This review is spoiler free.
with a cross hanging
– take it from me.”
Series: Things that h(a)unt
Published: 2018, by Andrews McMeel Publishing.
Genre: Poetry, Feminism, Nonfiction
Contains: Intimate Partner Abuse, Domestic Abuse, Eating Disorders, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Self-Injury, Cheating, Alcohol, Religion, Death, Blood/Gore, Fire.
‘To Make Monsters Out of Girls’ is Amanda Lovelace’s third poetry anthology, documenting a past abusive relationship with her iconic skill for poetics. In the first installment of a new duology, Lovelace explores recovery and self-worth alongside gorgeous illustrations by Munise Sertel.
In my eyes, Amanda Lovelace can do no wrong. So, when I first heard about the release of this book, I was overcome with excitement, firmly believing that it was going to be one of my favourite releases of the year. Needless to say, I was not wrong.
In this collection, Lovelace tackles the theme of abuse effortlessly; she is the master of poetic thought. Each poem in this collection is raw and honest, managing to compact the turmoil of emotions abuse victims face with the use of fairy-tale metaphors and elegant language. The metaphor of the monster worked perfectly, making the contents of the poems hard-hitting and captured pain and fear in ways that were terrifying to read; Lovelace’s bravery to speak up on these events is incredibly inspiring. They were as empowering as always to read, Lovelace being a huge inspiration to many who reads her work, myself included.
The collection itself is split into three sections; ‘monster-boy’, ‘monster-girl’ and ‘sun-heart’, which documents the journey she experienced towards escaping from her abuser and into recovery with her current partner, Cyrus Parker, the author of DropKICK Romance. The journey itself is displayed with raw emotion, making the reader proud and grateful that it was displayed in such a way; it was evident that it was incredibly difficult, but by the end of the collection you know Lovelace survived and is recovering, and you will too.
Overall, I am incredibly glad this anthology exists. Full of breathtaking language and elegant illustrations, Lovelace manages to present abuse victims in a way that encourages hope and strength to fight your own battles and rediscover your self-worth.