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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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I would first like to say thank Central Avenue Publishing for granting my wish and sending me this ebook copy of Honeybee. As some may know, I love poetry and I also write I bit of it. So hearing about this book, Honeybee I wanted to read a new poet and see what type of poetry her book is mainly about. 
That being said, this book is a strong sense of bitter and sorrow. I sensed a great emotion of having to take a break yet not wanting to part from her ex. It sounds something everyone can relate to when you have a bit of mix emotions towards the person you love but don't want to love. It's hard to read but not in a way that uncomfortable but its more of "ugh I know what you mean, don't make me think about this certain person" kind of way. I can say there's a bit of obsession but that's how the breakup seems. It's all you can think about, that person.  The author was very honest with her feeling ands insecurities. She put everything laid out for all readers to read and that is kind  of admirable of her. 
I would definitely tell people to read this poetry book. It's strong and emotional. It's vivid and real. This also may be my first encounter with an author that talks about her sexual identity and it's something good to read about. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
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This is a really beautiful collection of poetry surrounding early heartbreak. Mateer addresses these poems to a sort-of ex, who has chosen to forego whatever relationship the two might have had to pursue a traditional life path that will allow her to marry a man and remain accepted by her family. Mateer struggles with this decision, her own sexuality and coming out, and how to get over a very intense first love. 

It's probably impossible not to read this book in one sitting. I actually finished it and then immediately read it one more time. The poems manage to use plain language to great effect, conveying heartfelt and universal emotions that keep the pages turning.
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Beautiful, personal and heartbreaking, I adored this poetry collection. Trista captures heartbreak and bisexuality so beautiful, can't wait to read more of her stuff.
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Read a free galley of this re-release via NetGalley.

This resonated powerfully with me in two ways, and I think this articulated things I wasn't able to for so long now. I do not think this will be for everyone, but it was for me. I'm still trying to come up with more words to actually review this, so I'll leave you with this for now: If you've ever struggled to get past a break-up you initiated or had a hard time letting go of someone or want to read work from a bisexual poet, you might find comfort here.

Adding to my review here: This collection was even more powerful to me for the simple reason the hardest "break-up" I ever had was with a girl named Trista who was my childhood best friend. Not romantic, no, but still...incredibly powerful to read these words, which lends a sense of closure to what was truly my hardest break-up.
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I really liked the style of Mateer's poetry, and I think that for that reason, Honeybee and I resonated fairly well together.

The topic of heartbreak has been one that poets have written about for centuries, but Mateer's situation was entirely unique, because she was the one who walked away. This book explores how her own experience with leaving still affected the heartbreak that both sides of the relationship experienced, and I think it's a side I don't often read about in poetry, because normally the one who is left is the one who writes the sad poems. 

I feel like I wasn't in quite the emotional state to connect to anything truly (probably didn't help I read like 75% of this in the doctors' waiting room), but I did feel it. Mateer pours her whole heart into these poems about her ex and I think that for her, it was probably a really cathartic exercise to do. 

A lot of time was really spent writing about her ex, though, and it was quite overwhelming. Obviously a poet should be separated from their poetry in terms of autobiographicalness unless they say it's an autobiography, but some of what Mateer said surprised me. Even though she was in a new relationship (both sides of the couple), Mateer was still writing very emotive poetry which, if I were reading it as this girl, I would find it a little.... close? maybe? is that the right word? Whichever word, I hope you get the gist - even after one year, two years, Mateer still seemed to be pining for this girl despite being in a new relationship. 

I kind of get it, I do, having gone through a difficult break up a year and a half or so ago, but I don't think I could write this type of poetry about that person now. I miss them sometimes, yes, but I think to write this deeply about them... that's a whole other level, and despite the fact I was thoroughly enjoying the beautiful phrases Mateer strung together, I was still slightly reserved from the poems, trying to remove myself from how I was feeling at the back of my head the entire time. 

Honeybee is a poem about breakup, but not all breakups. Whilst I didn't -connect-, I could feel the pain that was poured into these poems. From a stylistic point of view, these poems were 100% my cup of tea. I loved Mateer's writing style, and will definitely be looking to read more of her books in the future. I especially enjoyed how the titles of the poems seemed to almost be another line. Mateer didn't put a word down without a reason for doing it. 

Overall, I think that this was a book Mateer needed to write, but not necessarily one I felt needed to be published. I think that her writing is, honestly, stunning and engrossing, but I felt a little uncomfortable reading it, as I was looking at it from both perspectives: Mateer's, and the person she left. It's unfortunate that I had this ticking voice in the back of my mind, otherwise I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more. However, I still gave this book a fairly good rating, because I feel like the writing truly deserves it.
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This is a book of poetry that follows Trista’s relationship with a girl who stole her heart–a relationship that caused her so much happiness, change, heartbreak, and emotional pain throughout the span of time. And the poems that flowed from those emotions that Trista experienced were so powerful and relatable.

I loved that Trista created a book of poetry but it is also a story. The poems are presented in chronological order through a relationship and break up–starting out with the initial over-powering feelings of attraction when you meet someone, the first stages of falling in love, and then moving on into the conflict and heartbreak and long process of letting go.

One interesting point that I made to myself was when I was nearing the end and I seriously had the though “geeze, I’m kind of getting tired of hearing poems about the same person”. But even just that single thought was so relatable. We all know what it is like to experience that heartbreak–and I am sure that there were people in my life during those times that were so tired of hearing me go on and on… heck, I was tired of having my thoughts go on and on. Sometimes moving on is so needed… but you just can’t yet.. you aren’t ready. And this author really captures that struggle well.

Honeybee is about a relationship–mainly the ending of said relationship and the hurt and effort that it takes to get over that loss. But it also has some other themes woven into its pages. You get to read some of experiences that both women went through during the time in their life when they were discovering their own sexuality and, therefore, having to endure the opposition of a not-so-understanding society. I feel like there are a lot of titles that cover the perspective of homosexual individuals… but this was the first time I had read a title that gave the perspective of a bisexual individual. It was very eye-opening because the comments that they endured and the challenges that they faced were very different from those of a homosexual. And we need more eye-opening in this world!

I have to say… I usually don’t pick up poetry. I decided I needed to ‘shake things up’ and start including different genres to give myself some variety. I am really glad that this was one of my choices. I really enjoyed Honeybee and I think that I will now make a habit of always having a book of poetry that I am reading. It’s nice when you have a limited amount of time to sit down and read because just reading one page packs such an emotional and through-provoking punch, that you really feel satisfied. Thank you Trista for broadening my horizons!


Thank you to Trista Mateer & Central Avenue Publishing for providing me with a DRC via NetGalley of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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I’ll be honest and say I’m not that into poetry but I still wanted to take a chance and read this one. I thought it was a solid read, I didnt feel any deep emotions when I read this but I know it will have strong appeal to those who do love poetry. I’d recommend Rupi Kaurs work as a similar feeling
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I don't usually read very much modern poetry but some of these poems were ver moving - Mateer is a very talanted poet.  I think the only reason why I didn't love this was because I don't usually read this kind of poetry as it is not really my favourite thing.  It was definitely worth a read though!
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I am such a massive fan of Trista's work and was dying to get to read this. Not one word of this collection disappoints. It's rare that i cry but i cried over many of the poems here and i can't wait to get my own copy so i can read them again and again.
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This was an incredibly good read! This poetry collection about the aftermath of a breakup had some incredibly hard-hitting lines that made me pause and think.. I also enjoyed the occasional references to the title throughout the book.
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4.5 stars. I had never read any of Mateer's work before this, and now I know that I have been missing out. She writes with rawness and beauty and sometimes brutality, and I felt such a connection to so much of what she wrote - particularly the first half of the book, and any poems relating to bisexuality. I don't know how she does it, but she manages to be both cutting and gentle at the same time - so you don't even realise you're hurting until you finish the poem and realise your heart is bleeding, just a little. She writes so well about little moments, those pangs that catch you off guard.

I took half a star off simply because I didn't adore every poem in this collection, but I adored it overall. I may have to get my hands on a physical copy.

I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Heartbreak is never a linear thing, mostly because when your heart breaks it shatters into a million pieces that you have to piece back together painstakingly. Mending your heart is just messy, and you have to do it any way you possibly can.  Honeybee is an extraordinary collection of poetry, detailing the path to closure post-breakup and how that path is never just straightforward but full of U-turns, dead ends, potholes, and burned out GPS. 

Mateer writes with anguished ease about losing the person she loved most, trying to grieve the loss of her relationship quietly when her pain is too much just to keep inside.

“Semi-Factual Thoughts On Space

Did you know that when a star implodes,
for a few days, it can be brighter than an entire galaxy?
I still have light in my eyes from the way that you left me;
I still wait for my core to collapse like a black hole
and suck everything into it
when I meet someone else with your name.”

Honeybee might be poetry, but it reads like a novel. From the moment I read the first page, this book was me. I was the person leaving someone even if I didn’t want to. I was the person running away to adventure to compensate for the inability to feel anything. I was the person with my heart exposed for my new lovers to see. This collection is incredible.  

“You Were Never Supposed To Be:	
a lesson
a hurdle
a thing to learn from
and overcome” 

Poetry is never going to impact two people the same way; logically, I know that. But this collection touched me so profoundly that I feel it crucial to make you understand that this was not merely a book of breakup poems. Mateer confronts her bisexuality here, Mateer doesn’t shy away from the ugliness of the post break up phase. She runs away to find herself and comes back still just as lost. She makes progress and then that progress is undone, and then she makes progress again.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that Honeybee is for everyone. This book is for the bi girls. This book is for the girls in love with their best friends. This book is for the people who have ever felt invisible while they slowly fall apart. This book is for the people who say they want privacy but know they need a stage. Honestly, this book meant so much to me. I don’t want to say a lot about the content of this because it's something you have to experience but let it be known that this work is beautiful, gut-wrenching, and a total experience from start to finish.

Reading Honeybee took me on a journey, and I highly recommend it.
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