Published by HarperCollins on September 23, 2014
Every little girl goes through her princess phase, whether she wants to be Snow White or Cinderella, Belle or Ariel. But then we grow up. And life is not a fairy tale. Cruelties come not just from wicked stepmothers, but from ourselves. There are expectations, pressures, judgment, and criticism. Self-doubt and self-esteem. But there are also friends, and sisters, and a whole hell of a lot of power, there for the taking. In fifty free-verse poems, Christine Heppermann confronts society head-on. Using fairy tale characters and tropes, Poisoned Apples explores how girls are taught to think about themselves, their bodies, their friends. The poems range from contemporary retellings to first-person accounts set within the original tales, and from deadly funny to deadly serious. Complemented throughout with black-and-white photographs from up-and-coming photographers, this is a stunning and sophisticated book to be treasured, shared, and paged through again and again.
I’m not quite sure how to review poetry, of all things, but I will say that once I heard about Poisoned Apples, it was immediately on my TBR list. I haven’t read poetry (willingly, I mean. I’ve read it in school but.) in a long long time, but Poisoned Apples is just…amazing.
Of course, I’ve become more passionate about feminism in the past year, so that may have something to do with it, but there was something about the poems that just made me love them and wish I could have dozens upon dozens of them and wishing I could stick those in people who believe that feminism is just a way for women to fake it till they make it. Heppermann’s poems aren’t just real and…familiar, for lack of a better word, they’re dark and powerful, especially with the use of fairy tales. In fact, the poetry reminds me a lot of Fairytale by Sara Bereilles.
The poems can be described as gritty, and what I loved was that the author managed to write in so many fairy tales and then use modern interpretations to tell us a story of insecurities and what we look at as “beauty.” The poems are insightful and poignant and simply…compelling. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone, poetry fan or not. It’s not so much the book as it is the message that I would love people to see–but the pretty packaging doesn’t hurt either.