ARC Review: break your glass slippers, Amanda Lovelace
Updated: Apr 21, 2020
break your glass slippers, Amanda Lovelace
Pub. Date: March 17, 2020
*This Advanced Reader’s E-copy was provided through NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing, free of charge.*
TW: Sexual assault, fatphobia, emotional abuse
Reading Amanda Lovelace's poems is like having coffee with your best friend - supportive, affirming, and while sometimes serious, it is always uplifting. She has written several collections before, and also writes mini poems on Twitter (her handle is @ladybookmad if you want to check them out). I was already a huge fan of her previous work, women are some kind of magic, and after reading her newest book, I must say that break your glass slippers is also some kind of magic.
The dedication to break your glass slippers reads, “for those who break glass slippers as well as glass ceilings”, making it clear that this book of short poems is for everyone. Already known for writing inspirational poetry centered around self-growth, this introduction to Lovelace’s newest poetry series, you are your own fairy tale, is reminiscent of her earlier works in its hopefulness and support. It allows the reader to start this journey relaxed and ready to accept what Lovelace has to say.
Lovelace rewards this openness on the reader's part by diving into her own history of low self esteem and bad relationships through a heroine titled Cinderella. Her very first poem "let me tell you a sad story" describes the heroine's childhood being one that exemplified the saying 'children should be seen and not heard', which rings all too true with myself and (I assume) many other women. This sort of vulnerable honesty continues as Lovelace discusses the fatphobia Cinderella encountered from others, and how she sought to make others feel good without considering what she wanted or needed all in an effort to receive love. It culminates in a relationship with a Prince Charming who seems perfect on paper, but is secretly akin to Hans from Frozen. He compliments Cinderella on her sexual purity and manipulates her to believe that she is nothing without him. When he eventually leaves her, Cinderella is left wondering "where, oh where, is the fairy godmother who will come fix my life?" (“stargazer”). I could go on and on about the plot, but I don't want to spoil anything else. Needless to say, Lovelace's heroine learns her self-worth and becomes someone who is brimming with self love. It is a story that is much needed
All throughout the book are simple illustrations by Janaina Medeiros, focusing on a calming blue palette, which only adds to the serenity with which Lovelace writes. The most complex of these drawings are the gorgeous nightscapes that separate the three parts of break the glass slippers. Each one features a full moon and looks like something out of a fairytale. In line with that, the other illustrations are sparse yet beautiful. There are sketches of women, broken glass slippers, and various poem-centric items. My personal favorite is the illustration surrounding "we all need to check in on ourselves more:" ; Medeiros placed the poem within a clipboard and made it appear as a to-do list that is checked off. It is very quiet and intrinsic.
Lovelace's language is, as always, clear and emotionally wrought. Her words are simplistic in nature, as if she was just talking to you in everyday conversation. However, the topics are deep and deliberate with meaning. It is enough to make you feel like writing poetry is easy, only to realize just how much work Lovelace puts into each poem after you try to write your own. It is refreshing to read and very easy to understand.
In the end, I only have wonderful things to say about Amanda Lovelace's break your glass slippers. Not only does it rise to the standards Lovelace has previously set for her work, it goes above in both language and content. It is a lovely read that raises spirits, esteems, and sensitivities. break your glass slippers is a definite must read if you enjoy feminist poetry.
If you want to read more books like break your glass slippers, try:
shot glass confessionals, by cyrus parker
milk and honey, rupi kapur
the princess saves herself in this one, Amanda Lovelace
How did you enjoy this review? Do you agree with what I said, or have a different opinion? Let me know in the comments! Until next time,