Review: How to be Alive by Tara Booth

From  the looks of the cover of this book, I was fooled for a second thinking it would resemble my least favorite comic book… But thankfully that was not the case, since this is a collection of Tara Booth’s most recent gouache paintings. Straying from the narrative form of her first 2 publications, How To Be Alive is a series of densely patterned, colorful, one page vignettes. That is to say: It’s basically a compilation of those artists you follow on Instagram.

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From layering up in winter clothes, taking it all off one item at a time, admiring nature, and to feeling feelings that capture the full of modern female identity and so much more. I managed to complete this book – less than 50 pages – in a flash.

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The colorful and creative style that Booth took with her work really paid off in my eyes, particularly the way she put together those fun outfits for her vignettes. It was so utterly original that I came to anticipate them with each flipping page.

3/5 stars 

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying How To Be Alive, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!


Review: Depression & Other Magic Tricks by Sabrina Benaim

Waking up to the news that Sabrina Benaim had released a poetry collection genuinely put a smile on my face this morning.

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Depression & Other Magic Tricks is the debut book by Sabrina Benaim, one of the most-viewed performance poets of all time, whose poem “Explaining My Depression to My Mother” has become a cultural phenomenon with over 50 million views. Depression & Other Magic Tricks explores themes of mental health, love, and family. It is a documentation of struggle and triumph, a celebration of daily life and of living. Benaim’s wit, empathy, and gift for language produce a work of endless wonder.

I was pleased to find that her voice, both written and spoken, is so distuigished that it’s impossible not to hear it while reading. However, unlike her live slam poems where you can feel her passion translate over onto you, in Depression & Other Magic Tricks I failed to experience the same.

While reading this collection there just wasn’t ever that moment of epiphany of “YES! I can relate and understand because I feel that way too.” My attention was solely focused on trying to decipher what each poem meant and also who it’s supposed to be directed at. I never really felt like we got a solid look into the themes promised in the blurb above, rather just mentions of it. I feel like most of the pieces were more on loneliness and breakups and romance, as opposed to a sharp focus on mental health. So I repeatedly felt as if I’d missed something major upon completing each poem and like I was in way over my head with this.

Still, I’d like to include three works that sparked something indescribable in me:

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Overall, though my expectations for Sabrina Benaim’s poetry collection weren’t quite met, I’m still glad I got the chance to read new works by her.

ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Expected publication: August 8th, 2017

3/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Depression & Other Magic Tricksjust click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

Review: Hi-Fi Fight Club #1 by Carly Usdin

I found this girl-power comic at the back of Misfit City #2 nearly two months ago and was immediately intrigued by the beautiful cover and premise of “a music-infused, action-adventure series that takes rock ’n’ roll fandom out of the record store and into the streets.”Hi-Fi Fight Club #1 1-- bookspoilsNew Jersey, 1998. Chris has just started the teen dream job: working at Vinyl Mayhem, the local record store. She’s prepared to deal with anything-misogynistic metalheads, grunge wannabes, even a crush on her wicked cute co-worker, Maggie. But when Rory Gory, the staff’s favorite singer, mysteriously vanishes the night before her band’s show in town, Chris finds out her co-workers are doing more than just sorting vinyl…her local indie record store is also a front for a teen girl vigilante fight club!

So my expectations were set pretty high for this first issue, just because Hi-Fi Fight Club had such a unique and promising setting. Hi-Fi Fight Club #1 2-- bookspoilsBut this introducing piece felt more like a setting-everything-up-for-future-issues than something of its own where we get to see the girls together just talking and hanging out. But since it’s only issue #1 and I know that my expectations are way too high, I’m going easy on it.

I am excited, however, to see what the follow-up pieces will entail for our group of strong female individuals. I’m just hoping we’ll get to see some character building between the girls. (I’m pretty stoked about Irene, Kennedy, and Dolores.)

3.5/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Hi-Fi Fight Club #1, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!