Cover Image: What Haunts Me the Most

What Haunts Me the Most

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Member Reviews

This was great. Very impressive that this author is able to so flawlessly weave horror and fantasy into poetry.

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Dark, abstract and eerie collection of poems full of haunting imagery. The poems are quite heavy since a lot of them deal with death in some way, or other darker themes, but I still wouldn't classify the book as a horror genre. They are beautifully written, I'd say that they are more prose-like, they invoke certain atmosphere and make you visualize what's written with ease. But I must admit that I didn't quite understand many of them. The abstractness of them all and the way in which they are written pulled me in at first, but just that wasn't enough to hold my attention for long enough for me to finish the book, so I ended up DNFing it at around 50%. Which I do find strange, since I usually enjoy that kind of poetry. But with this one I just didn't click. Still give it a try if you're interested in beautifully written poems that contain dark imagery and tackle heavier themes.

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4.5 stars

"Being the eldest daughter is similar to the Final Girl in a slasher movie; everyone has to die for you to survive. But I don't feel like the Final Girl. Not when it's my blood on the knife."

If you are a fan of slashers, horror movies, and horror poetry, THIS collection is 100% for you! I enjoyed What Haunts Me the Most and think it's a slam-dunk of a poetry collection. It's short, punchy, honest, gritty, and glaringly uncomfortable at times. This was a collection that I'm so glad I stumbled upon and so happy to have found in the trenches of Netgalley. I read it at the perfect time and it was exactly what I needed to start a long 3-day weekend. I recommend this for my horror and poetry girlies! This is one you don't want to miss!

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"He reminds me to question my existence; why my creative accomplishments are inadequate in his eyes, a man who had to leave because of war. Being the eldest daughter is similar to the Final Girl in a slasher movie; everyone has to die for you to survive. But I don't feel like the Final Girl. Not when it's my blood on the knife."

While I think there needs to be some degree of connection to any piece of media for someone to deem it good or bad, I think poetry requires a lot more of that than most. So, while I know a lot of other readers really connected with What Haunts Me Most, I was unfortunately not in that category. It's because of this that I won't say that I think Kouri's poetry is good or bad - it was simply just not for me.

That being said, however, I do feel like What Haunts Me Most was a little bit of a let-down in terms of what I thought I was going into. This poetry collection is touted as horror poetry, with the excerpt from the poem "The Final Girl" serving as an overarching example of what you can expect to read in this book. As a big horror book fan, I personally don't consider this book to be horror, or horror poetry. While some other reviewers found the language and visuals in What Haunts Me Most to be gut-wrenching, disgusting, or terrifying, to me, it just read like any other poetry book written by a woman about womanhood. There's nothing here that's actually horror, so much as it's simply the dark realities that women live with.

I, personally, am also just not a fan of the motifs in this book. Honestly, I'm not even certain I can call them motifs or themes, because they aren't overarching or recurring things; they're just the same words and analogies copy and pasted from one poem into the other. You could make a drinking game out of it, really: take a shot every time Kouri writes about peaches, Christianity, or describes a woman's genitals as "the hole between my legs." There are nearly thirty poems in this book, and yet, half of them read like the same thing over and over again.

I also have some complicated feelings when it comes to a few poems in particular, namely "For Tara Calico." There are a few instances of Kouri writing poems or making allusions to about true crime cases, like the Flannan Isle Lighthouse mystery of 1900, JonBenét Ramsey's 1996 murder, and the disappearance of Tara Calico in 1988. Now, I'm a true crime fan, and I enjoy true crime media, but there's something about writing poetry about the potential kidnapping and murder of a woman you don't know that doesn't sit well with me. The poem is intimate, but it's very much about a real person whose loved ones have gone through a very real trauma, and I personally didn't find it entirely appropriate. It really just feels like the sensationalizing and over-familiarity of true crime cases that is so unfortunately common with a lot of mainstream media.

Overall, What Haunts Me Most just really wasn't what I expected it to be, and what I was given didn't resonate with me.

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This was ok! The individual poems had some really beautiful and interesting imagery but it didn't really cohere into a whole.

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This had a great Gothic horror feel to it, I was interesting from the quote about being the eldest daughter. I enjoyed the horror elements to this and how everything worked with the story and characters. The characters felt like they were meant to be in there and I enjoyed what was going on. Chimen Georgette Kouri does a great job with this book.

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Thank you NetGalley for the chance to read and review this!

Unfortunately, I really did not take to this collection. The poems did not appeal as individual pieces but also didn't give us a larger narrative.

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Thank you Querencia Press for a copy of What Haunts Me the Most.

""Being the eldest daughter is similar to the Final Girl in a slasher movie; everyone has to die for you to survive. But I don’t feel like the Final Girl. Not when it’s my blood on the knife."

What Haunts Me the Most is for anyone looking for…
• Trauma of being the oldest daughter
• Horror but in poetry form
• Creepy, unsettling horror

REVIEW
What Haunts Me the Most is a short, poetry collection but not easy to get through! Creepy, emotional, and just down-right unsettling. Definitely not something to binge and requires lots of unpacking after each piece.

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Startlingly vivid and visceral imagery. Not a punch to the face but more of a drowning in a bucket of pigs blood.

My brain slowly put together the memories, hurt, trauma torn in to pieces shown like little clips from an old home movie.

I could feel the rage, captivity, pain and could almost hear the creatures and backwoods critters haunting her crawling next to my bed.

Haunted, yes but not broken: “Unlike you, when imprisoned in the Tower, I always find a way out.”
“I burn The Hanged Man, his surrender nonexistent.”

The tarot references amongst everything else were some of my favorite finds.

Some of these images remind me of my own nightmares. Fucked up? For sure, but the subconscious processes trauma wildly.

Definitely a must read. Absolutely not for the faint of heart.

Thank you to NetGalley, Querencia Press and Chimen Kouri for providing an advanced readers copy.

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Both lyrically beautiful and utterly macabre. Rich in detail and discomfort. One to read over and over again - if you've the stomach for it.

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I couldn't connect with this book, which was frustrating because I love dark, horror poetry. Howeve, I didn't connect with what the author was trying to say and the imagery wasn't working for me.

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What a refreshing take on animalistic, truly defiling poetry with a spooky twist. I love horror but I’m not a huge poetry gal. But this…this was captivating and engrossing with each page. I couldn’t wait to read the next short story and guess the plot behind it. Truly a fun read!

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How is this for a fantastic cover. Perfect for a horror poetry nightmare. This is book two for December and I love the lyricism. Some of the poems are quite visceral and made me uncomfortable in a good way. This is a short poetry book but it’s not easy reading!

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I saw that this book had poetry, trauma, AND horror and I was instantly intrigued. I wanted to see how Chimen executed joining those two topics together and it was very interesting! I feel like if you are familiar with horror movies or horror books, you would understand the references in the book a bit better than I did but it was a great overall experience!

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Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for the ARC.


"They can tear the house down, throw out the betrayal I abandoned in the backyard, and I will still think about you on your birthday."
Probably my favorite line in the whole book.

Hauntingly beautiful. A bit graphic, but the imagery is brilliant.
I can relate to the grief and the anger.. the way it is written stirred something up.
A first for me in the horror poetry category, but def wont be the last.
Every older sister needs to read this.

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*Will be posted December 1st*

Hello Fellow Readers,

What this book has taught me is that poetry doesn't have to be flowery language and lyrical words. Chimen shows us that it can be dark and gritty. When I was done, I did need a day to really collect my thoughts on how I feel about What Haunts Me the Most. I still don't really seem to be able to fully grasp it, but what I do know is that I did enjoy it.

The hauntingly vivid poetry conjured a lot of sorrow and pain, and I reread most of the poems because I wanted to understand them. Ultimately, I will say this is definitely a mood read and there is something for everyone, whether you want to be the victim, or the hunter, if not you may want to stay away entirely.

Overall, it was certainly entertaining and thought-inducing.

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Poetry without the poems. Grim, haunting, fearless, snapshots of nightmares.
These are words you read slowly, allowing them to digest, only moving on to try and escape the discomfort. Wisely chosen images come together, clarifying uncomfortable situations that are usually left unspoken.

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Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and Querencia Press for allowing access to the ARC of What Haunts Me the Most, for an honest review.

I have never read horror poetry before, so this was a new experience for me. It was very emotional - sad at times, and also very creepy and disturbing. It was written very beautifully and flowed well.

I do feel like there should be some sort of trigger warning because some parts were extremely graphic to me, but other than that this was a very intense, quick read.

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When I saw this being described as "horror poetry" I knew I had to try reading this. Poetry is not my preferred reading format, but these poems were impactful and dark to read. You really felt the emotions and trauma of the character being described, and the poetry format really lent to a deeper understanding of the actions being described. Lyrical and haunting, while these poems are not in a typical poetic format, they are written with an internal flow that gives the reader a very clear visual of the poem.

Thank you to the author, Netgalley, and Querencia Press for providing me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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3.5 Stars

This dark and poetic collection was definitely a different type of read. The imagery was profoundly vivid and eerie. Where poems are typically nuanced with more floral, lyrical prose - this was more nightmare inducing styled metaphors of grief, sorrow and pain.
Super creepy, not for the faint of heart, but written beautifully nonetheless.

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