Ripped Pages by M. Hollis
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5/5)
Princess Valentina braves the unknown and escapes the tower her father locked her in. A sweet and adorable F/F retelling of Rapunzel. This short story has a lot of potential. I would have definitely loved to have read a full-length version of this where we follow Valentina from being forced into the tower by her abusive father, to her life growing up in solidarity, to then finally breaking free and finding her own space in the world. But M. Hollis does a very good job in condensing everything into such a short number of pages.
A very short but satisfying read.
sunfish by Shelby Eileen
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (4/5)A short poetry collection exploring relationships, grief, and loss. Deeply moving pieces that were interesting to read.
in the absence of the sun by Emily Curtis
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ (3/5)
I read this and sunfish because I wanted to branch out what kind of books I was reading. I have a love/hate relationship with poetry, I don’t know where it stems from but slowly I’m more open to reading poetry than I had in my younger years. But this was a pretty good collection, very quick, very impactful. There isn’t much to say, for me, but I guess, it was an okay reading experience.
No Man of Woman Born by Ana Mardoll
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (4/5)
*I received a copy via the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.*
A really cool collection of fantasy short stories where transgender and non-binary characters take centre stage. No Man subverts gendered prophecies of tales that are old as time. There are pronunciation guides provided for each story. And that’s what I liked a lot since I follow Ana Mardoll on twitter, they’re very informative and a pretty interesting person. I was already aware of some nonbinary pronouns, but this book introduces me to some I wasn’t aware of.
My favourite of all the stories was either Tangled Nets or His Father’s Son. All are amazing but these two caught my eye the most and was most intriguing to read.
Soft on Soft by Em Ali
June Bana is a growing make up artist whose looks are gaining traction by the day on social media. But to June, the real her is a quiet homebody and lives a life less eventful than the pictures on her feed. Then she meets Selena Clarke, drop dead gorgeous model, who loves June for who she is.
A soft sweet tale of two women learning each other and falling in love. A rapid contemporary read with little to none conflict. This title is very fitting. Soft on Soft is precisely what you get. This story centres two women of colour falling in love. The writing is simple and easy to follow. Pop culture references abound!
Its uneventful plot makes a bit tricky to read since you can hardly tell what is going on at the moment. I don’t expect something tragic to happen to make it interesting, but something a little more eventful would’ve improved the pacing a lot.
Overall, there’s something to love in this. Em Ali has a bright future in of them. I know I’ll read more.
UPDATE: Purchase links for Soft on Soft are not currently available as the author has taken them offline for further edits. I will upload a longer review once it’s available.
Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism – Edited by Danielle Barnhart and Iris Mahan
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)
when a girl pronounces her own name
there is glorywhen a woman tells her own life story
she lives forever
A feminist poetry collection that discusses race, gender identity and sexuality. I really enjoyed the variety of poetry styles that each contributor used. There’s a variety in content and form. I am not sure each piece is beautiful and exciting. The collection encompasses the works of a diverse range of poets who I’ll definitely want to check out. I don’t read that much poetry, but this collection of works from such inspiring people was indeed a hidden gem.
I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review. This in no way affected by opinions of the book.
Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)
Xiomara is the titular The Poet X who learns to find her voice in the pages of her journal, hidden from the world. Her passion and frustration grows in the pages of her notebook, reciting stories that must never leave the pages the ink drys on. But when she’s invited to her school’s slam poetry club, Xiomara decides to speak up in a world that doesn’t want to hear from her.
The Poet X follows Xiomara’s life as she tackles a world that works not in her favour. A world that doesn’t want to hear from her. The story tackles and addresses so many important topics. One of the main issues is sexual harassment and how victims of it are affected, especially from a young age like Xiomara. Another is how Xiomara grapples with living in a conservative household with religious parents. We follow Xiomara as she handles the shame, fear and confusion as she tries to fit in the boxes life had already decided for her.
Continue reading “Review: The Poet X”