Hillery is no product of trauma. She is a beautiful rose, rising high above what tried to bury her, end her, and silence her, one poem at a time. She is the voice of those who know the struggle of suffering at the cold, dirty hands of trauma, mental illness, or society’s unmeetable expectations following the divorce and/or infidelity.
“Medicine That Burns” serves you a shot of the dark liquor of life, and helps you come to terms with “not being fine” in a world that glorifies perfection, illusive love stories, but doesn’t want to fall in love with the breaking process of all of us who are broken.
Whether you’ve had you had to mask your pain or survive by masking, Hillery’s poetry will have you drunk on the truth of what it means to live even if the pain still cripples your veins.
You can get a copy of The Medicine That Burns by Molly S. Hillery here and make sure to follow her on IG and wish her a happy book birthday!
Did you enjoy this review? Need one for your own book? Book one below.
Poetry for me is an eye-opening experience. You step into the soles of the shoes of another but ironically enough because the human experience is mirrored through triumphs and pain, you will find some of ‘you’ in the pages of Bare Roots.
No matter whether you’ve gone through similar traumatic experiences as Hillery:
sexual assault and rape
anorexia, addictions, and self-harm
depression and suicidal thoughts
or overall just feeling like a burden to the people you love.
My favorite piece in this collection was a piece called What They Don’t Tell You In College which poignantly pens the struggle between feeding on the lies they sell you about growing up and adulthood and the reality as painful as it may be, as it is.
Bare Roots will act as new soil and help you water the roots of the trauma so you can start anew, flourish and thrive.
Did you enjoy this review? Have a book coming out and need it to SHINE?
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Hillery’s newest poetry collection will be out this Monday April 19 and it is entitled The Medicine That Burns. Look for my review coming this Monday right here. Pre-order it now and get your copy of Bare Roots here.
When someone says, “It’s a vampire book,” what’s the first image that comes to mind? For me, it’s the angst and sparkle of the skin on Edward Cullen’s torso in the movie Twilight. I was always Team Jacob myself but vampires picked up a cultural trend and popularity in the 2010 decade.
This vampire book is unlike Twilight in many ways but the key ingredient is that it is set in the Victorian era when vampires were seen as angsty romantic suitors but instead as monsters, and people ran in fear of them. In this particular book, the vampires are an army of fierce soldiers commanded to protect the local church from the “untoten.”
For me, this book is a cross between Dracula, 1917, and the Vampire Diaries minus the teenage angst but just as dark. Dare I say it this book will stab you in the heart.
Check out more from Sayda Hope at the links below.
Melissa M. Combs is no stranger to heartbreak, as her previous works, breath light to that unfortunate truth but with this full poetry collection, the reader finds the other half to the painful truth behind the heartbreak: the heartbreak of being in separation with one’s twin flame.
Twin flames are two halves of the same soul placed in two bodies, created to mirror one another to become one powerful force that when in union, seek to awaken and save the world. Combs poetry paints a spiritual picture in the works involving divine timing and interdimensional realms.
Love then becomes not something merely fashioned into glass slippers or some fancy idea that can be tossed around.
Love is ethereal, supernatural, and metaphysical, and when we truly experience it at its deepest, we begin to awaken to become expanded and growing into our highest selves.
Combs’ collection is seductively spiritual yet gentle and breathy like witnessing the height, length, and width of an angel’s wings.
If you’ve ever felt the heartbreak of meeting and loving your twin flame, and then having to separate, Combs collection will carry you through the love, the longing, and even the destructive and confusing pain inside you.
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I happened upon Michaela’s poetry on Instagram and was immediately drawn by the way she wielded words, and how her words wielded me.
To be completely honest, I was a little somber when the collection ended as it really resonated with me.
The poems were short but exhilaratingly deep, and so perfectly poignant.
The poems discuss themes i am all too familiar with as a near-thirty writer who must have quicksand in her soul because every man I’ve ever loved fell right through and out some hidden trap door. No kidding there:
Loving someone who is meant for someone else. Having toxic types that you are always drawn to like red flags are for fun and amusement, and how self-love is the key to true freedom, and attracting a love that loves you back.
You can win a copy of You’ll Come Back To Yourself by Michaela Angemeer. All you need to do is enter at this link and subscribe to my Youtube channel.
If you enter through the Rafflecopter and subscribe to Youtube, I will send you a paperback copy of the book.
This review is 186 words and took me 2 hours to compile. I was given no compensation in exchange for this review but you are free to Buy Me a Coffee.
Cheyenne Bluett’t bright light lit up my Instagram feed. Her content is curated to encourage and inspire just about everyone.
Opening His Green Eyes, I was taken on a poetic journey of the depths of true love, something that writers have a fondness for attempting to understand by giving it a rhyme or a reason.
Yet, poets know love is unique to its counterparts and soulmates are real. Love knows no gender, no age, or no reason.
Love just is.
Reading His Green Eyes the reader is taken deep into the heart of the love and admiration for Bluett’s real life husband Robbie.
My favorite poems in the book appear below but the loving you in every color and loving you in my favorite places were by far so outside the box and refreshing, not to mention sweetly written and heartfelt, full of personal memories and momentos with her lover.
Whether you’ve always felt unworthy of lasting love or you just became a newlywed, these poems defy space and time to share sunshine into the darkest corners of any heart who cynically considers love something only of cinema screens and novel pages.
Bluett’s poetry will make a believer out of you. She made one out of me.
This review is 207 words and took me 1 hour and 23 minutes to compile. I received no compensation for this review. You can get a review just like this for $40. Order yours here.
When I heard Lecrae was putting out a book about his struggle with trauma wounds and mental health, I knew I had to read it because I also just went through similar circumstances, and like Lecrae, dealt with a heavy season where the wounds, the trauma, the unhealthy binge behavior could no longer be swept away or shooken off.
Although there were parts of this book I strongly disagreed with or lack the understanding to totally comprehended, I’ve always admired Lecrae because from the first time I listened to After The Music Stops in 2010 until now with his recent work, he is someone who never sugar-coated hard truths.
From being a 116 clique fan and reading his first memoir, I was aware of parts of his story but just like myself, I knew several paragraphs don’t make a chapter, a story is comprised of a beginning, middle, and an end. Rising action -> Conflict–> Resolve.
In fiction, most stories can come to a place of true resolve. The character begins a happy ending with someone they love. Their long-lost parent didn’t die. The princess wears armor and fights one last battle for the crown and the kingdom. A human marries a Vampire, and they give birth to a child. You get the idea. Yet, unlike in fiction, real life is more harsh, traumatic, and sometimes the only resolve we find is in our place or season of true healing.
So is the case with Lecrae. His words reminded me of my own hard pressed journey to self-acceptance, and the beginnings of true healing.
He also talks about how the entertainment industry is filled with illusions. Later on in the book, he mentions how through counseling, he became aware of how debilitating social media can be mental health with “it’s comparison and an abyss of arguments.”
Overall, anyone who wants to grow in faith and expand your mind as a spiritual person should read the book because God’s masterpieces are unfinished products.
You are still his masterpiece even if all your pieces or parts still look and feel weak, unusable, and broken. God has a habit of using people who make mistakes.
This review is 359 words and took 1 hour and 17 minutes to produce here. I received no compensation for this review but if you enjoy this review or any content produced by The Smart Cookie Philes consider buying me a coffee.
Bookish and Music Based Gifts for The Smart Cookie in your Life!
It’s the time of the year (although I know 2020 has been one of those years) when you put yourself and all you want out of your mind for a whole month, and think about the people you love and how you could possibly make their lives better with a gift that screams them. Well, I’m not an expert on the best gifts for people who like fashion, home goods or even monster trucks. I am an expert on all things books and music and I have the perfect list of gifts for the Smart Cookie in your life.
In the beginning of the year I began reading this book and found it helped me have something positive and meaningful to reflect on each day. No matter your creed or color, this book is a helpful devotional style book which helps anyone feel lighter and more focused on what they bring to the table instead of what they lack.
This was my 2020 introduction to National Poetry Month and it definitely started the month off on the right note. I found it to be incredibly simple yet so telling which is my favorite reason for reading poetry. Perfect for non-poetry readers and poetry readers alike. My favorite poem would have to be this one right here although more are included in my review piece at the link above.
Sometimes you read a book of poetry and it absolutely hits you right at the center of your pain but instead of placing a band-aid over it, it was salve for the wounds I suffered following a season of double trauma. It was everything I didn’t know I needed post-trauma. And I thank Jaqueline Whitney for putting her words, her heart, her story out into the world because they helped me heal even more.
By far, this was one of my favorite books I read this year. Not only because I am friends with the author but because her writing is so lyrically brilliant. I can’t tell you how powerful this story was. It’s crazy to me that this book took twenty years to come to fruition but wow, it’s absolutely worth all the work that went into writing it, and even more so, worthy of every ounce of buzz and nomination it has gotten since it’s release.
Sometimes you read a novel at the exact right time and it makes you nostalgic when you didn’t have to excuse you actually enjoying Fitzgerald or Murakami or even Garcia Marquez back in high school. If you like any of those writers, please consider Good Brave People as it reads with poetic prose but has the mystique and literary stamina of all three writers combined. It’s hard to believe this is his debut novel.
In preparation for putting out my own book, I began posting some poetry of mine to gain exposure for my collection as any writer does on social media. I connected with this writer and it was apparent right away we both were heartbroken and haunted by our twin flames. A twin flame is a spiritual concept where two people are actually two halves of the same soul so they complete each other, and sometimes the connection can span many lifetimes. They don’t always achieve union every lifetime but every lifetime causes them to cycle karmic cleansings and self-healing to achieve their highest selves until they achieve union or entirely mirror one another.
Opening up the discussion about mental health by sharing her own personal story about her struggles with anxiety, it’s written in a devotional style so it is an easy read and helps people who suffer with anxiety through to defeating it once and for all.
Shameless plug but my brand new poetry book is now available in paperback and ebook format. It’s already gotten 4.6 stars on Goodreads and even resonated with a Bookstagrammer in India. Overall, I hope that by me writing this to heal, it offers you the same no matter what you are going through or have gone through.
2020 was the year my favorite band came back with new music and it gave me purpose yet again. Their Tangerine EP was a blessed fruit in the desolate year that was 2020 but it’s worth a listen and it’s less than $5.
Dare I say it but when I sat down to listen to their third studio album, I actually thought it was going to be sub-par but instead like their two previous works, not one bad song on it. So much strong lyricism and inventive musicality that again changes their sound as a band. Watch out 5SOS are always evolving. Try to stay CALM about it.
If 2020 ever needed a savior it would have to be T. Swift. She showed up with a folk pop album written entirely in 3rd person and it was exactly what our quarantine playlist needed, and our souls needed too.
You ever been given an opportunity just when you were about to give up and you literally wondered why you were picked. Well, the chance to review this album came like to me this year and it’s a wonderful body of work. My favorite song is probably Who I Am? on this album but the entire work takes you back to a youthful viewpoint and you all know how much I love being nostalgic.
Lecrae is my favorite rapper so when I heard he was releasing new music in the year of all years I was restored that God truly is watching over us and is walking with us, no matter how much we wrestle with the Holy Ghost.
You ever fall in love with someone and their potential of being with you was all in your head? Well, if not, if you’ve ever seen the good in goodbye, Thank U Next is Ariana’s most powerful work to date. It shares struggles with mental health, heartbreak, grief, and feeling too needy.
Fine, I’ll admit it. I’m secretly in love with Luke Combs solely because he has a beard, drinks beer, and wears crocs. Haha. Well he’s newly married to the prettiest girl but his artistry sure has stolen my heart. He writes amazing songs. His song Beautiful Crazy stopped me in my tracks and I am still not over it.
Wishing you all an espressive Holiday season! Cheers to 2021!