It feels strange to rate and review this book, because you can really feel how deeply personal it is to the author. We see so many of her innermost thoughts, struggles, and insecurities in each poem, that you feel like you know the author personally after turning the last page.
love, and you is sort of a collection of poems that retrospectively talks about a toxic relationship. I think this really resonated with me because I’ve been part of a relationship like this, and I could relate immensely to the emotional turmoil the author talks about. What I liked the most about this book is that the author integrated her Puerto Rican heritage into her poems. She would integrate phrases in Spanish or advice from her parents which was really nice to see. This book felt like journal entries and you could see how the relationship kept crumbling and the author kept growing as you passed each page.
i kissed him and tasted hope there
i kissed him and tasted love there
i kissed him and tasted years there
i kissed him and tasted sadness there
i kissed him and tasted nothing there
i kissed him and tasted myself there
The only thing is that I wish there would have been a little bit more structure between poems. Maybe it’s because I’m already used to reading poetry collections divided by sections, and each section having its own tone that I felt here that there could have been better transition between each one. Also, while I loved the Spanish phrases, some of them had grammar or spelling mistakes that can be fixed later on.
love, and you is a raw collection of poetry in which the author narrates deeply personal experiences. The words are beautiful and the message is just so real. Definitely pick this up if you get a chance. Support this latina poetess because her writing is spectacular. If you’re a fan of Rupi Kaur or Amanda Lovelace, Gretchen Gomez will be another one of your favorites. I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us.
Sophia Elaine Hanson’s Hummingbird tells a story of a relationship and the way it crumbled, and shows us how she gradually picked up the pieces. The story is really raw, and while short, I was on an intense rollercoaster of emotions.
You ask me what my favorite song is.
I tell you Penelope, because it feels like it is coming out of me rather than going in.
A day later, you call and play the entire thing on your rickety piano.
This is when I know you love me.
The poems start with a sort of happiness that radiates from new relationships, but as the poems move on, we can see how there are tiny cracks in the foundation. There’s definitely a nostalgia and sadness that permeates each poem, and it only gets stronger as we “see” the relationship deteriorate. I loved that there was a part dedicated completely to healing and self-love, which really made me love this collection even more.
I am reclaiming
The bars, the parks, the storefronts crosshatched
With your fingerprints.
I fold the memories into Cranes, tuck them away.
– Making room
Hanson’s writing is absolutely beautiful, even within this short poetry collection, and after reading this I am very curious to read anything else she’s written. I recommend this short book if you want to read poetry but not sure if you’d like it.