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Member Reviews

I wish poetry came with a genre tag. This is slam poetry, this is traditionalist, these are sonnets, this is actually a book of aphorisms, this is not for you. 

I was a bit embarrassed when I realized I had already picked this book up, and unfortunately, put it back down again. I saw the title and as I am completely unable to resist sampling anything to do with bees, I requested it. I nearly didn't finish it.

First, this reads more like a journal than poetry. I certainly don't think all poetry needs to rhyme, but there should be a certain cadence, a certain appreciation of sounds to make it more than a series of quotes. This did not have that.  The other side of this is that it didn't feel like the author had done any serious introspection about her feelings. You can be sad, miserable, devastated, confused, but as a reader, what can I learn from that? As is, it just feels like the author is ranting at me, which is frankly, not enjoyable. 

Second, the overall book was flat. There was only one topic addressed in the whole book, that of love and ended relationships. It just got tedious reading it. I would have liked to see a series about a good relationship or a series about something completely different. I do not know if this is her first book of poems, but it feels like it. I would have loved to see her take a few of the best from this collection and just wait to publish. Work on them, practice, because there is promise here.
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Now, I am not very experienced with reading and writing about poetry, but for me, Honeybee was certainly a treasure. This book centers around Trista Mateer's past relationship with someone she loved so dearly. It was visible on every page how much emotions and feelings Mateer had in this relationship. I find it admirable how she was able to translate these feelings into the poetry in Honeybee. 

What I like about this poetry collection is that it feels contemporary, yet it is not shallow. It feels very honest, even if the truth is a little ugly at times.  

I recommend Honeybee if you are interested in an LGBT poetry collection, and actually, people who are not so interested in LGBT poetry too, because it's never wrong to sympathize with others, and overall Honeybee is just a ride on a rollercoaster through emotions that constitute a relationship. The rating I gave Honeybee is 4/5 stars.
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I really enjoyed reading this book. There were some poems that really struck a chord with me, and I really loved them. All of the poems and writings were very honest and made me feel for the author.  I think that a lot of readers can relate to them. Some of my favorites were "Google Searches On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown" and "Another Obligatory Poem Comparing A Girl To Something Consumable."
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I enjoyed this book of poems. I particularly enjoyed that the perspective this was written from was a bisexual woman. Usually poetry is hit or miss for me, but I would totally recommend this. My only complaint is that reading a few poems at a time can get pretty maudlin, so my advice is to take these slowly.
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this was an incredible book. it focused heavily on heartbreak, biphobia and learning who you are after a toxic relationship. the poems hit me in the heart and had be desperately searching for the final answer in the book.
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Feels a bit repetitive, but still manages to convey authenticity.

I really liked a big chunk of the poems, and there were only a couple I didn't really click with. 
I like Mateer's flow and her titles; I also liked the design of the book and how it felt fitting with the tone and atmosphere of the collection.
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I know lots of people are snobby about this sort of poetry, but I adore it. This, in particular, though, is really gorgeous. I’ve never read poetry about religion & sexuality or bisexuality or a lesbian relationship. This has all of those and so much more too.
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This poetry collection is essentially about the author's life after letting go of the woman she loved. It's always hard to judge the content of such personal poems so I'm trying not to go there, I'll just say that what kept me reading was the style of the poems more than the concepts. It's just, the author's feelings either will resonate with you or they won't, and for me they mostly didn't, but that's something I need to have in order to really love poetry.

My favorite poems were the ones that talked about bisexuality (even if this book is not for you, you must read the poem called "A Brief Note on Biphobia"). They meant a lot to me.

I think this is an important book for queer women regardless of your own feelings while reading it, but definitely be aware that it's very heavy on breakup and heartbreak themes as well as homophobia and biphobia.
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This contemporary poetry collection centers around a breakup and the subsequent feelings of heartbreak and confusion. I can see this being very relatable to people who have experienced a breakup of their own and the language is new and interesting in many ways.

There were several strong poems but the weaker ones and the one note the book had made the book drag. Overall, the problem I had was that even though there were hints of larger subjects like religion and bisexuality, even the metaphor of the honeybee, these are never developed, and the collection remains to be about the relationship lost, thus becoming flat. 
The poet was very self aware and it made for an interesting and enjoyable tone.  She knew she saw metaphor in everything. She talks about writing poems, and obsessing over her ex and it has a meta feel that I think is modern. There are some illustrations throughout that give the feel that you are flipping through someone's journal and it was just enough to be cute. Great cover and title, but the collection as a whole falls one note.
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Fans of Rupi Kaur and Lang Leav would be especially interested in this collection of poetry from Trista Mateer. She focuses on themes such as first love and lasting impressions and explores these often difficult topics with a grace and fluidity sure to resonate with readers of all ages. Superb.
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My review of this book has been featured as part of my July Wrap Up Part 1: https://youtu.be/8P3SdiApMrU
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I liked this book so much that I bought a copy to give to my sister for her birthday! I really liked Trista’s writing style and the subjects she chose. Great book!
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A lovely little book of heartfelt poems that I read in one sitting. A nice easy read and beautifully written. Thank you to Netgalley, the author and publisher for allowing me to read in exchange for a review.
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First of all, I would like to say that I think Trista Mateer is a very talented poet; however, I think because majority of these poems were inspired by her bitter breakup with her ex-girlfriend, the book as a whole left me feeling like she was obsessed. Was she? Who knows. Probably not but that's how it read to me.

With that thought aside, this collection hit a little close to home, as it was about leaving someone and trying to get over it and how that happens in waves. It is easily relatable, beautiful, simple, and heartbreaking.
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I just couldn't get on board with this book unfortunately. The poetry didn't have an impact on me as I was reading and I feel that this style has been overdone recently.
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Honeybee is a collection of poems from the author after a breakup. I thought the collection was pretty good. You could feel the author's frustrations, heartache, and confusion during the months following the breakup. We've all been there. Anyone of us could have written many similar poems in points of our life. I appreciate this little glimpse into the author's life during a hard time in her life.
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Felt more like reading a tumblr feed than a coherent story. Didn’t feel cohesive as a collection of poems despite the overarching story that eventually emerged.
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Coming Home
It took me too long to realize it was not
romantic(, tender, or healthy)
to love someone else more than I loved myself.


I started this without much knowledge about Trista Mateer, I'd never read any of her poetry before so I wasn't sure what to expect. The collection of poetry in Honeybee goes through the process one goes through when letting go after heartbreak, after love. And honestly, I found myself not really understanding that process until the end.

For the majority of the collection, I found myself wondering if love itself, for Mateer, was like balancing precariously along the edge of a blade's edge, teetering back and forth between closure and obsession, letting go and giving in. There seemed to be a form of narrative to follow, a detail exposed with each poem that built the story as a whole.

I think one of the main reasons I didn't understand the process of letting go until the end was because of that, each poem giving me a little bit more to understand each time. Now, it makes sense to me that sometimes the process of letting go is just to let yourself feel, to teeter along that edge until you're reading to let go and fall in any which way. And you'd fall, no matter if you healed completely or if there was still that part of you that remained stuck. It was you letting go.

"there's no use forcing it before it's ready."

It also wasn't always about letting go of her love for an ex-girlfriend, because that is not the only relationship which you have to find yourself letting go of. Mateer also brings in her own family, her mother and grandmother, her other relationships and how they impact how she handles herself and how she takes on the emotions she's feeling.

It gives a contrast look at how one who is holding onto secrets about their own identity and battling with ordinary emotions like heartbreak and love cannot go about it in an ordinary way. It's a bittersweet truth, that not everyone has the luxury to pound through those barriers that close them in a precious little box for the sake of everyone else's previous little box.

"She says, I SUPPORT YOU BECAUSE YOU'RE MY DAUGHTER BUT I DON'T AGREE WITH IT AND I DON'T THINK IT'S RIGHT. I say, then you don't really support me, and she doesn't say anything."

I highlighted a lot of lines while I was reading this, some sticking with me a lot more profoundly than others as a pillar in Mateer's story, major points in her journey of moving on.

"You're not my biggest heartbreak anymore.
What a delicate relief to both of us."

I loved the poem titles as well – they were clever and I liked that they became a part of the poem as well. The use of capitals to convey emotion in turmoil and the clever placement of it really gave the poetry more gravity. I also loved the use of the images to show the handwritten poetry, with it's crossed out and feeling that even words aren't always easy to get down onto paper right the first time.

I really enjoyed this collection and feel I would very much enjoy reading more poetry by Mateer.


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I’m not much of a poetry reader. It’s not something I can say that I actively seek out for pleasure reading. But I also Honeybee and it’s adorably cute front cover and requested to read with a very vague idea of what it was actually going to be about.

I started reading this on my train journey to work and I finished on the journey home that day. Partly, this is because poetry isn’t something that takes a long time to read and this collection is quite small, but definitely, because I couldn’t put it down.

Mateer’s writing had a rawness and realness that really hit home. It touched all the right emotional centers within me and I could feel the struggle in the page as she grows and develops and finds out who she is without her first love. I adored the honesty that was repressed here, showing a true representation of the grief that follows the end of a relationship (romantic for the majority, but in some places, Mateer also lamented the loss of a friendship with this).

In its essence, this is a piece that tells a story of one person – Mateer’s – attempts at growing up, moving on, finding peace, but that’s not all the topics she touches upon. There are poems that raise questions about the appropriateness of writing to express yourself when you are not only sharing personal details about yourself. There are poems that speak about sexuality; about biphobia and internalised homophobia that trick you into questioning yourself, and what it means to truly support someone. There are poems that make a mockery of standard poetry conventions.

I have two favourites. The first was, ‘For Everyone I Meet With Your Name’ – it’s not an overly long or poetic piece. In fact, the actual poem is only two words and yet when I read it, I understood completely the feeling that Mateer was conveying, what she must have been feeling when she first scribbled that poem down. The second was ‘The B Word’ – longer, but just as powerful, speaking about the fear of coming out and the words of those around you, things that people say so carelessly and have no idea. Words that you might let people get away with saying or actions that you might believe is good enough. It’s a section I related with incredibly well.

Trista Mateer is described as an ‘aggressively personal poet’ and Honeybee is definitely that. But in that personal touch, you find a relatable honesty and realness that can be difficult to find elsewhere. When Mateer writes about how another person can help make you become the person you are today but they don’t own the person you are now, you can feel the power in those words and that belief because it is something she has honestly experienced.

I would be interested in reading Trista Mateer’s other poetry collections. I found her writing beautiful and easy to read and relatable in a way that made me question myself. I look forward to her work in the future!
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I'm honestly so glad that I was finally able to read Honeybee, I've waited so long. But it was definitely worth the wait, the writing was captivating and beautiful. I could easily find myself lost in the imagery. Honeybee resonates with my soul on so many levels. I wish I could share this book with everyone.
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