“ah, life – the thing that happens to us while we’re off somewhere else blowing on dandelions & wishing ourselves into the pages of our favorite fairy tales.” – the princess saves herself in this one
First things first, I have to wish a very happy rerelease day to The Princess Saves Herself in This One and the wonderful poetess behind the book, Amanda Lovelace. Originally self-published, The Princess Saves Herself In This One is a book of poetry which really reminds the reader of the healing power of writing. It seems quite perfect that the release falls on Valentine’s Day because this book is empowering and SELF-LOVE IS SO IMPORTANT and from what I’ve read of her work I believe the poetess of The Princess Saves Herself in This One, Amanda Lovelace, would agree with me on that.
I downloaded an advanced copy of the poetry book via NetGalley on Saturday because I had seen a mix of both ecstatic and less-than-enthusiastic reviews, and I wanted to see what all the talk was about. A few of the accounts that I follow on Instagram within the bookstagram community posted pictures of the cover, which is simplistic and eye-catching with its basic white font on a matte black background. So I had to give it a try.
Book Review – The Princess Saves Herself in This One
Author/Poetess – Amanda Lovelace Publisher – Andrews McMeel Publishing
Rerelease Date – Feb. 14, 2017 (TODAY) Genre – Poetry
My Rating: 5/5
The Princess Saves Herself in This One is my new favorite poetry book. From the front cover to the back cover, there isn’t much I didn’t like about the collection. The Princess Saves Herself in This One was written by Amanda Lovelace – poetess, feminist, tumblr blogger and self-described social justice advocate. It’s a quick read full of short, interesting poems, and Lovelace’s voice as she writes about her life is dynamic and engaging.
I was excited to read A Princess Saves Herself in This One, but I didn’t really know much about it or know what to expect. As soon as I saw that it was dedicated to Harry Potter, the boy who lived, I had a feeling I’d like the collection. The Princess Saves Herself in This One is separated into four sections: I. the princess, II. the damsel, III. the queen and IV. you.
I. the princess
The first section, the princess, details Lovelace’s childhood. There are poems about her love for reading, her loneliness and weight problems, and her cold mother.
II. the damsel
The damsel, the book’s second section, shows the poetess losing herself in grief and depression after being hurt by dragons (lovers), her mother’s declining health and memory loss, and the subsequent loss of a sister and her mother in quick succession. The last poem of the section is happier in tone, though, as “the princess jumped from the tower & she learned that she could fly” [she never needed those wings / the princess saves herself in this one].
III. the queen
The third section, the queen, is probably best summed up by the first poem in the section “how’s that for a happily ever after?”:
rose from the ashes
her dragon lovers
made of her
In this section Lovelace finds herself and falls in love with a boy who is not a dragon. It is a triumphant account of self-love and happiness.
The fourth and final section, you, serves as a letter to the reader from the poetess. Lovelace encourages the reader to read as much as possible, to write, to love themselves for the stardust-filled mermaid that they are. You (this section) is inspiring and empowering and feels great to read. My favorite poem in the fourth section is “i’ll be there with matches,” an ode to celebrated female writers.
One of my favorite things about The Princess Saves Herself in This One was the bookish poetry. It is not surprising that the poetess, a writer, loves books and words, but it is nice to see it displayed so prominently in her poetry. As a fellow bibliophile, it was easy to quickly identify with Lovelace and this poetry collection. From the structure (princess – damsel – queen) to the dedication to Harry Potter to the early poems about reading, books and again, Harry Potter, Lovelace’s love for reading was relatable and helped pull me in quickly.
Even the poems which weren’t personally relatable were interesting and added to the overall theme of the book. The Princess Saves Herself in This One isn’t a fairy tale, it’s the story of a princess [girl] turned damsel [lost young adult] turned queen [queen].
The poems were interesting to look at as well as to read, as they were structured and placed on the page in different and unique ways. Some of the poems were formed into shapes – a keyhole and a heart are two examples. Others featured words which were spaced out or crossed out or descending across the page.
I think I really loved The Princess Saved Herself in This One because I identify with Lovelace’s loneliness as a child and her finding solace in books, as well as with her struggles and loss of self. Although many of the things Lovelace struggled with are different from things that have been difficult in my life, I can certainly appreciate the poetess’ story of survival and self-saving. This book is a great example of the cathartic power of writing, and even of reading such a piece.
On the other hand, I do understand why some people will not fall in love with The Princess Saves Herself in This One in the same way that I have. The poetry is intimate and personal, but also speaks to some of the writer’s core beliefs – political and otherwise. Some of the poems might be considered controversial or turn off a potential reader.
The Princess Saves Herself in This One is a quick read, and for that reason I would recommend it to most anyone. There isn’t much harm in trying something new, even if you aren’t usually a fan of poetry or feminists, especially when the time required to simply read through the poems is quite minimal if you read at a reasonable pace. I personally devoured the book in one sitting while my husband was playing video games with his friends. If you don’t like it, no harm no foul. You just read a book, go you!
People who have pulled themselves out of dark places, fans of contemporary poetry with mostly simple and direct language, readers and writers will all find something for them in the collection. I loved The Princess Saves Herself in This One so much that I went online to research buying the book as soon as I finished reading, reserved a copy at my local Barnes and Noble, and picked it up a few hours later when my husband was done playing video games.
Thank you to NetGalley and Andrew McMeel Publishing for providing me with an eARC of this book. All opinions are my own.
Are you a poetry fan? Go find a copy of The Princess Saves Herself in This One and give it a read. If you’ve read it, or once you’ve read it, tell me what you think in the comments of this post. Let’s have a conversation – I’d love to know what other readers think.
Thank you for reading my NetGalley review of The Princess Saves Herself in This One. What did you think? Feel free to reach out to me with a comment or via the form on the Contact page.