• Poetry Book Reviews

    If They Come for Us

    My goodness what an astounding collection of poetry! I was absolutely dazzled by this debut collection and I’m honestly ashamed that I was granted an ARC and did not get to reading it sooner. Asghar speaks to a generation of Asian American women with a great deal of understanding and empathy. There were several times where a poem hit close to home, particularly in the sections about needing to cover up one’s race and religion, or of the shame that comes with losing one’s native language. “you speak a language until you don’t. until you only recognize it between your auntie’s lips. your father was fluent in four languages. you’re…

  • Poetry Book Reviews

    Sisters’ Entrance

    I’ve struggled to gather my thoughts on this collection, I was just so blown away and overwhelmed by the emotions elicited by this book. The poetry collected here comes from a very personal place for the author, who is a Sudanese refugee that survived the war and genocide in Darfur. “When you build nations on someone’s bones what sense does it make to break them?” Some poems were heavy and spoke of her traumatic experiences such as in People Like Us and The Bride. Others, like Why I Haven’t Told You Yet, were more light-hearted but still carry a strong message. All of these poems pulled together shape the author,…

  • Memoir Book Reviews

    The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine

    I didn’t know a thing about Somaly Mam or AEFSIP when I picked up this little memoir at the library. Human trafficking has been a well known issue in Southeast Asia that is still prevalent today despite humanitarian efforts. It is a horrible industry that continues to grow and effects even my home country, the Philippines. This memoir details Somaly’s upbringing as an aboriginal girl in the years following the Khmer Rouge, abandoned and eventually picked up by an abuser that sells her. The book continues on through Somaly’s life of slavery, eventual freedom, meeting her husband, and the founding of AEFSIP. It is an inspirational story not just because…

  • Horror Book Reviews,  Short Story Collection Reviews

    The Lottery and Other Stories

    If there is one story that Shirley Jackson is most famous for it is The Lottery, which has been heavily studied, picked apart, and caused so much notoriety that it has completely overshadowed Jackson’s other short stories. It’s a shame really, because the collected works in this book are simply brilliant, there wasn’t a single story that I disliked. As the reader engaging in these stories, you’re not presented with visceral depictions of horror or terrifying monsters beyond human comprehension. Instead readers are given a window into a kind of horror grounded in reality. The reader is instilled with the same sense of discomfort, distrust, and paranoia that the characters…

  • Poetry Book Reviews

    Helium

    Goodness gracious Helium was such a breath of fresh air. Francisco writes with a voice that is down to earth and full of so much truth about life today in America. I greatly enjoyed this collection, it was free verse but many of the poems were still littered with beautiful metaphor and allegory. After every poem I finished I appreciated the medium so much more. “I am learning that a person who only knows how to fight can only communicate in violence and that shouldn’t be anyone’s first language.” The author pulls no punches when discussing contemporary issues such as in The Heart and the Fist, which is about toxic…

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