Monday, July 20, 2020

Book Review: Sunshine and Whiskey by Lauren White

Title: Sunshine and Whiskey
Series: -
Author: Lauren White
Publisher: -
Genres: Poetry
Format: E-book
Publication Date: February 29th 2020
Pages: 446

Synopsis (Goodreads): A collection of poetry from the bumbling teenage years to the adult woman, still trying to find her place.


My rating: 3 / 5 ★

Sunshine and Whiskey is a self-published collection of poetry about love, loss, longing and lust. At rare moments, the poems would be about self love or escaping toxic relationship. I would like to thank the poet, Lauren White, and BookTasters on Twitter for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. And that being said, I will be fully honest with my words.

This review is rather hard for me to write, because I had to DNF this book. I have never DNF-ed a review copy before, but I could not force myself to continue reading Sunshine and Whiskey, because I might end up disliking it. I'd hate for that to happen, because although I only read the book halfway through, there are good points about it, and if I were to continue, I would feel forced.

The book is divided into five parts—Summer, Lauren, Broken, Awakened and Boldly. I only read until the Broken part, and I still do not see the point of these parts? It might be personal to the poet, perhaps when she had written these poems, those were the categories she thought of. But to me, they seemed rather meaningless, as the poems do not seem to be categorised at all. At one moment, I would be reading about a poem where the persona was longing for the person that she loved, and the next moment she would hate the person and wanted to move on, but the next poem would be about longing again.

I personally think it would have been better if the poet categorised her poems into sections, maybe starting with falling in love, and then falling out of love, continued with longing and lastly moving on. It can be arranged in any way, but it would definitely be easier to read if they were categorised together, instead of being thrown altogether.

I am aware that this book is self published, so maybe the poet had no editor to check on her work, but I think it's better for me to still point this out. I found several grammatical errors and typos, which is not too glaring, but as a reviewer, I do think it's quite noticeable. One of it is the wrong use of "your" and "you're". Please note that "your" means belonging to you, while "you're" is the shortened version of you are. There were occasional times when the word "I" was written in lowercase, which is wrong, (unless it was written like that with a purpose).

And correct me if I'm wrong, but the word "mine" means belonging to me, but if you were to refer to something yours, you would say "my", not "mine". An example of it was in one of the poems (forgive me, but I forgot which one), where the poet wrote "mine ears". I would think that it should have been "my ears". As for the format too, I think each new poem should start on a new page. I'm not sure if the e-book I was given had an error in its format, but there were some poems that started at the end of a page, with one stanza, before continuing at the next page. I think it doesn't look neat, and rather distracting. I'm not trying to be smart about any of this, but I believe that if the poet is to ever continue writing, she deserves to know these.

Apart from that, certain poems seem to be very lengthy. I actually do not mind long poems, but the topic of the poems seemed to be repetitive, and when some poems started right after a poem ends instead of at a new page, it felt like reading a paragraph without a full stop. It was difficult for me to stay focus. I also think that some of the poems should have a trigger warning for them? I found two poems that mentioned self-harm, which can even be considered as a suicide attempt. Maybe it felt personal to the poet, and perhaps some readers didn't mind them, but I think that it's rather unwise to mention about self harm so vividly in a poetry book. A short trigger warning would be appreciated.

I know that it seemed that I consider Sunshine and Whiskey to be full of negative points, but that would be wrong. There are several poems that I truly love, such as Her Lovely Face, Your Loss, Open the Door, Mordant and Forgotten Things. Other poems also have some paragraphs or stanzas that are beautifully written. I'll share a couple of them below:

"Love is a splendid feeling
That should be given and felt
And though sometimes it hurts
We never give up on it
Hate is for the lost
Those who gave up on love
And so they choose anger
Life is not just what you see
It is only what you make it
So choose a path
Never look back
Do not be ashamed of it."
Little Girl

My adoration
For you blooms until I might
Burst from the passion
With each passing season I'm
More irrevocably yours

The words chosen by the poet are mostly beautiful, and she even used many extravagant words to title her poems. At first I felt overwhelmed by the number of words that I've never heard of, but I had fun learning them. Some of the words include resplendent, rambunctious, vociferous, de rigueur, mordant and many more. I also think that the poet writes good sensual poems, without making them sound cringeworthy or dirty. It would suit best for adult readers that enjoy poetry about love.

Although Sunshine and Whiskey are obviously not meant for me, I do believe that other poetry lovers may love it. To the poet, Lauren White, I wish the best for you in the future if you ever continue writing poetry, and congratulations for your success in publishing this poetry collection on your own ❤️


you are less without me
but, I am less with you

Till next time ♡ Love, Aishah Humaira'

Post a Comment