Book Review: Poisoned Apples: Poems For You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann

Poisoned Apples: Poems For You, My Pretty
Author: Christine Heppermann
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Poetry | Retellings | Fantasy | Short Stories
Released: September 23 2014
Review Source: Greenwillow Books

Every little girl goes through her princess phase, whether she wants to be Snow White or Cinderella, Belle or Ariel. But then we grow up. And life is not a fairy tale.

Christine Heppermann's collection of fifty poems puts the ideals of fairy tales right beside the life of the modern teenage girl. With piercing truths reminiscent of Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Hopkins, this is a powerful and provocative book for every young woman. E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars, calls it "a bloody poetic attack on the beauty myth that's caustic, funny, and heartbreaking."

Cruelties come not just from wicked stepmothers, but also from ourselves. There are expectations, pressures, judgment, and criticism. Self-doubt and self-confidence. But there are also friends, and sisters, and a whole hell of a lot of power there for the taking. In fifty poems, Christine Heppermann confronts society head on. Using fairy tale characters and tropes, Poisoned Apples explores how girls are taught to think about themselves, their bodies, and their friends. The poems range from contemporary retellings to first-person accounts set within the original tales, and from deadly funny to deadly serious. Complemented throughout with black-and-white photographs from up-and-coming artists, this is a stunning and sophisticated book to be treasured, shared, and paged through again and again.

Let me start by saying I rarely read a book of poems, unless it is by Shel Silverstein - absolutely love that man and all of his poems. Other than that I don't prefer poems. So when I realized this book was a book of poems I was worried it would take me a while to finish. I went through it in one day-yes the book is fairly small and the poems are maybe a page if not less or just a half page more.  So this makes for a quick read.

The main reason why I am giving this book of poems 4 trees is because of the messages they convey. After the second or third poem I realized just how powerful these poems could be for the young adult women today. There are poems about depression, and about body image issues. They're powerful poems that make you stop and think about certain things and how they could be different, how you want them to be different but are saddened by the fact that they are what they are. I feel that every young woman should read these poems and sit to think about what they all mean.

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