Tuesday, April 13, 2010

One of these things is not like the other...

a poetry collection by Sarah O'Brien
(3 scoops)
This collection plays with white space as it relates to the idea of light and capturing an image on film. The last series was the most compelling- O'Brien used textbook chapter titles as inspiration.
[Sarah O'Brien the poet does not have a website, but there is another Sarah O'Brien all over the web; she is a musician and she just got back from a tour with Yanni. That's funny.]

A Necklace of Bees
a poetry collection by Dannye Romine Powell
(2.5 scoops)
Some nice moments, but overall the poems felt overly sentimental and I did not connect with the subject matter. One of the best poems in this collection is Everyone is Afraid of Something.

a poetry novel by Eireann Corrigan
(3 Scoops)
Told in a series of poems, this book explores the impact of a violent crime. The two speakers, 15 year old Paulie and her older brother Jeremy, describe the struggles they endure dealing with the aftermath of the attack. I never believed these speakers were real people, instead they read like containers for the author to present emotions and observations about the world. One moment when this was obvious was when Jeremy commented on Evan's dorm room- it read like a 30-something reflecting on her college experience instead of a teenage boy who has never been to college reacting to his environment. There are many powerful poems in this book and it is full of fresh metaphors and similes, but the sequencing feels off. Details are introduced and then forgotten, like when Paulie decides to cultivate dreadlocks and then a few poems later her sister is running her fingers through Paulie's hair with ease. Overall I believe there are too many poems- too many words in each poem-(there are even a couple of typos!) and the plot, especially at the end, seems forced; what could have been a beautiful and evocative collection of thematically linked poems devolves into a silly action sequence, thus rendering the lyrical ending completely unsatisfying. This books feels like one book was layered on top of another book and the finished product is confused as to what it is, but, despite the failure to be a cohesive work, there are poems or lines of poems in these pages that I want to frame and read everyday.

Realm of Possibility
a collection of interrelated monologues written in free verse by David Levithan
(5 scoops)
What can I say, I Iove this book.

I Don't Want to Be Crazy
a poetry memoir by Samantha Schutz
(2.5 scoops)
Most of the time I felt like this was an honest portrayal of having anxiety and confronting the reality of mental illness, but other moments felt like they just skimmed the surface, particularly in regards to the actual work of recovery. Perhaps if the author had waited a few more years to write the book there might have been a more satisfying conclusion for the reader

an instant message novel by Lauren Myracle
(4 scoops)
I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. The characters seemed a bit cliche at first, but as it moved on I felt the characterization was quite rich. The story definitely went in directions I didn't expect and I appreciated that. The instant message format was fun and it read quickly, like a reading a theatre script.

Paranoid Park
a novel in journal entries by Blake Nelson
(3.5 scoops)
Borrowing from Fyodor Dostoevsky, this novel takes a look at guilt and the effect it has on the human psyche. Alex, the protagonist, is a skateboarder and on the edge of a reckless street scene. I believed the voice and empathized with the character.

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