The Princess Saves Herself in this One

princess

I hate poetry. There. I said it. Take away my English degree if you must, but it’s just not a genre/writing style that I enjoy, as a general rule. Every time I encounter a poetry category on a reading challenge, I groan. Last year’s Book Riot Read Harder challenge had a category that was something along the lines of “a book of poetry in translation on a subject other than love”. What? That was a challenge to find and an even bigger challenge to get through.

This year, The Reading Women challenge has a category for a collection of poetry written by a woman. Thankfully, being written by a woman is the only restriction. What’s even better is that this challenge is the only one out of nine that I’m participating in that has a poetry-only category. I went onto The Reading Women’s Goodreads page to try to find ideas and had originally thought to read Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur because it’s available on Hoopla (free through my library, yay!), but there’s another category on that challenge that it proving challenging to find a fit for, and I’m going to use Milk and Honey for that. So, I decided to give Amanda Lovelace’s poetry a chance.

I feel like I have said this a lot lately, but it was not at all what I expected. This collection is broken up into four sections. The entire thing reads very quickly, but I question how well the eBook is formatted compared to print. I think it would be better to read this in print, but I was looking for easy, instant access and free, so I went with borrowing it from Hoopla. Maybe stop reading here if you are worried about spoilers, because I don’t know how spoiler free I can be. You’ve been warned. I take no responsibility if you continue and hit a spoiler.

This starts out with some really gut-wrenching writing about abuse that the author suffered. It is not an easy read, by any means. I was horrified and deeply saddened, and if it hadn’t been for the challenge prompt, I’d have walked away. Lovelace does a brilliant job of evoking emotion, sharing her pain, with very few words. She goes on to write poems about finding oneself, being one’s own knight in shining armor, losing family members, and love. I didn’t enjoy all of it, but even the ones that  I didn’t directly connect were still dripping with sincerity and emotion. Best of all, it ends with a very positive, hopeful note, so while I initially wanted to run away from it, I was able to turn off my iPad and go to sleep feeling happy.

I will continue to say that I hate poetry. I will not go out of my way to read it and will whine whenever a reading challenge has a poetry category. It’s just who I am. However, I am not sorry that I gave this one a chance, and if you’re looking for a quick option to check a box, I don’t think you can go wrong with this one. Be prepared to feel like you’ve been kicked in the stomach, especially if you are an empathetic person.

(Screenshot credit from Hoopla on my iPhone with background from PicCollage)

~ by Rachel on October 26, 2018.

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