Title: The Road Between
Author: Courtney Peppernell
Length: 288 pages (pretty long for a poetry book)
Published by: Andrew McMeel Publishing
Pub date: August 29th, 2017
Source: A digital copy was provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆
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When I read the synopsis for Courtney Peppernell’s The Road Between, I couldn’t wait to start reading it (plus I love that cover!!). A collection broken into eight parts (the cave, the closet, the sky, the sea, the roads, the mountains, the fields, the home), I expected a book of self-discovery and love through small moments in life. I expected something subtle and nuanced, as self-discovery so often is. I expected to love and connect with this collection of poetry.
Unfortunately, I didn’t really get any of those things. Instead, most of these poems were angsty love poems, a woman pining after a relationship she messed up. To be fair, I’m already a little biased against love poems; I very rarely read one that I find original or enjoyable. So, when the entire first section was full of these sorts of poems, I was immediately turned off.
After that, I had to force myself to read more of the book. I got about halfway through before I finally gave up. There were so many Tumblr-y, one-sentence self-help poems, and they are always a turn-off for me. I felt like I was reading high school love poems instead of the subtle and nuanced work I would expect from a published poet.
While I personally did not enjoy this collection, it does have some shining points. In many of the poems, Peppernell does great work with rhyme and rhythm, always making even the sing-songiest of her poems sound natural. She often changes up the structure of the poems, from traditional lined poetry to prose poetry (which I found my self enjoying the most). And you could tell throughout the entire collection that she was writing from the heart, from experience. Because of all this, I really wanted to enjoy this book, but I just couldn’t connect with it in the way I connected with other poetry collections.
Overall, it was a pretty quick read, but not one I enjoyed.
Thanks for reading! Are you thinking about reading this book, or have you already read it? What did you think? Why do you want to read it? Let me know in the comments below!