Review – I Needed a Viking

Many authors have a way of touching the heart, but Alfa reaches deeper. She speaks to the soul. In I Needed a Viking, she reminds us of our own strength. She raises us up and readies us for battle because who better to fight for us than us.

In the first section, Forgettable, she gives us wisdom. Too often, we let the wrong people define us. Alfa reminds us that it’s ok to falter, as long as we get up. We are not always what others expect us to be. We are more, and that’s a good thing. My favorite piece in this section, “Fairytales Lie,” reiterates that we shouldn’t wait around on someone to save us. We can save ourselves. In “Light-Filled Days,” she tells us to be careful of those whose memory threatens our darker days. The ones who deserve our time will be there through thick and thin. Light AND dark.

In section two, Friction, I was drawn to the piece entitled, “You Know Better.” Her words are full of the wisdom of someone who has been there. Someone who learned the hard way that we shouldn’t get pulled back into the past. There will always be something or someone who wants to stop us from moving forward. But, we can’t let them hold us back. This hit me so hard, as I am so guilty of holding on to relationships that are not good for me. Sometimes, we have to let go.

Section three, Flamethrower, instills strength and resilience. Power and purpose. In “Make Every Second Count,” Alfa reminds us that we mustn’t dwell in the past. That we should surround ourselves with those who lift us up. Those who contribute to beauty, not those who steal it. One of my other favorites from this book is “The World Must Wait.” This is the poem I so often need to hear. It says it is ok to stop. It is ok to have anxiety. It is ok to need to pause and breathe. You are not a bad person for putting yourself first.

This book was the lesson I needed. It is filled with wise words written by a poet who knows what it’s like to be on the other side of brave. Alfa uses her words to encourage and embolden her reader. I suppose we all need a Viking, sometimes. But we needn’t look any further than the mirror to find one.

You can find Alfa on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

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Book Review – I am a World of Uncertainties Disguised as a Girl

I am A World of Uncertainties Disguised as a Girl by Nicole Lyons

Right at the beginning, page 9, I stumbled onto one of the first poems that ever made the breath rush from my lungs. “The Next Big Thing” has since remained one of my all time favorites. Each time it pops back up, I remember its punch and how it left me reeling.

The rest of Nicole’s second book of poetry delivers those same gut-wrenching, breath-stealing, high-chasing lines I’ve come to love from her. In “Freight Trains,” she steps inside my inner chaos. In “Syllable by Syllable,” she picks me apart. Nicole knows me, far better than I know myself sometimes. She’s rolling around in my head and setting my heart on fire. She’s whisky, straight up, and she knows just how to burn.

In pieces like “A Poet’s Note” and “Anchored,” she illustrates the curse of empathy with absolute precision. The way we carry the pieces of others. The way we let them weigh us down. The way we drown so others may float. Nicole is a powerhouse of love and heartache. She doesn’t decorate her pain and shadows with pretty flowers. Instead, she lets it bleed in all its glorious madness. She is courage and fire, and this book is the definition of art.

You can find Nicole on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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– ashley jane