Book Review Blast!


Book reviews are critical for authors, and they really do mean so much. As much as we love five-star love letters posted to our books’ Amazon page, critical reviews are extremely valuable as well! Reviews not only influence an author’s rank on Amazon and whether or not another customer purchases a book, but they also give the author an idea of how their work is being received and how to improve upon their craft.
I advocate fairly often for the importance of reviewing the books we read, but don’t leave nearly as many reviews myself as I should be. It happens to all of us: we finish a book while we’re out and about and then completely forget. So, my solution to this is to schedule a review blast day. And that day is today!

I rounded up the last twelve books I’ve read, and wrote Amazon reviews for them. The following are the books I absolutely loved and would recommend to a friend.

 

Afterlife by Melissa Jennings 

I’ve been plowing my way through modern poetry books lately and some of them tend to blend and get confused in my mind. But this one stands out and it’s due to the utter rawness of Melissa’s writing. Emotional, relatable, and accessible even if you’ve never experienced the subject matter. I look forward to her next collection!

 

The Princess Saves Herself In This One by Amanda Lovelace 

Incredibly moving and empowering, even for readers who have not experienced the majority of what Amanda Lovelace has in her lifetime. This collection of poetry conveys hurt, pain, trauma, etc. yet is unapologetic and triumphant. Honestly, Lovelace’s work is extremely important and will make the kind of impact on society, particularly young girls, that we’ve been starved of probably since the women’s movement. We need women with the gift of communication to take a stand and be unashamed, and that is exactly what Amanda does.
Can’t wait for her second collection–March is too far away!

 

Hummingbird by Sophia Elaine Hanson

Quick read, but well worth it. Behind the gorgeous cover are equally beautiful and organic words. So natural and peaceful, even through the hurt.

 

Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel

This book was fascinating to me because it made me feel annoyed and angry, but not in a way that made me want to quit reading it. I struggle with mental illness and have felt a lot of the things that Wurtzel was so accurately and acutely able to verbalize and yet my thoughts were all over the place. Honestly, I call that a success. I want a book to make me feel and think. I wasn’t overwhelmingly thrilled with the book as a whole, but it was definitely enlightening, especially the epilogue and afterword.

Bare Roots by Molly S. Hillery

STUNNING. I can’t oversell this book. It’s raw and honest and it’s everything I look for in modern poetry. I will definitely read again.

 

Bones In The Garden by McKayla Debonis

I devoured this poetry collection. The theme stays consistent and adds depth and imagery to already powerful content. Will also be reading again. 
Love, and you is a poetry collection that I read over a month now, and still find myself dwelling on. Self love is the theme of many poetry books, but what I love about Gretchen’s poetry is her voice. There is no preaching in this collection-only support and care based on self-realization. She is at once a flawed human who has struggled in love and life and a strong woman who too those experiences and learned from them. Reading this collection is like having a heart-to-heart with a friend. Gomez ruminates on her experiences and transforms them into positives and strengths, room to grow. And that’s what I find is most important: realizing that there is the opportunity for growth in misfortune and lost loves rather than merely a reason to shrink and call it quits. All in all, I felt empowered by the strength so masterfully portrayed in this poetry collection and recommend it to anyone who needs reassurance.

Table For One by Laura Ashley Laraque

One of my favorite things in a book, particularly a poetry collection, is honesty. True honesty, without sprucing up any parts of the truth, is scary and difficult but Laura Ashley does it with such strength. Her poems are on the longer side, and I found myself getting more and more passionate as each poem went on. It always sounds weird to call something with negative connotations such as heartbreak and life struggles “pretty” but that’s exactly what Table For One is: so, so pretty and true.

It Starts Like This by Shelby Leigh

It Starts Like This felt like a complete journey, like I was being taken along with Shelby as she experienced her poems. She writes with such sincerity that it’s impossible not to empathize. It was almost a shock when I reached the end, I was too wrapped up to notice how quickly I was reading. I wish I had read this book while I was writing my poetry collection, because I know it would have served as a wonderful inspiration and example.

7,300 Days by Isabella Mentes

I bought this book on a whim, but I can’t imagine if I had put it back on the shelf. As a writer, I’m not usually short on words but I genuinely can’t think of a satisfying way to describe 7,300 days. Everyone needs to read it ASAP.

 

Not only did all of these books add value to my life, but the authors are fantastic people and worth supporting. Let me know your thoughts on any of the above books, or if you have any suggestions for future reads!

 

Until next time,
T

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