book review

Review – Nothing is Okay by Rachel Wiley

Title: Nothing is Okay

Author: Rachel Wiley

Publisher: Button Poetry

Publication Date:  February 20th 2018

Format: Paperback

Genre: Poetry

Page Count: 96

Summary:  “Nothing is Okay is the second full-length poetry collection by Rachel Wiley, whose work simultaneously deconstructs the lies that we were taught about our bodies and our beings, and builds new ways of viewing ourselves. As she delves into queerness, feminism, fatness, dating, and race, Wiley molds these topics into a punching critique of culture and a celebration of self. A fat positive activist, Wiley’s work soars and challenges the bounds of bodies and hearts, and the ways we carry them.” (Source: Goodreads)

Content Warnings: fatphobia, sexual language, biracial identity discrimination, queerphobia, racism, sexual assault, historical rape

Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars) 

Have you ever picked up a book and been completely overwhelmed by its brilliance and power? This is it, people.

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book review

ARC Review – Lady Saturn by Wanda Deglane

Please note that I received an advanced copy of this book for free by the publisher in exchange for a review. This does not affect the following review.

Title: Lady Saturn

Author: Wanda Deglane

Publisher: Rhythm & Bones Press

Publication Date:  February 2019

Format: E-book

Genre: Poetry

Page Count: 31

Summary:  “Lady Saturn by contemporary poet Wanda Deglane is in itself a navigation through depression and anxiety to find love – the utmost important self-love. 

These personal poems traverse the backdrop of what it means to be born into chaos, to feel unwanted and unloved, to be constantly seeking and attempting self-discovery, to struggle to sleep with a racing mind or to defeat depression and anxiety with the help of a pill that makes her brain like her ‘mother’s old microwave, / constantly short-circuiting and casting the whole room / in darkness.’ 

Take this quest through beautiful, lyrical stanzas and vivid imagery depicting pain, trauma, depression, anxiety, and a deep yearning to land softly at a place on the verge of inner acceptance and love, just the way you are, seeking that happy-go-lucky soul you once inhabited.” (Source: Rhythm & Bones Press)

Content Warnings: medication, vomiting, blackout, self-harm, seasonal affective disorder, death, drowning, dead spider, suicide, sex, objectification of the body, injury detail, blood, sexual abuse, corpse, ableist language used, misogyny

Rating: ★★★★ (4 stars)

This is the first collection of Deglane’s poetry that I’ve read (I’ve actually got Rainlily, Deglane’s self-published chapbook, on my bookshelf), and I wasn’t disappointed. The poet has such a power over her words; she knows how to wound and heal the reader at the same time.

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book review

Review – Fleur by Darshana Suresh

Title: Fleur

Author: Darshana Suresh

Publisher: Rising Phoenix Press

Publication Date:  2016

Format: Paperback

Genre: Poetry

Page Count: 42

Summary: “in her powerful second poetry collection, darshana suresh allows us to witness her own incredibly raw journey of sexuality, love, loss, and finally, acceptance. suresh writes with a stunning sense of urgency; she tells a story that must be told, a story that unapologetically bleeds off the pages. the desperation, the hunger, and the overwhelming feeling of love that pervade Fleur become something tangible. she aches completely and openly, and we ache helplessly with her. 

Fleur ultimately relies on suresh’s all-encompassing honesty; she navigates through the tenderness of dreams and the jagged edges of reality with a clarity that doesn’t shy away from the heartbreak of unrequited love. she gives us a love letter cluttered with the sinking feeling of not being loved in the right way, a feeling that she bravely follows through to its hollow end. 

suresh leaves us with no question of anything being omitted, because she’s left it all on the page.” (Source: Emily Palermo)

Content Warnings: suicidal thought inference, intimate language, lesbophobia, sapphicphobia, biphobia (etc)

Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)

Hello again! I’m back with another 5-star review! I actually started off 2019 with this lovely little chapbook, not Six of Crows. I decided to do Six of Crows first because the review came more naturally to me and I wanted to give this indie lil chapbook a lot more attention! Nonetheless, it’s time to get into the swing of things and start writing reviews of the million other books that I’ve read and not reviewed yet…please hold me accountable! (I’ve still got books from last summer to review! :O )

I discovered Fleur when I was roaming about on Etsy, as you do. I came across two books originally, Fleur by Darshana Suresh and Survive like the Water by Lydia Havens, by Rising Phoenix Press. Fleur instantly drew my attention as it was sapphic, and would you just look at that cover?! The cover artist is Bristy-Pagli Rajkonna – you can view more of their work here!

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book review

Review – Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Six of Crows Collector’s Edition (Six of Crows #1)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publisher: Orion Children’s Books

Publication Date:  October 10th 2018

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Page Count: 521

Summary: “Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is offered a chance at a deadly heist: break into the Ice Court – a military stronghold that has never been breached – and retrieve a hostage whose knowledge could change Grisha magic forever. To succeed would mean rich beyond his wildest dreams – but he can’t pull it off alone . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge. 
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past. 
A spy known as the Wraith. 
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. 
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Together they might just be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.” (Source: Goodreads)

Content Warnings: graphic violence, xenophobia, sexual assault inference, death, trauma flashbacks, themes of addiction, misogyny, ableism

Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)

Okay, dang, where do I even start with Six of Crows? I LOVE THIS BOOK WITH ALL MY HEART. I first read Six of Crows back in late 2017, and I just loved it from the beginning until the end. The plot, the characters, the world, and just the writing style? Loved it. This was actually my first exposure to Bardugo’s Grishaverse – I hadn’t gotten around to reading the first trilogy. Before Six of Crows, I didn’t really read much fantasy novels. I’ve never really had a thing for it. I mean, I liked Harry Potter as a kid, but I never became a massive fan of fantasy. I used to find the worldbuilding elements that are often rife in fantasy novels to be too complicated to remember, so it put me off reading mostly. However, if I had Six of Crows when I was a kid, dang, that would have caught me hook, line, and sinker!

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