18 September 2014

Review: Poisoned Apples by Christine Heppermann

Poisoned Apples by Christie HeppermannIn fifty short poems illustrated by haunting black-and-white photos, Christine Heppermann zeros in on the true messages we've been giving young girls for centuries and what those messages do to them.

Poisoned Apples is stark, beautiful, haunting, disturbing, and oh so very honest. Fairy tales and princess stories touch only the surface; no one talks about what happens after the wedding, the fate of the girls left behind, or how to become the chosen one.

Beauty, fashion, popularity, and sex appeal have the power to suppress the counterpressures to excel at school and work, to be respected for who we are, and to live our authentic lives. Heppermann exposes the contradictions and the dark side of waiting to be rescued by Prince Charming, who will likely be anything but.

The poems, which are based on the unrealistic expectations girls often carry with them past adolescence into young adulthood and beyond, address eating disorders, beauty and fashion, sexuality, men, feminism, and popularity and friendship. No hard-to-parse passages here; Heppermann's poetry is straightforward and strong. Poisoned Apples will help teens and women draw back the curtain of deception and let in the light.

Some passages:

It used to be just the one, / but now all mirrors chatter. / In fact, every reflective surface has opinions / on the shape of my nose, the size / of my chest, . . .
--"The Wicked Queen's Legacy"
Jill doesn't want me to feel bad. / Jill says Dylan isn't good enough for me. / . . . / Jill can't help it if Dylan asked her to the movie. / . . .
She used to be a house of bricks, / . . . / She traded for a house of sticks, / . . . / Now she's building herself out of straw / as light as the needle swimming in her bathroom scale, / The smaller the number, the closer to gold, / . . .
--"Blow Your House In"

HarperCollins / Greenwillow Books, 2014
ISBN-13: 9780062289575
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


Amanda 9/18/14, 6:47 AM  

I almost never read poetry, but I've already put this on hold at the library. Sounds fantastic!

rhapsodyinbooks 9/18/14, 7:07 AM  

This does sound fantastic! I'm so glad you featured it - I must look for it! (gee, I sound spammy, but it's really me LOL)

bermudaonion 9/18/14, 7:40 AM  

This sounds like an outstanding collection!

Katherine P 9/18/14, 8:41 AM  

What's really attracting me to this one is the cover which seems wrong considering it's a book basically about not pressuring girls to live up to a certain image! I do like the message and it sounds like it was gotten across in a unique way. I'll have to look for it even though I'm not a poetry reader. Thanks for sharing!

Nise' 9/18/14, 2:57 PM  

The cover grabbed my attention. Sounds like a great book that moms could read with daughters.

Daryl 9/19/14, 10:46 AM  

not my cuppa… but i know someone who will love it, thanks

Vasilly 9/19/14, 11:08 AM  

This sounds really good. It sounds like a book that my daughter and I can read together.

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