Author: Courtney Peppernell
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date: 04 Oct 2016
My Rating: 5 Cups
Source: The Royal Polar Bear Reads
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Pillow Thoughts is a collection of poetry and prose about heartbreak, love and raw emotions.
It is divided into sections to read when you feel you need them most.
Make a cup of tea and let yourself feel.
*Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book from The Royal Polar Bear Reads in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or affect the content of my review in any way.
I've never had a great relationship with poetry. As I told Rafael when he first approached me for this blog tour, I like my prose as sappy, and as happy as it can get, and my poetry as dark as possible. I can't explain it, but I always found it difficult to interpret sweet, happy poetry. So I went into reading this book with apprehension. I was a tad scared, especially since I haven't read a poem since high school.
I am pretty sure I was scared for nothing. The best part is that this book doesn't have just straight-up poetry, there are some parts that read almost like a story, like a journal entry. That's probably one of the most fascinating thing about this book, is that I never stopped to think "Oh, I'm reading poetry", but it felt more like letters in some way. Also, some of the poems felt really personal, like the author was sharing a piece of herself that no one before has seen.
I like that the book was divided in sections, for the times you're sad, or in love, or lonely etc. I enjoyed reading the transition between tones in the poems, and I liked how, in some ways, you could kinda tell when a new chapter was getting near by the tone of the poems.
Some poems managed to move me quite a bit. I won't admit to crying, but I was moved. I also loved the fact that, reading this book, I never felt forced to think of a certain type of "loved one", which is another reason why I stayed away from poetry. The majority of the poems in Pillow Thoughts allow the reader to pick in a way how to interpret them, and you can think that the speaker is talking about a very good friend, or maybe even a sibling, not just a lover. Or at least that's how I felt, which made me love the book more.
I can't not talk about those illustrations! Those were the cutest jellyfish I've ever seen, and I love how they seemed to be a part of the whole book. This could also be due to the very first poem, that personifies this creature, giving it a name, You. So it's not that big of a stretch to think of those illustrations as regular characters, that seem to emphasize certain aspects of the poems.
The absolute best part of this book? The fact that, when you think about it, the message is so simple, and yet something we all need to hear from time to time. We all need to hear that we're beautiful, we all need to hear that someone out there loves us for who we are, we all need to hear that we can heal from past hurts. I feel like that is the beauty of this book, that it manages to make you hear that message. And it's in a very sneaky way, because by making sure the reader knows about You the jellyfish, it makes the message a bit easier to hear, than if the speaker hadn't done that.
I went into reading this book with skepticism and fear, being guided by my previous experience with poetry. I don't think I've ever been this wrong or this pleasantly surprised by a book. If you love poetry, or even if you want to try out something new, you should definitely read this book.
Courtney Peppernell is a best-selling LGBTQ author from Sydney, Australia. Courtney has been writing her whole life and focuses on Young Adult novels and Poetry Collections. Keeping Long Island is her third title release, and the first under her new book brand, Pepper Books.