3 out of 4 stars
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College student and poet Sabaine presents us with her first collection of poetry, titled Between the Lines There Lies a Story of Me. My copy of the book is subtitled The Lost and Found Hope Volume 1, so I’m pretty sure that’s a big hint that we can expect more from this young author, who has not even reached her prime yet. A variety of poetic styles can be found within the pages of this book, alongside a strong sense of emotion and passion for the words being shared. Additionally, a sadness accompanies these words, so get ready to be shocked to tears by some of the things Sabaine has to share.
As hinted by the title of the book, the poems found within revolve around Sabaine’s reflections of her own life and her personal stories on her road to self-discovery and self-acceptance. Separated into ten parts, the poems are organized by similar styles or by similar events that had a strong influence on her life. The first poem in the book is the longest and, written in free verse, reads like a journal that covers multiple years of her life. While we get a general sense of what she is like from this poem alone, it is the remainder of the book that fills in the missing bits and pieces and really defines the turmoil that she suffers throughout her life. Her home life is pretty awful, and she just doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere.
Reading this book is like reading an emotional memoir written through poetry. It’s not as clear and concise as we’d usually expect in a memoir, but I don’t think it was intended to be. It’s very clear that a lot of emotion was involved when writing this book, especially concerning negative emotions such as fear, self-loathing, loneliness, abandonment, grief, and hatred, to name a mere few, so the details of particular events that might be of interest to readers like me were not necessarily fleshed out to their full potential. By the end of the book, there were so many more details that I wanted to know, yet I’m fully aware that such details are not the important part of the poetry.
My only grievance with the book was one specific section that broke the flow of the poetry found in the rest of the book. The font changed to appear more official and less whimsical, the style changed to a more visual form of poetry, and the content dramatically changed. The font and style changes were rather interesting to me, and they seemed both creative and necessary to go along with the content changes. However, it was the content changes that I didn’t much care for. Rather than continuing with the beauty that comprised the theme of Sabaine’s reflections and self-discovery, I felt like I had suddenly been thrown into a political commentary cage match with multiple topics attacking me all at once. To be fair, some of the content found within this section seemed appropriate, such as how the author had been required to deal with racism from an early age, but for the most part, this section just seemed out of place and unnecessary to the rest of the book. It really threw off the flow of the book for me.
Fortunately, there is also a later section containing haiku, which I absolutely loved. My fascination for the book was restored once those little gems made their appearance. Overall, I give this book a rating of 3 out of 4 stars and recommend it to anyone who enjoys poetry. Those who enjoy memoirs or young adult books would also enjoy this book as well; it certainly makes for a refreshing read, thanks to the emotional focus of the poetry.
Between the Lines There Lies a Story of Me
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