Title: the princess saves herself in this one
Author: Amanda Lovelace
Length: 208 pages
Published by: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Pub Date: First published April 23, 2016.
Source: A digital copy was provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
The short version: If you like poetry, read this book. Many of the poems were ones that would be covered in red had I handed them in to my poetry professors, but I still loved these poems, and as subjective as it is, I feel a little more myself after having read them.
The long version:
So, this collection of poetry was split into four parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, and you. I’m going to kind of break it down section by section.
the princess: This section was, without a doubt, my favorite. “the princess” sets the stage for the rest of the collection, outlining some of the abuse the poet suffered, and what she did to try to alleviate that pain. The language is often rhythmic and musical, imagery or clever turns of phrase run rife, in some cases, the structure of the poems added extra interest, and it was just the section I felt myself identifying with most. I was trying to bookmark all the pages with poems that I love, but had to stop for this section because it got to the point where there were only three that I hadn’t bookmarked. This section also has my favorite poem from the collection, “can’t i just be a paper girl with a paper life?” It just completely encapsulated what it is to be an avid reader, especially if your love of books comes from an attempt at escape. For me, this first section gets an A++
the damsel: In the second section, our poet’s pain gets much more specific. Family members falling ill, losing siblings, and bad relationships form the bulk of these poems. I didn’t love this section quite as much as the first. Many of the poems in “the damsel” felt
like pretty Tumblr quotes or angsty teenage Facebook posts. For me, the redeeming qualities of this section were the poems about her mother’s illness. Those poems were full of solid and heartbreaking imagery, and that was what carried me through this section. (As someone who also has a history of cancer running through her family members, it also kept me the most emotionally engaged, and I really felt for our poet here.)
the queen: This third section had me a little conflicted. In “the queen,” the speaker comes to realize that hers is the only love she has ever needed, and starts to pull herself back together, pain and all. I had the same issue with a lot of these poems that I had with the poems in “the damsel;” a lot of them seemed angsty or Tumblr-y (?). Which is where the conflict started. The writer in me was saying, “NO! Look at these, you can’t love these poems! Look at the cliches! And the choppy format! Some of these are even a little wordy!” But the reader in me was going, “Screw you Writer Ryann! I do love these poems and you can’t stop me!!” In this section, even some of the poems with the cheesy cliches left me feeling just a little bit lighter and a little more refreshed. I wish I could explain it better, or tell you exactly why they made me feel that way, but I can’t.
you: The last section is addressed to the readers, encouraging them to love themselves the way the speaker has learned to, and to not rely on others for their self-worth. The poems here were about half and half. A lot of bookmarks came out for this section, but a lot of them were still the sort of angsty ones I had seen in earlier sections. For me, though, the defining quality of this section was that it made me want to put the book down and write for myself. As someone who dabbles in writing, I believe there are few better tasks your writing can accomplish.
So, long story short, if you enjoy poetry, I would definitely recommend you read this book. It’s not my absolute favorite, but I will definitely be buying a hard copy to keep on my shelves.
Overall, I gave this book 4 stars:
Thanks for reading! If you plan on reading or have already read this book, let me know why and what you think in the comments below!