Tag Archives: poetry

Book Review: Every Little Bad Idea by Caitie McKay

West 44 Books
Published Aug 1st, 2018
200 Pages

The women in Skyler Wise’s family have a weakness for bad boys, but not Skyler. She has one thing on her mind, leaving her run-down neighborhood and going to college. When Skyler’s normally strict mom starts dating again, she feels abandoned. Skyler meets Cole, a boy who makes her question everything she thought she knew about herself and her future.

Even though he has a dangerous reputation, Skyler believes she knows the real Cole, the sweet, caring boyfriend who makes her feel seen for once in her life. When Cole starts to change, Skyler realizes that she’ll do anything to keep him around, even if it means giving up her dream and losing the people closest to her.- Goodreads 

What a gem! Seriously, this book is really was surprising. A quick read but memorable none the less.

Firstly, Skyler; a completely relate-able character. Unfortunately, parents or even a single parent can sometimes add so much pressure and expectations intentionally and unintentionally that when a child comes across something new things tend to get out of hand. Skyler understands that she is testing the boundaries but also understand that she is looking for something and Cole may or may not be it. She wants an experience and not only grow but wants to enjoy and make her own decisions. I liked her. Her voice throughout the book was honest because you have can hear the slight hesitation as well as strength in voice which mimics her actions.

The book is verse, which makes for a quick read. The author doesn’t use a lot of fluff to pretty up the words or story. I appreciate that. She builds a world that I can see right in front of me. And most importantly it is detailed without feeling like a run one.

Here is the thing about this book though.Because it is told in verse the Skyler doesn’t actually grow. She makes a series of conscious decisions that work and do not work in her favor. Also I feel some type of way about how her best friend treats her. And finally the ending is as expected (because the author set up the book that it can literally go two ways).

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was quick, the verses flowed well, the characters were enjoyable and there was a nice lesson to learn.

3 Pickles

Poetry Book Review: Adultolescence by Gabbie Hanna

Atria/Keywords Press Published Sept. 19, 2017 256 Pages

In poems ranging from the singsong rhythms of children’s verses to a sophisticated confessional style, Gabbie explores what it means to feel like a kid and an adult all at once, revealing her own longings, obsessions, and insecurities along the way.

Adultolescence announces the arrival of a brilliant new voice with a magical ability to connect through alienation, cut to the profound with internet slang, and detonate wickedly funny jokes between moments of existential dread. You’ll turn to the last page because you get her, and you’ll return to the first because she gets you.- Goodreads

*Short Review*

Normally, I don’t give a rating for poetry. I don’t because someone put their thoughts and emotions and in some cases, personal stories in short lines in order to make the reader feel. Sometimes that is successful other times it is not. But I rated this book because it should not be considered poetry. I am all for random pieces thoughts scattered across pages. What I am not for is writing that has little or no feeling behind it and tries to come off as a joke with a message behind it.

The readings were more like things that may have happened to me and quirky 3 liners and maybe some advice. I didn’t feel the author put her heart into this. I felt nothing as I read. But I did feel annoyance about the time I wasted going through the book. Yes, this is harsh but this is with the intent to provide criticism because not everyone is poet or a writer. The funny thing about this is the author mentions being a youtube star who decided to write a book.

For me right there, it explains everything.

1 Pickle

Quick five© with Cheyenne Raine

Courtesy of Cheyenne Raine

Name: Cheyenne Raine

Twitter: @rainepoetry

Website: http://www.rainepoetry.com

Books: maroon daydreams, One Hundred and One: A Collection of Poetry, lavender petals and a wild heart, charcoal thunderstorms

Buy: Amazon & Website

This woman is a sweetheart and as author her words are powerful with emotion, imagery and thought.

There is something Ms. Cheyenne mentions as a side note during our interview. I was already captivated by her but after reading her note, the support I have for her will be endless. This is extremely important and I want you to note this because its her style and it shows a side of the poet that you may not see within her poetry. 

i use lower case letters because it reminds me of how small i am. the only times i use capital letters is when mentioning God, or referring to a subject that is meant to be capitalized, like places and people (sometimes). in my most recent collection, charcoal thunderstorms, i used all lower case, even though i had originally wanted the titles to be uppercase, because it was a youthful piece of work, and being young is like being small, everything around you seems so big and wonderful and mighty. 

Why did you choose poetry as a way to express yourself? What about it makes you feel that you are able to convey your emotions better as compared to other artistic mediums?

i chose poetry because it was the easiest and most rewarding thing to do, when i first began in my second grade classroom. i feel that it allows me to be as vague or as detailed as i wish to be, and i’m able to be unfiltered and raw or dreamy and magical. it’s like a power. i have the ability to craft my words into whatever i imagine and want them to be.

What is your process? How do you get in the mood to write? How do you make it

Self- Published
2017
102 Pages

flow smoothly?

usually, poems tend to come to me at all times of the day. so, i have plenty of napkins, receipts, sticky notes and sides of the paper scribbled on with little fragments of my thoughts. it’s just a matter of sitting down to compose the full piece. also, events and emotions, places and memories tend to influence much of my work. i’m always in the mood to write, i carry a sharpie pen with me everywhere! writing is more than a hobby, for me. as for the flow, well, sometimes my rough drafts come out perfectly, and other times i have to move words and phrases around until i think it’s perfect. it’s just a matter of spilling and playing with my words.

What are you currently reading? And is it good?

i am currently reading interview with the vampire by anne rice. her work is beyond captivating! the language draws you in and the storyline is so beautifully made, one of my favorite classics that i’ve read so far, this year!

If you had to describe your style of poetry in one sentence what would it be and why?

i would describe it as: a carefully and wild arrangement of words that echo in one’s thoughts. why? because i’ve grown careful with my wording and my topics, my flow and my outcomes. i choose an echo, because it’s not heavy, it is soft. and, from what i’m told, it’s a unique and elegant voice that people remember like a summer ocean breeze. gentle.

Self-Published
2017
140 Pages

Finally, where do you see yourself in the written world, be it poetry or another genre, a year from now?

a year from now? ah. i believe that i will still be hooked on poetry, but, introducing short stories and prose, more often. like my first book, maroon daydreams, it was poetry and prose. now, charcoal thunderstorms, my second book, is poetry and short stories. maybe a few years from now i’ll experiment more, but for now, i am thrilled to even have my poetic voice out in this wild earth!

 

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Impatiently Waiting For: Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough

Dutton Books for Young Readers
TBP: March 6th 2018
304 Pages

A stunning debut novel based on the true story of the iconic painter, Artemisia Gentileschi.

Her mother died when she was twelve, and suddenly Artemisia Gentileschi had a stark choice: a life as a nun in a convent or a life grinding pigment for her father’s paint.

She chose paint.

By the time she was seventeen, Artemisia did more than grind pigment. She was one of Rome’s most talented painters, even if no one knew her name. But Rome in 1610 was a city where men took what they wanted from women, and in the aftermath of rape Artemisia faced another terrible choice: a life of silence or a life of truth, no matter the cost.

He will not consume
my every thought.
I am a painter.
I will paint.

Joy McCullough’s bold novel in verse is a portrait of an artist as a young woman, filled with the soaring highs of creative inspiration and the devastating setbacks of a system built to break her. McCullough weaves Artemisia’s heartbreaking story with the stories of the ancient heroines, Susanna and Judith, who become not only the subjects of two of Artemisia’s most famous paintings but sources of strength as she battles to paint a woman’s timeless truth in the face of unspeakable and all-too-familiar violence.

I will show you
what a woman can do- Goodreads

Revisit Week: The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

Published Jan. 4th, 2011
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
211 Pages

How does one talk about love? Do we even have the right words to describe something that can be both utterly mundane and completely transcendent, pulling us out of our everyday lives and making us feel a part of something greater than ourselves?

Taking a unique approach to this problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary has constructed the story of his relationship as a dictionary. Through these short entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of being within a couple, giving us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time. -Goodreads

I first read this book when it came out. Bought it brand new at Border’s bookstore, when they were still around and it took about a week for me to get through it. Now about 6 years later, I wanted to re-read this book and as reading it, I can remember why I was so excited for this book but at the same time over it.

Levithan did a really creative job with breaking down words and instead of providing a basic definition, he provides a situation or a scenario. It is simply adorable. Some are short and some are long.

However, the issue with this book is it becomes redundant. Even though the stories are different after a while they all begin to sound the same. Because of this the book was too much to keep going.

Lover’s Dictionary is a really cute and good idea but it is too long to really enjoy the book.

2.5 Pickles

Poetry Review: soft magic. by Upile Chisala

Self Published Published Sept. 7, 2015 122 Pages (Kindle)
Self Published
Published Sept. 7, 2015
122 Pages (Kindle)

‘soft magic.’ is the debut collection of prose and poetry by Malawian writer, Upile Chisala. – Goodreads

*Short Review*

I was going to hold off on publishing this review until April. Because you know national poetry month is April but I really wanted to share this with you all because I was stunned by this book.

As a 27-year-old woman, you don’t think that there are things you need to hear or see but as I was reading this book the words hit me hard and I was able to reflect on my experiences without actually feeling as if something went wrong.

I liked how Upile was able to show a softness in her words and at the same time make you feel the strength in them. That is what surprised me the most and even though some passages had a repetitive tone the overall book was amazing and emotional. For me the passages that spoke more about family did more for me then the broken relationships and intimacy. This is not to say that they were not powerful but we are all in different stages in our lives and family had a bigger impact on me.

The poems were not long and drawn out with fluff. But this is not a book in which you can speed through. It took me a little over a week to finish this and I would recommend you to take your time with, honestly as long as you need because this needs to be valued.

Overall,

4 Pickles

 

 

 

Book Review: A Girl Named Mister by Nikki Grimes

Zondervan Published Aug. 6, 2010 223 Pages
Zondervan
Published Aug. 6, 2010
223 Pages

Mary Rudine also known as Mister has been always been part of the church. Attending youth club and performing in the Choir, her attendance has been a part of her life forever. But then she meets Trey and the church becomes less of a priority.

Another Mary in a previous time is preparing for her wedding but when an angel appears one night and tells her that she is to give birth, as a virgin, Mary is confused and finds herself in a struggle. 

Drawn to the story of Mary, Mister rediscovers her faith in God.

This book is written in verse and I love that about it. The reason I picked this book is because it has been a while since I’ve read a Nikki Grimes book.

But I had difficulties with this read and it had nothing to do with the face that it was written in verse. Something was missing from the overall story and it had something to do with Mister. There wasn’t enough personality and my biggest issue is she fell a little too easy. Yes, I know she is young but considering the premise of the story, I thought it would be a little bit harder for her to fall.

I also had an issue with the voice. It didn’t seem to change throughout the story until the end. It was the first time in the book, I felt real emotion from Mister and I actually felt for her. I would have loved more of that throughout the book.

Finally, the back and forth between Mister’s story and Mary’s story was a good element. It shows a viewpoint that you don’t think of in regards to Mary’s story and I thought that was cool.

Overall, the story was alright. I wanted more emotion and depth.

2 Pickles.