Official Review: Silent Thoughts by R. Rose

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Official Review: Silent Thoughts by R. Rose

Post by CataclysmicKnight » 04 Jun 2018, 20:40

[Following is an official review of "Silent Thoughts" by R. Rose.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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I love poetry. Poetry is how my fiance and I met, and it's such a powerful way to express deep, emotional points in a page, a few stanzas or even a few words. So when I came across Silent Thoughts by R. Rose I was especially intrigued - this isn't a poetry collection, it's a collection of short pieces on themes ranging from trust in God to the pain of a lost love. I was intrigued by what kinds of emotions Rose would spill on the 190 pages of this book, and happily dove in.

The book isn't technically broken into categories or clearly split with any themes or forms of writing, but it does weave some repeated themes throughout the book. In addition to trust in God and the pain of a lost love, as mentioned previously, Rose also covers resisting sin (particularly lust), relationship issues and many other topics. She also has a fondness for using God's creatures and flowers as metaphors, and above all else it's clear that she definitely spills her emotions throughout these pages.

This is part of why I'm so sad to report that I just never found a piece that blew me away. Every time I found a piece that I thought would be the one, the piece that would be 100% awesome from beginning to end, it ended up somehow falling flat by the end. The majority of these pieces are still formatted like poems, with a sentence per line, but then often one of the last few lines would be a paragraph or an extra-long sentence that kills the flow. Even if these aren't poems, some amount of precision with words is expected, so when lines are bulky and slow it drags a piece down.

That isn't to say that there aren't some great parts of pieces, though. In "The Green Sea Turtle & The Little Flower Girl", the titular little girl finds herself "fun sized waves", which seems like a cute way to say smaller waves meant just for her (much like fun sized candy is smaller candy). In "Fruits & Vegetables", she says "The water boiling and simmering, an atomical song of molecules moving around violently". This is a really gorgeous way to cover both the art and science of cooking! I still ended up with a list of 12 pieces that I enjoyed, and there were probably 20 or so I enjoyed enough to consider 3 out of 4 stars, but there was only a single piece that I'd give a full 4 stars. The poem is called "A Living Contradiction", and it ends with the line "Just breathing is a double-edged sword." It's only five lines and yet it's such a punch in the gut, even though it still could've been touched up a tiny bit.

I also really wish there was more variety to the pieces in this book. In poetry collections, poets play with format, they toy with rhyme and meter, and they dance with metaphors. A good poetry collection mixes up not only the themes, it mixes up the way the poems are written. While these aren't poems, I still expected Rose to play with the way pieces were constructed, and I found only a handful of types. Some were formatted like poems, and some were more like journal entries. Others still did both, using both full paragraphs and single lines. But I would've loved more variance in the methods! 190 pages, with pieces averaging between 1-2 pages, is a lot of opportunity to do some unique things.

I would rate this book 2.5 stars if I could from averaging all the individual pieces together, but I also have to take into consideration around 30 grammatical errors. Many of these are similar: not using an apostrophe in a possessive noun and using "wither" instead of "whether", for example. Between this and the fact that I find myself having a really hard time recommending this collection to anyone, I'm settling on 2 out of 4 stars. Rose has potential, and it was definitely brave of her to put herself out there like this. I also loved that she wove some of the topics that are common in poetry collections with her love of God, both in hard times and in good times, and tried something new with these pieces. But these aren't enough to make me recommend the book without multiple truly fantastic pieces. If you like poignant writing but don't like poetry, and especially if you've suffered the loss of a significant other and have faith in God, you may still find some enjoyment here.

Silent Thoughts
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Post by arcie72 » 05 Jun 2018, 23:32

Thank you for your honest review. The book sounded lovely but I was sadden to see that you were disappointed in a book that you were so ready to indulge in. I agree with you in that she should have explored with her writing of her stories. It probably would have made them more interesting. I do like poetry but I will be honest it's not at the top of my list. Even with that being said I am glad you did have at least one single piece that spoke to you.

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Post by joshfee77 » 06 Jun 2018, 01:59

Poignant writing sounds good, if it is able to impact the reader emotionally or elicit a visceral response. A pity the construction of a few pieces was inconsistent and that they didn’t quite work for you.

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Post by Helen_Combe » 06 Jun 2018, 02:49

Thank you for that well-balanced review. It’s a pity the book fell short as it looks like there was a lot of potential there.
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Post by SamSim » 06 Jun 2018, 06:06

I was so hopeful about this one. I think, because of the themes (faith in God, resisting sin, etc.), that I might read this one anyway. Thanks for the thorough review!
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Post by meadhbh » 06 Jun 2018, 07:00

Reading your review, I'm reminded of the phrase "there is no such thing as bad poetry, but there is such thing as good poetry, and not all poetry is good poetry". While I'm sure I'm paraphrasing somewhat, your review really seems to sum up this sentiment for me. Thank you!

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Post by kdstrack » 06 Jun 2018, 07:26

Thanks for your review. Sounds like her poems were more of a catharsis for her, seeing that so many of them had the same theme. Your comments really help readers understand the author's personal journey. Nice job.

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Post by KristyKhem » 06 Jun 2018, 12:20

The snippets from the book which you described seem quite nice - I liked the one about fun sized waves. Sorry it disappointed you. Perhaps it will be better with another round of editing. Thanks for a balanced review.

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Post by Tiny_Turtle » 06 Jun 2018, 15:13

I appreciate your honest review. I love to read, yet I find I usually have a difficult time with poetry. A short poem is ok. But once it turns into longer verse my mind will tend to wander. I'm not sure why that is.

I have a few books of poetry on my shelves at home. I will occasionally open one to read a poem or two. Then, they return to the shelf. Based on your review where you say there are a few good pieces in the mix, I will check out Silent Thoughts by R. Rose. Maybe one of pieces will speak to me. :wink:

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Post by teacherjh » 06 Jun 2018, 16:34

Wow - some of those quotes are pretty amazing. I don't read much poetry so this one doesn't go on my list, but your review was well done. Thanks.

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Post by daniya__shah3 » 12 Jun 2018, 11:47

You have managed to balance your review properly. I think the poems lack variety and depth and I might not be able to enjoy the book. Thanks for your opinion!
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Post by AmySmiles » 13 Jun 2018, 09:39

I enjoy poetry, but am finding many don't like to edit their poetry. It's a shame. Thanks for the review.
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