Poetry Likes & Dislikes

Poetry Likes & Dislikes

I have always enjoyed poetry, but until last year only really read it when it was required in an academic setting. Then, I started reading it more for fun on my own when I started dating my boyfriend, because poetry is the only genre we can agree upon. He likes very high-brow literary fiction while I pretty much only read YA, so it’s hard to recommend books to each other that we actually like. We’ve checked out a couple poetry collections and read them together, and I enjoyed reigniting my interest in poetry so much that I’ve continued to find more poetry collections to read without him.

For today’s post, I’m going to be sharing some of the things I like in poetry, as well as other things that turn me off to it.

Poetry Likes

  • Stream of consciousness style poems that seem like a jumble of words but are actually arranged prettily 
  • Short poems. I love short poetry because I like when writers fit so much emotion into a few tiny lines.
  • Poetry accompanied by illustrations. This is one of the things I like about Rupi Kaur’s poetry collections. I like that her imagery is so stark and simple yet amplifies her poetry so much.
  • Activist poetry. This is why I like Rupi Kaur and Amanda Lovelace. Activism, to me, isn’t just about world-wide issues, but about issues relating to the self, like self-love and self-care. 


Poetry Dislikes

  • Too preachy. Some of the poems in Kaur’s collections are really, REALLY beating you over the head with the message. Usually, when I feel like a poem is beating me over the head with its message, it’s something that maybe mainstream people might not know, but I know because I’m a feminist and also majored in women’s studies, so maybe for some people the really overtly feminist-y poems are revolutionary. For me they just end up being boring and basic.
  • Poems with really long lines and no breaks. I find it harder to find rhythm or something to hold onto when a poem is really long and the lines are really long and there are no stanzas. I look at it and my brain immediately freaks out for some reason.
  • Rhyming poetry. This is why I didn’t like Lang Leav’s poetry. It read as really juvenile to me. I also read Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell recently, and even some of her prose poems rhymed and it just made me roll my eyes.
  • Love poems. Okay, so this only happens when it’s a bunch of love poems right after the other in one collection, like in Pillow Thoughts. After a while I’m like, okay, you’re heartbroken or whatever; just get over it and write about something more interesting that hasn’t been done a million times.


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Books I’ve Gotten Lately That I’m Excited About


One of the nice perks about being a librarian with a degree and a job is being able to request books from publishers that I can’t get on NetGalley or Edelweiss and having publishers actually say yes to my requests! That never happened when I was just a blogger, and it’s really nice to be able to read things that I might be getting for the library so I can actually talk about them with teens who might check them out, because I live for booktalking things. Plus, what book lover doesn’t love book mail?

Today I want to share some of the books I’ve gotten recently that I’m extra excited for.


– Undead Girl Gang – Lily Anderson

Apparently Kirkus said they wished this book wasn’t Wiccan and I was like, um…did you READ the summary before you read this book? Also, why?


Even if this book didn’t have a cool-sounding plot, I probably would’ve requested it just because of the dope title and that adorable cover. But, this book also sounds great: it’s a murder mystery, with witchcraft that brings the murdered girls back to life to find out who killed them. It seems like the ultimate girl power, spoopy, fun, kinda dark read that I’m just dying to get to (no pun intended).

– I Have Lost My Way – Gayle Forman

I lovelovelove the If I Stay books, but haven’t really liked anything she’s published since Just One Day, which underwhelmed me, and I Was Here, which was too depressing even for me. I am very hopeful about this book though, which marks Forman’s return to YA after her adult release from a few years ago, Leave Me, and has multiple POVs, which I tend to like. Plus, holding a Gayle Forman ARC in my hands is basically the equivalent of a religious experience for me. I just…omg, I cannot.

– The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik – David Arnold

I admittedly never read Mosquitoland, but I am very excited to get my first David Arnold experience in with Strange Fascinations. This book looks and sounds perfectly wacky, so I’m expecting a lot from it. From what I can gather from the extremely vague Goodreads summary, Noah gets hypnotized and starts seeing weird stuff in all the people around him. I am definitely in the mood for something strange, and if any of what I just said is an indication, I will be getting my fill from this odd book.


– Emergency Contact – Mary H. K. Choi

This one was pitched to me after I sent in a request to Simon & Schuster for some other books. I had seen it floating around on the social medias, so I said yes to it, but it actually looks pretty interesting. I think YA books with characters in college are definitely important books to have around, and this one sounds right up my alley because awkward college people interactions and one of the protagonists is going to school to become a writer. Hopefully this one will exceed expectations and be something I enjoy!

– Save the Date – Morgan Matson

I am very embarrassed to say that I have yet to read a Morgan Matson book. I am a big contemporary fan, and Morgan Matson seems like one of the queens of contemporary. I’ve had two of her other books, Since You’ve Been Gone and The Unexpected Everything on my shelves for a looooong time, but somehow I still haven’t gotten around to them. When I heard this book was about a wedding though, I had to have it because I immediately comped it to Sarah Dessen’s Once and for All, but perhaps on the lighter/more fun side of things, and of course it’s going to be romantic and entertaining and quirky. I have high, high hopes for this book, so I hope Matson is as good as everyone says she is!

– From Twinkle, With Love – Sandhya Menon

Can I even tell you in human words in any language how excited and thrilled I am to be able to hold a copy of Menon’s sophomore novel in my hands? No, probably not. I LOVED When Dimple Met Rishi last year; it was seriously one of my favorite books of the entire year. It was so romantic, fun, and unique that it became an instant love, and I was beyond joyous when this book was announced. I loved Dimple, but I’m positive I’m going to love Twinkle even more because she’s into film and I am all about artsy YA characters. Oh, and it’s an epistolary novel (told in letters), which I just discovered while writing this post, which I am ALL ABOUT. This book is going to be perfection, period. End of story. No arguments. Done.


– Grim Lovelies – Megan Shepherd

Do I know exactly what this book is about? Honestly, no. Do I still NEED to read it? Absolutely! I have been dying for a new Megan Shepherd book since the Madman’s Daughter trilogy, and haven’t gotten one I’ve been excited for yet because I had to wait through the dystopian trilogy, which didn’t appeal to me at all, and the middle grade novel. Finally, FINALLY at long, long last, my wish has been granted, and we have been gifted a fantasy novel from this great author. I cannot even imagine how good Megan Shepherd will be at writing fantasy, and I can’t wait to dig into this book.

– Isle of Blood and Stone – Makiia Lucier

I’m a bit nervous about this one now, as I’ve read two negative reviews of it recently. Still, I’m going to give it a shot, because it has KIDNAPPED PRINCES and MYSTERIOUS MAPS and EXPLORING. Besides that, I’ve been super into fantasies lately, and I must fill my lust for magical and fantastical things.

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Blogging Fears // ft. throwing your arms across your eyes and screaming

Blogging Fears

I’m blogging again, yay me! Over the past couple of years, I’ve really struggled with blogging; I’ve switched sites a bunch of times, changed the name of the blogs a million more, quit a lot and started up again. This time I really hope I’m in it for another long haul (the longest I’ve blogged consistently is 5 years), but I have a lot of fears and worries about blogging again, so I’ve decided to purge them by sharing them with you in this post.

  1. Freaking out over stats. I wrote in my first post how I quit the last few times because I got really, REALLY low stats. Actually, I’m not sure how low they are compared to other bloggers because people don’t often just throw their stats out there unless they’re a celebrity blogger (yes, I think those are still somewhat of a thing, though most have quit), but I imagine I’m on the really pathetically low end of things for the most part. I really don’t want to be bogged down by my fear of stats this time around because I know I should be blogging just because I like to. But stats are important to me because they’re validating and I want people to read what I write! It’s all well and good to say “blog because you love it,” but you also blog because you want people to see it! I just am very worried about letting my fears about stats overtake me again and prevent me from doing something I love doing.
  2. Maybe my blogging time is just up. Since I have been so on and off with blogging lately, I’ve wondered if maybe it’s just time to throw in the towel and quit altogether. However, I really don’t think most of the time that I’m ready for that. Blogging has been a part of my bookish identity for so long and I always miss it when I’m not doing it, so I think I still have some left in me.
  3. Book blogging is irrelevant. There have been a smattering of discussions about this lately from various people, and I have to say I definitely have this fear as well. I’m not really sure where book bloggers fit in with book twitter, booktubers, and bookstagrammers anymore. booktube and bookstagram in particular are really taking off now, which freaks me out because I am not a very visually inclined person, even though I do have interest in experimenting with photography. But, most of the original celebrity bloggers have quit, and I’m having trouble finding new, exciting people who don’t just mimic the styles of other famous blogs. And, if book blogging is irrelevant, what is the point of doing it even if I love it?
  4. I’m really not that great a blogger, and my voice isn’t interesting enough. I’ve always considered writing to be one of my strong suits, and personally I really like what I post and think it fits in well with the blogging community. Still, I worry that my style isn’t super fun or engaging enough or young enough because I do like a somewhat more formal style. I do have a sense of humor and sassiness for sure, but I often worry that my posts don’t have as much character as other bloggers, and maybe that’s what makes my blog stay so tiny and unknown.

I know this is kind of a downer of a post, but I’m hoping that maybe I’m not the only blogger with these fears? I used to be a lot more confident about my blogging before I quit for the first time in 2016, but after that, I started letting my doubts consume me, and honestly, they still kind of do. If anyone has any tips on how they fight their fears about blogging, please let me know in the comments, because I could really use them!

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Back to Blogging // Hello Again & Goals!!

Back To Blogging

Hello internet, it’s me again! Gosh, that could be the title of a YA book, like an updated, 2018 version of Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. Or maybe I’m just being silly. Anyway.

This is not my first go-around with blogging. Though this may be a new blog, I am by no means a new blogger. I actually started blogging in 2012 at Bibliophilia: A Love Story, which later became The Bibliotaph, which later moved to Blogger as Bookish Minis, then The Cuddly Teapot. My blogging journey has gone through many incarnations and I’ve experimented with writing about many things, but I’ve always managed to stick books in there somewhere, because that is my original blogging love.

A Word and a Whisper is definitely going to be primarily a book blog. On it, I plan to talk about books and reading, writing (if I ever get around to doing that again), librarianship, being an introvert, and being an adult dealing with anxiety.

I just realized I keep saying “I” but you have no idea who I am yet! I’m Shayna, a twenty-something from Baltimore working as a YA librarian. I basically only read YA (no sci-fi though, that is a major ew/no-no/etc for me) with the occasional dash of poetry (Amanda Lovelace and Rupi Kaur forever!!! (but mostly Amanda Lovelace because she’s better!!!)), love cats (I have two, and they’re kittens, so expect many cat pictures), and drink a lot of tea.

Other than this being an introductory post, I also want to make you suffer through some of my blogging goals that I have for this time around the blogging train:


Some VeryVeryIncrediblyExtremely Realistic Goals

  1. Stop worrying about stats!! My sarcasm in the title of this part of the post is mainly aimed at this goal, because I have tried to do this for all of my almost 6 years of blogging and failed miserably. I have definitely quit because of stats, or lack thereof. It just gets frustrating sometimes when I feel like I’m doing all the right blogging things and am enjoying it yet nobody is reading it and therefore enjoying my enjoyment and my words, which are obviously very important.
  2. Set a blogging schedule. I have never done this because I have always been the type of blogger who thinks “oh no, if I don’t post every day of the week everyone will forget me,” even though that hasn’t really worked out for me in general. This time, I think I want to set a schedule of certain days to post so I only set myself up to post a few times a week so that way I don’t get overwhelmed or burn out.
  3. Keep up with my Goodreads challenge goal but don’t get crazy over it. Currently my goal is set to 50 again. I don’t know how other book bloggers read over 200 books a year; do you have full-time jobs? Or social lives (not that those are that important, honestly. All you need are books)? I really, REALLY want to get back up to reading 100+ books per year but at present due to stress, life, and full-time jobbing, this is probably and perhaps unrealistic.
  4. Stop comparing myself to other bloggers. Sometimes I feel like other bloggers have a more fun writing style than I do, or that their stats are better or more people comment on their posts and they actually know how to interact with people on Twitter (I do not know how to do this) and it stresses me out and I feel bad about myself and my blog. I would very much like to not do this. But we shall see.


Those are my main goals thus far, though I assume I will think of more as time goes on. And now, a question for you, who may or may not exist and be reading: what were some of your blogging goals when you first started blogging? How have they changed over time? What are your goals now?


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