Author: Amanda Lovelace
A few starting notes:
I received a free digital review copy of this book via NetGalley. NetGalley provides review copies from publishers in exchange for fair and honest reviews.
There's been so much buzz around this book - including a Goodreads Choice Award for Poetry in 2016.
People love this book - and to hear this much about a poetry collection isn't an everyday occurrence, so when I got the opportunity to review it, I took it.
A note before we go on guys: This book deals with some very difficult topics in an open and often raw way; please be careful.
A collection/chapbook thingummy of Amanda Lovelace's poetry, separated into several parts that work around a fairy-tale theme.
It's pretty common for people to get all uppity when something is radical, different, or otherwise not corresponding to their teeny-tiny world view.
I have no issue with people not liking this poetry - poetry is subjective and infinitely personal.
What I have problems with is those who claim that this isn't poetry.
No-one died and made them the poetry pope. They don't get to say what is and isn't poetry - no-one does. That's part of what makes it so beautiful*
*Raised by hippies - not my fault.
As for criticising it for being 'emo' (which I've seen a lot of on Goodreads in particular,) - there ain't nothing wrong with being emo, honey.
Trust me, I've completed the FOB/MCR/P!ATD trinity. Emo is awesome. It comes from a place of emotion (hence the name,) and feeling.
Oddly enough, emotion and feeling and catching that spark of the world and holding it - just for a second - is what both art and poetry are all about.**
**Seriously. Hippies. I can't help myself. So many incense-filled shops in my childhood.
This collection is free-spirited, deeply personal, and brutally honest. It tackles raw topics with openness and no fear.
It's not afraid to take risks (using the shape of words and lines to add movement and life to the poetry) or ruffle feathers (nothing is orthodox here.)
I found it chillingly good.
Whether you connect with it or not is something you'll have to see for yourself.
There might've been the odd swear word? Honestly, if you can make it past the other stuff, it's not going to bother you, even if there is the odd word.
Like, there was the odd bit of imagery etc. that would fit in with that idea... but not enough to call it a main theme.
Not in my opinion, anyway - maybe it just went over my head, who knows?
Given that this is how the book is marketed etc., the lack of much princess/fairy-tale-ness was a little disappointing, but I still totally loved this collection.
Obviously, poetry is subjective - so it's not going to be to everyone's tastes.
And that's ok. Poetry is personal - if you didn't like it, then you didn't like it. No probs.