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Eighteen Inches: The Distance between the Heart and Mind by Mirtha Michelle Castro Marmol

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ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchanged for an honest review.

This review is being published before the release date (May 5th, 2020)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Cheating, toxic relationships, fighting/graphic violence, assault, sexual assault, rape, trauma/PTSD, guilt, abuse, grief, death/loss of a loved one, anxiety, abortion, sex, and more!

“If I must burn again, I shall continue to rise, and from the ashes be reborn , again and again.”

Friends, this poetry collection was an emotional roller coaster. I cried for the majority of this whole book. It’s not often books touch the scars of my heart, but when they do, they leave a lasting imprint. That’s what Eight Inches did to me. It left an imprint and awoke so many of my own personal memories. This poetry collection is a raw letter of emotions from the author to the reader, for you to see the author for who she is and what she has endured.

This book is broken into eighteen sections; each a moment, a lesson, or a memory the author has encountered to craft them into the strong soul they are today. Each section filled with pain, loss, the struggles of coming of age, and learning to love anew. This collection has something everyone will feel in their heart or find locked within their memories for many of us have endured similar things the author writes in each section. As always, I may have stated it above, but please practice self-care while reading this poetry collection because there are a lot of trigger warnings.

“The past is not the past if it continues to live with you.”

While I loved many parts of this, there was one part I felt the absolute need to talk about and address. When you enter the thirteenth section of this book, where it claims that happiness is a choice. Now this may not seem like an issue at first, the passage talks about how we have the choice to be happy and the tone of the entire passage didn’t sit right with me. For those who suffer with depression or struggle with mental health, this passage can be quite harmful. This isn’t to say that this wasn’t the case for the author, but as a reader who struggles with mental health, I was quite confused and had to read the passage five times before the tone of this section finally sank in. No one is always happy all the time, to say happiness is a choice is to say that depression isn’t a real illness, it’s to say those who struggle with mental health aren’t valid because they have a “choice” to be happy. In my opinion, this section could have been worded better and in a less harmful light.

Overall, I truly appreciate this poetry collection and I truly wish I could have given it a full five stars. This book had the potential to shine a light on mental health and how to truly balance living with mental health struggles, but there was an opportunity missed in this book. Otherwise, this book addresses many important topics not often talked about and once again I remind you to please practice self-care while reading this book because there are a lot of trigger warnings that this book addresses.

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

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