Book Reviews

Mini reviews: Two poetry books and my endless love for metaphors.

I recently read two poetry books, one that has been on my TBR ever since it released and another that the author sent, but I wasn’t able to read immediately because of prior review commitments. Because my review for the two books are both short, I’ve combined them in this blog post.

Book #1: Depression & Other Magic Tricks by Sabrina Benaim

Depression & Other Magic Tricks

Depression & Other Magic Tricks is the debut book by Sabrina Benaim, one of the most-viewed performance poets of all time, whose poem “Explaining My Depression to My Mother” has become a cultural phenomenon with over 5,000,000 views. 

Depression & Other Magic Tricks explores themes of mental health, love, and family. It is a documentation of struggle and triumph, a celebration of daily life and of living. Benaim’s wit, empathy, and gift for language produce a work of endless wonder.

Review:

It’s no secret how much I love performance poetry. One day, I’ll probably even write a blog post about all my favourite spoken word poets, but for now, know that Sabrina Benaim is one of my absolute favourites! If you haven’t watched her performance of Explaining My Depression To My Mother, you’ve most definitely been living under a rock.

Another favourite poem of mine is How To Unfold A Memory, which along with the previous poem, has been included in this book (yay!).

So naturally, I’ve wanted to read her books for a really long time now. And I finally got to read it! It was just as heartbreaking, emotional, and relatable as I’ve found her spoken word to be. 

Sabrina Benaim is a passionate poet and you can feel the emotion in her work. I haven’t come across a poet who wields metaphors as well as Benaim. If you like passionate and relatable poetry, this is THE book for you!

Rating: 5 out of 5


Book #2: Wild Flowers by Michelle S. Smith

Wild Flowers: A Powerful Poetry Collection of Love, Loss, Healing and Depression

renovations of my spirit 
started and stopped 
replanned without warning 
i have been formed and broken 
molded and smelted 
crumbled and built up 
torn and sewn again 
yet my cornerstone remains 
my foundation is not shook 
no matter how often 
i must be repainted 

Resilience

This Raw and Powerful Poetry Collection is an explosion of Survival, Depression, Self-discovery and Sexuality

Review:

When Michelle reached out to me and asked me if I’d be willing to read her book, I was fully booked for reviews. But because I love poetry, I accepted her request anyway, promising that I would get to the book soon. But I totally forgot about it until today, when I was going through all the unread ARCs on my Kindle app.

Reading this book just took half an hour of my time. Michelle has written about powerful themes, including depression, suicide, loss, and pain. I liked the narrative of the poems in this book, but it just wasn’t for me. I’m a metaphors person and poetic devices just weren’t used as much as I like in this book.

This, obviously, is a “me problem”, so if you like poems about strong life issues in short formats, go for this book!

Rating: 3 out of 5

~ Shruti

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