Review || The Princess Saves Herself in This One


Title: The Princess Saves Herself in This One
Author: Amanda Lovelace
Genre: Poetry
Copy: Digital
Rating:

* More about the book.
* More about the author.
* Purchase via Amazon or The Book Depository.

Official synopsis:

“ah, life—
the thing
that happens
to us
while we’re off
somewhere else
blowing on dandelions
& wishing
ourselves into
the pages of
our favorite
fairytales.”

a poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. the princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations.

Review:

This is, by far, the most difficult book review I’ve had to write primarily because I am still so utterly, hopelessly conflicted with how I feel about this book. Even as I write this, I am repeatedly debating on the accuracy of my star rating. I cannot adequately stress how difficult and confusing and befuddling this is.

In terms of content, numerous sensitive themes were explored in such a powerfully raw, explicitly personal manner that never failed to move me in some way. There were pieces that talked about rape, emotional abuse, grief and the death of loved ones. All these were taken from the author’s firsthand experiences and she made no attempt to censor herself – which was a really, really admirably courageous thing to do. She did not hide behind vague allusions or colorful metaphors; she utilized a straightforwardly simplistic writing style with the sole intention to reveal rather than to convey a message while beating around the bush and dancing around figures of speech.

Another thing that I liked was how the collection was a carefully crafted web of stanzas and poems intertwined together, allowing all the pieces to be read together like a cohesive story unfolding on itself. Some of the poems in the latter part of the collection contained references to the previously presented poems in the earlier chapters, giving a sense of closure and continuity. I cannot count the times my heartstrings were tugged by the vulnerability within the stanzas. If I were to rate this book solely for the content and the emotion its poems evoked, I would definitely give five solid stars.

However, I can’t.

In terms of form and structure, I was not as satisfied. In my opinion, the collection was greatly lacking in structure, measure and other kinds of writing technicalities. The disregard for rhythm and the measure of lines and stanzas hindered the formation of a smooth and easy flow. Instead, some of the pieces read like a series of chopped-up, fragmented sentences.

Some of the pieces
were sentences
that were
chopped up
into segments
by hitting
the enter button
on the keyboard
too many times
in order to make
them look
like this.

While that may be considered as poetry, I don’t think that sort of thing makes up good poetry—or at least that’s how it is in my book. It is one thing to write in free verse, and it is a completely different thing to chop things up because the latter hinders the flow of prose rather than develop it.

i’m sorry
i wasn’t
the daughter
you had
in mind.

– i only ever wanted to make you proud.

Additionally, the writing itself was, while very raw and powerful, incredibly monotonous and repetitive at times because everything was written in the same style and/or the same format. The variation was nearly nonexistent which is pretty alarming for a collection of poems. Also, because of the lack of variety, sometimes, it felt tedious to keep reading.

“i hate you.”
– his version of “i love you.”

As someone who prefers form over substance in prose, I would have appreciated a lot more technical style and diversity. By the end of the day, my star rating is influenced by my personal preferences; however, this rating does not, in any way, diminish the quality of this collection. In spite of the number of my reservations, I do believe that The Princess Saves Herself in This One is a poetry book that’s worth picking up.


Excerpt from the book:

he was made of fire
& i was made of ice.

i came too close to
his flame

& he melted me
With his embers

reducing me down
to a puddle.

with time,
i froze over again,

but i was never
quite the same—

a fragile, watery imitation
of what once was.


Review also available: Goodreads

Twitter: @bookshelfbitchInstagramGoodreadsBloglovin’

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Published by

Shealea

First of her name. Queen of millennials and the constantly caffeinated. Protector of books. Breaker of norms. Iskolar ng bayan.

4 thoughts on “Review || The Princess Saves Herself in This One”

    1. I completely understand what you mean! I was left conflicted with this collection as well. The content is intense and powerful, but the delivery fell flat more than occasionally because of the lack of variety style-wise. I /do/ think it’s worth checking out, but I wouldn’t have extremely high expectations.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You reviews never cease to impress me. I loved this review!
    I read this and I have similar feelings. The themes portrayed were the star of this collections and they felt real. The poems as they went on did give some sense of continuity and added some narrative to the collection, I liked that. But I couldn’t help but find them a bit repetitive and sometimes quite random. As for the structure, I honestly don’t know how to judge that.
    I think reviewing poetry is a bit tricky, I think you did a great job. I’m glad your back on the blogging world. Best of luck and Happy reading! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amel, thank you for all the lovely words! I agree with everything you said. The repetition really interrupted the momentum of the narrative. And yes! Reviewing poetry is challenging because there’s really no right or wrong approach here.

      Anyway, thanks again for the comment. I’m so flattered. Happy reading to you, too!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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