Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Stuff I've Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook | Rating: ★★★★★  

A copy of this novel was provided through NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

I am going to be the woman you fear.

As of late, I've been expanding my poetry shelves and when I came upon Stuff I've Been Feeling Lately, I knew I had to give it a read. Something about the format is appealing to me and I had a feeling I'd love it. I didn't know just how much I would. Not only is the format told in a way that sparks my interest (mix tapes and poetry?!) the prose is so full of life that I found myself short of breath on more than one occasion. I kept saying this, this collection is modern poetry at its finest.

Alicia Cook has a way to her words that leads us readers to her thoughts. Straightaway, what she writes is what we feel. It's so easy to connect with her and there's this sense of honesty to every word that is impossible to describe. Poetry is all about connecting us to a person's heart and soul and Stuff I've Been Feeling Lately is a total nod to this. You're embraced by this intimate look at her life. The good, the bad, the everything. I loved exploring every minute of it and finished it in one sitting because it's just so good.


I smiled often. I cried during some moments. It's everything you'd expect a collection of poems to be. There was a bit of nostalgia in some words; the songs, too, held a glimmer of the past for me. I think that beyond the power of Alicia's words, the songs really kicked things up a notch because we can connect so easily to both of these things on their own. But together? Together it makes the experience more powerful and ties us into something new.

For example. Rent. The references to Rent connected me to the words far more than anything else did. If I'm there, if I'm describing myself, that musical is somehow always involved. It changed my life from the moment I saw it and anytime I hear it, it's like I'm alive once more. So seeing a bit of appreciation thrown towards it--and how it connects Alicia to her life and past--was something that drew me that much closer to it all. Something about its reference moved me. It didn't define the collection or what she portrayed in referencing it but it did tie it together.

Reviewing poetry is so hard because it's everything all at once. So I'm going to leave my review with a glimpse at one of my favourites from the set--and leave you with the hope that it takes your breath away and captivates you like it did me. You can't want anything more than to feel connected with the words and Things I've Been Feeling Lately is one of most relatable and complete feelings in the world and definitely one of my favourite discoveries this year. It's a rare release that gets better the longer you read it and I can't get over the feeling of a journey that came with it.

“You always want one more day.
You always want one more picture
as the old ones begin to fade.
You always want that one final hug
to have lasted just a tad longer.
You always want the fondness
of the remember-whens
to outnumber the might-have-beens.
You want more years, more months,
more weeks, more days,
more minutes, and more seconds.
You want the happily ever after
you always thought you deserved,
but the only thing actually promised
in this life is uncertainty.”
 Is there anything more true than that?

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