ARC was provided by NetGalley and Victory Editing NetGalley Co-op in exchange for an honest review.
This review is being published after the release date (October 6th, 2020)
Content/Trigger Warnings: Mentions and allusions to rape and assault, mentions of death and loss of a loved one, grief, depression, mentions of suicidal thoughts, mentions of physical violence, toxic relationships, mentions of blood, body shaming, mentions of slut shaming, alcoholism
I always find rating poetry really difficult. I don’t say it often enough, but I’m a firm believer poetry and works of literature come into our life when we need them the most. So maybe I went into this collection with high expectations or maybe I was wanting something more from within these pages. Either way; I wanted to love this book, I wanted to enjoy this book, but I’m sad to say that wasn’t the case with this book. I’ll be honest, I’m disappointed and maybe, this book wasn’t meant for me.
This book is broken into two parts, part one is poetry and part two is prose. There were a few pieces of part one that I enjoyed or felt a small pull to, but for the most part I felt nothing. I felt detachment and I found myself wanting more emotional pull, more connection. A lot of this portion paints all men in a terrible light, how they’re entitled, take what they want, or how they’re always causing more harm than good. There was nothing positive to be said, not even once. Honestly, it felt like I was reading passages by someone who hates all men and that’s not my cup of tea. I’ll also make the statement that this can happen the other way around and it does happen. There’s also a lot of references as to wanting to harm them back, to the point of potentially killing them. There’s actually a passage in one of the poems that references twisting a knife repeatedly into a man’s chest because he enjoys it and the blood. Needless to say, I was completely turned off. Not to make this about me, but I like to think I’m a very open person about you should always defend yourself and only do harm if it’s necessary to your survival. I have said this a few times in past reviews, if it’s not in self-defense or in a situation of life and death, physical violence should always be a last resort otherwise it’s not necessary. This entire poem alone, turned me off from the rest of the book.
“I got so much misfortune that I’m bathing in my bad omens.”
The second portion of this book was probably my least favorite. The entire second half felt like I was sitting down with someone I had just met and they thought the best way for us to get to know one another was to break out a rollodex of all the bad, toxic, or loveless relationships they had been in. I felt completely detached from this entire portion of the book. I think I read about five of these short stories before I started skimming. As I mentioned, I wanted more pulling, something that would jab at my emotions, but I didn’t feel anything, no spark. This portion of the book really dragged on for me especially since these short stories were two to three pages long. There needed to be something to capture the reader’s attention.
Overall, I wish I had a more positive experience with this book. I felt really underwhelmed and felt this book was a big rant of some sort. And there were so many other issues with this book. I definitely felt like this book needed to be balanced with some poems or short stories of hope, signs of life improving, or something to lighten things up. As an avid poetry reader, I wanted so much more from this book and unfortunately it fell flat for me.
The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.