Tuesday, February 02, 2021

A Review for Dancing Souls (and other books) by Sharifah Nadirah

I was given the opportunity to read Dancing Souls, A Deserving Love, A Leap of Faith, A Jar of Hope and A Quote a Day by Sharifah Nadirah in exchange for my honest review. Since there is a total of five books, I'll try to make my reviews as brief as possible so that this post won't be too long.
Don't be afraid to feel, emotions are beautiful, to feel is a way to deal with life episodes. They say to feel and express everything is a sign of weakness and you will appear vulnerable, I beg to differ. Those who have never tried to feel and resist to experience going through their own emotions will appear strong on the outside but apparently they are fragile on the inside, because they never feel, and when we don't feel, we will never know how to handle a touch of an emotion, that's why it will easily drive us insane. Diving deep into a feeling will make us want to swim up for air again, to breathe again, to see everything clear again and to believe once more. Choose to feel. To feel is fearless, it breeds courage.

My overall rating: 3.75 / 5 ★

Dancing Souls is a collection of uplifting and self-empowering poetry. The poems radiate strong yet delicate vibes, and there were several pieces that sound sassy as well. I enjoyed reading this poetry collection, especially the ones that mentioned God's greatness in them. It's not often for me to read poems with religious (Islamic) elements in it, so I really appreciate the poet's take on them.

However, there were more than a few things that I couldn't get through, no matter how much I loved reading Dancing Souls. I'd like to touch upon the language, grammar and punctuation first. I'm very particular about these three matters whenever I read anything, and even if they're free verse poems, I take these matter seriously.

I noticed that the poet tend to use shortened/informal words (e.g. "imma") in her poems, and I find this quite unflattering. To me, a poem should sound graceful—not all the time of course, as the subject of each poetry vary—but using words like "imma" or "wanna" just takes the beauty out of the poetry. Words like that should be reserved for dialogues only. This could possibly be a typing error, but the poet had confused the word "then" and "than". These two words are used in completely different situations, and in 'Do What You Love, Love What You Do', it should have been "then", instead of "than".

I also noticed that a few poems appeared twice. 'Throne'/'The Throne' and 'Hatred' are the ones that I noticed to appear twice in the book. I like the final section of the book, 'Late Night Thoughts', as they felt very raw to me. However, grammatical errors and typos are too glaring on this part, which left me a bit dismayed. There were multiple missing full stops (full stops are important!), spaces before a punctuation mark (there shouldn't be any spaces before a punctuation mark), wrong use of punctuation marks, and a quite messy use of uppercase and lowercase letters.

I do realise that this part of the book was named 'Late Night Thoughts', so these errors are probably meant to be left alone to reflect the impulsiveness of the late night thoughts, but I can't find myself able to get pass them. I also personally think that the quotes from other people were not needed in the book; they felt unnecessary and the poet didn't actually need them to prove her point. 

Overall, reading Dancing Souls was fun as I could relate to many of its pieces. The problems that I listed are probably to my personal preference (I tend to judge poetry collection harsher than fiction books) so this shouldn't discourage you to pick up the book. Here's one of the poems that I loved:


I've been through hell for a number of times
And you act as if I could die from
the fire that you started
The flame does not scare me dear
I've been burned alive many times before
Can't you see these scars?
That little flame of yours is my friend
It won't hurt me dear.
Now what's with that look on your face?


A Deserving Love is a collection of inspirational words that talks about the true meaning of love that we truly deserve. If I have to be very honest, I couldn't connect well with this collection, but I do appreciate the author's take on innocent and kind love. It's not only meant to be about love towards someone else, but also love towards yourself and towards God. 

A Jar of Hope speaks about how difficult facing reality is, but one should not ever lose hope. It reassures the reader that it's okay to be yourself, and that having hope helps us to continue forward with our dreams or goals. This is the kind of book that would be perfect to read out aloud, just so that we can let the words soak into our minds and hearts better when listening to it.

A Leap of Faith feels very personal, as it was written with a gentle tone for those that feels worn out or tired with life. This collection includes inspiring words that may guide readers to have faith in themselves, and to take it easy. It's perfectly okay to have imperfections, all you need to do is have faith in yourself that you can take that leap forward. Among these five books that I read, this would be my favourite 

A Quote a Day is a beautiful book filled with 30 motivational quotes that are meant to be devoured as constantly as needed. It's a book of comfort that encourages readers to see themselves as who they are; there's no need to change just to fit someone else's standard if you are content with being who you are. This book does not only contain lovely illustrations, but the words are also very uplifting. I don't think it would be wrong to make this book a daily read!

Overall, Sharifah Nadirah did a wonderful job writing all these books. Even if not all of them are my cup of tea, I still enjoyed reading all of them. Thank you once again to the poet for giving me these copies of e-books in exchange for my honest review. If you're interested in getting any of these books, you may contact the poet herself on her Instagram account: here!

Till next time ♡ Love, Aishah Humaira'

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