Mini Review: She Felt Like Feeling Nothing by r.h. Sin

shefeltlikefeelingnothingShe Felt Like Feeling Nothing by r.h. Sin

My Rating: 1.5/5 TARDISes

Series: Standalone

Date Published: April 10th, 2018

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Pages: 144 pages

Source: Netgalley

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Synopsis: From the bestselling author of the Whiskey, Words, and a Shovel series comes this poetic reminder of women’s strength.

There are moments when the heart no longer wishes to feel because everything it’s felt up until then has brought it nothing but anguish. In She Felt Like Feeling Nothing, r.h. Sin pursues themes of self-discovery and retrospection. With this book, the poet intends to create a safe space where women can rest their weary hearts and focus on themselves.

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*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

This is r.h. Sin’s newest collection, and though it was slightly better than Planting Gardens in Graves, it still felt incredibly underwhelming. Once again, my biggest complaint is the repetitiveness of the subject matter. I feel like the more collections I read, the less engaged with the text I become. And I absolutely hate to feel that way because I truly believe Sin could be a good writer and feminist voice.

Rehashing the same topic does not do justice to what skill he might have as a writer, and it overshadows the way he is trying to capture complex emotions in such a short space. I am feeling like less and less heart and substance is being put into these words. His use of the short, simple poems or phrases is feeling even more forced and random—it is not contributing to whatever sincerity or impact he is attempting to convey.

This time around, Sin put in some connection between some of his poems, making a bit of a story out of them. While I absolutely love that idea, the only problem with it was the fact that every poem is essentially the same, just worded differently. In fact, that was the case for the entire collection. The more I read his work, the worse my opinion becomes—mainly because of the predictability subject-wise—but also because it comes across as patronizing and self-absorbed.

While reading his work, I always come to some point where I feel like he’s treating us more like objects or—dare I say it—”mansplaining” our emotions, and even what it’s like to be a woman, to us. These poems feel less like speaking up to empower women and more like Sin bragging about the fact that he thinks he is the best man/partner in the world because he is supposedly the only one who understands absolutely everything about women.

I realize that my reviews of his collections are getting extremely repetitive, but they are reflecting the exact same feeling I’m getting from his work. It is the same condescending, somewhat contradicting, and occasionally crude musings on the same topics in every single collection. He needs to be more unique. We need more of the originality that I believe he could be capable of giving. I am interested in reading his Whisky, Words, and a Shovel trilogy of poetry collections, but going forward, I am not sure that the chance of me picking up any of his future works will be particularly high.

1.5 TARDISes

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Review: Planting Gardens in Graves by r.h. Sin

plantinggardensingravesPlanting Gardens in Graves by r.h. Sin

My Rating: 1.5/5 TARDISes

Series: Standalone

Date Published: February 6th, 2018

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Pages: 272 pages

Source: Netgalley

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Synopsis: From the beloved author of Whiskey, Words, and a Shovel comes the first volume in an all new series.

r.h. Sin returns with a force in Planting Gardens in Gravesa powerful collection of poetry that hones in on the themes dearest to his readers. This original volume celebrates connection, mourns heartbreak, and above all, empowers its readers to seek the love they deserve.

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*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

My r.h. Sin saga continues. After reading A Beautiful Composition of Broken, things went even more downhill when it came to this particular collection. It started off well enough, with short but sweet, impactful poetry. Each poem had the nice flow and depth that he has always showed, and the way he words everything is beautiful. There were even a few poems that touched on very different topics than the rest—some of the most powerful ones being about his own experiences with other types of love than romantic. However, every other poem was exactly the same as what he usually writes, thus making it feel like all of his collections are identical.

This time around, the style of short but powerful lines did not work in his favor. Many of the poems felt incredibly choppy and forced, like he had cut off each line at random rather than with a specific purpose. There was a sizable loss of depth due to the way that was carried out. Another strike against the collection for me that ties into this was how much subtlety he lacked when it came to conveying the messages in certain parts of his work. This stripped away anything poetic about those poems and, therefore, they lost their emotional impact. This is entirely personal, but some even felt rather crude to me.

Once again, he remains stuck on pretty much the same topic for the entire collection, each poem feeling like a differently worded version of the others. And while his focus on the strength of women is nice to see in literature, he simultaneously portrays men as being horrible and himself as being the only one worthy of being with a woman. I appreciate the feminism he is trying for and, of course, love the fact that it is becoming more prevalent in the literary world. But what I in general will never appreciate is anything that lifts any group of people higher than another—that is not what feminism is about or how equality is achieved.

Overall, the majority of this collection unfortunately failed to accomplish what I believe he was trying to. Speaking as a woman, sometimes his poems are affirming, but after awhile, I began to feel like he was treating us like we are possessions rather than humans. I believe Sin has a talent for writing beautiful poetry, but that does not come across as well when he refuses to diversify his subject matter. The few poems that touched on love that isn’t romantic were wonderful and refreshing. In the future, it would be great to see him focus more on that, even aspects of his life and more personal experiences.

1.5 TARDISes

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Mini Review: Cheer Up, Jay Ritchie by Jay Ritchie

cheerupjayritchieCheer Up, Jay Ritchie by Jay Ritchie

My Rating: 1/5 TARDISes

Series: Standalone

Date Published: October 10th, 2017

Publisher: Coach House Books

Pages: 96 pages

Source: Netgalley

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Synopsis: “Charming, funny, and often elegant. This is a formidable collection.” —Ben Fama 

With an alternating sense of wonder and detachment, Jay Ritchie’s first full-length collection of poetry grapples with death, disappointment, love, alienation, and emails—the large and small subjects of daily life. His unflagging sense of humor and aphoristic delivery create a work that is personable yet elevated, witty, and honest.

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*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

I’ve been reviewing a lot of poetry recently, so I will start off with my usual disclaimer—poetry is an incredibly personal experience that is unique to each reader, and it is extremely hard to review. What works for someone might not for another, and unfortunately, I happen to fall in the latter category for this particular collection. And from what I’ve been seeing, I have the less common feelings about this work, though I do believe that this is one of those very hit or miss type situations. Don’t get me wrong, I can definitely see the poetic talent of Ritchie, however, his choppy and random writing style did not flow very well with me.

To be honest—and this is a little embarrassing to admit—I had a hard and sometimes impossible time actually understanding just what Ritchie was writing about. His poems were somehow simultaneously humorous and fun to read, but also unintelligible. They were well written and interesting for what they were, but I failed to find much meaning in any of them, therefore making it very hard for me to connect with this collection. Again, this is just my personal experience with Ritchie’s poetry—it will not be the same as everyone’s, and my view on it may have been affected by many factors, including my mindset while reading it. It was a very quick read and, as always, I recommend giving it a go and experiencing his work for yourself.

1.0 TARDIS

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Update + Writing

Hey Everyone!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a general update post, so I figured it was about time! Also I’m sorry in advance if this ends up being rambley and all over the place!

First of all…I officially hit 300 followers the other day!! 😀

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A year ago when I first started this blog, I never imagined it growing into what it has! And that is all thanks to you amazing and wonderful people! I am completely shocked, and I feel so honored to have such an incredible community of book lovers coming by and reading my bookish ramblings. I absolutely adore chatting with all of you and meeting people from all over the world through our common interests. That is the coolest thing ever! 

Thank you all so much for following my little blog, and for all of your love and support. I know that my posting has been quite spotty and inconsistent in recent months, and you guys still stand by me even while I go through this tough time in my life. That means more to me than I could ever express. Each and every single one of you are awesome! ❤

Second, I wanted to give you guys a bit of a general life/blog update!

Though I have been getting back on track with posting/commenting/replying, I know I have really been inconsistent lately, and I apologize. I’ve let some life stress and sadness get to me, and that has caused me to go through the biggest reading and blogging slump I’ve ever been through.

Not only have I been behind on reviewing, but I have been terrible at replying to your comments in a timely manner. I promise, I always read (and appreciate!) every comment you guys leave, even if it takes me forever to respond! I’ve also been awful at leaving comments on your posts, but rest assured, I am always checking out your blogs and keeping up with your posts every day. ❤

Some of my goals going forward:

  • I will be catching up on reading/reviewing, and eventually trying to get to a point where I’m posting at least one to two reviews each week.
  • I would like to be getting at least three to four posts up per week.
  • I’ll be much quicker about replying to all of your comments!!
  • I’ll be better at keeping up with all of YOUR posts and much more consistent with commenting on them as well.

Thank you all again for sticking with me through this, and I promise, things will be improving around here! 🙂

And lastly, I’ve made some new changes and additions to the site!

As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve gone and added some new graphics to the blog. Finally, I’ve created a header (took me long enough!), and some general new designs for my pages. I’m hoping to do a bit more with the site in terms of the design, but it’s not my strongest area so it may take some time!

Also, I have done something I have been debating for quite some time which is add a section for my personal, creative writing to this blog. I haven’t had a place to share my creative writing for quite some time, so I figured, why not put some on here! I’ll be updating it more in the future, but for now I have a short story, some excerpts from full stories, and a few poems to start off. So, just in case anyone’s interested… 🙂

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And here’s an example of what you’ll find there:

Paradise

Prologue

Many faces passed up and down Westminster Road each day, all respectively bearing a distinct expression. Every person possessed a detailed and utterly singular mask, crafted by every moment experienced within his or her lifetime and continuously changing as the seconds ticked by. Some were fresh and eager, others timeworn and wise, but all were important. No two were—nor ever could be—the same.

The road was rich in history, full of marvel and intrigue. It had seen change, felt every footstep, heard every sound made and word uttered. It had been the sole witness to the drama of human life that unceasingly played out. A million stories flooded the streets, tumbled from the eaves of houses and the signs of shops, and danced on the wind among discussions and shouts.

However, life would not pause to observe, time would not stop to catch its breath, and the faces bled together into a mass of chaos and bustling traffic. These stories remained untold, trampled into the dusty ground of the old town where they were never bothered again. Secrets melted into the spaces between cobblestones and the cracks in walls. The days hurried on, the nights slept peacefully, and nothing in particular was noticed. This was the first mistake.

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I know a number of you guys are writers as well, so I’m also really hoping that some of you will share your writing with me! I would absolutely love to read some of your work! Always feel free to send me links to your writing, either in the comments here or in the writing section of my blog!

Anyway, that’s all for now! Hope you are all doing well, and I’ll talk to you in my next post! 😀 ❤

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