Review: This Is Me Letting You Go by Heidi Priebe

I had no clue before reading that this was the mastermind behind one of my favorite sayings: the people we meet at the wrong time are actually just the wrong people. Which I shared last year in my review for Rania Naim’s All The Words I Should Have Said.

In this series of 30 honest and poignant essays, Heidi Priebe explores the harsh reality of what it means to let go of the people and situations we love most – often before we are ready to – and how to embrace what comes next.

I couldn’t have picked this up at a more precise time in my life. This Is Me Letting You Go was exactly the kind of reaffirming book, full of genuine, wide-open hearts, I needed so badly to back me up. And I’ll be sure to circle back to it time and again. Which is why I’m going to share some of those invaluable pieces of writing so that I can come back to it:

I’m Texting You This Because I Like You

“I’m not texting you the link to this website because I think you’re actually going to like it. I mean you might, and that would be great, but I mostly just want your reply. What do you think of this thing that I find funny? What in your mind lines up with mine and where does it deviate? What do I enjoy that you despise? What do you analyze that I glaze over unnoticed? I’m texting you this because I want to know your thoughts on something – anything, really. Your mind is an infinite library that I would like to peruse for a while.”

Oh, how I love that last line…

The Truth About Meeting Someone At The Wrong Time

“The right people don’t make you hmm and haw about whether or not you want to be with them; you just know. ”

Read This If You’re Worried That You’ll Never Find ‘The One’

This essay challenged my perception a lot, and I am beyond grateful for it doing so. This one question, in particular, liberated me: “But imagine for a second that you knew – with 100% certainty – that you were never going to meet that person. What about your life would that knowledge change?”

I will never tire of having a collection that makes you stop to think its points over! Though I didn’t agree with all the sentiments shared, it was so refreshing to read pieces of writing I thought would veer towards the usual cliche, but instead, it surprised me by talking about various topics in a deeply relatable way that aligned with my beliefs.

“So stop looking for The One to spend the rest of your life with. Be The One.

And let everybody else come searching for you.”

Read This If You Feel Like It’s Taking You Too Long To Move On

“If there’s anything I wish we could talk more about it’s the in-between stages of letting someone go. Because nobody lets go in an instant. You let go once. And then you let go again. And then again and again and again. You let someone go at the grocery store when their favorite type of soup is on sale and you don’t buy it. You let them go again when you’re cleaning your bathroom and have to throw out the bottle of the body wash that smells like them.”

“The truth is, none of us want to think of ourselves as works in progress. We want everything to happen instantaneously: Falling in love, falling out of it, letting go of what we know we ought to leave in the past and moving on to whatever comes next. We hate the in-between spaces – the times when we’re okay but not quite there yet. The periods where we suspect that growth is happening but have nothing to show for it.”

Here Is When You’ll Get Over Your Ex

“Some part of you knows better – that you have to wait this out. You have to take it in waves. You know that someday you’ll forget their birthday and they’ll forget yours too and until that day you keep yourself busy. You keep moving. And you keep letting the small details slide.”

“You will not get over your ex all at once. You’ll get over them through a series of tiny, tender moments that bring you quietly back to yourself.”

Just Be The One Who Cares More

“Being the one who cares less makes us feel cool and suave. But never anything more than that. It can’t even begin to compare with the excitement of meeting someone you are CRAZY about. Someone who lights up your day with every subtle interaction. Someone you cannot wait to see again. Someone you suddenly want to spend every waking moment with, even if that’s crazy and impulsive and happening way too fast. I know it’s a trial to be the one who cares more. But it’s also the most enthralling, fulfilling feeling and I’d like to urge you not to sell yourself short of it.”

This thought randomly brought me to Ron Swanson’s “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.”  

“Be the person you wish you were dating.”

Here Is How You Stop Waiting For Someone To Come Back

“You stop waiting for someone to come back through a series of slow, deliberate steps that move you away from the life you thought you’d have and towards the one that’s waiting for you.”

“You have face forward toward the future you hadn’t planned for and the life you didn’t know that you would lead. ”

When You Have To Leave The Best Things Behind

“There’s nothing more difficult than walking away from what we love before we’re ready to. Even when every fibre of our being understands that we must go, we want to stay. We want to linger. We want to find a loophole or shortcut that allows us to have it all. We forget that there’s a future. Some incorrigible part of us so easily forgets that there are good things ahead. Better things ahead, even. And perhaps that’s what we need to understand the most fully when we’re facing those times of transition – that all our best moments aren’t all behind us.”

As one wise woman once said:

“Just because the scene in the rearview mirror looks nicer than the scene on the road ahead doesn’t mean you’ll never reach another beautiful destination. It just means you’re not there yet.”

This quote made me fully understand the power of words.


As you can see by the many, many quotes I inserted, I’m so relieved and glad that this collection didn’t peak at the ‘timing being wrong’ phrase I shared at the start of my review. I went in not expecting much and it blew me away. What a barrier breaker!

“The future we want will not arrive without our participation.”

And it goes without saying that some fitting music had to be played during my reading experience:

4/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying This Is Me Letting You Go, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

Advertisements

Review: Rookie on​ Love by Tavi Gevinson

“My memory of men is never lit up and illuminated like my memory of women.”Marguerite Duras

A single-subject anthology about the heart’s most powerful emotion, edited by Tavi Gevinson. Touching upon love in all its different variations, from “a devotional to dogs” (Durga Chew-Bose) to unrequited love to accepting your self-worth to experiencing intimate friendships with women.

“Love is all around, but its holding place is not always another person. Sometimes you find the best companion in yourself, or the fun of worshipping a teen idol, or the challenge of trying to understand love in its various forms. ”

Before starting, I casually browsed through the table of contents and saw a stellar piece titled “Do Sisters Actually Love Each Other?” by Jazmine Hughes, which I hurried on to read because it was something I really needed. And it was just as spectacular as the title conveys, featuring a group text between a bunch of sisters.

JAVONNE I came back to, like, eighty messages to read and I will not.
Someone fill me in if you want an answer from me.”

When I then saw that Tavi Gevinson had shared a live reading of this hilarious and touching piece, I was over-the-moon:

All I need now is the return of the Rookie podcast, which I raved about back in April of 2017.

Rookie on Love, however, didn’t quite embody the expectations I had in mind before starting. More than once I experienced the feeling of really enjoying how a story builds up but then, almost without fail, it would veer off downhill, destroying what it had created in its small space, and end on a completely unsatisfying note. And because of the short length, there wasn’t even a redeeming moment that could’ve saved the narrative.

It also didn’t help the collection of hitting a rough patch in the middle, where none of the essays held my attention and consequently failed to raise any emotion out of me (I mean, other than bitter rage at a certain line in Collier Meyerson’s piece I landed upon while randomly flipping through the collection)… Thankfully though, when I finally reached Victoria Chiu’s written piece, which came in to save the day, as she touches upon her choice to abstain from “(penetrative) sex.” As well as other standout pieces in here that I’d like to feature, such as:

  • Fwd: Letter to Leyb by Tova Benjamin, talking about relationships in the digital age:

“Sometimes I think, I will never forget that I felt this way. And then I do. It seems horribly scary to invest so much time and energy and emotion into something that will eventually wind down to the end of its life, be it 44 days or two years and nine months. And then what?”

  • The Most Exciting Moment of Alma’s Life by Etgar Keret. A quick story on life after experiencing your highest high.

Though for Alma, it’s not really just a question. Sometimes she actually dreams about what happened at the Biblical Zoo. She with her braids and the lion standing so close to her that she could feel his warm breath on her face. In some of the dreams, the lion rubs up against her in a friendly way, in others, he opens his mouth and roars, and then she usually wakes up terrified. So one can say that as long as she keeps dreaming, that moment hasn’t completely passed. But dreaming, with all due respect, is not exactly living.”Rookie on Love 1-- bookspoils

  • Beyond Self-Respect by Jenny Zhang. One of the most important pieces, talking about how love and respect need to go hand in hand, which I also heard a lecture on a few months back and it completely changed my viewpoint.

“The way we talk about respect and teenage girls needs to change. I want girls to learn how to disrespect the men in their lives who cause them harm and violence, I want them to learn how to disrespect patriarchal values that bind and demean. Looking back on my past relationships, I can pinpoint the very moment when I lost respect for the person I was dating. Often, it happened early on—a casually offensive remark that betrayed deeper levels of racism, an unfunny joke that revealed how much he feared and hated women, or even just a delusional comment that showed zero self-awareness—but always, when I was younger, I would continue to date that person, doubling down on my commitment, all the while losing respect for him. That’s the most disturbing part, that I thought I could love someone I didn’t even respect.”

  • Super Into a Person’s Person-ness a conversation between Rainbow Rowell and John Green, “YA powerhouses on writing epic—yet real—teen love.” I can listen to Rainbow Rowell for eternity, as you can tell by my extensive review of my all-time favorite book of hers, Fangirl.

RAINBOW When I’m writing love stories (which I can’t help but do, it’s always a love story for me), I really don’t want to be writing a story that makes it worse for the people reading it. That perpetuates all the lies about love and attraction.
JOHN Right.
RAINBOW But also, if I’m writing about teenagers, I don’t want them to be somehow magically above this bullshit. They can’t be wizened 40-year-olds who know from experience that it’s garbage.
JOHN Well, but also, I don’t think you ever get magically above this bullshit. We’re talking like this is all in our past, but of course inherited ideas about beauty and attractiveness affect adult life, too.
RAINBOW Yes.
JOHN Hopefully over time you develop an awareness that, e.g., your obsession with the perfect nose is completely ludicrous, but it’s not like it all goes away.
RAINBOW You’re still a nose man?
JOHN God, no. I am a PERSON MAN. I am super into a person’s person-ness.”

  • Before I Started Writing These Things Directly to You by Tavi Gevinson, on trying to capture the feelings as they occur.

“I just don’t trust words a whole lot, and wonder if writing this, too, takes the air out of the whole thing, like in the Chekhov story “The Kiss,” where the sad loner shares the story of an improbable romantic encounter with his male colleagues and, upon hearing it out loud, experiences the whole thing as woefully insignificant.”

I wholeheartedly enjoyed this piece by Tavi, wherein she managed to create a solid grip on her relationship with this goofy grinning guy in just one page.Rookie on Love 2-- bookspoils


Overall, I’d say I came to appreciate most of all the pieces that exposed my innermost feelings so successfully that it made me reflect a lot. So even though the collection as a whole was mainly a hit or miss with its forty-something stories, I still came to cherish a handful of pieces.

3/5 stars

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

Review: the witch doesn’t burn in this one by Amanda Lovelace

the witch doesn't burn in this one 8-- bookspoilsPicking up this poetry collection couldn’t have come at a better time with having just read a book about powerful witches by Leslye Walton: The Price Guide to the Occult.

I really took to heart Amanda Lovelace’s The Princess Saves Herself in This One for its raw and honest take on love, loss, grief, and healing. Plus, the many feminist poems. So with this follow-up collection, I was keen on reconnecting with the author through her words.

As the blurb states, these moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. The main focus is on self-love and acceptance, feminism, girl-power, and women supporting women. So I missed my favorite section of having more personal poems.

And with the focus being more on the aforementioned, I feel like I didn’t take in anything new and refreshing from the collection. If I take a scroll through my recent retweets on Twitter (@bookspoils), I can definitely see the same notions present in the witch doesn’t burn in this one. But they’re important messages to convey so I didn’t mind the resemblance that much.the witch doesn't burn in this one 1-- bookspoils

the witch doesn't burn in this one 2-- bookspoils

On that note, the poems that really stood out to me were the following:the witch doesn't burn in this one 3-- bookspoils

the witch doesn't burn in this one 4-- bookspoils

the witch doesn't burn in this one 5-- bookspoilsthe witch doesn't burn in this one 6-- bookspoils

the witch doesn't burn in this one 7-- bookspoilsThese are still sitting with me.

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

Expected publication: March 6th, 2018

3.5/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying the witch doesn’t burn in this one, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!