DROPKICKromance– Book Review


Why I read it: I’ve followed the author on social media for a long time, and added this to my TBR the second it was announced. Then I found it on Net Galley and whatddya know, my finger slipped and I clicked to get an ARC 😛

Who I’d recommend it to: Poetry lovers, poetry newbies, the broken-hearted and people looking for hope…actually I think I’ll be recommending this to just about everyone for a while.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Amazon

What it’s about (from Goodreads):

A collection of autobiographical poetry about healing and learning to love again from professional-wrestler-turned-poet, Cyrus Parker.

The first half of DROPKICKromance focuses on a toxic, long-distance relationship the author was involved in for several years, while the second half focuses on his current relationship with poet Amanda Lovelace. Ultimately, the collection tells about a profound journey of healing.


Let me just start this off with this super accurate representation of me while I was reading this book

 (I totally tweeted this first but whatever.)

What you need before you start reading (aka: what I should have armed myself with before I read it):

  • tissues
  • ice cream, chocolate, or some other comfort-food-thing
  • tissues
  • bourbon (or your alcohol of choice…if you drink, that is…if not, grab some cocoa or soothing tea, or a great cup of coffee)
  • did I mention tissues yet?
  • a pen and paper to catch the inspiration to write you’ll be feeling thanks to this book
  • a backup box of tissues

Seriously folks, this book hit me hard in the feels, and it kept hitting me at unexpected times throughout the entire thing. I would think I was past the things that were going to strike a chord, and then another one would come along. While I’ve followed Cyrus Parker on social media for at least a couple of years, and have seen some of his poetry in that time, I was not at all prepared for this book or for how much I would relate to some of the poems. My tablet died halfway through reading this, and I was happy about it because it forced me to take a break and pull myself together before diving back in. (Side note: What the heck is up with the technical difficulties I’ve been having with Net Galley books lately?! Ugh.)

you’ve sacrificed
so many pieces
of me,
it’s only fair
that you sacrifice
for me.

— i’m not asking for much.

I went through a lot of emotions while reading this, and it wasn’t a bad thing. It was kind of cathartic, actually. I felt some anger, sympathy, empathy, hope, happiness, nostalgia, and sadness, and honestly sometimes I think I felt all of those at once. Weirdly, I only got teary-eyed during the first half of the book, but during the second half I was ugly crying all over my tablet. I think those were mostly happy-tears, though. 

knowing that you’re
willing to share
the rest of your life
with me

is knowing that
there must be
some good
inside of me.

— somewhere.

This collection is so brutally honest and heartbreaking (at least in the beginning), but beautifully written, and I can’t remember the last time I went through a poetry book so quickly. (I usually end up reading one over the course of 2-5 days in small chunks.) If my tablet hadn’t died when it did, I would have read this in one sitting for sure.

I’ve been anxiously waiting for this book for about a year, and it was so worth the wait. (I could have read it sooner if my reading devices had cooperate *glares at them*) I was looking forward to it, but also nervous and worried I wouldn’t like it, or wouldn’t love it. Those fears turned out to be completely unfounded, because I. Freaking. LOVED this book. It’s definitely made my list of all-time-favorite poetry collections (and probably books, in general), and I’m dying to get a physical copy. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that might happen this weekend, but I’m not sure it’s in stock at the nearest bookstores yet 😥 If not, I might have to break down and just order it because I need it on my shelf yesterday.

Do I recommend it? Hell yes I do! Cyrus Parker is a talented poet and I’m looking forward to reading more from him in the future.


The Witch Doesn’t Burn In This One– Book Review

Genres: poetry; feminism

Why I read it: I snagged the e-ARC from Net Galley because I couldn’t wait until release day ❤

Who I’d recommend it to: Probably first to fans of The Princess Saves Herself In This One, fans of poetry, feminists, witchy women, and anyone who wants to burn down the patriarchy.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (4.5/5 stars)


Goodreads | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

What it’s about (from goodreads):

2016 Goodreads Choice Award-winning poet Amanda Lovelace returns in the witch doesn’t burn in this one — the bold second book in her “women are some kind of magic” series.

The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one.


I feel like I waited years for this book, and that feeling wasn’t helped by my technical difficulties while trying to read it >_< Long story short: this eARC from Net Galley is one of those that can’t be read on a Kindle, my iPad freaked out and I had to restore it, and the app I used to read the book was a pain in the butt to get downloaded and to then get the books on (partially because, for some reason, I couldn’t even get the Net Galley site to open for-freaking-ever, ugh). And I also think I might be missing a few pages in my copy for some reason, because I’ve seen other people quote things that I don’t remember reading, and they were things I definitely would have remembered :/

Anyway… Back to the book itself, and what I thought of it.

First up: It’s release day!! The wait is truly over, and if broom-travel were possible, my witchy butt would be flying to the nearest Target that has this in stock because I was too broke to pre-order it 😦

If Amanda’s first poetry collection (The Princess Saves Herself In This One) was a book of facing and slaying your own demons, this second collection is a call to arms for other women, and a warning to lurking monsters that we (women) have had enough and are fighting back. I think I made it to “-she.”–which is quoted below–before I started having to bite my tongue to keep from actually screaming/cheering out loud while reading this one.

i don’t need you
to write my story.

i write it
e v e r y  d a y

& you couldn’t
even translate

the fucking


Like in Princess, a lot of sensitive topics are touched on in this collection, and there’s a trigger warning list at the beginning of the book. This collection is angry, raw, and no sugar has been added to sweeten the ugly truths addressed. Also like when I read Princess, I felt a lot of things while reading this. Unlike Princess, I didn’t feel punches to the gut when I read things that hit close to home. Instead, I felt pissed off and ready to link hands with other women and crush the patriarchy under my stompy, pointy, witchy boots.

“bitch,” he spits

“witch,” he sneers.

& i say
“actually, i’m both.”

– reclaim everything.

The one thing I vacillated between loving  and not loving (I didn’t hate it, though) was the repetitiveness. Sometimes, I really enjoyed it because either I liked the imagery or it helped tie the whole collection together, and sometimes it felt like I’d read a certain word or phrase one too many times. Don’t get me wrong: it isn’t every poem or anything like that. It just happened enough for me to notice.

Basically, I adored this book and I can not wait to get my hands on a physical copy. Speaking of, have you guys seen the Target exclusive?! It’s red! *cue heart eyes* 

Did I love it as much as her first collection? Maybe not, but it’s pretty close, and still probably making my list of favorite poetry books. Do I recommend it? Yessss! But obviously not if you hated Princess, or hate this style of poetry.

Must Read Mondays: September 25th

Must Read Monday is a (usually) weekly thing I do here to recommend books I’ve read and enjoyed.

Love, and You by Gretchen Gomez

When I read it: May 2017

Genres: poetry

Recommended for: People who like poetry (or are looking for collections to find out if they like poetry), anyone whose heart has been broken.

(Reviewed here)


Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble


What it’s about:

one day i met a guy
who stole my heart,
we created a world
for ourselves.
and another day
he broke my heart
and shattered
my soul.

i took the tattered
pieces of this
broken soul and
became anew.

– here lies the hurting, the healing, and the learning

I definitely cried, or at least teared up, a few times when I read this. It was an emotional, sometimes difficult, book to read, but I loved it and I keep recommending it to everyone, so I thought it was time to finally use it as a Must Read Mondays book (the only reason it took so long is because I thought I’d used it already).


Poetry Tuesdays: August 29th

poetry tuesday

I finally started working on my collection again for the first time in a few months. I’ve been kind of hiding from it, because if I finished writing it, I might actually have to do something with it. And that’s pretty terrifying. I’m still not sure if I want to try my luck with traditional publishing, or just go ahead and self-publish it, but I’ve set my birthday as my goal to have it finished (written, mostly edited, and arranged). So, I have about 6.5 weeks to do all of that, and hopefully figure out a title.

Identical stark white cogs
in a murderous machine are
held together with matching scarlet ties.
They swore vows, not to lovers or country,
but their almighty god who wears the faces
of leaders long dead, or glitters gold,
while dripping blood wrenched from the poor.

They were sworn into power,
not with hands placed on the holy book
they claim to love and abide,
but with greedy lips at shady back doors.
They struck bargains in the dark alleys of
this circus they’re running, while their star clown
took to the throne atop the pachyderm’s back.

But even elephants can be toppled


Poetry Tuesday: August 22nd

poetry tuesday

My internet is up again, sort of, finally, so I’m trying to work on blogs posts for this week.

I’m still not sure if Poetry Tuesday is going to be a regular thing or if I’ll do away with it at some point, but, for now…


5 A.M.

I’ve got last night’s thumbprints
under my eyes–
the evidence of another fight
I lost.

There’s dog hair in my coffee–
third time this week–
but the strongest brew
isn’t enough to hold me up
on its own right now.

The clock is slow again,
and I think,
It’s too bad I can’t fix
my own slow-moving parts
with a new battery
and turn of a dial,
to set things right,
to be good as new again.


Poetry Tuesday: August 15th

poetry tuesday

Ho-ly craaaap :O It’s been two freaking months since I did a Poetry Tuesday. I was never sure if I wanted to do it weekly, anyway, but eesh. I thought I’d at least put out one a month :/

This week, I’ve been wanting to write out my feelings about the awful things happening (threat of nuclear war, Charlottesville, etc.), but I just can’t. So, I tackled a much smaller issue that’s been bothering me for a while.


We’re just smashing keyboards

don’t know
the poet
was thinking,
the message
were sending
they broke
l i n e s.


Book Review: Escapism: Words + Photos by Candice Lee


cover; links to goodreads

Genres: poetry; photography

Why I read it: I won a copy in a goodreads giveaway. Also, poetry.

Who I’d recommend it to: This one is tough, but I would probably recommend it to someone going through a breakup.


My rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆


Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository



What it’s about:

This is a story about love and loss. This full-color book is a collection of poems and landscape photographs–all written, shot, and arranged by the author. 
Composed in the style of a memoir, she shares her experiences through words and photos. This window into her emotions reveals the dark side of love as it narrates the journey through relationships, friendships, it’s-complicated-ships, and self-identity. But really, it’s a story about finding beauty in pain through growth.

Note from the author:
“Everybody hurts. But not everyone is willing to share their pain from weak moments. It’s difficult to put it all out there. I believe, these are the moments that mark beginnings of transformation. I hope this book helps people feel a little less lonely and a little more inspired. We all feel it.”


I love the photography in this book! The cover caught my eye first because it’s basically a minimalist cover, but it’s a photograph, and I think it’s perfect for this collection of poetry. It set the tone and fit nicely. Most of the photographs are in full color, which was a nice surprise. Photography–especially nature photography, which is what’s in this book–is kind of a passion of mine.

The poetry itself didn’t blow me away or really make me feel like I’d hoped it would. I liked a good chunk of it, and even loved a couple of poems, but I think I would have gotten more out of this if I’d had it after a breakup.

I hate reviewing poetry like this because you can tell it’s so personal to the poet, but, because it’s so personal, not all if it will work for everyone else. I know from my own piles of old notebooks full of poetry that post-breakup poetry can get repetitive (trying to get your feelings out and heal can take a while, and a lot of revisiting certain topics/themes/ideas), and this collection had some repetition that eventually caused my interest to wane a little.

Reading this felt like reading things the poet had written to the people who caused the heartache, which, in a way, I think it was. But it felt so intimate, almost like I was peeking into a diary. The poetry wasn’t general, exploring heartbreak broadly, but quite specific. I think that’s why I had such a difficult time relating to it.

So, I did like this poetry book, but I was definitely not the target audience. Still, I did highlight a few parts that spoke to me. The photographs were beautiful, and I loved them. I can see myself recommending this collection to someone still dealing with a broken heart, or trying to move on from a relationship.