Review: “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur

A review by Amanda

Milk and Honey uses free form poetry to tell the author’s experiences of survival. The book delves into childhood trauma, abuse, heartache, and healing. Divided into four parts, each focusing on a different part of her life, the poems and prose are emotionally raw and brutally open, often uncomfortably so. Rupi Kaur balances her unique perspective of life with the relatability of shared experiences of destructive relationships, misplaced trust, and finding oneself in the aftermath of disaster.

Readers will be drawn in by the author’s vulnerability and honesty. Emotional discomfort with the descriptions of trauma is likely at various points, but readers will be rewarded for following through. The prose is accompanied by simplistic illustrations that perfectly capture the feelings being conveyed. The author does not hold back. Readers will experience her emotions, ranging from fear, rage, shame, and sorrow to her passion, joy, relief, and love.

These are not epic poems that will take up too much of a reader’s time. Some pages have only a few lines, while others may have a paragraph or two. Each should be read with care, however, as every word contributes equally to the story. The lack of capitalization and haphazard grammar may seem careless but actually sets the tone for the author’s frame of mind, and does not in any way detract from the stories being told.

This book does contain descriptions of violence and sexual abuse and may not be suitable for everyone. I would recommend Milk and Honey to readers sixteen and older. Although it tackles heavy topics, it also offers hope for those who are trying to heal and it is absolutely worth reading and discussing.

My rating: 5/5 stars

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Review: “Paulina and Fran” by Rachel B. Glaser

"Paulina and Fran" by Rachel B. GlaserA review by Julie.

First, thank you to the author, Rachel B. Glaser for allowing me to review her book Paulina and Fran.

Paulina and Fran do not pay much attention to what happens after college. Pauline is a pretty, mean girl who enjoys sex. She likes to be in charge and has a devil-may-care approach to life. Fran is quiet, sweet, and innocent in the ways of sex. They both attend the same art school. On a class trip to Norway, Paulina and Fran spend more time together and end up drawn towards one another in an imbalanced friendship, with romantic undertones. Their bond is strong but not without problems. Fran begins dating Paulina’s discarded boyfriend and a vengeful Paulina sets out to destroy the couple.

The book goes between the two girls in their lives after school, each having their own troubles, with thoughts of the other occasionally in their heads. This leads them back towards each other; is it love or something else?

Paulina was uncaring in how she treated people. It’s difficult to imagine someone as vindictive as she was existing in real life. She acted haughty towards everyone she met, including the person giving her the chance to develop her hair products. Paulina’s attitude came across as very juvenile, and as a mature reader I found it difficult to enjoy the story.

My rating: 2.5/5 stars.

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