Review: Appearances | When Words Discover

Title: Appearances

Author: Michael Collins

Publisher: Saddle Road Press

Publication Date: 2017

Genre: Contemporary Poetry

Rating: 4 Stars

Esse in Anima

We are each ourselves at the harbor:
Runners run, readers read, children play,

I wander within myself within
the world, nothing is even wrong

with the distant cars in their straight lines,
driving from lot to lot as people

walk between ducks who simply sit
in the sun – I have given my eyes

to deeply to the breeze this morning;
I nearly stepped on one of them

From how it looked, he would have let me.

Dear fellow Babblers,

I was recently sent Appearances by the author, Michael Collins in exchange for an honest review. This is a spiritually uplifting collection of poetry – not a genre I typically will review for, but I am so pleased with this small, yet harmonic book that I feel compelled to share it with my readers. The only sort of contemporary poetry I read is Lang Leav, so I was thrilled to discover Collins’ work. Where Leav’s appeal to nostalgia is directed to love and heartbreak, Collins’ brings nostalgia a step further in coalescing the heart with nature. Typically a Young Adult and Contemporary Fiction reviewer I was initially a bit skeptical going into contemporary poetry. *One day later*…. I’ve read and reread each poem over and over. These poems have touched my heart and have shown me the beauty and sadness that underlies time and it’s passing.

This collection is separated into five parts, compromising a total of 49 exquisite verses. I will not attempt an analysis into the nitty gritty of his work, but lets ust call his writing style a Romantic mixture of Wordsworth and Keats. Each poem brings together the human body to its surroundings, be it fog, the sea shore, or the forests as a means to appeal to man’s dependence on nature, its static position, as well as its changing with time and seasons.

It would seem that the narrator is on a path to self discovery and with each verse, seems to come closer to his purpose as he becomes increasingly aware of the world in which he exists. The poems grow increasingly intimate and sensual as Collins traverses a variety of human emotions by means of his contact with nature. The speaker goes below the artificial surface of appearances in what seems like and intervention, or shall we say, interaction with his mind, heart, spirit, memory – all elements of his very persona – as a means of seeking solace and bliss through the promising, ephemeral moments granted by the world which envelops him.

I was very impressed by the style and use of language in each of the poems. They were powerful, evocative and had an altogether cacophonous tone which made them at once thought provoking and mind blowing. Collins uses vivid imagery such as “fleshy snowflakes,” “orange framed in a tangerine haze,” and “sun dancing snow,” reflective of his observations and musings on the past. All distinct, what renders these descriptions similar is their non permanence. Snow does not last, horizons do not remain orange, snowflakes get carried away come spring. Time changes the world and what unites humanity to this world is the mere fact that time affects all, nothing beautiful is permanent, and nothing young remains young; all must decay, change, and undergo transformation, therefore uniting nature and man into a singular, solid world.

Collins tests and plays a lot with form. Some appear to follow similar to an Alexandrian or Shakespearean sonnet while others are more inventive and seem to be free verse. I believe I read each poem just about a dozen times, all in different tones, including different pauses as a means to differentiate its sound and how the reading process would affect my connection and emotional reaction to the poem. There were subtle changes with each reread and I’m planning to read it again soon; this collection really is, that beautiful, not good, but beautiful. The intricacies and fleeting moments which we give little to no regard to in our everyday life is delicately placed on the forefront of Collins’ vision. He scrutinizes and beautifully recreates the world which we know, but in more translucent color. These poems are heartfelt and give one a sense of awe and delicate bliss, something that seems to fade, change, and intensify with time.

I would encourage all readers, no matter one’s genre preference to read Appearances. I’m more of a Young Adult and Contemporary reader so believe me when I say that this collection has that sparking enchantment that every reader looks for. It’s crisp, fresh, and evokes the sensibilities in a way that could transform one’s perceptions of themselves, who they were, and who they will be. With several references alluding to the soul and multiple reminiscent standalone verses which turn the eye away from the self and towards the horizon Appearances is a stunning read. I’m extremely pleased and honored to have been given this copy from the author and will be looking for more of his writing in the nearby future – more to come!

Yours Truly,

(Book image credits go to Saddle Road Press)

Review: Strange the Dreamer #1 | Readers, the Dreamers

Title: Strange the Dreamer

Author: Laini Taylor

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for
Young Readers

Publication Date: March 28, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

 

“I think you’re a fairy tale. I think you’re magical, and brave, and exquisite. And I hope you’ll let me be in your story.”

Dear fellow Babblers,

I don’t recall a time before that I have felt so deeply a part of a fictional universe than I did as I read Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer. This book is for anyone who dreams, hides away in their imagination, and feels distaste for reality because of it’s translucence. It’s rare that I could feel at the same time a part of the story as well as a reader. With vivid descriptions and sensual passages that arouse the senses, Strange the Dreamer causes one to reflect on reading itself. As readers we are constantly reminded of the reasons why we are readers, why we daydream, and why we prefer the story world to the ‘real’ world. This book is a masterpiece of fantastical realism with a twist of romance which I feel will one day become a classic, earning it’s spot alongside the Harry Potter and Twilight series.  Continue reading “Review: Strange the Dreamer #1 | Readers, the Dreamers”

One Lovely Blogger Award

Dear fellow Babblers,

We’re more than halfway through August. Summer is almost over and we ask ourselves: ALREADY? Yup, it’s a bummer. Most of my time has been spent reading and interning so I’m really not sure what the future holds for me at this point. I’ll still be lovey dovey with y’all here, of course. But I am indeed in quite the rut if I do say so myself. Maybe it’s time to just drop everything and put up a lemonade stand – perhaps that’ll get the inspiration rollin’ out.

Well enough of Señorita Delphine’s drab humor. Off to today’s nomination post. Abrazos and besitos go to the lovely duo Ashley & Sabrina over at 5171 Miles Book Blog for nominating me for One Lovely Blogger Award. These gals are adorbs and their blog is altogether quirky, fun, and always insightful. I insist that you follow them if you care any bit about my personal opinion (my opinion matters! Power to the people! – lol idk).  Continue reading “One Lovely Blogger Award”

Review: Everything, Everything | Love – Eternally, Everlastingly Everything

Title: Everything, Everything

Author: Nicola Yoon

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: September 1, 2015

Rating: 5 Stars

 

It’s a hard concept to hold on to–the idea that there was a time before us. A time before time.

In the beginning there was nothing. And then there was everything.

Dear fellow Babblers,

As my blog and contacts within the book industry continues to grow I’ve become more and more of a Young Adult junkie. That being said, I’ve been reading more and more books on young love, teenage depression, and self-discovery. So you better believe it when I tell you that Everything, Everything makes it onto the 5 Star category! This beautiful debut novel from Nicola Yoon has earned a place alongside my shelf next to Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch and Lang Leav’s Sad Girls. These are the only three books which I have every given five stars to, which means they are in every way, shape and form a magnificently wonderful read! Any book that has me holding my breath at each page, holding a knot in my throat, and cringing at unlikely turns of events is a masterpiece in my book. Everything, Everything is beautifully written, evocatively vivid, and altogether the epitome of Young Adult.  Continue reading “Review: Everything, Everything | Love – Eternally, Everlastingly Everything”

New BFF: Delphine’s Babble on Some Good Reads

I recently took part in a Q&A with, yup, our very favorite Inge at The Belgian Reviewer. A big ‘ole panda hug to one of my newest blogging BFF’s. You made my week blossom and shine like sun rays on a stormy day doll face! (okay, perhaps I’ll never be Shakespeare, but y’all gotta admit that verse was pretty crafty).

The Belgian Reviewer

BFF

Today on the blog I’d like to welcome Delphine who is the babbler on Delphine’s Babble on Some Good Reads. If you don’t know her yet, you are going to be so impressed with this girl! She is so clever, she reads all kinds of genres, I mean she knows all the classics, she’s a fan of Alice,… she has great (and expensive) taste in shoes, she loves to use sarcasm, she likes books over movie adaptations (because movies wouldn’t even be there without the books), she loves pearls, not diamonds, and has 4 tattoos, and one of them are words in French. Yeah she has a thing for France and even wants to live there ;-). If you want to see her tattoos (go on, I know you do) or read more fun facts go on over to her blog and give her a like and a follow…

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Blogger Recognition Award

Dear fellow Babblers,

Well hey there my lovelies. What’s craka ‘lackin in your hood. Wanna hear about mine? You say no? Then why you reading this you dolt? Jkjk. But seriously, what gives ? Not much is happening here in Los Angeles other than the news I’ve just received over at Twitter. Ready for this? The hottie tottie author of They Both Die at the End, Adam Silvera, is going to be on tour at The Grove on September 8th. I am so stoked to see this man in person – oh yeah, buy the book too *wink * wink * Give me them digits Adam).

Any-whooz-it I’m here as nominee of the Blogger Recognition Award. My nominator: Laura Beth at Hot Shot Headlines. I just met her a couple weeks here on wordpress and I’m sure glad that I did as she is not only an amazing writer and blogger, but such a delight to babble with. On her blog you can find a number of book reviews, chats, as well as writing updates – I swear this gal is haulin’ mules on her blog – I’m so jealous, is that obvious yet? If you haven’t yet followed her then allow me to wag the naughty finger at you as you are missing out on some very insightful and fun and beautifully written posts.  Continue reading “Blogger Recognition Award”

ARC Review: Mr. 60% | A 60% Read

Title: Mr. 60%

Author: Clete Barrett Smith

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

Expected Publication Date: August 22, 2017

Rating: 2.5 Stars

 

I received an ARC copy of Mr. 60% in exchange for an honest review. Thanks goes to NetGalley as well as Crown Books for Young Readers for this advanced copy which is expected to be released August 22 2017.

Dear fellow Babblers,

Mr. 60% by Clete Barrett Smith is exactly as the title states – sixty percent. This is an average book with nothing unique, outstanding or memorable about it. There is nothing to critique, rant about, acclaim. Everything that happens in this book is typical, ordinary and all together bland. I was not effected by the storyline in any way shape or form. It is only 192 pages so I was able to finish it in one sitting, but that is not to say that it was a page turner. It seems as though this book was just spit out over night. It was written hurriedly and with as little imagination as possible.  Continue reading “ARC Review: Mr. 60% | A 60% Read”

Blogger Aesthetic Award/Tag

Dear fellow Babblers,

I’m about to provide y’all with an inside peak into my aesthetically dysfunctional mind. Beautiful Bella over at Bella Blogs Because Books has nominated this chica for the Blogger Aesthetic Award. Now if we are talkin’ pretty and altogether amazing when we define aesthetic then I highly recommend (like, guys you don’t have a choice here) you visit her blog. Her creative blog theme is both charming and always a pleasure to visit. On her directory page you’ll find a variety of new releases and reviews from the Young Adult genre, which, I don’t know about you, is one of the funnest genres to read reviews of. Anyway there is no one or few words to describe my so called “aesthetic” but I will nonetheless give this thingy a go just cause it seems fun and gives me an excuse to feel productive as I lay scrunched up in bed for five ours scrolling through Tumblr and Pinterest. Continue reading “Blogger Aesthetic Award/Tag”