Book Review: And We Call It Love by Amanda Vink

andwecallitlove

Release Date: June 1, 2019

Pre-Order on Amazon

Price: $19.95

Publisher: West 44 Books

Plot Summary:

Clare and Zari are best friends. They write music together, go everywhere together, and they know everything about the other. At least they did before Zari started dating Dion. The more Zari falls for Dion, the less she has time for anything else. At first, Clare chalks it up to a new and exciting relationship, and she tries to be happy for her friend despite her loneliness. When Zari starts to show up to school with half-hidden bruises, Clare knows there’s something darker about this relationship that has to be stopped.

Grade: C –

Review:

I usually love poetry and verse, however, this book just didn’t hit the mark for me. I think my biggest issue with it, despite the fact that it was written as poetic verse, was that the writing just wasn’t that poetic. I was expecting more lyrical writing with this type of writing format. Sadly, this wasn’t the case. Another issue that I had with this book is that it was told in alternating perspectives, and I usually love the dual points of views, however, the way it was written, there was no clear definition between who was Clare or who was Zari. So it made it a little confusing to keep up with the plot because of that.

It saddens me that the execution of the story wasn’t done well because the book explored some very important topics like friendship, self-discovery, and abusive relationships. And I think those are some compelling topics for teens to read about if done well. The characters in this book weren’t very well-developed and this book just fell short.

As a writer, I honestly despise being too critical when it comes to debut authors so I won’t delve too much on the negatives. Also, since I’m not the intended audience, the writing may not resonate with me so much, however, middle-grade readers or tweens may find this books interesting.

*Thank you so much to NetGalley and West 44 Books for the digital ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review!

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Poetry: Mephistopheles with Scabbed Wings

darkangel

It was a blue February night

When I first stumbled in your dream.

I felt awkward swaying to your song

As you pulled off my bruised wings.

You were as persuasive as Mephistopheles,

Digging your nail in the pit of my heart.

But I wanted you to plunge into my heart

Where you could hide your ethereal song,

So that I could become your dream

And would no longer need my wings

To soar into you every night,

Like a devious Mephistopheles.

I’ve been yearning to hear your song

Because it makes the blue night

Seem less long, as I dream

Of a raging Mephistopheles,

Who craves to clip my wings

And shatter my bloody heart.

Recently I feel that the night

Passes by slowly, as I lick my wings

Alone. Because Stupidbitch has now become your song.

I now invade you in your dream.

I’m like a horny Mephistopheles

Who wants to fuck your heart.

I know you feel invulnerable when you dream

Because it’s the only place where you can break my wings.

For I’ve got an asphalt heart

Gained from a previous lover with a tainted song

Who used to beat his pain into me every night

Until I began to perceive him as Mephistopheles.

Yes, I know that I’m your dream

But I’m afraid that you’ll want to chew my wings.

You love the taste of the jasmine night

Found within their enchanted song.

You need to run before your heart

Gets devoured by Mephistopheles.

I should’ve confessed in your dream that night

That your song cannot burn my wings

Because I am Mephistopheles ready to claw my way into your heart.

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Poetry: A Haiku for all the Boys I’ve Kissed

kissing3

1.
You taste of ashen
smoke. I swallowed bright colored
pills. You were danger.

2.
The snow kissed my hair
You kissed my lips, magically
winter melted, now.

3.
You deserve more
than seventeen syllables
my beautiful love.

4.
In a dressing room
You stole a kiss, tore my
dress, and forgot her.

5.
Before you kissed my
lips, you kissed my nose, and I
fell for you so hard.

6.
Drowning in your lust,
The rain clung to my hair like
your skin clung to mine.

7.
He murmured, “Your bloke
is wrong. All you ever needed
is a man like me.”

8.
Your kiss was deadly,
oxygen escaped like a
thief, in the cold night.

9.
Fire, you burned me through
until there was nothing left
But naked white bones.

10.
Dressed as a doting
nurse, I pushed you against the
wall and claimed you as mine.

11.
Berlin is icy
on my bare limbs, please don’t let
go. I just want you.

12.
A cozy hotel
is where I dropped my dress, and
my bestfriend title.

13.
Give back my records,
Your calloused fingers tugged my
hair, the night sparked flames.

14.
You used to hate me.
But your tongue worshiped every
part of me, for days.

15.
We passed each other,
Pulled me in a soft embrace.
It cut me in two.

16.
Music, two a.m.
You so young, and I so wise.
I stole your CDs.

17.
Your music captured
me. I stumbled into you
and inhaled the stars.

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My Bad Romance: My First Time

london

One of the most important moments in a girl’s life is the time she loses her virginity. So much time is spent on how we hope events will play out, who it will be, and how do we know that the guy or girl we’ve chosen for that particular moment is the right one? I know as a teen I obsessed over this so much (mostly over how was I gonna know that the person was the right person to lose it with?).

In my daydreams, I always thought it’d be a lot more romantic. Or at least, the setting would be far more romantic. But when it happened, it was kind of last minute, I hadn’t planned for it to happen, it just did.

I had just started talking to the soulmate. He had a music event to go to and asked me if I could be his date. That meant that I was going to go to London. I left that afternoon to get on the plane, and couldn’t wait for those three hours to pass by quickly. I knew that he liked girls dressed in leather, and I had worn a leather dress that I had “borrowed” from my mum.

The whole event was a whirlwind, and when it all ended, he asked me if I wanted to see his flat and listen to music. I was on the fence over whether I wanted cause I had recently read American Psycho and knew what happened to girls who fell for charming blokes ala Patrick Bateman.

When we arrived at his flat, we were greeted by his white cat Stardust. He turned on the radio and was busy looking through various CD’s as we spoke about various things. It was a cold February night, and I was freezing in my short ensemble, not to mention that I could barely breathe.

I looked over at the soulmate, his beautiful face. I thought: I love him so much, and tonight may be the last time I ever see him. That thought broke my heart. I knew he could be my everything, but I couldn’t tell him that because we had barely met and he was leaving for a lengthy tour.

“Please excuse the mess,” he told me, as he tried to cover up his unmade bed. His bedroom was filled with stacks of hardback books, CD’s, and cigarette packets strewn everywhere. Three guitars rested against the wall. I looked over at the clock and noticed that I had two hours before I had to be back at the airport.

A terrible song from Venga Boys started playing. He came close to me and being at loss for words, I was inspired to use those from a Meatloaf song, stating, “We shouldn’t let a night like tonight go to waste.” Those words changed everything. And I couldn’t explain to you then how important that moment was to me, cause really can you halt a storm just to spew technicalities?

When our lips met, it was like an explosion in the sky. Suddenly, it didn’t matter whether the room was a mess or that shitty music was on the radio, it didn’t matter that none of the settings coincided with my idea of how I wanted things to be. Cause what really mattered was that I was there with you.

Our clothes were on the floor and your lips were everywhere and I kept thinking, Is this really happening? Cause I couldn’t believe that any of it was real. That you were real.

When it was over, I held you close to me, too afraid that perhaps you weren’t real. I needed to make sure that you were there, and I didn’t know then what the future was going to hold, all I knew was that if I was given even that one night with you, it was enough to be happy. One night with you was worth a thousand nights with anyone else.

You were my sun, and I was merely a star that reflected off of your light.

Eventually, I said the dreaded words, “I need to get going,” but a part of me never left that room. My ghost still haunts that flat, and maybe even yours does too.

Maybe we couldn’t have a happy ending, but then again, we haven’t really reached the end. And our ghosts remain in that flat, unchanged, and happy.

london love

By: Azzurra Nox

Poetry: Crashing Stars

stars

I was crashing stars before I met you,

Somehow it didn’t seem so self-destructive.

The rock star raped me of my heart,

Not many know that of me.

There’s a cut on the inside of my lip.

It’s like a wet passionate kiss that didn’t exist

But that still managed to fill my mouth with blood.

Your darkness is like the nocturne sky,

Beautiful and mesmerizing.

Enigmatic in its magic.

I was crashing stars before I met you.

And it felt quite sublime.

But your beauty gave me hope of

Perfect skies that parade paprika comets.

My past seems so distant whenever

Your beauty graces my eyes.

I was crashing stars before I met you.

But now I’m only gathering debris.

You’re a canvas of perfection,

From your azure eyes that sparkle with youth

To your candid complexion that’s pristine.

Not like me. I hide scars.

I was crashing stars before I met you.

It was a deadly pastime.

I was losing sense of time.

I’m heading towards a dying star.

But you fill me up with hope

That there’s still beauty in this world.

I was crashing stars before I met you.

It almost caused my demise.

It’s like a wet passionate kiss that never was

But that I can still taste the blood from

The cut it caused.

I was crashing stars before I met you.

And I thought I felt alright.

Until the stars robbed me of my beauty,

They were envious of my light.

Now your beauty radiates the light

I no longer possess.

And maybe, if I stand just close enough

To you, I’ll be able to regain

The light that you emanate.

I was crashing stars before I met you.

I was a dying star before I met you,

But your gentle beauty has filled me up with hope.

Now I’m on a rocket heading towards the brightest light.

By: Azzurra Nox

Poetry: Ashtray Heart

cig

I took a shortcut through blood to get back to you.

I knew that your gaping wounds were still fairly new

For you to be able to finally let it all go.

You need this injection to get through this night.

I really hope now that you adore me as much as your dragon

Because after three years of battling against it

I have nothing to show but pure frigid waters that hang like

Lonely icicles from my eyes.

But when you’ve been smoking for too long

And Memnoch is walking in your shoes,

The only thing that surrounds you is a musky-drugged fog.

While the stage that we’re on becomes a broken ashtray

And, I the protagonist, a butted Marlboro.

It’s only a matter of trust,” you say.

But when your favorite lover is White Eve instead of me

I do not have much trust left in me.

You carve my name into your arm

Thinking that I should be impressed.

But your gesture does not scream your love,

It merely whispers your derangement.

I wish I could drag you across filed nails,

So you would become pristine.

But I can only kiss you with these bruised lips,

Hoping that you will come around (for more).

Although you don’t seem to care

As you take another line from my breasts.

Your ocean eyes wander over space and time

Snatching the stoned affection you can find.

Please don’t die,” I beg you.

I know of your secret lovers

That you keep hidden beneath black satin covers.

They’re going to blow your mind one of these days

Just as they did with all the others.

If only I could bring it all back to you

But there’s nothing I can do

Because you’re Poe without a muse,

Who merely craves for silver rockets

And playing Russian roulette with five bullets.

The smoke rises up and around your solar plexus

All I am for you is a Plastic Venus,

Ideal for viewing but not for loving.

You bestow your worship to the Green Goddess instead

Because she can let you see Heaven and Hell in your bed.

But remember that I now hold the power

Because I’ve raped all your lovers.

You’ll need to beg me before I’ll shoot you up.

I know how to fight back with an empty gun loaded with placebos.

By: Azzurra Nox

My Bad Romance: My First Kiss

kissing

It was a typical morning in my seventh-grade life. I’ve never been a fan of math, especially since that year I had begun Pre-Algebra. But the only thing that made that class bearable was the fact that the boy I had a huge crush on since sixth grade sat right in front of me in class. Since we were friends, I’d often find any excuse to talk to him. I’d ask him about movies. How the Chicago Bulls were doing that season (he was a huge fan and always wore a Chicago Bulls cap, strictly backward as per the ‘90s cap etiquette for cool kids).

Our history was somewhat complicated. As in the year before I had given him a Valentine’s Day card that I had made and written a poem that went along these lines:


Nobody knows of my feelings for you,
I keep them hidden, clear out of view.
But the tracks in the snow may give a clue,
But nobody knows of my love for you.


Now my grand romantic gesture would’ve been all fine and dandy if my best friend at the time hadn’t started dating my crush that week of Valentine’s. Our classes had boxes for Valentine’s cards, and I had placed mine in the box on a Monday, my best friend had gotten with the said boy on a Wednesday. Valentine’s fell on a Friday, so now you can see my dilemma. Drama-ensued for a while because of that, until things cleared up (hey, it’s not MY fault they got together after I had posted the card!).


But back to that day in Pre-Al.


It was Halloween, my favorite holiday. All I could think about was how I was going to go Trick-Or-Treating that night (something that truly defied my social group of “pretty popular girls” cause that was seen as “childish” cause ya know when you’re twelve and in a popular group, you need to act like you’re fifteen). This probably explains why I ended up leaving said group, which meant also leaving behind my best friend (and also the most popular girl in seventh grade) which was social status suicide on my part, but I was a rebel!


But I digress.


I was there getting settled in my seat, trying to pretend I knew what was going on (cause ya know, I refused to wear my glasses at the time, which meant that I couldn’t see a thing written on the board and I’m actually surprised I managed to earn B’s in math without ever seeing how the teacher worked out the problems).


Crush Boy sat down and I was doodling on my notebook when he turned around and flashed me his usual charming smile saying, “Happy Halloween!” And then and there just kissed me.


This is where time kind of stopped for me.


My heart was hammering so hard against my chest I was certain that I was going to have a coronary right then and there. My breath caught in my throat, and my cheeks flushed in the most horrendous way (being pale sucks).
“Woo-hoo!” One guy cheered, which pulled me out of the moment and was reminded that I was still in class.


In a math class that also had my best friend (and Crush Boy’s ex-girlfriend) sitting only a few rows over.  I looked over in her direction, and if I weren’t so near-sighted, I’m certain I could see her glaring.


Despite that kiss being simple (we were twelve and in class!), the feelings of euphoria that I experienced from it were something I chased for years, attempting so desperately to feel that lightheaded and blissful. And because this is me, no, Crush Boy and I didn’t have a short-term happy ending. We never dated. Despite him always showing a strange fascination with me, but always dating other girls instead. Later that year I moved, and on my last day of school, he kissed me again (this time after our English). He came up behind me and just planted his lips on me and then said, “Good luck at your new school.” I could barely murmur a reply back before he was already gone, rushing to his final class.


I never saw or heard from him after that day.


Maybe, some people are just meant to be memories.

By: Azzurra Nox

Poetry: Hollywood Summer

Hollywood-sign

We got high at Griffith Park

Looked up at the Hollywood sign

and felt alive.

We shared kisses in Venice Beach

You strummed your guitar

and sang to me.

We danced along the streets

of Sunset Boulevard

While people watched with smiles.

It was summer,

The height of our love.

When winter came,

It took you away.

And I drove alone at

night in the lonely streets

of L.A.

Crying over our hapless Hollywood love

that no longer was.

By: Azzurra Nox

Poetry: For You Always

I suppose I had hoped that my memory would’ve crippled you

Not to move on.

Instead, I see you smiling with your wife.

Your children remind me so much of you, with those

crooked smiles and messy curls.

I guess I just wished you had wanted those things with me,

Instead of her.

I break my phone’s screen so that I don’t have to witness your happiness

Without me.

By: Azzurra Nox

iphone-cracked-screen

Poetry: Late

cakegone

I’ve arrived too late.

You’ve used up all your love and

outrageous displays of affections on someone else.

So that when Valentine’s Day passes by,

There are no flowers or romantic adventures.

You tell me, “I’ve done this all before—I’m tired.”

But you’ve done nothing with me

For me.

I’m left picking up the crumbs,

cause I’ve come too late.

And someone else has already eaten my cake.

By: Azzurra Nox