4 out of 4 stars
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Secret Kisses Salty Tears is a book that speaks to anyone struggling with love, going through a breakup, or struggling with the societal definition of a relationship. The poems intimately describe the magical moments when two hearts meet, the delicate process of falling in love, and the joys of being in love. They further describe the vulnerabilities and immense sorrows that come with unrequited love and breakups. For instance, the author writes, ‘I think of him, but I don’t know him. Likely, he has changed, as have I. I need to move on. The future is here. The past has died.’
As the poems progress, the topics shift to trauma and healing a wounded heart. They focus on the distrust that results from a broken heart and the emotional damage that follows. How does one move on? How does one love and trust again? Additionally, there is the question of serenity versus solitude. Is it okay to choose peace over a turbulent relationship? Will society view you as strange or faulty when you choose to spend your life alone? What about you? Do you attach your worth to having a partner? The author postulates, ‘Is solitude a blessing? Is it better to be alone than with someone and risk anger and hostility?’
The poems have a unique descriptive quality to them. Jason S. Nino exhaustively explains each scene in every poem, allowing one to visualize and experience each word. Additionally, the characters come to life, including their distinct physical features like brown eyes, scent, physique, and personality quirks. There are also themed and colored photographs at various intervals in the book that breaks the poetry collection. Jason uses stanzas for the poems and employs repetition to reinforce the points and rhetorical questions that induce self-reflection. There is also the use of rhyming words and metaphors, which makes for an entertaining reading experience.
My favorite aspect of the book is how Jason highlights various societal stereotypes and expectations. Instead of embracing diversity, some frown upon and forbid it. Interreligious, interracial, and same-sex love is still a debate in our circles, making life difficult for those in such types of relationships. There is nothing to dislike about the read; every poem is unique and captivating. Some use veiled references, while others are direct and purposeful. I gladly give it a rating of 4 out of 4 stars.
I found only one minor grammatical error, evidence of the book’s excellent editing. The language used is simple but with some poetic vocabulary that will need you to look for a dictionary. Examples of such words include loquacious and mendacious. The book also has in-depth descriptions of intimacy and sexual longing; however, they are tasteful and poetic. Secret Kisses Salty Tears is a poetry collection that will have you evaluate your stand on relationships and how much of an influence your circle is on your love life. It also prompts one to heal first and have the courage to move on when things are not right. I recommend the book to those in committed relationships, long-distance lovers, the forbidden ones, and to those nursing broken hearts.
Secret kisses salty tears
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