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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A review by Maria.
A big thank you to author Elise Sax for allowing me to be a part of her blog tour and read her novel, Forever Now.
Tess is good at being invisible. She’s had her whole life to practice. She’s mocked and ridiculed at school. Her mother has insane and demanding expectations. Tess retreats from life by reading Emily Dickinson poems and writing stories in her tiny notebooks. The day she meets Cruz, she finds she no longer wants to be invisible. When Tess’s mother and Cruz’s father take all of Tess’s hard earned Paris savings and leave for a long trip to Mexico, Cruz and Tess are left to manage with no food and a mountain of debt. Each of them go to great lengths to survive and take care of each other as they grow closer.
Tess was the most entertaining female main character I have come across in a while. She had a funny, self-deprecating outlook on life and her situation. She was nerdy and witty, and often made me laugh out loud. She had a huge crush on Cruz, which sometimes made her silly, but other than that, she was a great lead. Tess was brave and resourceful after her mother abandons her with no money. She’s able to keep a secret at school and earn extra money babysitting. She makes her first friend at school and treats it like a precious thing. Tess also finds her dream to go to Paris to study and write might be attainable just when she thought all hope was lost. As a reader, I found myself invested in seeing this lovely character succeed and be happy for once.
Cruz was an enigma of a character. He was this hot, magnetic personality who hung out in his spare time with models and the beautiful people of the world. But he still cared enough about Tess to take care of her and essentially prostitute himself to get a job so they could survive. But the hopelessness of their situation does affect him and he goes through intense moods and keeps secrets from Tess. He’s resourceful and willing to do whatever it takes to survive and protect Tess and also to see her dreams come true.
This book was an emotional roller coaster. It dealt with very real issues like child abandonment, child poverty, bullying at school, and teenage mental health problems. It tackled all of these problems realistically and vividly.
I enjoyed this book and thought it was very well done. I am eager to read the rest of the books in this trilogy.
Rating: 4/5 stars.
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