I was extremely lucky to receive an e-book copy of The Girl With The Blue Umbrella directly from the author/poet Heather Awad in exchange for an honest review.
It has been a long time since I picked up a poetry book, I don't read it very often but when I do, I usually enjoy it thoroughly. The style I'm used to is definitely the classic format that rhymes and/or uses the iambic pentameter, the kind of stuff you read in school for your English class. This collection of poetry is an extremely fresh and modern way of writing poetry and it works beautifully. I will own up to the fact it took me a couple of reads at first to get the "rhythm" of each poem, but that is due to my lack of experience in reading modern poetry rather than the way it is written. The poems are all exceptionally well written and they all tell a story which I loved.
Out of the 62 poems, there were a few that stood out to me and are ones that I will come back to time and time again to read and remind myself of certain feelings or thoughts. The poem "When I'm Bored" I really identified with the people watching and making up stories about them, as I said in my review of The Haunting Of Hill House I really identified with Eleanor because she made stories up about things as she was driving and I felt the same thing again while reading this poem.
"At The Parade" really captures the festivity of a parade, but my absolute favourite line is "...she knows I'm taking pictures, saving memories" This feels like it was written about me, I love to photograph pretty much everything and I feel it's my way of making sure we don't forget things that have happened or that we have seen, so describing it as saving memories is just perfect.
"Too Much Noise" is just perfect, I'm going to save it at that page and every time someone asks why I like to sit in silence I'm just going to show it to them and let Heather explain far more eloquently than I ever could. I think out of the whole collection this is my favourite poem as it speaks to me on a personal level.
"Blue Angels" is fantastically well written and descriptive, so much so you feel as if you are they lying on the sands too and watching all the things going on and enjoying the experience. This poem is really upbeat and you can almost feel the heat of summer while reading it.
The last poem I want to specifically mention by title, is "Skipping Class" It is heartbreaking and it feels so very personal and the emotions are so raw you feel voyeuristic while reading this, looking in from the outside on someone's pain and wishing that you could do something about it.
Overall I really enjoyed this collection and as I said, there are poems that I will come back to over time to read again. As in all collections though there are some poems that I liked less than others, not that I didn't like them, as they were all written so well and the subjects were all ones that people can relate to in one way or the other, but that I just preferred the others.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone with a passing interest in poetry, especially if you'd always wanted to try reading poetry but maybe weren't sure where to start or you just wanted more contemporary topics to read about.
I read and completed this on the 24th of November 2015.
I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.