Cover Image: Grey Matters

Grey Matters

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Member Reviews

I appreciate the content warnings and the topics that the writer dives into and although I'm aware this book has messages that I respect and hold dear, I find it a bit lacking on the poetic side as it stops short of anything profound or further explaining thoughts and images that are presented. The line breaks could be better revised as well.

Some poems I thought had potential and could've used another look and be better fleshed out:
"Mustang Mind"
"Generalized Anxiety"
"Social Anxiety"
"Know Your Monster"
"Round 365: Self vs. Self"
"When the Lights Went Out"
"The Broken Air Conditioner"
"Treatment Friend"
"To My Outpatient Group"
"My Autumn Dream"
"Lost and Found"

This book will find an audience though! And I'm aware that given how the book is packaged, people will be drawn to it and pick it up as some readers are drawn to lines that are neatly found in Instagram posts.

"It's not the speaking that scares me - / it's how I might see you // seeing me."

I have high hope that the writer will one day be braver in her approach to composing poems. It's easy to be satisfied by Instagram approval but a book of poetry is so much more than just thoughts and feelings.

This is just the beginning for this writer and I look forward to seeing where her writing takes her - vulnerability and a search for a greater truth is a must!

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Thank you to NetGalley and Kristen Costello for a copy of this ARC. All thoughts are my own.

I loved this collection of poetry. As with any anthology, some entries stuck with me more than others, bouncing around in my mind a long time after reading. Something of note, was the way the book was structured into themed sections - each focused on a particular topic, such as anxiety, or eating disorders.

I would not hesitate to recommend Grey Matters to others. Kristen's words resonated, describing feelings and emotions that often take away a person's words. Here is a collection that says you are not alone in what you experience.

Pick this up and give it a go!

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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

Dissociation I’m sick of being a balloon girl – floating away from my body, leaving behind moments when I want to be moored. Flight isn’t always freedom. I long to be an anchor, a boulder, a piano with feet planted on the living room floor – present.

This book of poems is raw and real. They show what it really feels like to have these mental disorders. At some point in my life, I have been at the place of every one of these poems, and let me tell you, this is how I really felt. I have never found a book that has done that.

If you have triggers, I would definitely recommend looking up the trigger warning of this book before reading.

Thank you @netgalley and @kristens_notebook for sending me a free arc of these book. Everything in this review is 100% my own opinions.

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Poetry collections can be a hit or miss situation, but when I read that it's about struggles and mental illness, I was intrigued.
A few poems made me feel seen, a few I didn't particularly care for, the rest, I liked quite a lot.
The style of writing and the look of the poems changed throughout the book, adding some visual variety.
This collection is great, if you want to dip your toes into reading poetry, or if you're interested in something more contemporary.

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Loved this poetry collection! It centers around anxiety, depression, EDs, and healing, so be aware of that before going into it. The beginning could be a bit triggering, but the trajectory of this book does follow healing, so it's very hopeful. I really enjoyed the writing style; Costello shows a real mastery over alliteration, subtle rhyme, and poetic rhythm that makes her poetry accessible and enjoyable to read through. It felt like someone opening up their diary and sharing very emotionally intimate information but in such a poetry and beautiful way.

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This book felt like a hug. It was so comforting and well written. It was a reminder to everybody that you are truly never alone. These poems were everything they needed to be and more and a beautiful message was scattered throughout them. They had powerful messages and actively worked to make poetry accessible and inclusive for all, no matter your reading level. Absolutely beautiful work and props to the author for allowing themself to be so open with their own story so others feel less alone! Such a wonderful book!

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This is a collection of poems that focuses on struggles with mental health.
It's a collection that I feel a lot of people can identify with, although for me there were too many cliches.
I think we need to be clear and state that this book is about Mental Illness and Mental Health Problems (as everyone has Mental Health) and some may find it difficult to read, there is a lot to resonate with in these poems about the difficulties of living with Depression, Anxiety and Eating Disorders, but also the healing too.

Thank you NetGalley and Kristen Costello for the opportunity to read this ARC.

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Here's the interesting thing about modern poetry and books in general; you can objectively recognize that it's not out of this world fantastic, won't enter the realms of the classics and all that jazz, and be furious at yourself for relating to it as much as you do. Because here I am, and I can see exactly who won't like this collection and how someone will make fun of me, but here I am, who felt a little less alone.

Kristin Costello's new book Grey Matters came out on the 21st of March. I was lucky to get my copy via NetGalley, but the book is also on Kindle Unlimited. I recommend that you read it not from the lens of each poem being something to focus on, but the journey throughout the book.

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I really enjoyed this book of poetry. I struggle with my mental health, so I related to many of the poems. My favorite one was “Pouring.”

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Grey Matters focuses on mental health and what it means to struggle and heal. It is at the top of my list for favorite books this year. I really enjoyed it because I struggle with OCD and I’ve been focusing more on taking care of my mental health this year. The poems in here are empowering. It’s also a quick read and on Kindle Unlimited. It’s a book I will read again in the future, and those are the books I give 5 stars to in most cases.

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I think this collection will resonate with a lot of readers, but it was not for me. The poems, I felt, relied too often on cliche, on memetic tropes, on language that didn't communicate very clearly. I read each section carefully, but ultimately felt like I was reading the same poems over and over. There is clearly emotion present in the writer's process, but the words she uses bang on a bit monotonously because the vocabulary of the collection is small.

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Zero stars for my decision to read this while working because it made me cry xD All the stars because it's an incredible book about depression, body image, and healing. I received a free ebook copy but will be buying a paperback to add to my collection, this was beautiful and jumped to the list of favorite poetry books

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free ebook copy of this book. No review was required and all thoughts are my own

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Grey Matters is a poetry collection which broke my heart and at the same time put it back together piece by piece. I am getting back into poetry rigth now so this cam at a perfect time for me. Espeicially the poems about Depression and Eating Disorders hit close to home and were very emotional for me to read. I cannot really put into words, what exactly I liked, but it made me very emotional and put me deep in thoughts which I suppose it should do. So I am very thankful for the opportunity to have read it.

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A beautiful collections of poems that are honest and raw about mental health. Kristen Costello has quickly become one of my favorite poets to put out a collection based on mental health. She is so real and holds nothing back. Her poems are full of beautiful sound - the alliteration in many of her poems creates almost lyrics as you read.

Just in the first poem, "Swallowing Shadows," I got goosebumps at the line: "This is how we choke - / by swallowing words / we want to spit".

The book is separated into four sections: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, healing. It weaves a great pathway through the mind and all of the intrusive thoughts we experience along the way.

I've already purchased a copy for myself and have recommended it to everyone I know.

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Thank you to NetGalley for this early read during national poetry month! I really enjoyed Kristen Costello's storytelling through the form of poetry. Her unique style made each poem more enjoyable to read because I wasn't sure what was coming next and how it would be presented. Her topics were relevant to not just now but any time to help any reader feel like they aren't alone in this world with their struggles and feelings. Highly recommend this collection of poems.

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A collection of poems that spoke about the author's experiences of anxiety, depression, body-image, negative self talk, but also of their healing process. Anyone who has experienced any of that will be able to relate to this collection. If by blessing you haven't, then Costello paints those feelings and experiences so vividly for you to understand. As someone who has experienced all of that, I found myself in many of the poems. It was a beautiful recap of experiences that showed there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel. A beautiful collection of poems; I will definitely be looking out for Costello's future works.

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Some poems I liked, some I could really relate to, some spoke of experiences I wish to forget but know I have to co front to overcome, and some were a miss for me.
Overall a nice poetry collection.

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I don‘t read much poetry but this was super easy to read and understand, which I love.
I saw parts of myself in so many poems which makes my feelings more seen and valid to me.

Thank you NetGalley for the arc

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Grey Matters is a really well put together book of poetry. I loved the poetry itself and especially loved the set up. Costello’s take on mental health was really nice to read and relatable.

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5 powerful poetic stars

I don’t read much poetry. I am (mostly) mentally and emotionally healthy. I was wonderfully surprised how much I got out of Kristen Costello’s book and recommend it to anyone who knows someone struggling with anxiety, depression, or eating disorders. Because we all have bad days.

Words I wrote when reading the poems: Wow. Powerful. Perfect word choices. Direct. Enough said, nothing extra. Poems give voice to starting hard conversations. Hammers home. Wow. Brings tears to my eyes. Smile. Wow again. Scent of humor. Concise and precise. Precious.

One sentence speaks worlds: “I watered all the flowers except for me and wondered why I wilted.” A favorite line from Daybreak: ”I am sprouting sunrises – shoots of pink and gold…”

Costello’s poetry and her ability to depict familiar feelings in new, striking ways can touch readers and help them feel less alone. The book and poems are the perfect length. This would make a great gift and could be an excellent conversation starter. “Grey Matters is Costello’s debut collection – if you enjoy reading poetry that leaves you feeling understood, comforted, and inspired, this book is for you.” The publisher is right!

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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