Review: A Strangely Wrapped Gift | Emily Juniper (ARC)

This review is spoiler free.

51378998._sy475_“How do you combat a foe who lives inside your mind? You love yourself. And forgive yourself.
And let yourself be helped. And work and work and work until the demons dance a little quieter.
And then you do it again.”

Published: 2020, by Central Avenue Publishing.
Pages: 192
Format: eBook/ARC from Netgalley
Genre: Poetry, LGBT, Health, Mental Health
Contains: Mental Health, Mental Illness, OCD

I received a copy of this book from Central Avenue Publishing through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

‘A Strangely Wrapped Gift’ is a modern poetry collection, centred around the themes of love, loss, heartbreak and mental health. Split into five parts – Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Leap Year, ‘A Strangely Wrapped Gift’ explores recovery in a beautiful yet honest way. 

I initially was intrigued by this title by the inclusion of mental health, having made a habit of picking up poetry collections with this theme involved. The gorgeous cover was a massive plus, yet admittedly, I was left a little disappointed.

Mental health in general is not spoken about enough, it being a fairly taboo subject, so any inclusion of such a theme is one I want to get my hands on. This collection advertised as such, however, there were only around 7-8 poems with this theme, the rest being centred around heartbreak and love – perfectly good subject matters, but not my personal preference. This hindered my enjoyment of the entire piece in general, hardly relating to many of the subject matters outside of Mental Health and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Those were the ones that felt like could have been explored more, being quite brief and skimmed over in their lengths and descriptions. 

The poems themselves were okay, original and beautiful in their own ways but nothing life changing. Some were underdeveloped and a little plain, yet there was the occasional breathtaking piece. However, the layout of the poems could have been improved on, to ensure the flow of each piece gelled a little better. Rather than splitting them into the four seasons, I felt as if they could have been split into subject matter or something along those lines, not quite understanding the original intentions behind the grouping. 

Overall, this collection was okay. There were highlights and I did enjoy the reading process, yet as a whole I felt it was quite basic.



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