Cover Image: Velvet Dragonflies

Velvet Dragonflies

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Member Reviews

As with Billy Chapata’s previous work, I have mixed feelings about this poetry collection. Overall I do think he has a beautiful way of writing, and some of the poems were really impactful, but as a whole it didn’t take long for it to start feeling repetitive. The poems are all about loving yourself and have very important themes, but it starts to feel cliché and trite after a while.

I’d definitely recommend this in small doses, because the poems are beautiful if you take them individually.

Thank you to Andrews McMeel Publishing and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I love the originality. It's refreshing. Someone else says this is more like self-help than poetry. I agree but I like it that way. Poetry could be about anything and everything. And poetry could be a beautiful piece just like this.
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''The best revenge is choosing to remain soft even when you have every reason not to''

I recall really enjoying ''Flowers on the Moon'', and he hasn't disappointed me with ''Velvet Dragonflies''. I think I liked this even more than his previous book. It resonated me on so many levels, like I was meant to read this in the right place, at the right time. 

However, the book would have been perfect if it had been 150-200 pages. Despite its short poems, it is a bit heavy to read.

Either way, I cannot wait to read what Billy has in store.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me an e-arc in exchange of an honest review.
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I'd say this book is more like collection of quotes about self-positivity than collection of poems. They all felt similar to each 0ther, kind of stiff to read, they didn't really flow, and nothing in particular stood out to me. I don't like that kind of writing style, so I DNFed the book at around 20%.
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Thank you NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the chance to read and review this book.

While I tried to get through the book, it is unfortunately nothing new or different. I've read a lot of books that sound exactly like this and honestly I don't care to waste my time on them any longer.
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I always throughly enjoy Billy Chapata’s collection of poems and prose on healing and growth. This book did not disappoint, it had everything I always enjoy about this authors work! 

There were some poems/prose that were repetitive and I felt like this novels work was quite similar to the previous book ‘Chameleon Aura’. Even though there were these similarities I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Thank you Billy Chapata for creating such beautiful pieces of work for us all to read, enjoy, grow and heal from.
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Love and tenderness are perfect words to describe this book. It felt deeply moving and personal, which I enjoyed.
However, this does not work as a poetry book for me. I read it more as a book with little pieces of wisdom and advice about self-love and self-help, so I feel like it might miss its audience because of that. The pieces were overused and very repetitive as far as poetry goes, I had the impression that I had read this book many times before and this was a shame because I could feel there was a lot of heart in this work.
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DNF'd at 50%

Banal, generic, and uninspiring. Less like poetry and more like self-help mantras and insta poems.
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It is hard to find good, modern poetry!  But "Velvet Dragonflies" by Billy Chapata is one that fills the void!  Beautiful poetry on different reflections on different feelings in life. Forgiving yourself, self-reflection! A modern-day "Chicken Soup for the Soul."
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Thank you to Andrews McMeel Publishing and to NetGalley for this ARC.

If you’ve ever come across Chapata’s Twitter account, then you’ll know what to expect from this collection: affirmations, in the form of a few lines, much white space, references to your healing and your path, how to relate to other people, angels, manifestation, and other lightly spiritual things.This is really never for me, but I find myself always trying to get instapoetry (I really don’t, but I do see the appeal).

This is middling, because it really is mostly affirmations, and very little else (so, not quite poetry, in my opinion); but it will definitely appeal to fans.
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I wanted to like this one, but I'm sorry to say it wasn't for me. It felt a little like an AI generated motivational instagram account minus the stock images. I hope there are people that connect with it.
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Velvet Dragonflies delves into the complicated relationship of self-love and romance. While every poem in itself had a beautiful message to deliver, I found that there was a lot of repetition in themes to the point that some poems started to blend into each other and lose originality. I also think that some of the ideas and themes were very mainstream and overdone. I was looking for something extraordinary and it fell flat.
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How does it feel to read this collection? I guess Billy Chapata's Velvet Dragonflies would be the perfect soundtrack to therapy sessions. And if you don't go to therapy, you might want to read this to have a clue of how it feels to finally embrace yourself.

What are these poems about? In his poetry collection, Billy explores self-esteem, friendship, love, forgiveness and, more importantly self-love, self-respect and self-care, which lay the foundations for every other meaningful connection in our lives. Without really activating triggers (at least not in my case), the poet succeeds in reminiding us the importance of loving ourselves first (something that is underestimated most of the times, or impossible to do for many who experienced trauma and haven't elaborated it) in order to be able to love other people truly. 

What will you love about this collection? The images Billy evokes through a skillful use of metaphors (starting from the chapter titles, each bearing the name of a fabric, except for the last one that serves as a conclusion). It's that kind of poetry collection that you might keep on your nightstand in case you want some soothing words to kiss you goodnight, that you could resort to when you have to face stressful situations or that you want to keep in case you need to dedicate some beautiful quote to a loved one. 

Who can/should read this? Everyone: each poem as a standalone (piece of fabric) or all of them (woven together) will comfort you in times of distress and caress you when you're feeling peaceful.
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2.5 stars rounded up
The cover and title of this collection really caught my attention, but while it was a quick and interesting read, it wasn’t really for me.
The poems were different from the kind of poetry I usually read, I often found that they lacked emotion and read more like inspirational quotes or self-help quotes than poetry, which might appeal to other readers, but it was just not for me as I am drawn to the emotional and lyrical aspect of poetry. With that being said, I appreciate how the author wrote about healing and self-love, some poems were definitely inspirational and I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I liked this type of poetry.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me an eARC in exchange for an honest review
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4.5 stars!

Velvet Dragonflies is poetry for the soul and mind. It's poetry to heal your inner-self. It's poetry to remind yourself of much needed, loving truths.

'loneliness won't make an old flame burn differently'

I always think writing works better when you give you yourself over to the words. When you give over your emotions and let them feed your work. Billy Chapata does this beautifully. His poetry is raw and thoughtful, truthful and soft. It's poetry to dip your toes into, to let it hydrate you, to let it feed you.

'empathy becomes expensive / when you have empathy for / everyone but yourself'

I took my time with this collection, reading it in short bursts to cherish each poem and let it take root, giving it the space it deserves. I recommend doing the same. Open it when you're feeling low, open it when you need cherishing, open it when you need honesty. You will find words that resonate with you. Words that you didn't know you needed to hear.

Poetry like this.
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To me, this is a book filled with nuggets of wisdom and then also with some poems in it.  This is for people who love to annotate because you want to read this with a pen in hand and note how these nuggets will apply to you. 

It’s a lovely read about forming healthy relationships (friends, families and romantic), setting boundaries, building your self-love and self-esteem.  

“It is not your duty to wake up anyone that has been sleeping on your magic.”

There is comfort for those moments when you’re feeling a little less than your best and I really enjoyed the journey.  

I wish I’d had this when I was younger when my insecurities were rampant and led me into unhealthy relationships with others and myself. This book was also a reminder to see the younger self and look back at those choices with kindness and empathy.  “darling, i hope you look back at all of your mistakes with love, regret has a funny way of transforming itself into resentment if you’re not careful.”

I would definitely recommend keeping an eye out for this one.
Pub Date: 8 November 2022
Thank you NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for letting me read this stunning ARC.
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Thank you Netgalley for the advance reader copy of Velvet Dragonflies by Billy Chapata in exchange for an honest review. This was such a beautiful and inspirational book of poetry. I found i kept quoting it to friends and family, telling them that they had to read it too.
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Very repetitive and I felt like I've read this before. No unique or interesting prose. I wasn't impressed or moved by any of these poems, Unfortunately, this just isn't for me. Not a good book for reading poetry but if you want self-help mantras you might enjoy it.
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The title and description of the poetry collection, Velvet Dragonflies, drew me in, but when I first started reading, I wasn’t sure I would love it. The book opens with the word “flight” and the phrase “the path back to yourself will be unique”. The collection seemed like a self-help book written in verse with advice like “nostalgia will keep you renting space in toxic places”, “honesty is like cardio for the soul”, and “love for yourself can never arrive too late”. But, as I continued reading the poems, which are surrounded by large amounts of white space, I did realize that the book offers some beautiful words and worthwhile ideas.

The book is divided into sections labeled “viscose” (a solution used to manufacture rayon), “koigu” (a type of yarn), “damask” (a patterned fabric formed by weaving), and “charmeuse” (a lightweight fabric with satin weave). The content in each section seems to build and replicate rather than being distinct, and with this structure, the poet implies that a tapestry is being woven from ideas about self-love and forgiveness. The last section, called “landing”, brings closure to the opening “flight” and states that life has no order of events. This made me realize that the repetition in each section is purposeful, allowing for the reader to flip back through the pages and read the small poems without worrying about narrative order. 

The collection offers thoughts on how fear and ego can hold us back and on the importance of letting go of relationships that no longer serve us. The focus lies with courting self-love and appreciation through the healing of personal wounds and the acceptance of individual faults. The poems speak to the necessity of boundaries and propose some phrases that will stay with me such as “home is not a place, it’s a feeling”, “do not waste ink trying to rewrite someone’s narrative of you”, and “the universe reacts to your intentions, not to the opinions others have of you”. 

Self-help books are not my favorite genre because they often operate with the absence of passion found in real world relationships, but I did enjoy this interesting collection of poems and will certainly circle back to pages which spoke to me and helped me to see my life and the world through a new lens. Velvet Dragonflies is a beautiful read for those who enjoy innovative poetry and philosophical thinking. 

Thank you to NetGalley for a free copy of the book in exchange for a fair review.
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Disclaimer: I received a gifted copy of this book from Netgalley, and I'm in return providing an honest review.

This book is a collection of poetry about mental health, trauma and healing. A lot of it reads like Instagram poetry, and if you like that kind of writing, it's probably for you. Myself, I'm a bit neutral about this book. I think its because this book doesn't make me feel as much as I would like it to. There are some good poems in this book, Dose of Honey being one of my favorites. But I tend to gravitate towards poetry that evokes emotions. This one didn't really do that for me, it read more like affirmations you might find in an app on the apple or android store. The poems are validating, and I can appreciate that. But some of it just fell flat for me.
This book comes out November 7, 2022.
Thank you for the ARC, Netgalley.
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