You Can't Kill Me Twice

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Nov 2019

Member Reviews

You Can’t Kill Me Twice (So Please Treat Me Right) by Charlyne Yi

3.75 stars

“A child bangs his head
against a wall,
trying to understand
why the adults supervising this world
need convincing that his father
shouldn’t be murdered because of his black skin.”

Poetry is hard to rate. Particularly poetry that deals with personal experiences and showcases a person’s vulnerability and raw pain. It feels cruel to rate poems like those, but I am a book reviewer. So, I will try to rate this collection as kindly as possibly without being too harsh to her experiences. For that reason, those very deep and personal poems are not factored into my rating because this collection is much harder for me to rate because of those few poems. However, that is Yi’s strong suit—vulnerability. I don’t think I’ve read a collection from a modern-day poet that is raw and vulnerable about her experiences like she is. With that being said, huge trigger warnings for most heavy and triggering topics because it is obvious that Yi has had a hard life, but her poetry is a great reflection of how she will not let the substance of her hardships define her narrative. I wasn’t always a fan of this collection. There are some poems that are just plain ridiculous in the sentimentality of love and pandering, but that’s the be expected of modern poetry. It’s become the norm. I much preferred the raw poetry even if it showed layers of her soul. It reminded of Wintergirls in that respect. Beautifully written, but with sad and hard topics behind those vicious and layered words.


“The humans stared at their screens
as they missed another sunset.
Too bad it was the last.”

Yi has a lot of social commentary poems, which I really like. The good thing about these poems is that they feel like a protest against society which are the poems I generally prefer. If you are interested in a poet who isn’t afraid to pack a punch, then I suggest giving Yi’s collection You Can’t Kill Me Twice a shot. I am greatly impressed by it. It has its issues with being consisted throughout, but there are some striking poems inside. Just not as many as I would personally like.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 3.5

Plotastic Scale: 3.75

Cover Thoughts: I kind of love this cover. The colors and the little drawings of two people walking away. I love how the image doesn’t take up the whole cover. It’s different.

Thank you, Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing, for providing me with a copy of this collection in exchange for an honest review.
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I love Charlyne Yi's voice in these poems, they are so raw and honest that it's hard not to feel how deeply personal these poems are. There are some great illustrations that are included with a lot of the poems and then there are illustrations alone on some pages that are making a great statement as well.. I would recommend for anyone looking for a great poetry collection.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for gifting an ebook copy of You Can’t Kill Me Twice in exchange for an honest review. 

You Can’t Kill Me Twice by Charlyne Yi is a book of poetry with additions of line drawings for effect. To be honest, when I started this book, I wasn’t sure that I would like it. But then I kept reading and found myself highlighting passages and making notes about my favorites (and there are a lot of favorites!). 
Charlyne Yi’s poetry is unafraid to open up about topics on race, culture, relationships, hate, and so much more. Her voice is poetic and strong, leaving a meaningful feeling to the pages. 
I read a fair amount of poetry and I really enjoy her writing style and the messages she shares, I will definitely watch for more writing from her.
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The poems were great! I think she is a promising poet and her writing was wonderful to read. This is a good book for any poetry lovers.
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"I can live with the fact that I was 
born ignorant, have said dumb things,
and am fighting those tendencies
by learning in whatever means I can.
However, I cannot live cemented in my ways.
Never growing is the death of any living thing.
I am willing and open."

3.5 stars.

I enjoyed reading this but I felt like that sypnosis advertised the poem too strongly that when I read it, it wasn't as powerful as I thought it would be. The book talks love, loss, human nature and self-worth. Some were hard-hitting ones and some slightly funny ones that could induce a chuckle. Around 25-30% of the book is illustrations with a one-liner poem while the rest of the book contained mostly short poems with semi long ones here and there.

Some of my favorites:

"I'm not afraid to die. I'm afraid of
being dead while I'm alive."

"A child bangs his child
against the wall,
trying to understand
why the adults supervising this world
need convincing that his father
shouldn't be murdered because of his black skin."

"Bodies should not be emptied so casually of their life."

""I have grown out of ways to reach you,"
said the child to the adult
who forgot how to love."

"Stop pouring breath
into the mouths
of the monsters
we won't let die."

"You lit your cigarette
but the light behind you eyes went out.
My dear, what are we to do with you?"

"Complacency killed the humans.
Curiosity led the cats into a peaceful
existence in which they prospered
and learned from the cats
that died before them."

"We time travel emotionally
to our past, or anxiously forward
to the future. But if we are not here,
we are deteriorating
as we cannot be
in two places at once."

Overall, I enjoyed some of the poems while they others were so-so. As for the illustrations, I liked the ones closer to the end rather than the silly looking ones. Since the poems are mostly short, this was a really quick read.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with the digital copy for an honest review.
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While most of these poems didn't really resonate with me personally, I appreciated Yi's honesty, vulnerability and creativity. They tend to be quite short poems and are accompanied by many little sketches. Sometimes sketches take up several pages at a time to be the poems instead. Many of the poems are quite bizarre, some sad, some deal with issues like racism and failed relationships while others deal with family trauma.

Favorite poem:

You say so much, that you love butterflies.
There are at least thirty-eight of them pinned to your wall.
            Please do not tell me you
            love me next.

That said, I usually bookmark quite a few poems to read again and this was the only one I bookmarked in this collection. It's definitely interesting, which gets it marks from me even if I didn't love it.

I read a temporary digital ARC of this book for the purpose of review.
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Every time I see Charlyne Yi in something, I’m always surprised and then delighted. I’m pretty sure I saw her for the first time in Knocked Up, which I didn’t particularly enjoy despite a general good job all around by the actors, but I knew her best for Ruby in Steven Universe. Then, later, she voiced the lead in Next Gen (so cute) and played Lucifer’s nerdy little sister Death/Azrael (seen above, with Death’s fishies). And that’s just the acting side of things, because she’s also a comedian (which I knew) and a composer/musician/artist/writer/director (which I did not know). And then I saw her book come up on Netgalley.

I wouldn’t call this your standard book of poems, although as a musician, Yi can wield a metaphor adeptly. I might rate the book lower, if compared side to side with some of my absolute favorite poets who have left me gasping. You Can’t Kill Me Twice (so please treat me right) isn’t just another chapbook, though. It’s a set of musings, art, and stories. And like the best of all of these, it grows deeply personal.

One thing that Yi does that I’ve not actually seen other poets really do is integrate her illustrations into the meaning of the expression on the page. Yes, you’ll see some interesting pictures here and there in Rupi Kaur and others, but they aren’t critical to the poetry. You can just read the poem and get it. “The Study of Types of Love of Friendship, Family, and Romance” lists types like “The Black Hole” and “The Projectionist” and “The Disassemblist.” Just making a list without the illustrations wouldn’t give us same effect. Later in the book, in between a few lines of a short poem, Yi deploys her illustrations as well as the space of different pages to have a couple dancing and pulling each other back and forth. One of my favorites is the of image those enormous glasses the optometrist gives you, to look between lenses for which one looks right, and Yi punctuates each with a little circular lens with a drawing: Repression, Depression, and Reality. (I like the little ghost, okay.)

Apart from that, there are volumes of poetry that make me laugh, but reading this, there were a lot of little moments of saying “YES!” and outright snorting in laughter. Yi’s ability to move fluidly between roles makes for volume of poetry and art that is ever changing and doesn’t let you settle. It was a quick read, yes, but very enjoyable.  Her humor is also a moving target. Sometimes it’s a bitter laugh, and sometimes it’s about an egg going up someone’s butt.

Thematically, Yi does address romantic relationships to a degree, but this is by far not the only focus. It’s hard to pin it all down, but You Can’t Kill Me Twice addresses love, loneliness, mental illness, suicide, identity, racism, political violence and scapegoating, building society on empathy rather than aggression, and the cyclical nature of abuse.

It’s a lot, ya’ll.

At the same time, it’s nice to see books of poetry that don’t just revolve around the rise and fall of a person’s relationships. It’s there, definitely, and I appreciate the themes of needing to be a whole person without your significant other, but that isn’t the beginning and end of what you’ll see here. The book is an interesting ride.
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(Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to have access to this title in exchange for a honest review!) 

Overall, I found this poetry collection to be a good one. There were some that seemed more like fillers than a full piece for this book, but I found many of the poems to be touching and would be interested in seeing what this author releases in the future. 

(One of my favorite poems in the book)

There are two glasses that are half-empty,
that think they can complete each other.
But every time they go into each other’s glasses,
they lose themselves completely.
That’s the catch: You can’t be anyone else’s half.
You need to fill yourself up, so you can be two glasses
clinking and toasting, enjoying one another.
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Unfortunately I can't say this collection of poetry was really for me.

The topics are good, and there are some interesting and good thoughts in it, but the formatting is just not my style. I don't feel like I'm reading actual poems, I feel like I'm reading someone's (mostly) random thoughts. There might be quality to them, but only as thoughts, and not as real poems. For me, at least. Then again, I feel like that a lot when reading modern poetry. I should have maybe already learnt that 21st century poetry is not really my cup of tea. I still can't stop reading it.... because sometimes, rarely, but sometimes I find some hidden treasures...and that's completely worth it.

This collection was forgettable for me, though.

3/5 stars, because it's poetry and subjective.
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"I have learned to hone my darkness.
I have enough darkness to fill the night sky.
I have enough light to turn the night into day.
And I have enough fire
to fill centuries of cold and loneliness
with warmth that will never fade."

I always drop by the poetry section of NetGalley to see if any new books have been added. I also keep my eye out for upcoming books by Andrews McMeel Publishing. Most of my best poetry reads of this year come from this publishing house. The moment I saw this book, I was drawn to it, thanks to the very catchy title! I knew this read was going to be interesting. As soon as I delved deep into this book, I was incredibly amazed and was full of love for this utterly beautiful collection of poetry!

A blend of brutally honest and outright emotional, the poems in this collection is accompanied by dark humour and childish (yet so mature) illustrations which just gives a touch of innocence to the poems surrounding the themes of the uncertainty of love, lingering family traumas and the absurdity of societal expectations. The moment I finished reading this book, my only thought was to hug Charlyne! Every poem in this collection makes the reader contemplate on so many things and even after you finish reading the collection, you can see a strong, vivid print of the poems inside your head, resonating louder and louder as the moments pass by. Every turn of a page increased my love for this book. This is definitely taking the 1st place in my Top 10 poetry reads of this year! Charlyne's style of writing is extremely profound and make's you want more. This book will make any one fall in love with poetry and if one is already in love with it, it makes you fall in love all over again!

I will be reading this again and again for the times to come! The book has left me with so many emotions lingering close to the surface. One of them is a sense of assurance and empowerment. If you didn't love this book, I am coming for you. You wouldn't want that. I am not considering, "Your opinion is yours" when it comes to this book!

Recommended: Everyone out there, just read this collection already!
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This was an interesting read. I liked the art that was incorporated into some of the poetry. It's not my favorite kind of poetry but it had some really nice stuff.
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I haven't seen or heard much from/about Charlyne Yi since I saw Paper Heart, so I felt the need to request this one. Some of the poems are funny or silly while others reflect on her experiences with love and relationships. Don't go into this one expecting something deeply profound or conventionally poetic.
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I would like to say that Ms. Li has pulled out every roadblock, every stop that compulsively filters the dialogue we allow ourselves to say. It's not rough, it's not raw, it's truth. Every word, those accompanied by pictures and those pushing along without, speaks to the clarity of mind that comes when you've seen the other side of dysfunctional, held it's  reality in your hands and been awed by its audacity. Love is not perfect, neither is any relationship. I absolutely loved this book- Li is a poet for her own sake.
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Surprisingly enjoyable collection of poems and illustrations, even though the actress-writer discloses herself as a polymath. Some of the poems are too tongue-in-cheek, but others were biting and poignant in their critique of racial injustice, men/masculinity, and relationships.
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I was hardly attracted at the cover of this book initially (idk how many hours I thought why it had such a plain and simple cover) but the moment I started with this book I was amazed. To say this book has the best and the most magnificent poems I have ever read, it almost made my eyes shine.

The interior has perfect font. Initially I was lazy reading long poems but then a realization of wanting striked me to read  more and more. I have no words to describe Charlyne's style of writing; it’s totally different from all other poets. 

All I found in the book was Charlyne, Charlyne and Charlyne. Such unique books are often more pleasure to read. The poems unlike usual instagram poetry or contemporary poetry are a combination of both of them. The length and style depicts the wonderful fusion of these two styles which comes out really very well. Another thing I loved was the creativity that was profound in each poem right from the idea to structural layout of the poems—poems seem to be more appealing when they please eyes as well. 

The illustrations are just perfect to hit you harder. I especially loved the depth and hardness in the poems. They were guns in my boots maybe something else that would be carried willingly with ease.

My favourite poem was about her dad being her cancer. I couldn't help but love the flow it had. This is a must buy
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Although I don't usually read poetry, I really enjoyed this poetry collection.
There were some really powerful and emotional poems.
Also the art was beautiful. Simple, but meaningful.
Just 3 🌟 because there were also many unnecessary and meaningless poems.
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I loved this book so much! It’s was real, honest and funny. I’m already recommending it to all my fell poetry fans.
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A short poetry collection that hits on a variety of topics from relationships to family trauma. I believe the illustrations, though simple, really hit on the topics that she wrote about. With some harsh truths and some humor, it's an eclectic and varying collection all in it's few short pages. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Charlyne Yi for an advanced copy!
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Charlyne Yi is one of those effortlessly brilliant comedians that immediately make you think, this girl has been through some shit to be this insanely funny. Her collection of poems is a jump off a waterfall and a swim around a mind that has survived some dark trauma. 

“My heart’s been avalanched, torched, hanged, shot twenty-eight times by a shotgun; and still I love.” 

So many of these poems pack a serious punch and the art makes you linger on the pages a little longer than normal. I can’t wait to get my hands on more of her work!
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I liked this.

While short and plainspoken, this collection is also raw and interesting and relatable. I liked her style of verbal simplicity, drawing ideas without the flowery metaphor and instead calling to the emotional part of you. The illustrations were a nice addition to the collection and I thought they went well with their subject matter.
This didn’t blow me away but I did enjoy it, and I would definitely look at more of this author’s work in the future.
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