on Dec. 19, 2014 :
This is a tricky book to rate, so, as always, do not let my star count override your judgement of content. More on the stars, counting, and my rating challenges later. Let me give you an idea of what is on offer here.
It is important to understand the circumstances of these twenty-two poems. Rice has set the reader up correctly with her title. Then, in the very first poem, that reader will re-live some of their own conflict against Authority. Next, in A Different Existence, the possibility of personal freedom is celebrated.
These poems are not for children. Young adults and up, yes. The themes are provocative and Rice is tough with herself and those populating the world around her. This is a powerful collection.
Those who scroll for the tiny carps can give up here. Maybe a typo. In short, nothing. Back to the good stuff.
Some of the poems are enigmatic, as in Our Essence, where frustration gives way to a faint hope.
In the poem Small, we are alone and not sleeping late at night: “The sound of the world is /So empty. /It seems as if everyone /Is dead— /Except for me.” Then there is a surprise: “A spark in the corner of my eye. /I stare into the darkness… /And wait. /It happens again. /I think there is a firefly in my room!” Finally, “The bright souls shine in the sky. /I look up to them /And smile. /They twinkle—laugh— /And I wonder, /Can they see me?”
In the complex poem, My Transition, Rice tells us what it is like to start utterly over again after escaping a mind-warping situation. Like most of these poems, you may need to reread this one more than twice.
The beautiful short poem A Light, A Purpose begins thus: “Love is a light that /You are always glad to go to, /Like an angel from above.”
There is social commentary as well, for example, in No Such Thing as Perfect. This and the next poem, Me, are among my favourites in this book. Your Own Kind is social commentary with a trace of irony. If you’re looking for a fresh new metaphor, turn to Disgust.
All that said, how do I come up with four stars? These poems are from a tough point of view, and that point of view is pushed into the reader. My personal guidelines, when doing any review, are as follows: five stars means, roughly equal to best in genre. Rarely given. Four stars means, extremely good. Three stars means, definitely recommendable. I am a tough reviewer. Four stars it is, and a strong recommendation.
(reviewed 14 days after purchase)
on Dec. 11, 2014 :
The Voice of Angry Teens Everywhere
This collection of poems is based on the author’s troubled teen years. Unlike a lot of adolescents, who take their anger out on others, the author instead channeled her frustration through poetry.
She did an excellent job in doing so.
The poem I liked the most was “Expression.” In my opinion, this poem definitely spoke the confusion that all teens feel – regardless of their generation. You’re trying to figure out this thing called life while journeying through it – only to become more confused about it.
A defining poem of the teen years for sure!
I don’t know the reason for Ms. Rice’s anger; however, I do know that she joined hordes of teens – past and present – who were angry. This is why this book is relatable for those teens.
Thus, I recommend it to teenagers on an emotional rollercoaster. I also suggest that parents who have angry teens read this book as well. It can possibly give them a chance to feel the pain their child is going through; thus, making them more understandable.
In addition, if you’re an adult who was an angry teen and you’re still dealing with that issue, this is the book for you. It can work as therapy; helping you resolve those anger issues and put them behind you.
(reviewed 10 days after purchase)