Cover Image: Dear Azula, I Have a Crush on Danny Phantom

Dear Azula, I Have a Crush on Danny Phantom

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Member Reviews

I loved the concept of this poetry collection, that each poem was inspired by cartoon characters. It was a nice little flashback having grown up with a lot of these characters. However a lot of the poems weren’t as impactful as I had hoped. This may have been a personal preference but I felt as though a majority of these poems went completely over my head. I even tried re-reading some of the poems thinking that it would help me better understand the message the authors were trying to convey, but it just wasn’t working for me.
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I'm extremely conflicted on this one. While I think the idea and concept behind the collection is extremely creative and novel, I think the execution doesn't work through most of it. The majority of poems, while mostly well written, don't convey anything meaningful to the reader. Am I reading these poems from the position of the character that inspired them, or am I reading them from the position of the person who was inspired by the character? Honestly, the extreme variations of theme and subject from one poem to the next with no clear way of how they are meant to be interpreted made reading this collection sort of mindless. With all that said, I think there was one that I took exception to: "My Mom and Mrs. Incredible Have the Same Haircut". While it begins kind of cringe-worthily, I think ultimately this is what rest of the poems should have aspired to. It makes it completely clear who you are relating to (the person inspired by the character) and how that character impacts their life in someway. I felt the most emotional connection to this poem,

Who are these white-toothed women? And where do they put their grief? When I was little, my mom used to take long car rides, just to get away. Sometimes, she'd take me with her. Sometimes, she'd go alone. The car was always quiet as her eyes. Even with the radio on, I could tell there was no sound inside her.

Otherwise, most of the collection, even if well written, fell flat for me due to the distance between me and the subject matter.

Thank you to NetGalley and Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) & Members' Titles for the opportunity to read this and provide my honest review.
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Thank you NetGalley and Button Poetry for this e-arc of Dear Azula, I Have a Crush On Danny Phantom!

(3.75/5 stars)

Nostalgic and bittersweet. There are brilliant lines such as, "but, like blister beetles, like honey bees I must be aposematic" from Black Fire Ballad (I Feel Most Evil In My Mother's Gowns and "I shapeshift by mapping out my bloodline. Even the insects and I are tied by generations" from Beast/Boy.

When I saw the title, I immediately clicked on it! I grew up with these cartoons. Truly an homage to trying to understand your experiences through childhood media. 3.75 stars as I felt the collection was far too short and a few of the poems felt disjointed.
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Super unique and nostalgic! I love the concept of using prominent characters and figures of pop culture from "millennial" youth to explore deeper topics such as sexuality, gender, and the relationship we have with ourselves. Definitely written for a certain group of people, but should definitely be checked out if you're a fan of poetry, especially the more modern poetry coming out now.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for making this available.. 

I enjoyed the thought of reading poetry about the characters I grew up with. I tried to imagine what the authors where going through whilst they wrote this book but I just couldn't. Some of the poems were nice and I found myself truly imagining it but the rest of the book just seemed like they were making it up on the spot.
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“Dear Azula, I Have a Crush on Danny Phantom is a crossover of our coming of age universes. Exploring the interplay of adolescence and media, Dear Azula is a masterclass on how Generation Z see themselves reflected on screen, how they find themselves in characters when the world does not grant them the possibility. These poems pay homage to the cartoon characters who made us the wicked lovestruck people that we are. These ubiquitous stories of teen ghost boys and water bending women gave wonder to a generation raised by recession. In illustrious villains we learned our own glamour. In chiseled chins and 2D teeth we learned desire. In Dear Azula, I Have a Crush on Danny Phantom we bring the early 2000s renaissance of animation into our modern lives to unpack, celebrate, revel, and remember.”

Being someone (still) growing up in that era, I found this idea endearing to see these characters center focused in poetry of all things. Reading fanfic in my past, I completely understand the appeal of showcasing inspiration from characters on the screen in this form and these two poets did an amazing job. I loved Raven’s and Danny Phantom was the reason I clicked to read it so fast. The Last Airbender is another treasure trove of lines that keeps you locked into the story.

My only issue was that while I did love the poems, there were moments of odd pacing or breaks with a line or two here and there. Nothing crazy. I still enjoyed them. My favorites: Marrow (the genius behind that) Beast/Boy, Yzma Dresses for the Llama Funeral (that was just wickedly fun) and Zuko’s Palinode.

Rating: 3.5 Stars Rounded up to 4.

(Also posted at my blog <a href="">👻Cassie's Haunted Library👻 </a> and GoodReads)
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This was original and moving. It was unique with its various pop culture connections, yet was still relatable. My personal favorite was titled “Yzma Dresses for the Llama Funeral”, it was a little dark (which I loved). 
Thank you to Netgalley and Button Poetry for this arc ebook! I will be posting my review on Goodreads today.
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I was given a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

What I was promised: [...] a masterclass on how Generation Z see themselves reflected on screen, how they find themselves in characters when the world does not grant them the possibility.
What I got: Not that.

This colleciton doesn't seem to know what it is that it wants to be. The poems try to be a tribute to the shows and anime that they were inspired by, but they only half succed in doing so. Because they also try to explain why the show or character ment something to the person writing the poem, while ALSO trying to give it depth that goes beyond the characters. Which doesn't really go that well. It's kinda a combination of all 3 but it isn't doing to hot on either of them. What we end up with is a poetry writing stile I don't like because

It's just pressing space at
random times, that are supposed
to sound cool and stuff but they
actually dont.

Fandoms mean a lot to me as well. I often hyperfixate on them, so I hoped to see why this character and that show ment so much to someone else.

Maybe someone else will be able to get more out of this.
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This is an awesome collection of poetry exploring identity: gender, sexuality, queerness, self-doubt, self-confidence. I loved seeing the characters of my 90s and early 2000s cartoons be worn as creative expression. Shego, Yzma, and the hyena’s poems were among my favorites in exploring ideas of villainism and sexuality. 

I am grateful to these poets for sharing their voices and Netgalley and the publishers for this ARC. Excited to see more work from them in the future!
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I liked the concept of this collection because I too am a huge geek and lover of animated media, but I found this to be ok. A couple of poems are very vulnerable, but I ultimately wasn't very emotionally stuck by any of them. Since this collection feels to be for a very niche audience, I don't think readers who haven't consumed the inspiration cartoons (such Avatar the Last Airbender) will get anything from the poems.
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I was immediately drawn to the title and concept of this collection. While it was an enjoyable read, the book itself seemed a bit short. I would have loved to see a few more poems included, or perhaps an expansion on some of the already included poems.
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This one just wasn't my thing. The only poem I really liked was the one the referenced The Incredibles. Much of the others were just hard to follow.
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Dear Azula is the first poetry book I've read in the almost a year and originally stood out to me because of its title. While I felt that the book was a handful of poems too short, there were a few of the poems included that were not up to the same caliber as the others. This left the book, as a whole, feeling as though it needed more. Despite these smaller moments where the poems seemed to be falling a bit short, there were specific lines and poems throughout the short collection that really cemented these two authors as voices to look out for in the future. The book is so deeply rooted in the content that defined my childhood which made these poems an absolute joy to read. I think anyone who grew up during the 2000's would be able to appreciate the poetic deep dive into some of Gen Z's most recognizable characters. (3.5 stars)
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This was an interesting collection, but not quite what I hoped it would be. For one thing, it was far more literary than performance-like; the latter is more what I would expect from a Button Poetry title, so that was just not what I anticipated (not bad, but I had to be in the right mindset). Though it had some real gems in it--a Mulan-inspired piece was particularly resonant, as was one about Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender (and "I Have a Crush on Shego" was a pretty accurate description of the queer Zillennial experience)--the work as a whole felt unfinished. It was quite short, even for a poetry collection, it lacked a sense of unification, and several of the pieces just seemed to dance around their topics without the incisive clarity I would have liked to see. In such a short collection, every piece needs to have punch, and that wasn't what I got here. Also, it had a LOT of poems from some fandoms, especially ATLA, but only one or two from most others, which created an asymmetrical feeling.

While it is full of potential, this was a bit of a miss for me. 3 stars to acknowledge the strength of its good moments, but know that it has some significant shortcomings as well.

This review will be posted in the future on all my platforms.
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I personally have never come across a collection of poems based entirely off popular movie and TV shows, so I thought this was really inventive and refreshing. The poetry was beautiful - I'm not sure what the two poets' creative process was but you can't tell that two minds worked on it, its absolutely seamless. My personal favourite was Black Fire Ballad (I Feel Most Evil in my Mother's Gowns). A lot of the poems in this book were oriented around family but they weren't monotonous. All in all, this collection was exactly my cup of tea, and I'd love to see more from these poets in the future.
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I immediately loved the concept of this poetry collection when reading through the description.

I think the concept of cartoon characters Gen-z grew up with as inspiration was well-executed. The individual works themselves were each a bit different stylistically but cohesive enough to belong in this collection. The individual works are beautifully written, reminiscent of 'The Princess Saves Herself in This One' by Amanda Lovelace.

I enjoyed the quick read immensely and would recommend this work to those who enjoy contemporary poetry from Rupi Kaur and Amanda Lovelace.

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC copy of this work in exchange for this review.
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Dear Azula was such a fun collection of poetry to read! I am a twenty three year old who grew up around watching Danny Phantom and I really appreciated the tie in's to my childhood! I flew through the poems and enjoyed every single word I read. I loved the aspect that songs and other media were also included besides Danny Phantom too because it reminded me of other aspects of my childhood as well. This collection definitely could be seen as  lgbtq+ representation depending on how the reader interprets some of the writing. I recommend this collection to absolutely anybody!
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This was okay! I don't really have any strong feelings one way or another about it. This collection definitely had its standout poems (Dear Azula and Refration were my favourites) but I think they all kind of fall flat as they feel more like a re-telling of the emotions from the original media as opposed to adding new layers or new nuances to the conversation. The Zuko related ones definitely fell into this trap for me as I felt like I'd already read the same ideas before just not in these exact words. This isn't necessarily a problem it just didn't work for me and for what I wanted to get out of this collection. Overall, I liked the concept but I don't know if the execution really worked for me. 

Thanks for the review copy!
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This is a short collection of poems inspired by cartoon characters, such as Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender and Shego from Kim Possible.

What picked my interest, was definitely the title, since I am a big geek and the cartoons mentioned her are some of my all time favourites.

This was a very easy and quick read, and I loved how vulnerable the creators were and how they used their childhood faves in order to project/talk about their own trauma and their own personal issues, such as experiencing racism, questioning your sexuality or your gender identity, among others. I find that idea to be so unique and relatable. And despite being very picky when it comes to poetry, I like it when poems aren't only smart but talk about something I can relate to while using language that is easy to understand.

Another thing, the creators used some lines directly from the tv shows mentioned in the poems or by other poems altogether, which I completely overlooked, but they did mention them in the end and don't take credit. Good for them.

The collection was good but not perfect. In my opinion, some poems did not hit as hard as others, some had only a few strong lines and some were a little longer than they should. But still, I am glad I read it.

Also, high five to my fellow geeks! Isn't it cool when our interests (our love for animated tv shows in this case) are heavily featured in other media we consume?

If you made it this far, congratulations!
'Til next time, take care :) :) :)
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This was such an interesting and creating concept of poetry. It was a fun read but I definitely enjoyed the poems that referenced the shows I had more actively watched as a child. I found myself more intrigued about which shows would be referenced rather than the poems themselves. Overall, an enjoyable and quick read.
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