Grief & Loss & Love & Sex

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Author: Lara Margaret Marjerrison
Genres: Poetry
Pub. date: Nov. 2019 (read Nov. 2019)

Woohoo! First person on goodreads to rate and review this book!

I’ve been going through a bit of a poetry phase and stumbled across this anthology in the Poetry section at Chapters. I had no idea it was a brand new release, but I liked the premise of it and decided to buy a copy. It’s only 50 pages long, so I read through it in 2 sittings.

Grief & Loss & Love & Sex is about all of the above, but mostly grief. Lara’s sister passed away by suicide and this is really her response to dealing with that grief. She includes a prologue about the book and her sister that was really moving, before getting into some of the poetry she wrote about how she was impacted and affected by her sister’s death. I really like her style of poetry. It’s not too dense to read and I like the spoken word feel of it. It has a good beat to it and I like that much of it rhymed. I feel like not that much poetry rhymes these days, which is totally fine, but I appreciate clever and well written prose.

In my opinion, most of the anthology focused on grief and loss, but Marjerrison does start exploring themes of love in the last third. Personally I didn’t find this poetry quite as engaging, but since this anthology very much reads like a personal, healing journey, I don’t think it really matters if it didn’t pull me in as much. There’s a strong emotional theme present throughout the entire anthology and I really do hope that the writing of it helped the author to heal. A great debut – very moving.

History is All You Left Me

 

Rating: ⭐
Author: Adam Silvera
Genres: Young Adult
Read: Aug. 2017 on audiobook

 

History is All You Left Me has been getting a ton of great reviews, but I had a hard time getting into it.

This was my second audiobook, and while I definitely enjoyed it more than my first audiobook, Beneath a Scarlet Sky, I still didn’t love it. However, my dislike for Beneath a Scarlet Sky had to do with the writing, while I fear my dislike of History is All You Left Me may have been because of the narrator. I really didn’t like the narrator for this audiobook. He was whiny and annoying to listen to and I felt like he didn’t get the tone of the book right. I almost want to read a hard copy to see how I interpret the tone, but I know I’ll never be able to sit through it again.

It’s definitely a sad book. Griffin is dealing with the loss of his best friend and first boyfriend Theo. He broke up with Theo prior to his death, but anticipated they would one day get back together and was still in love with him. In his grief, he turns to Theo’s new boyfriend Jackson for comfort, but forsakes his other friends who are also grieving for Theo.

I think this was a good book about love, loss, grief, and moving on. But it also had a side story about Griffin’s struggle with OCD that I couldn’t really get into. I’ve never had OCD, so I have no idea how well it was portrayed, but I felt Griffin’s struggle with OCD could have been a story on it’s own and I’m not sure it worked for me in this book. But maybe it’s inclusion meant a lot to readers with OCD, so I don’t want to dismiss it.

In the end I’m giving it 3 stars because I do think it was a decent book, but the narrator kind of ruined it for me, so I would definitely recommend reading over listening for this one.

Note: I moved this review over from my goodreads account. I have read several more audiobooks since I read this book and I’m finding that I don’t really like listening to fiction, so that may be a factor in my dislike of this book. I’ve switched to mostly listening to non-fiction and have found it a lot more enjoyable.