Book Review: I love My Love*

by - 8:00 PM

After working with Blogging for Books for a couple months, I decided to see what other companies that I could work with to get books in exchange for honest reviews. Eventually, I stumbled upon NetGalley.

Peaking my interest, I decided to sign up and take a look through their available titles. In doing so, I found a lot of the books on my current wishlist. However, I was specifically on the hunt for a good book to inspire progress on one of my current projects.

Of course, since my idea doesn't have it's own genre, I ended up looking through them all. Luckily, there were a couple options in the poetry section that sounded like they'd work. I Love My Love just happened to be one of them. Quickly, I requested a copy and downloaded it to my iPhone.

In short, poignant verses, Reyna Mays' poems explore pain, emotional reckoning, and the power of self-love.

The debut collection from 22-year-old poet Reyna Mays, I Love My Love tells the story of Reyna's childhood, her parents’ toxic relationship, and how, against all odds, she learned to love herself.

Although poetry isn't my usual genre, I do enjoy it very much. In fact, I even write a little bit of it myself. So I can honestly say that I really wanted to love I Love My Love. Unfortunately though, that wasn't the case.

For one, the formatting of the book was a little confusing. After the title page, we jump straight into what looks like a dedication page, which I mistook as the first poem. Personally, I think that all of the formal pages should have been written with proper grammar and punctuation.

Similarly, I felt the same way about the rest of the poems. I understand that poetry is meant to be creative and expressive, but I think there comes a point when you cross the line. The way I see it, certain words need to start with an uppercase letter, certain lines need to end with a break or punctuation, and there is no need for the constant use of a double period.

In addition, I think that the entire book could have been presented better. For one, I could not stand the script font. At times it was hard to read, especially on the book itself. Another problem that I found was how the book was organized. Based on the synopsis, the preface, and the interlude, it seemed as if there was going to be a cohesive order to the poems. However, that was not the case.

Ultimately, I found consistency issues throughout the entire book. There were some poems that used capitalized letters and there were some without. There were some where "I" was capitalized and some without. At first, I thought maybe that would be a theme in the book. Maybe Reyna was going to start capitalizing the word "I" once we got to the poems where she found herself and loved herself, but it didn't seem to happen that way.

I also struggled with seeing the entire book as a collection of poetry. There were times where I came across beautiful poems like "Rhetoric" and "Beginnings" and then there were times where it just seemed like Reyna threw words on a page and called it a poem. Some of the latter may have been better as a "love note" instead of an actual poem.

For me, poetry is a form of writing used to express one's feelings in a lyrical way. Whether or not the poem rhymes, I always feel as though the author has taken the time to decide where each line breaks, each period marks the page, and how the white space affects the words. Unfortunately though, it doesn't seem like the author took that part of poetry seriously in her writing.

I think that's why I felt so confused by Reyna's book. Her words were full of passion, truth, and meaning; but I just couldn't help but feel annoyed by the writing itself. At some points, I almost wished that the entire book was made up of the "love notes" and "messages."

Overall, it's hard to say whether or not I would recommend this book to others. However, I will admit that I would not purchase the book myself. In the end, Reyna included an amazing amount of honest and raw advice in her book and I often found myself relating to what was written. So, I do believe that there are bits and pieces that every woman needs to read. More specifically: "For me," "For you," and "what a relief.. to be a woman."

If you're interested in purchasing this book, you can find it here

Have you read I Love My Love? I would love to hear what you thought about it in the comments!

* This book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for a review. However, all opinions and comments in this review are 100% my own. *

* This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I'll receive some type of commission. For more information, you can read our full disclosure here. *

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