Reviews: Flower Crowns and Fearsome Things, and Unlock Your Storybook Heart by Amanda Lovelace

Amanda Lovelace is my favorite poet. She combines mythology and fairy tale themes with issues people who grow up as girls (whether they remain identifying as girls or women as adults) often face in a way that cuts directly to the heart of things. Her work has a lovely balance of light and dark, grief and inspiration, anger and joy. To date she has published nine books of poetry and I’ve yet to read one in more than a single sitting.

Flower crowns and fearsome things is a beautiful tribute to Persephone, Greek Goddess of Spring and also wife of Hades, therefore Queen of the Underworld. Lyrical, flowery images celebrating the joyful aspects of female empowerment alternate with darker pieces, holding stronger themes showcasing the uncompromising power of a queen. I adore this book, and I’ve re-read it multiple times.

Unlock your storybook heart is third in the series you are your own fairy tale (lower case intentional here, since that’s how the books are written). The override theme of the series is that you don’t need to be a princess, nor do you need to find your prince. You can love yourself and be happy and successful in your own life, whether you share it with another or not. I love this book; it was a single-sitting read that called forth nearly every emotion, which makes it satisfying to finish. I love that she delves into the cultural and social pressures that “princess” overachieving girls grow up with which colors their future struggles with self esteem and being “good enough.”

If you haven’t picked up Amanda Lovelace’s books yet, I highly recommend starting with the Women are Some Kind of Magic series and go through her full backlist, ending (for now) with the you are your own fairy tale series’s unlock your storybook heart. Poetry feeds the soul, and Lovelace’s books are one of my favorite forms of self care.

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