about rape culture (and the mentality surrounding it in society) and issues that face women in the workplace, school and everyday life.

Happy reading!

Review: Soul Land

This collection of poems is a result of the author’s spiritual journey and reveals a powerful personal account through a deep and profound connection to the land of Scotland. Both emotional and touching, with universal themes of nature and love at the centre, the author portrays a transformational effect of stunning Scottish landscapes on the soul and life as a whole. Engaging in an emotional struggle to bring spiritual and earthly together, this eloquent collection is written with devotion and reverence and offers an exploration of a spiritual identity through the land. Through the poems, the author shows how the beauty of natural places can be soothing and hopeful in times of turmoil. At its heart, this volume is a spiritual love story between the land and the author, exploring the elements of nature as they are in the wild, as well as in our souls.

This poetry collection really was a love letter to Scotland and how the author feels about Scotland. There was some beautiful imagery and wonderful phrases that painted a picture of the wildness and beauty of Scotland.

I did really enjoy the poems and language, but wished it was a little longer. I would have loved to read more since I did feel it was a bit short. Still, a lot of the images inspired by her words were wonderful and definitely make you feel like you can see the landscape she’s describing.

Happy reading!

Review: Aphrodite Made Me Do It

Bestselling and award-winning author Trista Mateer takes an imaginative approach to self-care in this new poetry and prose collection, Aphrodite Made Me Do It. In this empowering retelling, she uses the mythology of the goddess to weave a common thread through the past and present. By the end of this book, Aphrodite make you believe in the possibility of your own healing.

Since I have been picking up more modern poetry, I had high hopes that this one would be another one I loved, but that wasn’t the case. With this one I definitely think that’s more of a me thing than this collection though, a lot of times the style of poetry just didn’t suit what I was looking for.

The artwork included in the collection was amazing as it worked with and accented the poems themselves. The content of the poems was definitely heart wrenching and a tale of catharsis, growth and overcoming obstacles, they just weren’t completely for me.

If you love modern poetry mixed with artwork and in varying styles you’ll probably like this a lot more than I do and should definitely pick it up.

Happy reading!

Review: break your glass slippers

Amanda Lovelace, the bestselling & award-winning author of the “women are some kind of magic” poetry series, presents a new companion series, “you are your own fairy tale”. The first installment, break your glass slippers, is about overcoming those who don’t see your worth, even if that person is sometimes yourself. In the epic tale of your life, you are the most important character while everyone is but a forgotten footnote. Even the prince.

This is probably my favorite of Amanda Lovelace’s collections that I have read. There are powerful themes of toxic relationships, finding your way out of them and self empowerment, but there are also a ton of trigger warnings that go along with it. If you have been in a toxic relationship I would definitely go into this carefully, I’ve been in them and this spoke to me, but it may be completely triggering in a negative way to someone else. If you pick it up definitely check the trigger warning note at the front to evaluate if it’s something you want to pick up.

As always Lovelace’s imagery and the flow of her writing were beautiful. She is able to evoke such powerful messages in small little packages and I loved it. I’m definitely eager to see what else she comes out with in this new series as I completely loved this one.

Happy reading!

Review: Tails You Win

Tails You Win is an engaging collection of poems written from the dogs’ perspective. It is the seventh book of original metric rhyming verse by Gill Rowe and contains beautiful hand-drawn illustrations.

Starting with the Afghan Hound and Airedale Terrier, Tails You Win charmingly encapsulates the traits and personalities of fifty different dogs. Whether you’re dotty about Dalmatians, mad about Miniature Dachshunds or crazy for Cavaliers, there’s truly something for everyone in this cheery homage to dogs.

I was intrigued by the concept of this poetry collection and I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised by it. I was in the mood for something fun that would make me smile and this collection certainly did that. Each poem in this collection address a different breed a dog (granted, not every breed is represented) and works through the alphabet.

Each poem’s language and format is tailored to the breed as well, so a breed that may be more active and quick in mannerisms has a poem with short lines and quick paced stanzas. Breeds that are considered more regal or prim will have a different style.

All in all this was exactly what I needed and put a smile on my face.

Happy reading!