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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

ARC Review: Poisoned Apples by Christine Heppermann

Once in a while I get to read a book full of poems that has just the right amount of kick, sass and bite. This time it's a book called Poisoned Apples, and for good reason.

Title: Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann
Release Date: September 23rd 2014
Published by: Greenwillow Books
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


Every little girl goes through her princess phase, whether she wants to be Snow White or Cinderella, Belle or Ariel. But then we grow up. And life is not a fairy tale.

Christine Heppermann's collection of fifty poems puts the ideals of fairy tales right beside the life of the modern teenage girl. With piercing truths reminiscent of Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Hopkins, this is a powerful and provocative book for every young woman. E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars, calls it "a bloody poetic attack on the beauty myth that's caustic, funny, and heartbreaking."

Cruelties come not just from wicked stepmothers, but also from ourselves. There are expectations, pressures, judgment, and criticism. Self-doubt and self-confidence. But there are also friends, and sisters, and a whole hell of a lot of power there for the taking. In fifty poems, Christine Heppermann confronts society head on. Using fairy tale characters and tropes, Poisoned Apples explores how girls are taught to think about themselves, their bodies, and their friends. The poems range from contemporary retellings to first-person accounts set within the original tales, and from deadly funny to deadly serious. Complemented throughout with black-and-white photographs from up-and-coming artists, this is a stunning and sophisticated book to be treasured, shared, and paged through again and again.

This book, filled with a collection of fifty poems, had an author's note towards the end. And I was struck hard by the first sentence. "If you find the dividing line between fairy tales and reality, let me know." Can you? Christine Heppermann has uniquely spun fifty poems that tackle such complex, dark and heavy themes like sex, bullying, eating disorders, body image and our society's standards of beauty thrown in a dizzying mix of fairy tales and classic stories.

What's noticeable about this is that heady combination of make believe and fairy tales that always calls out to our childhood and the biting, dark charm of the truths peppered in each and every poem the book has. It's not something you usually read. It's not something that is usually written about. The author bravely talks about things that not everyone wants to talk about, and it cuts right through you with each poem you read.

Christine Heppermann managed to shed light to a lot of important issues prevalent in our world right now, and she presents it as it is: harsh, ugly, biting, stone cold truths for everyone to read tucked inside various retellings of classic fairy tales and stories we've all grown up with. There is bound to be at least one poem which will call out to a reader in this wonderful, hard hitting collection of poems. Imagine all of those carefully constructed words paired with exquisite imagery? It gives the book such a haunting quality.

I can't say anything else as you have to read the poems for yourself, but you have to stop and think what it means to you and how fitting it is in the world we live in right now. It's such a marvel how much impact such short compositions can give to a reader. And to that, I say bravo the author.

Content (plot, story flow, character):
Not everyone might be comfortable with a poem or two in the book, some are so dark and gritty, others made me feel conflicted and most make me feel funny, conflicted and sad inside. My favorites are: Photoshopped Poem, Gingerbread and Nature Lesson.

Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:
Perfect cover. It really conveys the book's message to the readers.

1 comment:

  1. Is this already available in bookstores here?


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