Author: Lang Leav
Genre: Poetry, prose; romance
My Rating: ★★ (2/5 stars)
Hordes of fans loved this anthology. I, on the other hand, had a few misadventures with it.
Before you label me as “heartless” or throw rage-fueled insults my way, hear me out first. You might misconstrue my statement as something ultra-negative when it’s actually not.
See, Leav's poems are replete with heartbreak, tears, happiness, romantic bliss, and... well, the inevitable cheese. You write about this four-letter word, you more or less get this package. It’s a favorite topic among poets, or any kind of writer for that matter. They all have the ideas, the emotions, and they seek ways to string out the words that may best translate their heartbeats. Leav chose to express herself in a way that resonates with hundreds of young people across the info superhighway. That’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s good when a writer establishes direct connection with his or her audience—more so if the poetry can compel the said readers to take snapshots of the pages and put them up on their blogs! That speaks volumes.
I guess it still all boils down to preferences. There are two pieces in the anthology that I like/love (guess what—they’re prose); the rest I found too juvenile and shallow. Leav’s writings are like stenos of her raw memories and thoughts, almost akin to free-writing, if we’re going to take into account some of the phrasings that come off awkward and/or a tad senseless. Case in point: “He makes me turn, he makes me toss; his words mean mine are at a loss. He makes me blush! He makes me want to brush and floss.” I mean, it’s either my assessment is correct, or there really is something romantic about a guy that inspires me to maintain dental hygiene.
I am fond of good love stories and I don’t care if they’re told in thousand-page epics or four-line poems. It’s the matter of style and execution that makes all the difference. What I’m saying is, Leav has her own brand of poetry, and it doesn’t exactly strike a chord with me.
If there’s anything I adored 100% about the book, it’s the whimsical artwork. Dang, Leav can draw. Her dreamlike illustrations are reminiscent of Mark Ryden’s breathtaking creations. If she has a compilation of her art, I’d be quick to buy it.