Published: 31st May 2017
How long it took me to read it: 2 days
After following the success of Rupi Kaur's second Book The sun and her flowers, I decided to look at some, less famous, personal poetry collections. I picked up Soft Thorns around Christmas this year and what appealed to me at first was the cover art. I know the saying is don't judge a book by its cover, but it's difficult when it comes to online shopping and you can't physically flick through the book's contents. I love the cover art, I think it is striking in an extremely crowded market. With chapters titled Bleed, Love, Scar, Learn and Heal, it very similar to Rupi Kaur's books, which has dominated the market, making this style of minimalistic poetry extremely popular. Personally, I enjoy this style of poetry because it makes reading verse less intimidating. I don't have to worry about decoding an underlying message when reading the stanzas, they are clever and simple.
The illustrations fitted the theme of the book very well. They followed a similar, hand sketched yet basic drawing style that many of these minimalistic poetry books entail. However, yet again they were effortless and effective which suited the poetry amazingly and remained similar to the style of the front cover also. With all these positives, I bet you are wondering why I only gave it three hearts out of five. Although I bought this book with the hopes of a similar experience to Kaur's books, I felt the encounter was a little TOO similar. I didn't know very much about the author and only found this book through Amazon's handy 'books you might like' section while shopping around. But I went on the hunt to find out more about Bridgett Devoue, who I now know, is an Instagram poet who released her Insta-poetry into a full book. So Devoue did have a similar start to Rupi Kaur which makes sense to why there are some similarities in the book.
However, this just wasn't my favourite poetry book. For a while, I couldn't put my finger on it. I loved the illustrations and I have enjoyed other forms of minimalistic poetry so I found it hard to place exactly how I felt about Soft Thorns. By separating the chapters into the emotions Devoue was feeling while writing those poems really helps puts the reader in her shoes. However, I found it difficult to relate when reading her stories of heartbreak and healing and I think that was my main problem.
Although I only gave this book three hearts out of five, I still very much enjoyed the experience of not having to be dedicated to one read, like with a novel. I could pick up and put down this book when I felt like it and still get the same experience from it. I would recommend this book to someone because although personally, I can't relate to most of the poetry, I know someone out there could. Also, I felt it was a very personal collection which Devoue has shared with us, as readers. You can feel her emotions throughout each poem, which I think is important when it comes to writing good poetry.
Remember, if you want a copy of this amazing book, head over to 'my favourites'.
Keep on reading oxoxo