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ARC was given by NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
This review is being published on the release date (March 15th, 2022)
Content/Trigger Warnings: Loss of a parent (in the past), grief, sexism, depression, talk of death, queerphobia, talk of fatphobia, talk of eating disorders, sexual harassment, self-harm, suicide, mentions of intrusive thoughts, mentions of toxic and abusive relationships
Wow. What can I say fellow readers other than wow. What a way for me to end this poetry collection. It’s been a while since a poetry collection left me completely… underwhelmed. Honestly, I’m a little salty I didn’t connect with any piece of this collection other than the two-three pages talking about cats. As always, I say literature comes into our life when we need it the most and maybe that’s why I’m so underwhelmed. Maybe this wasn’t my time of needing this collection because I already know all the things that this collection has to offer or perhaps, it was something else.
This collection is the third and final installment in the You Are Your Own Fairy Tale trilogy. Like the rest of the books in this series, this collection is broken into three parts and beautiful illustrations that divide the sections. Lovelace went above and beyond to make sure the readers of this collection has access to content/trigger warnings in advance so you know what to expect going into the collection. Lovelace does this with every collection which is a nice little touch to show the author cares about their reading audience and their mental health.
“Let no book collect dust. You never know which one will heal wounds you never knew you had.”
I would say that my favorite parts of this book had to be the illustrations. I always enjoy when authors add their own artwork into their books and Lovelace is no exception. If I remember correctly, each illustration is drawn by the author themselves and in a way, you can almost get a feel for the things this author enjoys, what they love to draw the most, and the full colored panels were a fantastic touch. There’s a lot of coziness to the full colored panels and there’s little details in them that make me wonder if the author actually has a little corner like that in their own home. The full illustrated panels are also a nice break from a lot of the themes in this collection. Those panels are there to say, “Hey, take a break. Take a moment to come down and breathe.”
I mentioned before that I really enjoyed the few pages we had about cats, but I also enjoyed the few passages we received about books. Now, I know the parts are titled in reference to books, but more so the pages that talk about books healing wounds or helping you to escape reality for a little while. As a consumer of books, and for you too book lovers, I think these sections will touch your soul and remind you how important books are. I think it was a great way for the author to nod at their readers and the book community.
“Some change happens gradually, some changes happens in the blink of an eye, & some change manages to do both at the same time.”
Despite the good things I found within this book, there was a lot of issues with this book that I just couldn’t look past. The biggest things for me that made it really hard to enjoy this book was the constant whiplash and jumping around. In past books, the author had some solid organization and structure to help with the flow of the book, but with this book in particular it felt like there was no consistent flow. You would constantly have these moments where it would be talking about good things and then it would thrown in a page or two that was talking about something negative like toxic relationships or self-harm. If anything, the one consistent thing this book does is give you the choppy flow of giving you large doses of feel good, uplifting passages and then smack you in the face with dark, negative passages. This made it really hard to focus on the content within the book and had a desire of wanting to skip pages build up inside of me. Also, just for reference, ever book up until this particular book had a good steady flow of working through the bad into the good. That’s the kind of writing style the author normal put into their books and we just don’t get that in this book. This would have probably stood stronger if the author had kept that structure to this book.
My other issue and struggle with this book was the repetitiveness throughout this books. I think I talked about this in my last review for this series, for the second book, as well. The things being written in this book literally feels like passages from previous books just being rewritten in a different manner. There were a lot of times where I was reading this book and I’d sit here, asking myself, “Have I read this before? This feels familiar.” Usually, I don’t mind a little repetitiveness, but consistent repetitiveness just doesn’t work for me.
The most minor issue I had was the fact that this collection felt like there were passages just thrown in there that had nothing to do with the overall theme of this book. Honestly, I was expecting this trilogy to consist of them not only coping with the loss of their mother, but also their relationship with their partner. And while we get bits and pieces of that, there were passages thrown in that had nothing to do with these themes. It’s not a huge issue, but this does circle back to how the pacing of this book felt so off and had that choppy flow to it, making it hard to focus to read this book.
“& if she had a choice, things would be different.”
Overall, this isn’t a bad read, but it definitely wasn’t for me. Again, maybe it wasn’t my time to have this piece of literature come into my life or maybe it’s something else. I think there are a lot of stand out passages that surround finding love, loving oneself, passages that deal in grief – many passages I think many readers may potentially connect with. However, the reading pace/flow of this book was really rough and choppy, and I think I would have enjoyed a little more structure when it came to the pacing. I still recommend this collection because I know that even though I haven’t connected with this book, I know someone out there will. So if you enjoy poetry, I still want to encourage you to pick it up.
The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.