BOOK REVIEW // THE CHAOS OF LONGING BY K.Y. ROBINSON

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SYNOPSIS

The Chaos of Longing is a prose and poetry collection draped in raw honesty, ache, and eroticism. The collection explores trauma, love, heartbreak, and the realizations from it all.

The book is divided into four sections. “Inception” briefly examines formative years and its effects on how one loves. “Longing” reflects on love and sexuality. “Chaos” explores toxic relationships, unrequited love, and heartache. After chaos, there is order with self-love and healing poems in “epiphany”.

Some content may be triggering.

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REVIEW

The Chaos of Longing was a gorgeous collection of poetry that discusses a variety of important topics, such as sexual-assault, mental illnesses, racism to the love and heartbreak of relationships.

when you look at me,

stars cluster in your eyes

but I often wonder if

my black holes

will swallow them whole

because deep down

I’m a connoisseur

of sabotage.

Robinson takes us through each stage of love. The first flutters, the waves of lust, the embers of doubts that grow into a wildfire until finally you are left with the crushing agony of a broken heart. These emotions are something that we all must experience, but the way Robinson captures it was simply breathtaking.

I feel like something

is broken inside of me like:

shattered glass,

cracked eggs

on the kitchen floor,

brittle twigs

in the dead of winter,

and shards of a mirror

that said I would never be

the fairest of them all.

Robinson isn’t afraid to dig down into her darkest parts, sharing the most fragile pieces of herself to us, and that is something I highly admire. Everyone has their own tragedies, and these shape us into who we are. They give us insecurities and doubts. Dark creatures we can’t scrape off of our backs, and Robinson captures all of this in a dark, yet beautiful manner.

one moment life

is more pigmented

than technicolor.

glitter flows

through my veins

and the stars

in my eyes dilate

and burst

into delusions.

 

minutes, hours,

or days later,

shades of blue and black

surround me like smoke.

the glitter morphs

into shards of glass

and taunts every

breath that I take.

It was pieces like these that left me completely speechless. I think the way Robinson talked about mental illness was so raw and descriptive, so moving within a few sentences. I was blown away.

star your own sky.

drink the shooting stars.

lasso the moon.

take a bite.

feel the juice

of self-love

running

down your chin

and laugh madly.

 

you’re still alive.

you’re still alive.

you’re still alive.

If you’re on the hunt for a luscious collection of poetry, I highly recommend picking up The Chaos of Longing. Keep in mind, as the synopsis says, this book does discuss tough topics and can be triggering, so do read with caution. (Also, props to the author for putting trigger warnings. We need to make this a commonality, myself included.)

I received a copy of The Chaos of Longing on Netgalley from Andrews McMeel Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The revised and expanded edition is expected to be released September 26, 2017.

RATING: ★★

{GoodreadsAmazonBook Depository}

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LET’S CHAT

The Chaos of Longing might be my favorite poetry book I’ve read this year so far. What are some of your favorite poetry books? Have you read The Chaos of Longing? What are your thoughts?

As always, let me know! I love to hear your thoughts, comments and feedback.

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BOOK REVIEW // SOME KIND OF HAPPINESS BY CLAIRE LEGRAND

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SYNOPSIS

THINGS FINLEY HART DOESN’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT

• Her parents, who are having problems. (But they pretend like they’re not.)
• Being sent to her grandparents’ house for the summer.
• Never having met said grandparents.
• Her blue days—when life feels overwhelming, and it’s hard to keep her head up. (This happens a lot.)

Finley’s only retreat is the Everwood, a forest kingdom that exists in the pages of her notebook. Until she discovers the endless woods behind her grandparents’ house and realizes the Everwood is real–and holds more mysteries than she’d ever imagined, including a family of pirates that she isn’t allowed to talk to, trees covered in ash, and a strange old wizard living in a house made of bones.

With the help of her cousins, Finley sets out on a mission to save the dying Everwood and uncover its secrets. But as the mysteries pile up and the frightening sadness inside her grows, Finley realizes that if she wants to save the Everwood, she’ll first have to save herself.

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REVIEW

Some Kind of Happiness is, by far, my favorite middle-grade book I have ever read. I find most middle-grade stories to be flat and predictable, which is understandable because they are geared towards a younger audience. But with Some Kind of Happiness, Legrand delivers a powerful story with layered characters and a deep concept.

Beneath these trees, I feel the same way I have always felt when opening my notebook to a clean page:

As long as I am here, I am safe.

Our main character Finley is a dreamer. She writes stories of the Everwood, and in these stories, she feels herself. She feels safe. In the outside world, even with her very own parents, Finely doesn’t feel like she fits in. When they begin having problems and send them to her father’s parent’s house, she can’t help but feel like it’s her fault. That she is this smudge on the family. Those feelings only increase when she moves into the Hart house with her perfect grandparents, aunts and cousins.

I must keep myself held tightly together, straight up and down, like someone has stuffed me into a too-small bag and zipped me up.

If I move too much, or say even one word, the zipper will burst open and I will fall out.

No one wants to see that.

Finley was my favorite character. She is a wise eleven-year-old who has a fascination with crossword puzzles and unique words. She loves to learn and explore, to believe in magic. But no matter how Finley tried to distract herself, she couldn’t escape her blue days and the Dark Ones—in other words, anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression are often discussed in later ages, so it was refreshing to have these topics explored within a younger character.

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I don’t have clinical depression (though I have experienced some deep, dark lows), but I have had issues with anxiety (and most likely will continue to). So when Finley was describing these feelings—the weight on her chest, the rising panic, the dark thoughts, how it felt like no matter how hard she tried, she was lost at sea, drowning—I started getting emotional, because I knew exactly what she was going through.

When I lose myself, my insides become a storming sea in which it is very easy to get lost. Even something as simple as breathing feels difficult.

But on days like today, the sea is tame, and I hardly feel heavy at all.

(Why can’t every day be like this?)

Now I have to applaud Legrand on this. Her writing style is absolutely stunning. She has this effortless way of weaving words together to create a powerful punch with only a few short sentences. She created such lush scenery that I truly felt as though I was somewhere else.  And the way she made her characters so uniquely individual and gave them all of these fascinating layers—it was magic. It was haunting without being too sad. Sweet without being too cheesy. It was this perfect melody that I couldn’t get enough of.

I search for the proper word to describe the expression on his face: Adoring. Soft. Bashful. Nervous.

None of those quite work; his expression is all of those things at once, and more.

The best way to describe it is this:

Mom and Dad used to look at each other like that.

What? I’m not crying. YOU’RE crying. No, but really, I almost cried several times while reading this.

Some Kind of Happiness is a beautiful, moving story about family, love and the importance of self-love and self-health. This is not your typical middle-grade book. This novel explores important issues in an ethereal light that is both beautiful and chilling. By the time you flip the last page, you will feel like a new person.

RATING: ★★

{GoodreadsAmazonBook Depository]

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LET’S CHAT

Well this easily has to be one of my favorites of the year, or perhaps even of all-time. Some Kind of Happiness is up there with Tiger Lily, which is saying A LOT. I highly recommend you lovelies give this novel a read and let me know what you think!

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THE ANATOMY OF CHEATING BY NESLY CLERGE

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SYNOPSIS

Lust, deception, betrayal, and their inevitable outcomes weave a web nearly impossible to escape in Nesly Clerge’s latest novel. Chelsea Hall is certain her husband is cheating. Again. How far will a wife go when her adulterous husband pushes her to the edge? Some stop at the cliff’s edge. Others leap into the abyss. Garrett Hall wants what and who he wants. His detachment from their relationship leads Chelsea to seek what she needs elsewhere, and onto a path that leads to bliss. What begins as a dream-come-true soon becomes a nightmare when the line between who is innocent and who is guilty soon blurs. Until the horrifying truth becomes clear. And, the question becomes, Who will survive?

{GoodreadsAmazonBook Depository}

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REVIEW

I was lucky enough to be contacted by Shayla Eaton of Curiouser editing to review The Anatomy of Cheating. And I, of course, happily accepted. I haven’t read many thrillers, so this was a nice change from my typical reads.

“Writing is like oxygen for me. I thought you understood that. I love exploring the human psyche. How people think. How they act and react, and why.”

Yeah, so one of the main characters—Luke—was a writer and I could relate to him on so many levels. (He also had a friend with the last name Cage, so I was basically just picturing Luke Cage this entire novel.) He had this genuine passion for writing, but his wife didn’t understand or appreciate it. But then our other main character—Chelsea—comes along.

She is a fan of Luke’s work and praises him for it via Goodreads. (I also loved how Goodreads was such a significant part of this novel.) They soon begin to talk and eventually start meeting up and discussing life and books and humans and all things fascinating.

Now, I think most writers can agree with me when I say, someone who supports your work and your passion is like the most attractive thing ever. Being a writer is something that can often be belittled and frowned upon, so when you find someone who truly cares about your passion, HANG ONTO THEM.

Okay, but don’t have an affair like Luke and Chelsea did.

It may be only two people in bed, but everyone they know gets trapped in that web. All are ensnared in some measure. The closed the others are to the web’s center, the more certain they are to be consumed in the outcome.

And this, is exactly what happened. Chelsea and Luke weren’t the only ones cheating. The novel actually begins with Chelsea’s husband, Garrett, has cheated on her in the past, and though he swears he has never cheated since, HE IS INDEED CHEATING. 

All of these characters were equally flawed and messy, but when it comes to Garrett, I find him despicable. I believe to cheating to be an unforgivable act, but then with the addition of physical and verbal abuse, and an attempt at rape? He’s nothing more than a monster.

This is where I started to have a slight issue with The Anatomy of Cheating. I felt as though as this novel developed and after these horrible acts, Clerge seemed to be attempting to redeem Garrett by having Chelsea reconsider her own decisions, wondering if this whole thing was really her fault.

I understand that many victims think this, but I believe it was a bit toxic that by the end of the novel, Clerge didn’t proclaim: THIS WAS WRONG AND UNFORGIVABLE. I don’t care how drunk or angry Garrett was, because what he did was disgusting.

However, I don’t think it was Clerge’s intention for it to be read like this. I believe he wanted his reader’s to realize everyone—event the most unsuspecting people—are capable of awful things. And I do agree with him in that prospect, but I think he should have handled Garrett’s character a little differently.

“Words inspire. They evoke feelings and provoke thought. The right words can give people vicarious experiences they’d never want to have in real life. Or make them laugh, or give them strength to make it another day.”

That incident aside, The Anatomy of Cheating proved to be a very entertaining read. There was loads of drama and twists and turns. But I must admit, there was a point where it felt a little too much. Still, overall, I enjoyed delving into this thrilling tale and seeing how the characters developed. They continued to surprise me, even when I thought I truly knew who they were.

The Anatomy of Cheating will keep you poised on the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen next.

RATING: ★★

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LET’S CHAT

Happy June, my lovelies! I hope you enjoyed this quick little review. As always, I’d love to hear any of your thoughts, comments, or recommendations. I’m looking to jump out of my comfort zone and read more thrillers and mysteries and things of the like, so if you have suggestions, let me know!

And yes, I know that a new month means a wrap-up. But don’t worry (even though I’m pretty sure none of you care, nor are you worried), my May wrap-up is coming up next!

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