Review: I Love My Love



*Taken from Goodreads*

In short, poignant verses, Reyna Mays’ poems explore pain, emotional reckoning, and the power of self-love.

The debut collection from 22-year-old poet Reyna Mays, I Love My Love tells the story of Reyna’s childhood, her parents’ toxic relationship, and how, against all odds, she learned to love herself.

Maybe it’s because I’m not a poet, but I wasn’t impressed. Biddy’s (Reyna Mays on Goodreads) prose had no distinguishable rhythm or style, leaving it to fall flat on the page. I also took exception to the choice of having paragraphs worth of text serving as poems. To me they were cumbersome and hard to focus on, and I’ll admit it, I’m guilty of speed reading a few.

The subject matter of Biddy’s work was also disappointing. I was hoping for something along the lines of the princess saves herself in this one, but instead got something that seemed more like something I would hear at my local coffee shop and leave during. There was only one line in this entire book that brought me emotion: “women, by nature, are healers/heal yourself queen so you can help heal the world.” (71) The emotion I felt rom this was not any kind of positive one.

It was irrational anger.

I came to this collection looking for a focus on self love, which I suppose it is because self love is different for everyone. It was with this line however that I realized that the author and I have different conceptions of self love. I do not see women as natural healers, and I consider it a stifling title. I think it holds women back. It is not our job to heal the world, the idea that it is removes men (and those in between) from the equation entirely. Anyone can be a healer, not all of these people are women. Romanticizing women as healers, mothers, and caretakers removes the diversity of women.

Not every woman is going to heal you. Many are going to break you and not feel sorry. Some will completely destroy you, and that is so important to recognize. Some women are rainstorms, helping and healing. Others are going to be hurricanes, and that’s their honest self.

In short I found myself angry with and put off by Biddle’s work, and found myself grateful I received this is a free PDF in exchange for a review.


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