the mermaid's voice returns in this one

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

I had great expectations about this book and author. Sadly, I didn't enjoyed this reading as I expected. 

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Many thanks to NetGalley, Andrews McMeel Publishing and Amanda Lovelace for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advance copy. Rating 3.5 stars.

This is the third volume of poetry from Amanda Lovelace and 13 other guest artists and is the final offering that follow the “women are some kind of magic” theme. In this one the mermaid has found her voice…

the right
to lure
your voice
out of

even if
a sea witch
to make
a bargain”

The poetry deals with heavy subjects like sexual assault, violence, death, and child abuse, but really relates to all kinds of trauma. I don’t think you have to have necessarily have to have gone through something horrendous to get these poems. Just being a woman qualifies you get it. I love taking these fairy tale tropes that we have all grown up with and turning them on their heads, challenging them. A castle or a cell - both can be cages. Some of the poems I loved, some were okay, some pulled at my heart strings, others broke my heart, some spoke to me. My favourite:

“trauma didn’t change you all at once
it carved slowly every day
like rivers do
it was patient while it hollowed you out

so it’s a sculptor or it’s a knife
you take your pain and you other it
you give it a new name
and a new face

you say this might have helped shape me
it it is not a part of me

you say i meant to break open
to make room for stars”

untitled by trista mateer

Lovelace encourages us not to stay silent and to write your own story. Find your voice and state your truth. Any way you see fit. I will add, whether you decide to share it or not. Shout it from the mountain tops or lock it up and throw away the key. It can be a valuable path to healing. That is what these women share in this volume, it might help you.
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The last book in the trilogy of poetry by Amanda Lovelace is The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One. So if you’ve been a fan of the previous two, you would definitely love this one too. This one like the others focuses a bit on folklore. This one focuses on mermaids and sirens. About how they can lose their voices and what they can do to have them returned to them. Sirens sing and to men and as such often get blamed in fairytales for luring men away from their beloveds. Victim blaming is something that goes on this world and this is what Amanda LoveLace is trying to convey. Victim Blaming happens in the most blatant of places, as it is so ingrained in our society. From facebook comments to what women wear to work. It happens a lot in this world and the #MeToo tries to combat this. And I believe this poetry could help these people understand it is not them. It is the people that rape and sexually assault people that are to blame. It is about regaining that voice from those people that steal it. I seriously love this premise behind this book but I do feel she relied on the previous themes as well a bit too much. The Witch and the Princess were mentioned much more than the Mermaid but this could be due to the fact that this is the last book in the series. 

In addition to this, we got some guest poets in this edition. From Nikita Gill who is the author behind Wild Embers to Jenna Clare who some people may know from her infamous photography of the booktube community, but is such an amazing poet with her debut book out this year. Honestly, this series has given me life to move on and I will march on with the knowledge that Amanda Lovelace gave me. 


i refuse
you took
from me
- i still have every part of myself.
4 out of 5 stars.
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I can only review part of this one, since I didn't realize it never sent to my kindle and now can no longer be downloaded. I'm SO mad at myself for not noticing, because I really love Amanda Lovelace's writing - she has an uncanny ability to take the savage thoughts that sneak through our heads wreaking havoc and wrestle them onto the page, exposing them to the harsh light of day...  This collection seems to continue again in that vein, although I was only able to read a sampling of it. It's on hold at the library now though, and I'll update my review when I can - although strongly suspect my feelings won't change!
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If you loved the other books in the series, you'll love this one. It's raw. It's poignant. It's a different way of talking about healing from abuse than you may have experienced before - and it's beautiful.

I knew this going in but there are a lot of guest poems. I love that she's highlighting other authors, although sometimes I felt like it disrupted the flow a little. I suspect that will depend on how you read the book - I tend to sit down and devour the whole thing at once, and then come back again to dive into specific areas/themes at a time. If you're more of the latter type, it likely won't bother you.

The mermaid theme was interesting. At times it seems to dance just below the surface and you're not sure how clear it is...and then it'll rise up and remind you that it's been here the entire time.
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I'll be honest – before reading this book (and reading the whole series because I'm the type of girl who needs to read the entire book series, just not one book – even if it's a standalone), I hadn't read poetry unless it was for a class. And even then, I hadn't read poetry for class since high school – sad, considering one of my oldest friends is about to publish her first collection of poems!

ANYWAY, I had seen Amanda Lovelace's book ALL OVER BOOKSTAGRAM, plus she'd won quite a few awards, so I figured – why not? Well, while I LOVE (love love!) the themes and the feelings I get from reading the book, I can't help but feel like I'm reading either a teenager's diary, or a collection of old AIM away messages. (Cue all the Dashboard Confessional + Death Cab for Cutie playlists.)

So, I probably should've done some research and/or read the previous books in the series, but I didn't. So yeah – not really my cup of tea, but this was most definitely a very empowering collection of poetry. But I confess – I'd 100% post these poems on a female empowerment tumblr/instagram.
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this was beyond disappointing to be honest. i actually enjoyed the witch doesn't burn in this one, especially since the theme was prominent and dark. and i wanted this to have the same thing but it didn't. the poems were so short and sounded like broken records. some of the context of these poems were quiet serious, and i want to make sure that everyone knows i'm obviously not criticising that. 

honestly, i am just not in-tune yet with modern poetry. it takes away all the aspects i enjoy in poetry and throws them in the garbage. 

there were two "poems" (i honestly no joke am questioning if they are poems or not) that made me feel uncomfortable. 

1. "she's come to the conclusion that they like her because she's sad and even more so because she's quiet. it's a lethal combination that makes it impossible for her to tell them: 
-stop. / no. / don't."

2. "what
does it
to another
-this is why i can't go."

i just don't like how phrased they were, something about them is not right (discuss your thoughts on them with me in the comments if you please)
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The third book in her trilogy, and similar to her other two books. I really liked these poems. A few pages have poems from other people which the other books don't have.
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Wow, this was heavy. I think that’s why I enjoy Amanda Lovelace’s work so much. She doesn’t hold back. For me, that’s the allure with her entire “Women Are Some Kind of Magic” series. All three books feel so personal.

It’s no secret that I love poetry, but I don’t often find the most popular poetry books alluring. It’s personal preference, of course. But these? I adore. Lovelace’s voice and words are magical for me because they have a way of being the exact words I can’t always find for myself. Does that make sense? I think the most powerful poets are capable of pulling out emotions from you that you were unaware even really existed.

It’s hard to give a concise reason for enjoying poetry, because there are no characters or plot lines. There are just words that you either connect to, or don’t. Sometimes it’s more about you than the poetry. With that being said, this poetry (in my opinion) is fantastic. I’d like to own the entire series and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys beautifully strung together poetry.
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the mermaid's voice returns in this one by Amanda Lovelace

Third in the Women Are Some Kind of Magic Trilogy

2.75 stars

Lovelace is one of the most well-known modern poets on social media and the Internet today. Her name has garnered a lot of attention and is usually associated with a specific style, or brand, of poetry. I say brand because poetry has definitely marketed the tumblr-esque and lines on a page with line breaks style. To be honest, the style in general wastes more printed paper than anything because there is so much blank space, but it has an audience and it grips people, which is more than most poets can say today. So, I'm happy that Amanda Lovelace has an audience. I'm just not sure if I'm her audience. I haven't figured that out yet. There is, by no means, anything wrong with her poetry. It's just not always the most gripping. Out of the two collections I've read from her so far, this is my least favorite. The interesting thing about this collection is that there is a wide variety of poems from other poets. I found this to be very interesting and quite moving since the poems were about overcoming sexual abuse and trauma. It felt like a collection steeped with the heart of solidarity and the voice of support. I loved that aspect, but it was jarring because some of these poets are absolutely fantastic and to then read a Lovelace poem afterward feels... unsatisfying and almost like being cheated from an experience of other poets who deserve some acclaim and merit.

Poems I Liked: 
Warning I:
In one of our many worlds.
Hooks encrusted in sand.
My midas.
Try as i may, i keep spitting you up.
I wrote my own ending in blood.
Unsleeping beauty.
Why do i find no relief in this?
The good kind of drowning.
I believe in endless words.
Every day is an act of survival.
*there always exists more than one opportunity for you to grow.
Rare as those days can be, they do always come.
Open up the wardrobe & step inside.
Rip this page out & keep it with you.

These are the poems not written by lovelace that I loved:
Notes on the term survivor. (clementine von radics)
Untitled (trista mateer)
Wading (gretchen gomez)
Earth / water (noor shirazie)
Trust me (jenna clare)
I am yours (sophia elaine hanson)
A promising ballad (orion carloto)

Also, I never want to see another poem that is a tweet again. Tweeting is not an art form and it can lead way to expression, but it should not be the expression. It grates on my nerves every time I encounter it in a poetry collection. Overall, this collection isn't bad. It has a lot of great moments and I can see why this beloved by so many people. If you are a fan of Lovelace or have been looking to pick her up, I think this collection may appeal to you. I personally preferred the witch doesn't burn in this one, but I seem to be in the minority.

Whimsical Writing Scale: 2.5

Plotastic Scale: 3

Cover Thoughts: I love the purple for this one. It's striking.

Thank you, Netalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing, for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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I will say this volume has been an improvement from the first collection I read from Amanda Lovelace, but I am still not overly impressed with her work or poetry style. Some poems are very important and lengthy, while others lack any sort of depth. I do enjoy how the three volumes work together though, as respect that she did that. Overall, this was alright. I would probably not pick it up again.
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Another incredible, heartfelt collection from one of the best modern poets of this age.  It's always a treat to dive into Amanda's head.  There are not many poets that make me feel this seen and understood.
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Ebook from netgally for review. 
3.5 stars
I had read the authors previous collections and very much enjoyed them (still yet to read her monsters poetry collection) but I will say that this is my least favourite of her collections. I do have a soft spot for the fact that both the cover and the font colour are purple, which is my favourite colour. I think because the story aspects of the mermaids being more silent and small compared the princesses and are very different from the witches. I loved the fire and fury of her witch collection so it set the bar high for her writing for me. Mermaid just wasn’t as engaging and at times felt slow but I think Amanda is a creative writer.
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When I first discovered Amanda Lovelace's "The Princess Saves Herself in This One," I was blown away by the eloquent prose harrowing content. Her poem's continued to impress me in both , "The Witch Doesn't Burn in This One," and "The Mermaid's Voice Returns in This One." Her poems are simplistic in design, yet profound in form. I hope she continues this series of poems because she is now an auto-buy author for me.
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I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

I have been reading this series of poems since book one. I loved the first 2 books , but this one didn’t seem to hold my attention like the first two. Not to saw it wasn’t good, it was and it is important to be heard .
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Goodreads review:
This is the first poetry book I read from Amanda Lovelace and I did enjoy it for the most parts. 
There were some poems I really liked but overall I don't think it's my cup of tea.
The poems covered some heavy topics like sexual abuse. I could really feel the emotion behind the poems.

I did like this poetry book but it wasn't my favorite. I'm really in the middle about it. It covers some topics that are really important to talk about but I had the feeling some poems were a bit the same. Definitely want to read her other poetry books to see what they're like.
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Amanda Lovelace graced us with her lovely way of describing some of the most horrible things that can happen to a person which leads to grace and healing. I really enjoy the flow of her poems and the way they are divided into sections. It's almost like reading a novel with a beginning, middle, and end. You want to get to the end because you want to know the ending. I appreciate the contributions from the other authors and poets, especially my favorite - Lang Leave. 

I do think that her first book will be my favorite and had a higher impact in my life. The book's title makes it sound like the poems will center around mermaids and the like (as in her previous books) but I barely got anything that had to do with mermaids. I would have enjoyed a bit more mermaid or sea imagery involved in the poems so that the third book could continue with the theme of the first two (princess and witches, respectively). 

Either way, if you liked her first two books, you will enjoy this one as well! Thank you NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing me with the ebook! 
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I chanced upon an ARC of this book because I was browsing through the poetry section of Netgalley on the right day, at the right time. And I'm so glad I found it!

The Mermaid's Voice Returns In This One is the third book in the Women are Some Kind of Magic series, and I loved it just as much as the other two books, maybe even more.

The Mermaid's Voice was about speaking up, about getting through the pain and still continuing to live, about fighting your demons. It was a collection of poems that inspired me, at the same time bringing me face to face with the reality. 

i love the way
i look in
my sundress
& it's not
someone else 
me to."

This is one of the many beautiful pieces in the book. And what's more? There are even poems by some really amazing poets, including one of my favourites, Nikita Gill.

All in all, The Mermaid's Voice Returns In This One was a power-packed collection of poems that left me breathless and in awe.
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A powerful and empowering conclusion to the Women Are Some Kind of Magic trilogy. I wasn’t too sure about this reading especially since I didn’t particularly enjoy the second book that much, but I knew it would bug me to not complete a series that is short like this one. The one thing I liked the most about Lovelace’s work is how she uses the concepts of fairy tales, subverting traditionally submissive stories about women and reinventing them in her own way. I guess, and it isn’t Lovelace’s fault, the style really doesn’t do much for me anymore. I can’t really fault her on this structure being so overused in popular poetry books.
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When I saw that there was an advanced reading copy for amanda lovelace’s last poetry collection in her series “women are some kind of magic” I was extremely excited. I first found lovelace’s work through a friend of mine who kindly gifted me the first book in the series.

Her first book in the series is probably my favourite as it came to me at a time when I needed to be reminded of my own strengths and abilities. The collection of poetry is something I often return to in times of struggle and I find lovelace’s words comforting and uplifting.

Her third collection aligns with her previous works and centres on themes of self (re-)discovery, how to find your own voice again, and the struggle with remembering and letting go of the past. The four part collection (the sky, the shipwreck, the song, and the surviving) starts, interestingly, with a swan song—which comes from the ancient Greek belief that swans sang beautiful songs as they died. Whilst this is the last book in her series, I doubt that this will be the last we will here from lovelace. This swan song, therefore defies narrative norms where the end—the swan song—is actually just the beginning.

lovelace’s honesty and poetic style proffer the question again and again, How do we come to terms with the past? On the one hand, talking about the past is vital to heal, yet on the other hand it can be extremely dangerous in that the past can creep into the now and take over our present and future selves. Healing also just takes a lot of time and it isn’t easy. With poetic lines like when will it be my turn to be “the gem/ of the deep/ not the rubble of pompeii” (p36) we see the way lovelace contemplates healing, learning, and growing from the past, but also being frustrated with how long everything takes.

Throughout the collection, lovelace also twists the meanings and narrative conventions of traditional fairytales and love stories like The Little Mermaid and Romeo and Juliet. She looks for new meanings and interpretations as well as coming up with alternative endings. In doing so, she asks the reader to question the status quo and to also demand different endings for themselves. Her poetry is also helpful in the way that it reminds the reader to trust their instincts and to learn “how to/ recognize/ the warning/ flares” of toxic and dangerous people. Her new alternate interpretations of tried and true stories therefore, goes a step further by asking the reader to be aware of not just toxic people, but also toxic narratives.

lovelace slips between first and third person blurring the lines of self and other as she recounts some of her past. By doing so she distances herself from her experiences, but also takes hold of her own narrative. Her musings on the terms victim/survivor and which one is more ‘appropriate’ also ties in with the ending of her collection where she states that there is no one way to be a survivor/victim. Often times, people can be both and that is okay. She embraces the multifaceted nature of her identity and this is accentuated throughout the (re-)telling of her own stories.

In the last section of her collection, lovelace mixes the poetry of other authors with her own and creates a mini-anthology of survivor stories. By including these new voices she further reinforces the idea that there is no one way to remember, survive, or talk about assault. And in the final pages of the collection she asks the reader to “take my words,/ but/ expand upon them.” in her poem ‘- make them yours.’ (p171).

Overall, lovelace’s poetry is important in a time of #MeToo where more and more people are talking about sexual violence and stigma. I still believe that her first collection in the series was her best, but I can also appreciate the way that each poem builds on the ones from before creating new meanings and interpretations of remembering trauma.

Are you a fan of poetry? Will you be picking up lovelace’s poetry collection when it hits the shelves? As always, share the reading love.

NOTE: This novel was was accessed through Netgalley and Andrew McMeel Publishing for review purposes. Expected publication is 5th March 2019.
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