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Poetry Book Review

April 28, 2019

“Crank and “Leave This Song Behind”

Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Crank by Ellen Hopkins is a book loosely relating to Hopkins’ daughter’s battle with her methamphetamine addiction. This book follows a teen girl named Kristina, who tries drugs only once and becomes addicted. The audience reads about her family, relationship and drug addiction through poetry. It has extreme plot twists and turns while keeping the reader on the edge of their seat. The reading of the book is unique because each poem took up a page and the poems formed shapes throughout the book. Crank can be a bit depressing at some points because of the constant battle with addiction and the topic of sexual assault. Kristina deals with both of these struggles by indulging herself further into drugs. While reading anyone would grow frustrated with the characters choices. Hopkins writes this poetry book in free verse style which is described as being hypnotic by many. The way she writes free verse helps to form these patterned poems. Because Hopkins writes in this style the reader can use the poem’s imagery and style to help the flow of the book.  This book is definitely for mature audiences because of the touchy subjects and upsetting content sometimes mentioned.

Leave this song behind by Teen Ink

Leave this song behind is the collected works of teenagers who submitted their poems to the website and magazine Teen Ink. Students and teens from across the world submit poetry along with short stories, other writing pieces, art pieces such as paintings or drawing and even photography. Teen Ink specifically chose popular poetry on their website to publish in their book. The topics of the poems ranged from child memories to stress and anxiety. The exciting thing about this book is that with every turn of the page you are exposed to new poems, always different from the last. There a dozens of different personal writing styles because of the collaboration of all of the participants. If one poem wasn’t for your personal taste, there are many more to come and can promise a different topic. On the website readers can access others work and leave reviews, constructive criticism, or compliments on it. The most highly reviews poems were published in a book called Leave This Song Behind. Many reading the book cover to cover will be on the edge of their seat.

“Milk and Honey”, “Eighteen Years”, and “The Princess Saves Herself in this One”

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur is a New York Times #1 bestselling book comprised of free verse poems that touch on topics of love, abuse, violence, and femininity. The book is divided into four main sections: “the hurting”, “the loving”, “the breaking”, and “the healing”. It begins with “the hurting” section, where Kaur discusses the emotional, mental, and sexual abuse she experienced when she was a child. In “the loving” section, the poems speak of all types of relationships (romantic, platonic, familial) and the love she experienced within them; how it made her feel, how it changed her, how hard it was to figure out what love was, and how to love in spite of her traumatic youth. In “the breaking”, Kaur focuses on the loss and hardships of her relationships. She wrote about her thoughts and feelings, and how she dealt with the heartbreak and pain. She even brought up how some of it reminded her of her past (referencing back to “the hurting”). In the final section, “the healing”, Kaur expresses how important self love and self worth is. She focuses on how going through pain and hurt is necessary in order to learn and grow. Milk and Honey is an amazing, life changing book and could be considered a self help book. For anyone going through a hard time in life, Milk and Honey can help you feel less alone and put your feelings into words which you may not be able to do. It touches upon many important issues and topics and is overall a phenomenal read for more mature audiences (due to imagery, topics discussed, etc.). Her second book, The Sun and her Flowers, is similar but focused on growing up as a female. If you enjoy Milk and Honey, her next book is highly recommended.

Eighteen Years by Madisen Kuhn

Madisen Kuhn’s first book of poetry, Eighteen Years, focuses on poems about experiences that could happen during anyone’s first 18 years alive. It’s another book that’s meant to comfort readers. It’s a feel good read, but also relatable and heart wrenching. It’s definitely a book that hits harder when you’ve had a little bit of life experience. According to goodreads.com, “Eighteen Years is meant to be bent and worn, written in, tear-stained, and loved.” This book is meant to be personally interpreted, Kuhn’s goal being to help her reader get through the rough part of growing up and going through your young adult years. A must read for anyone going through a rough time or in need of a pick me up.

The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace

Similar to Rupi Kaur’s books, The Princess Saves Herself in this One is divided into four sections: “the princess,” “the damsel,” “the queen,” and “you”. The first three parts touch upon different stages of life and how difficult growing up can be. The final part tries to relate specifically to the reader and explains why life seems like such a rollercoaster. Unlike the other two books, this book has a story, following the life of a princess as she experiences many ups and downs. While this poetry book also contains themes of love, loss, and heartbreak, the main focus is life. It focuses on how to heal from certain events, how love and loss can affect your life, and how to stay motivated through difficult times. It’s also very empowering to women because it focuses a lot on their independence and strength. It’s an inspiring read for everyone and helps with how to hang on tight to get through the rollercoaster of life.

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