Sparks of Phoenix

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

What drew me in was the cover. It is absolutely stunning. I didn't care what the words in the book were going to be. I knew I was going to love it. And boy, did I. I didn't realize that it was poetry. Or that it was even the third in a a collection of poetry. The Spirit of Phoenix resonates strong in me, and the poetry that makes up Sparks of Phoenix didn't disappoint. 

Najwa's words are empowering, and spirit-lifting, for those who need to hear those words, and need to feel that strength. Especially when healing from past traumas done to them. She touches everyone with any one of her poems of thoughts, feelings, and experiences. These words can heal, if they call to you, and you let them. 

Thank you Najwa for sharing a piece of your Soul with us. You are wondrous.
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“I will not live with your guilt.
I will not carry your weight.
It is yours to carry.”

As with all poetry collections that I love, this one made me incredibly emotional. I don’t know why I’m so drawn to poetry collections about women experiencing trauma and healing (let’s not psychoanalyze that), but there’s just something about collections like this that speaks to me. The symbolism of the Phoenix is beautiful and other than some repetition this was an A+ collection.
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Sparks of Phoenix by Najwa Zebian is a collection of poetry that follows the process of heartbreak and healing. These poems, while many of written in a style that I personally find distracting, were really rather powerful and moving. Some I'd connected to, while others I didn't. 

I am free
not because
you let me go.
I am free because
I let you go.
And set myself free.

That poem in particular I found rather impactful and spoke to me in levels.
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I loved this book of poetry. I really was able to connect and empathize with what the author was saying throughout the whole of her works. She incorporates thoughts and feelings of unworthiness and self-doubt throughout the pieces and makes the reader understand how there can be a way to think differently about these topics and possibly overcome your own situation. The only small criticism I would have is that I found it to be a little repetitive. Otherwise, I loved it! It made me feel empowered and strong. Like there was someone out there who could in a few short sentences put into words what I have a hard time even thinking coherent lengthy thoughts about.
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Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an eARC to review.

I somewhat enjoyed reading this, I took my time with it, and at time I didn't really feel like reading it. I ended up giving this a three out of five stars. I enjoyed lines but I didn't love this collection. I did relate to some of them though.

"My soul has been burning for a while now. Pain has become my new normal."

"It will bother you that they can be so heartless when they are the ones at fault. But remember, At least you have a heart. At least you can feel. Be grateful for that."

"You don't deserve to spend the rest of your life convincing someone of why they should love you."

"What a shame it is for you to run away from the truth of what you did to me when I should be the one running away from you."

"I do not want you to be sorry that I felt that way. I want you to be sorry for what you did."

"I just want to breathe, and I am gasping for air, but my lungs feel too small."

There are a few more lines I like and some are half that page of a longer poem.
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ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sparks of Phoenix uplifted my spirit. The poems centered on recovering and learning from pain and downfalls. Just like a Phoenix, we rise up, healed from the scars and continue our journey. Najwa Zebian's words soothes my heart and soul. I'm excited for her next collection.
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I only recently read and was rather disenchanted with Amanda Lovelace's the mermaid's voice returns in this one, and if I had to describe Sparks of Phoenix in one sentence, I would say it's what the mermaid's voice is trying to be. Najwa Zebian's writing really spoke to me and my own experiences of emotional abuse, and it made my heart soar more than once.  The powerful theme of remaking yourself in the aftermath of abuse is matched by the autor's powerful voice.

"For every broken soul,
there is a
once upon a happy soul."

Some of the pieces were a bit basic and formulaic for my taste, and I feel that the collection could have benefitted from cutting some of those pieces. However, I found myself bookmarking page after page, and there are enough pieces that show what Zebian can really do that I wasn't too bothered by the more redundant pieces.

"My hands melted into my face,
and all of my words transformed
into action."

One of my absolute favourite pieces was the poem Excuse me, sir. Zebian weaves her words into something stunning and defiant in this piece, and this was when I truly fell in love with her writing.

"Excuse me, sir.
My body is not a place for your conquest.
(...)
I carry with my body
the cities of the world.
I have, carved, on my body
streets that you want me to hide
because you see them as scars."

Overall, the collection was beautiful, but just missing that last little bit of oomph and freshness. I would still recommend it if you want to be taken on a journey of burning and healing, and I think it would be accessible and enjoyable even to people who don't usually read a lot of poetry.

All quotes are taken from the eARC and may not match the final release.

Thank you to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I don't usually read a lot of poetry, but I was incredibly happy that I decided to pick up Sparks of Phoenix to read. I was impressed and captivated by the straight-forward (yet at times heart-wrenching) poems throughout the book, the way it flowed from mid-relationship to post, showing every phase of the healing process, even the ones that weren't so pretty. 

I particularly liked the intermittent passages sprinkled throughout the book that read more like affirmations than like poems. All of the poetry and those passages felt like a conversation with a friend, and I suppose when it comes to poetry, that sort of close connection is important when it comes to really identify with the material. 

I would definitely read more from Najwa Zebian.
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In this third book of Najwa Zebian, some of the poems and prose included might be considered not only for those who are in pain because of lost love but also because of discrimination, being bullied or even physical and emotional abuse. The book has six chapters which showcase each process from the pain, denial, forgiving, acceptance, standing up, and a fresh start. 

The writings are quite easy to comprehend and heartwarming; it's like one of your friends guiding you through giving advice. There are a handful of these poems and prose that I could relate into and I know that a lot of women will be able to connect with these powerful words from Zebian.
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Najwa Zebian has crafted good and great works are in here: works that one would read as their own. A voice to uplift the reader; that would more encourage and inspire to healing, acceptance, from the pain, walking through it. Not overnight. But through stages that Zebian will walk you through. It is honest and it strongly reflects on Sparks of Phonix’s contents.

She had managed to divide it into a series of stages– cleverly created from the burning past of pain; all learned lessons and accepting love for yourself. Transforming, slowly rising into the better version of you, a phoenix symbolizing all.
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I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review


"You hit me with your pain,
and I turn it into poetry"

Words have power, and Najwa Zebian has shown us this through poetry.

This was the first poetry book I read by Najwa Zebian, and truthfully I was enticed by the pain hidden beneath the words. She tells a wonderful story of letting go of those that hurt you and finally healing even when it seems impossible.

I loved how the book was divided into chapters, to show the different phases of life. As one section would focus on a certain aspect of life. Giving the readers a chance to really understand the feeling behind these words.
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This was my first collection from Najwa, and I absolutely LOVED IT (and will probably need to go devour her others as soon as possible). It was so full of both pain and hope, and so much inspiration. I loved every single poem and the positive message of healing that they all sent 
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"I do not want anyone to tell me
I am overthinking this.
I just want someone to
love me through this."

With Sparks of Phoenix, Najwa Zebian wanted to help us - just like she helps her students and readers of her other books - to find and make a home within ourselves. To live, love and create. 

In this collection of Poems we can follow a story as a person, be it her or a character, grows and go throught the 'Falling', the 'Burning to Ashes', the 'Sparks of Phoenix', 'Rising, Soaring', 'New Chapter'. We follow the comings and goings, the ups and downs. And we feel it. 

While it also can be read some separately.

"to all the of the lights
who chose to dim
when I was in the darkness,
thank you for teaching me
that my own light
is all I need."

Najwa's writing is marvellous, is touching and great, and I loved having this chance of reading this book. I have not been through it, but I know her words are meant to help, and hopefully they do. Hearth-warming.

"Remind your heart that kindness
is always the answer"
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There's a lot of good here. The poems are varying and in different formats which is always nice. The theme of the phoenix and rising from the ashes is nice, if maybe a bit overdone. Any woman discussing her abuse in a candid way is to be celebrated, and I commend Zebian for writing this.

I did see two problems that I see in nearly every modern poetry collection: filler and general repetitiveness. I count filler as platitudes disguised as poems. I can't stand one or two sentence poems that are really just an already-overused statement, and this has a fair amount of that. And the repetition is honestly off the charts. It feels like reading the same ten poems over and over rather than reading many unique poems. A collection should be cohesive, but not repetitive, and this misses that mark for me.

*Thanks so much to NetGalley for advance access to this collection in exchange for an honest review.*
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Powerful and inspiring. You are not the victim here, but a fighter. We all been there, we all suffered, that’s why each word touches your heart.
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"You look at me and wonder 
how I can be so strong while 
I am fighting wars inside.
Some days I win.
Sone days I lose.
But both days, I smile."

I have loved Najwa Zebian's poetry ever since I discovered "Mind Platter" and this was just as beautiful.
Especially the last 2 parts have made me really emotional and I wrote some of the poems in my bullet journal so 
they will keep me motivated :)
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Beautiful poetry, the words just speak to you and touch your soul, sometimes hard to read and other times uplifting. A great work and this is the first poetry I’ve read by Najwa but I’ll defintelt be reading more.

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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