whiskey words & a shovel – r.h. Sin

Hello. Hi.

Welcome back book worms! Here we are again with another poetry book. Imagine me voicing that last sentence with a tone of sarcasm accompanied by a nonchalant eye-roll. The reason I’m rolling my eyes is because there are so many of these poetry books floating around now, it’s weird! I read a bunch of poetry books as a teen and thought they were all the rage back then. However, there wasn’t that many to choose from when I began having an interest in poetry..

Writing Art

Back in early 2000’s, the style of poetry books seemed more unique in my opinion. I could easily finish an entire series because I was overjoyed with the storyline. The narrative made me want to keep reading. The poetry books were cooler in a sense of style. The words were displayed upside down, spaced apart, bolded, written across the page, and more. How the words were being displayed was the art form. The presentation often persuaded the reader to analyze the meaning behind the word being emphasized. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy the old teen poetry books more. I’m a word junkie.

Also, not every poetry book was about the same subject back then either. The books followed more of a traditional style writing by having a narrative. I brushed up on this issue in my recent review of “Neon Soul” by Alexandra Elle. Now, I feel as if Milk & Honey has paved the way into a new style of  “teen novel” poetry books. We are now seeing two dimensional & minimal looking illustrations in almost every teen poetry book. It’s not bad to have the illustrations, it’s bad that I can spot the influence. If I can tell that an author had inspiration from Milk & Honey to write a similar book of their own, I’m not going to read it.

Poetry Book Rant

Honestly, I feel like I’ve been reading the same book repetitively because of the style and subject almost being identical within 3-4 different books. The author usually writes about experiencing love or heartbreak through poetry and it’s nothing new or impressive. Maybe I’m jaded but one thing that really ticks me off is the lack of narrative. These new age authors skip from poem to poem without any direction. I don’t feel as if there is closure when I’m done reading their books. I feel as if I’ve read their experience in life, but not an actual story that’s complete.

Anyway, Ellen Hopkins was one of my favorite poetry book authors as a teen. Shout out to Ellen! You go girl! Her writing style had a huge influence on my own poetry writing. Although, I wasn’t inspired enough to jump up and write a book that was exactly the same as her that year, but ya know to each his own!

Now that I’ve gotten my rage out about poetry books I have to say, excuse my eye-roll comment earlier about “whiskey words & a shovel”,  it had nothing to do with my actual review of the book. I actually liked this book despite it also fitting in with the new poetry book trends. Let’s get into the review, if you’re still down to hear my opinion. Lol!

The Review

(No Spoilers, just photos of quotes & a few opinions on writing)

If I had a friend who was healing from a bad break up, I’d recommend this book to them! I actually enjoyed the book! However, I’d only recommend this if they were at a point of healing where they may feel anger more than sadness. Everyone heals differently, but this book carries more anger than sadness. One aspect I enjoyed about this book is that the author often directly speaks to the reader. “No one taught you, to love you, and that’s your biggest problem”. Sin may be referring to ‘you’ as his self in certain contexts, as if he’s talking to himself but its interchangeable with the reader.  I find that in his poetry to be unique. Also, Sin may or may not be a woman, but from his website I’m assuming he’s male. There are no photos of him besides his hands and to me it looks like he has man hands! I could be totally wrong though. If he is in fact a man, I feel as if the story is a completely different one and I’m going to re-read it. I read this in the voice of a woman, but going over it again I’m like wow that makes much more sense.

This book was published in 2017 and is easily associated to a younger generation. For example he uses social media terminology like hashtag in one of the poems. Not that it’s a bad thing, I’m just an old soul and hate connecting to present time in books. Using the term hash tag was a detail that stuck out to me as unappealing, but to each his own! There are also a lot of cliche moments that I’ve personally already seen. One of his poems is “watching you in museums is like witnessing art observing art”.  Can we even consider that a poem or original? I’m throwing shade for that one. How many times have you guys already seen that line on the internet? His writing isn’t all bad, as I said earlier I did throughly enjoy the book. It easily guides the reader from feeling sad to being mad to being hopeful and that’s honestly all I want to say about this book. I didn’t easily have a connection to the book at first, but as I continued reading and the anger in the poetry  is what stood out to me. I guess you’ll just have to read it, because I’m not going any further into details on this one!


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