Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Discord by Emmanuella Hristova – Book Review

Book: The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Discord
Author: Emmanuella Hristova
No. of pages: 50
Publication date: April 2018

The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Disorder is a short collection of poems that explores a tumultuous year of love, heartbreak and unimaginable loss. It documents the birth and death of a relationship, and the death of my sister. Each poem is an emotional time-stamp that plunges the reader into the depths of my feelings as they burgeon and wane. The book reads like a diary and chronicles the boundaries of the things that we all feel: passion, heartache, and pain that gives way to hope. 

Book Review by Nadaness In Motion

The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Discord is a raw and emotional poetry collection by Emmanuella Hristova.

At first I was at a loss with the arrangement and titling of the poems. But I realized that they're done in a historic kind of arrangement with some days having more than one poem written. Many pieces don't have titles just dates.

A note to remind oneself when reading poetry collections, especially those in free verse, not everyone breaks lines the same way. I disliked many of the line breaks in The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Discord but that could just be me and others might prefer them that way.

The poem titled "September 29th" is one of the beautiful ones I enjoyed in the first half, though I disliked the repetition of 'and' and some of the line breaks.

"Upon Success" is a short piece that every person everywhere in the world can relate to. It's short and I'll quote it; I didn't like the line-breaks here either.
"America is a weird place where/we leave the/people we love to/pursue little green pieces of/paper and ink to/fill empty slots on/our resumes."

I felt that the piece titled "October 5th" was more prose than poetry but I loved the imagery.  "October 9th" is brimming with stunning imagery, dark, and just wow!

"I hesitate when you kiss me because I/ am afraid you will taste the disaster/brewing underneath my skin. Or maybe/my kisses taste hot, like a dangerous/sun storm raging on the broiling/surface of our most familiar star."  - that's just a sample of "October 9th" which is a long and gorgeous poem.

Another important note about The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Discord is that there are many pieces handling sexual and physical abuse. The poems are powerful. Like these lines from "October 17th":
"Letting my lips touch yours/was a contract I signed/without reading the fine print: participant subject to hasty sexual advances/ without warning."

I couldn't get the poem "November 14th," it was odd with a dry tone and felt more like a series of commandments. "November 16th" reads like a broken down prose piece but is full of strong imagery.

Other 5-star pieces in Hristova's The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Discord include: "October 18th," "October 19th," "Upon Saying Thank You," "Upon Inspiration," "November 17th," "December 15th," and "Upon Celebrating International Women's Day."

"You came, conquered,/stole my heart and/left me with a Moleskin full of/pensive poems documenting unrequited love/exposed on cream, lined pages." - "Upon Inspiration"

I must admit that the second half of the book was much better than the first half. The poems were longer and deeper after the 50% mark. That said, "Upon Diluting Myself" and "Upon Being a Woman" are the most powerful pieces in the entire collection. 10 stars each of these.

"Upon Diluting Myself" is long but super powerful. It's also explicit, painful, eye-opening, and emancipating, all at the same time. Similarly, "Upon Being a Woman" is the most painful piece in The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Discord. It does have a lot of Spanish words, which I couldn't understand. The poem is probably the longest in the collection but speaks for a lot of women suffering from sexual abuse.
"Upon inheritance" is a sad and painful piece that nearly made me cry.

Last but certainly not least, The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Discord ends with "Here's to the Woman," Hristova's perfect conclusion to her emotionally raw poetry collection that I believe is dedicated to all women out there.

This collection was hard for me to judge, but my overall rating is: 4 stars.

Note: I received a free copy of The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Discord from its author Emmanuella Hristova in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author:

Emmanuella Hristova was born in Oakland, California and grew up in the Bay Area. She is the third daughter to Bulgarian parents who immigrated to California shortly before she was born. She began drawing at the ripe age of four, and studied the fine arts for five years in high school. In 2015, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley.

She began writing poetry at age twenty-four when she was in graduate school. She earned her Master's in Education from the same alma mater in 2017. Emmanuella spent two years as an English teacher in Richmond, California. During that time, she self-published her first poetry collection: The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Disorder. Currently, she is writing her first novel.
Connect with indie author Emmanuella Hristova via her website, Amazon, Goodreads, and Instagram

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