Cover Image: Grey Matters

Grey Matters

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Member Reviews

Reading this was like a warm hug. The poems were so beautifully written and each one was eye-opening and raw. I just felt seen.

Thank you to the author and the publisher for this arc through netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

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This book was so so hard to read. But it was so so good.
I had to keep taking breaks every few poems because otherwise I think I would have just curled up into a ball and cried. But I absolutely loved every single page of this book. It was just so honest and raw and amazing

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Thank you to Netgalley and Kristin Costello for allowing me to review this book.

“No, you are not yet where you want to be – but you aren’t where you were and that’s worth celebrating.”

– Reminder
Vulnerable, raw, and genuine. Grey Matters is Kristin Costello’s open letter to the world about her experiences with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and ultimately her healing process. Content warnings are available at the beginning of the book, which I always appreciate, but I didn’t find her work upsetting. I actually found comfort in her words because they were so relatable. Poems like “Fixation”, “Instincts”, “Depression Naps”, and “How I Get Dressed” gave me pause. Was it possible I wasn’t the only one who had experienced things like this? The familiarity and truthfulness in Costello’s words connected with all my broken pieces; I could relate because I’d been there – I had experienced that.

While I did enjoy Costello’s work it’s important to remember poetry is subjective. A poem might miss the mark the first read, but may be deeply meaningful during another season of life. I found Costello’s work heavy during this current season in my life, and had to put the book down several times. There was no “powering through” – her words needed to be processed and considered, even if they were beautiful. Phrases like “shipwrecking hands” (“Submerged”) has me highlighting the text, and I’m certain if I had a physical copy of this book it would’ve been annotated quite a bit.

Costello has a unique voice, both fresh and wounded, and fans of Atticus and Rupi Kaur will definitely enjoy her work. She’s definitely a poet to keep an eye on.

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My only thought is, 'Wow!' What a thought-provoking collection of poems! Each was so beautifully written and formulated. I could not put this book down. My favorites specifically were...

Mind's Attic
Missing Out

I highly recommend it! It's fairly short, but each poem had me sitting and reflecting and contemplating the meaning behind each word. I would definitely read and reflect again!!

My ultimate favorite has to be...

they said
they never would have guessed
never could tell
by looking at me

But wasn't that by design?

for a while
I worked harder at hiding
than finding

for a while
I thought alone
meant strong
and strong
meant quiet
and quiet
was wrong

-Perceptions by Kristin Costello

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A poetry collection focused on 4 different mental health topics: anxiety, depression, eating disorders and healing.
A very raw and insightful collection of poems.
A book that will make you feel less alone in the world.
Highly recommend.

Thank you Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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As a 60-year-old male, there were some poems I couldn’t relate to, but most of them spoke to a deep, closed-off part of my soul. I too struggle with anxiety, depression, and a crippling case of chronic perfectionism. It can be so overwhelming just to get out the front door some mornings. By the time I get to work, I’m mentally and emotionally exhausted. The author knows, oh how she knows! This is powerful writing, and I commend her courage in speaking her truth while speaking for so many of us. Thanks to NetGalley for the digital ARC they so kindly sent me for review.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the author for granting me access to this book in exchange for a review.
When I say that I’ve not been moved by poetry as much as I was moved by this collection isn’t an understatement. This author the masterful in putting all of my confusing thoughts into words so lyrical and poignant that you can’t help but sit in awe and meditate on them thinking “that’s exactly how it feels”.
Recommend this book sooooo much!

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An eye opening look at mental health through the lense of poetic writing. One of the best poetry collections I have read thus far in 2023 and an easy read to get through. It is the type of collection that makes a reader feel seen.

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"I watered
all the flowers
except for me
why I wilted."

Grey Matters exceeds my expectations. Its poetry resonates with the deep, dark thoughts we have all had. The poetry in this book covers many topics on mental health, including anxiety, suicide, and eating disorders.

Grey Matters is arranged thoughtfully and leads you through all the emotions behind the most common mental health topics, but it won't leave you in the dark. There are poems of healing and hope included in the mix.

I found many familiar thoughts and feelings throughout the poems in this book. Grey Matters is a book I will be rereading for many years.

"...Winging it still takes wings."

Thank you, NetGalley and Kristen Costello, for granting me access to this book in exchange for an honest review.

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This is a beautiful collection of poetry that focuses on mental health problems and mental illness. It covers hard topics like anxiety, depression, body image, but also healing. Many will be able to relate to it as struggle is -as the book description says- universal.

Clouded, though one of the shortest poems in the collection hits the hardest. In so little words to summarize an entire emotion that so many can relate too is definitely something special.

Costello writes in such a fluid prose that makes this such a quick read filled with an abundance of emotion which needs to be devoured, but slowly. You're not just reading the words here, you're feeling them. The poems should be read twice; once to be understood in the head, and then again to be felt in the heart.

I will 100% be purchasing the hard copy of this and I look forward to reading more of Costello's work.

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Feels like a beacon of light, both in life and in the poetry genre.

I was surprised by not just how much I ended up liking this collection, but also how much I could relate to it. The author describes her feelings, thoughts and struggles with so much vivid imagery. I loved the second half more because of how deeply I could resonate with it, especially the segment about eating disorders.

The poems about Healing were so incredibly empowering and inspiring; I loved the reminders about celebrating small wins. Other favourites include: • Destructive Constructions • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner • Freeway • Reminder.

My only regret is not finishing this book earlier. Truly a stand-out collection that makes you feel less alone, that gets it. I can't wait for the author's next one!

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I have a soft spot for poetry and Grey Matter makes me feel so relatable. Costello’s words by words are captivating & they hit the right spot. I love it especially as the book begins with poems on anxiety & ends with healing. I thought that I would not be able to feel the struggle of suffering from eating disorders but I’m wrong. For me, Costello was able to make me realize that poetry is magical in its own way, which is why I love poetry so much.

‘and now I know
I can only be full
when I’m
~ Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read your debut poetry collection 🙏🏼

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Grey Matters is a collection of poems about topics ranging from anxiety, self-hate, depression, etc. Costello's anecdotes are personal yet identifiable to the audience. They are short and convey the point at hand but was executed mediocrely.

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I liked the way the poems were very clear on what they were addressing in each section and the final part on healing was very moving.

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god i loved this book. seriously one of the best books that ive read this year. loved the idea of the whole thing and would definitely read it again sometime soon.

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This is a beautiful poetry collection! At the start, there are some poems on anxiety and depression, conveying a lot of emotions I’m definitely familiar with. Then, there was a section in eating disorders, which I found painfully relatable but absolutely loved reading! Lastly, there’s a section healing, again beautifully written work!!

Thank you NetGalley and Kristen Costello for the advance reader copy 😊

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*Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the e-arc of this title in exchange for an honest review.*

This poetry collection was good. I think the author did a good job of sharing how she has felt in many different situations. Her work is relatable to many others who may be struggling with mental health issues, especially anxiety and depression. Although I thought the poetry was good, it was not groundbreaking for me personally.

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“I get stage fright as soon as I step out the front door.”

“I watered all the flowers except for me and wondered why I wilted.”

Most of these poems are short and easy-to-read, and it works that way. Perfect for people who are just starting to dive into poetry or for those who follow Rupi Kaur and/or love Instagram-poetry.

It’s a quick little read that you could probably finish in an hour or so, but to get the most out of this book, I would definitely recommend to read or re-read a poem or two at a time and give it time to sink before moving on. It makes much more an impact this way.

Be aware that the book centers around mental health struggles of different kinds, so be sure to check trigger warnings before reading.

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Quite a few of these poems resonated with me. Others not as much. Which is why I’ve given it 3 stars. I understand it would be impossible for an author to write a whole book of poetry that all people can relate to from beginning to end, especially when it comes to mental health as it’s something extremely personal. On the whole it’s a book of beautifully written poems that Kristen Costello should be proud of. It must take a lot of nerve to publish your most inner thoughts and she did it exquisitely!

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Thank you NetGalley and Kristen Costello for granting me access to this book in exchange for an honest review.

What an exquisite collection of poetry by Kristen Costello! I have throughly enjoyed this collection of honest and relatable poems. Grey Matters deals with sensitive topics relating to anxiety, depression, body image, eating disorders and healing. I am such a mood reader and today I just needed to read a book that helped me feel all the emotions. Such a powerful, heartfelt and inspiring read!🩵🩷🦋💜🌼

"I watered all the flowers except for me
and wondered why I wilted"

"they said they never would have guessed never could tell by looking at me
But wasn't that by design?
for a while I worked harder at hiding myself than finding help
for a while I thought alone meant strong and strong meant quiet and quiet meant

"Tell the hard times not to get too attached to me -
I'm only passing through"

"I am the light and the tunnel
There are no detours-
no poppy-paved shortcuts
I am my only way out"

"you are not yet where you want to be-
but you aren't where you were
and that's worth celebrating"

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