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Aphrodite Made Me Do It

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Bestselling and award-winning author Trista Mateer takes an imaginative approach to self-care in this new poetry and prose collection, Aphrodite Made Me Do It. In this empowering retelling, she uses the mythology of the goddess to weave a common thread through the past and present. By the end of this book, Aphrodite make you believe in the possibility of your own healing.


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Bestselling and award-winning author Trista Mateer takes an imaginative approach to self-care in this new poetry and prose collection, Aphrodite Made Me Do It. In this empowering retelling, she uses the mythology of the goddess to weave a common thread through the past and present. By the end of this book, Aphrodite make you believe in the possibility of your own healing.

30 review for Aphrodite Made Me Do It

  1. 4 out of 5

    Teodora

    There are periods in my life when all I need is for poetry books like this to exist. It is an authentic dialogue between the poet and Goddess Aphrodite on various themes like love and hate. Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC! I appreciate it dearly!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Whitney Atkinson

    This book felt like peering into someone's art journal it was so gorgeous. I loved the themes in it and I thought it was the perfect mix of melancholy yet helpful. I hope this book is the next milk & honey and i can't wait to buy a physical copy

  3. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    To sing of love is almost always to sing of war. This is easily one of the best poetry collections — maybe the best — I have ever read. I am older than the poets and I am older than the pens. I am older than the stars and the ocean I crawled out of. It’s a story of assault, and survival, and having our stories rewritten without our consent. It’s worship and blasphemy, anger and heartache, capped off with tenderness and self-love and learning to cherish yourself no matter how many people in your To sing of love is almost always to sing of war. This is easily one of the best poetry collections — maybe the best — I have ever read. I am older than the poets and I am older than the pens. I am older than the stars and the ocean I crawled out of. It’s a story of assault, and survival, and having our stories rewritten without our consent. It’s worship and blasphemy, anger and heartache, capped off with tenderness and self-love and learning to cherish yourself no matter how many people in your life have failed to do so. I belong to no one. They never wrote that part down. Among all these other things, it’s an incredible view on many infamous women of mythology, and it gives a voice to the sides of their stories that we all too often overlook. It plays a strong parallel to the sides of stories from everyday women today society would have us overlook, too, and it’s powerful. Don’t miss out on this one. They made a monster of Medusa as well. Hated how loud her trauma was. Couldn’t believe she had the audacity to not take it lying down. They made a war-ground of her body so she made one of theirs. TWs: assault, homophobia, transphobia All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kai

    "My grief for her was like a circle. I always came around to missing her." Aphrodite Made Me Do It is a feminist poetry collection about love, loss, insecurity, pain, and empowerment. It's also a retelling of Aphrodite's story. I read the NetGalley proof on my kindle which for some annoying reason always means that it messes up the lines and images, but I liked the design and style anyway. The poetry itself - especially the parts about rewriting Aphrodite's story far away from the male gaze - was "My grief for her was like a circle. I always came around to missing her." Aphrodite Made Me Do It is a feminist poetry collection about love, loss, insecurity, pain, and empowerment. It's also a retelling of Aphrodite's story. I read the NetGalley proof on my kindle which for some annoying reason always means that it messes up the lines and images, but I liked the design and style anyway. The poetry itself - especially the parts about rewriting Aphrodite's story far away from the male gaze - was intriguing, but it didn't capture me for long. It was a short read with beautiful words, but at the same time, it felt like scrolling through someone's poetry-inspired Instagram feed - pretty but easily forgotten. Find more of my books on Instagram

  5. 5 out of 5

    Boston

    TW for rape, abuse, sexual assault, death, eating disorders, gore, blood, queerphobia I don’t know what I expected when I started this collection. I don’t even quite know how to review it. Never has a poetry collection made me feel things so deep in my soul that it feels like I’ve dived deeper than the ocean floor. This book wrapped me in a blanket, handed me a mug of hot coco and said “You’ll be okay. And here’s why”. It was gentle but it was fierce and it was strong and it was everything I TW for rape, abuse, sexual assault, death, eating disorders, gore, blood, queerphobia I don’t know what I expected when I started this collection. I don’t even quite know how to review it. Never has a poetry collection made me feel things so deep in my soul that it feels like I’ve dived deeper than the ocean floor. This book wrapped me in a blanket, handed me a mug of hot coco and said “You’ll be okay. And here’s why”. It was gentle but it was fierce and it was strong and it was everything I needed right now. I can’t tell you you’ll love this collection. It feels so deeply personal that I genuinely don’t know if you will. But if you’re struggling, and everything feels hard, then preorder this one, because it’s a good one. (Huge thanks to the publisher who sent me a copy to read in exchange for a review)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kristy K

    I don't know why I keep doing this to myself. I want to give young, new poets a chance and I am always looking for new talent, but every time I try them out, I end up disappointed. I think it's great that so many people can turn to writing to express their thoughts, heal from their pasts, and fight for social justices. But this new wave of poets and their poetry seem to read more like diary entries or Instagram posts than poems. I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in return for an I don't know why I keep doing this to myself. I want to give young, new poets a chance and I am always looking for new talent, but every time I try them out, I end up disappointed. I think it's great that so many people can turn to writing to express their thoughts, heal from their pasts, and fight for social justices. But this new wave of poets and their poetry seem to read more like diary entries or Instagram posts than poems. I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay (pawsomereads)

    Beautiful poetry and even more beautiful art! I loved the illustrations and pictures included in this book which I really think helped to highlight the lovely prose. I loved the perspective of these poems and writing style was great!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jessica C Writes

    This was such an incredible collection of poetry and prose. I could not put it down once I started it. Trista’s words have the ability to make you feel so many emotions at once. This collection was extremely powerful and beautiful. I know that I will be purchasing a final copy as soon as it comes out, but I am extremely grateful to have been given an advanced copy. I will now be shouting about its greatness to all of my friends- poetry loving or not. If you yourself are not a big poetry reader, This was such an incredible collection of poetry and prose. I could not put it down once I started it. Trista’s words have the ability to make you feel so many emotions at once. This collection was extremely powerful and beautiful. I know that I will be purchasing a final copy as soon as it comes out, but I am extremely grateful to have been given an advanced copy. I will now be shouting about its greatness to all of my friends- poetry loving or not. If you yourself are not a big poetry reader, this is a great place to start as it is a quick read and contains lots of prose as well. I am still in awe of how amazing the words on the pages were, and I could only hope that one day my own collection will be as eloquent as this one. Adding it to my shelf of favorite poetry books right away.

  9. 4 out of 5

    vitória

    “let me leave you with this: your life is short and all the more precious for it. i do not seek to tell you how to live, only to live at all. to not fear the day. to know you are stronger than what has hurt you. to know what you will triumph”. the most powerful poetry book i read recently! so many lessons we need and deserve to learn in delicate pages made from a unique woman. this inspired, healed and renewed me in a different way.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    This was amazing! I loved this so much more than I could have possibly imagined. Not only does this book give an alternate perspective on Aphrodite (much needed by the way) it was also about queer representation, love in its many forms and had beautiful imagery juxtaposed throughout. I was not expecting the story to be in prose and to have symbolic imagery. It was such a joy to read. I never felt bored and honestly wish there was more even though I felt like the ending was perfect. I really want This was amazing! I loved this so much more than I could have possibly imagined. Not only does this book give an alternate perspective on Aphrodite (much needed by the way) it was also about queer representation, love in its many forms and had beautiful imagery juxtaposed throughout. I was not expecting the story to be in prose and to have symbolic imagery. It was such a joy to read. I never felt bored and honestly wish there was more even though I felt like the ending was perfect. I really want to check out more of Trista Mateer’s work ASAP. Here are some beautiful lines from this beautiful book: “Regardless of whether you desire it, love is what sits at the core of the world. It is stronger than greed and hate and jealousy and pain. What brings us together will always be more powerful than what keeps us apart.” Pg 29 “When people say you cannot love others until you love yourself, they fundamentally misunderstand love. Nothing thrives in isolation.” Pg 64 “Understanding doesn’t have to mean granting forgiveness/And forgivenesses doesn’t have to be a free pass.” Pg 77 These are just some of the amazing lines you will find in this book. It’s extremely empowering and gorgeous.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lost in Book Land

    Welcome Back, Being totally 100% honest I have not read a lot of poetry collections of poetry in general. As a kid, I loved those Shel Silverstein books that were his big bind ups of his poetry works and they were fun silly poems. I would check them out of the library again and again. As I have gotten older I have had more of an interest in reading more poetry and have put the Princess Saves Herself in This One and others on my Amazon book wish list (meaning I will purchase them at some point). Welcome Back, Being totally 100% honest I have not read a lot of poetry collections of poetry in general. As a kid, I loved those Shel Silverstein books that were his big bind ups of his poetry works and they were fun silly poems. I would check them out of the library again and again. As I have gotten older I have had more of an interest in reading more poetry and have put the Princess Saves Herself in This One and others on my Amazon book wish list (meaning I will purchase them at some point). But other than this I really have not had much experience with poetry as a whole. Recently, on Netgalley I was given a copy of Aphrodite Made Me Do It in exchange for an honest review. So I was really excited to get to finally try some more poetry. SPOILERS AHEAD In this poetry collection, the authors uses a lot of imagery both with pictures and words to create not only empowering poems but empowering images that tell a story. Now I am not sure if this story is about the author but I will say a lot of these poems were very empowering and amazing and helped to feel like it was okay to let go of things. Also, the illustrations in this collection weather they were just images or images with a mix of words were probably my favorite thing. If I could I would literally get prints of these for my home. I felt like the images spoke so loudly about the poems, the author, and important things in today's world that maybe I have felt or greatly understood at some point in my life. Overall, I really enjoyed this poetry collection, and I have already gone back and looked at some of the images again. I am definitely giving this five stars on Goodreads. Also, I am sorry if this review seems a little scattered compared to normal, I did not want to say too much or too little but I did want to express how much I truly enjoyed this. **Received an ARC in Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    tappkalina

    I don't like poetry, but parts of this were surprisingly deep. If it only had the Aphrodite parts, it could have been 5 stars, but the rest of the book just stuff you hear from everywhere.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Veronika

    Reading this book felt like I was talking to Aphrodite herself, about her life, loves, strength, and pains. I felt really close to her while reading. And then, I also found myself in this book. My worries and fears, but more importantly, my light, joy, and acceptance. I really liked the format it was in, changing perspectives of the Goddess and the author, switching between written poems and poems in pictures. After I finished this, I felt in peace with myself as I haven’t felt in a long time. I Reading this book felt like I was talking to Aphrodite herself, about her life, loves, strength, and pains. I felt really close to her while reading. And then, I also found myself in this book. My worries and fears, but more importantly, my light, joy, and acceptance. I really liked the format it was in, changing perspectives of the Goddess and the author, switching between written poems and poems in pictures. After I finished this, I felt in peace with myself as I haven’t felt in a long time. I loved Trista’s previous books and this one is not an exception; it was honest and pure and magical. I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Ogarp

    " *I didn't forget how to fight for myself. I forgot that I could. * " This was everything that I needed right now. This poetry collection explore a lot of different topics surrounding femininity and more. It dose it in a way were it's not only surface level. No, I felt that. I really like the way Mateer expressed herself as well as choices of words and writing style. It is written in a pretty way but convey real, hurtful and dark topics which is my favorite combination. I also really liked the " *I didn't forget how to fight for myself. I forgot that I could. * " This was everything that I needed right now. This poetry collection explore a lot of different topics surrounding femininity and more. It dose it in a way were it's not only surface level. No, I felt that. I really like the way Mateer expressed herself as well as choices of words and writing style. It is written in a pretty way but convey real, hurtful and dark topics which is my favorite combination. I also really liked the red thread through out the story always connecting back to Aphrodite and how the people have painted her for years, in the same way we have painted women. Beautiful. - Digital arc received by Netgalley in exchange for a honest review -

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jessica | Booked J

    As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Review can be found here at Booked J. Trista Mateer had me at mythology and self care when it came to Aphrodite Made Me Do It. I am so glad I live in an era of empowering prose such as Mateer. Truly. It goes without saying, I've been eagerly anticipating more from Mateer since I read her magnificent release Honeybee. As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Review can be found here at Booked J. Trista Mateer had me at mythology and self care when it came to Aphrodite Made Me Do It. I am so glad I live in an era of empowering prose such as Mateer. Truly. It goes without saying, I've been eagerly anticipating more from Mateer since I read her magnificent release Honeybee. When given the opportunity to read and review Aphrodite Made Me Do It, I jumped. I'm so very glad I did. Where to begin? This was truly a fantastic read. Remarkable, poignant and completely consuming, it serves as a title that will surely draw more readers to Mateer. It is one of the reads that seemingly came at the exact moment in my life that I needed it most. I'm in awe over every line, every page, every breathe. Everyone who loves poetry should read this one. End sentence. Really, though. Read this one. This past year has been another incredible year for poetry and the women in it. And Aphrodite Made Me Do It is one of the years biggest triumphs when it comes down to it. Trista Mateer has truly hit all the right spots with it. I've never read anything like it. This was an unforgettable release and will truly leave you feeling like you've read something of an otherworldly beauty. I have always been the type of person who annotates poetry. Aphrodite Made Me Do It is no exception to this, but I think I made more notes and highlights within its pages than I did any other release this year. It's that gorgeously crafted. That being said, if my review didn't sell you: I'm going to point you all in the direction of Destiny's marvelous and to the point review because it summarizes my feelings about Aphrodite Made Me Do It perfectly. If she can't sell you on something, no one can.

  16. 5 out of 5

    E.

    Review: Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer // Or, A Journey Through The Pain Of A Woman And A Goddess ,5 | Let Aphrodite into your soul "They made me a goddess of love and then vilified me for loving freely, for kissing and fucking and strolling boldly down the streets of Cyprus." gorgeous art accompanying the poems a dialogue between a poet and a goddess the pain shared by women a journey to healing and self-love Aphrodite made me do it didn’t feel like poetry to me — and I’m not saying it Review: Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer // Or, A Journey Through The Pain Of A Woman And A Goddess ★★★,5☆ | Let Aphrodite into your soul "They made me a goddess of love and then vilified me for loving freely, for kissing and fucking and strolling boldly down the streets of Cyprus." ✒️ gorgeous art accompanying the poems ✒️ a dialogue between a poet and a goddess ✒️ the pain shared by women ✒️ a journey to healing and self-love Aphrodite made me do it didn’t feel like poetry to me — and I’m not saying it in a malicious way. It was poetic — yes — but it didn’t stricte fit into my definition of what is poetry. And that’s ok. That didn’t make me like it less. It felt more like a combination of poetic writing style with philosophical conversations and cautionary tales. BUT IT WAS FIRST AND FOREMOST A JOURNEY. A journey of a woman and a goddess through their pain and their trauma. A journey through the centuries and bodies shamed and forgotten. A journey of women’s understanding and the fight for JOY and HAPPINESS. Aphrodite made me do it speaks of giving the woman’s pain a voice, of bringing it out of the years of concealment and ignorance — BUT ALSO OF LETTING IT GO AND NOT ALLOWING IT TO RULE YOUR LIFE FOREVER. The words itself were not as memorable to me as they are with other poetry collections but the message sticks nevertheless. IT IS TIME TO SHATTER ALL THE EXPECTATIONS OF WOMANHOOD and just let yourself be happy. After all, Aphrodite made me do it. "But love wanted a sacrifice and I made myself one. I drank straight from the tap of it, wiped my mouth on my palms, picked up a pen, and called myself a poet." blog | insta | twitter | booksirens | duolingo

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kobi

    3.5 stars Accepting this body did not mean convincing myself that it was beautiful; it meant giving myself permission to exist regardless. I feel like I come out of most poetry/prose collections with generally the same thoughts and feelings. Each of them feels personal, almost as if reading another's diary, and they often deal with difficult content in beautiful ways which make you leave feeling empowered and strong. And while this was beautiful, I don't think it was anything new. It feels awful 3.5 stars Accepting this body did not mean convincing myself that it was beautiful; it meant giving myself permission to exist regardless. I feel like I come out of most poetry/prose collections with generally the same thoughts and feelings. Each of them feels personal, almost as if reading another's diary, and they often deal with difficult content in beautiful ways which make you leave feeling empowered and strong. And while this was beautiful, I don't think it was anything new. It feels awful saying that, because each experience is a different one and it's unfair to compare them, but if you put two modern poems by different poets side by side and asked me to correctly match them to their poets, there's a strong chance I'll be unsuccessful. I won't lie and say I didn't enjoy this, because I did! There were so many pages I marked and highlighted on Scribd, but I don't think I'll purchase a physical copy for myself or ever revisit it. Definitely check this out if you enjoy the likes of Rupi Kaur or R.H. Sin! I think you'll get a lot out of this.

  18. 5 out of 5

    sarah xoxo

    "it was my blood that made the roses red. My pain shaped the whole world" I tend to find it difficult to connect to poetry collections, but this one hit differently. Her writing was raw, and evoked strong emotions from me. Told partly from the perspective of Aphrodite, it had a magical, godly feel to it that added another layer I haven't read before. "I am older than the stars and the ocean I crawled out of" Trista Mateer provides Aphrodite, and numerous other goddesses with the voices that were "it was my blood that made the roses red. My pain shaped the whole world" I tend to find it difficult to connect to poetry collections, but this one hit differently. Her writing was raw, and evoked strong emotions from me. Told partly from the perspective of Aphrodite, it had a magical, godly feel to it that added another layer I haven't read before. "I am older than the stars and the ocean I crawled out of" Trista Mateer provides Aphrodite, and numerous other goddesses with the voices that were taken from them. "They married me off in the stories so they could call me an adulteress, but I brought the god of war to his knees" This collection was empowering, ethereal and exquisite. The full colour photos and illustrations were a wonderful addition as well. I highlighted so many poems and quotes from this, which will stick with me for a long time coming. 4.75 stars *** I received an e-ARC of this book in exchange of an honest review ***

  19. 4 out of 5

    •°• gabs •°•

    leaving it unrated because i didn't love it but it's still a very important read

  20. 5 out of 5

    kippen (uponthepages)

    This book was sent to me by the publisher but all opinions are my own. Thank you Central Avenue publishing! I’ve never been a huge fan of modern poetry. I’ve read Rupi Kaur’s book and I’ve loved Amanda Lovelace’s books. I received Honeybee by Trista Mateer as a gift and have yet to read it but that might change. I had already heard such good things about Aphrodite Made Me Do It so I decided to snag it for review and WOW, that was a great read. I read poetry quickly so I sat outside in the nice This book was sent to me by the publisher but all opinions are my own. Thank you Central Avenue publishing! I’ve never been a huge fan of modern poetry. I’ve read Rupi Kaur’s book and I’ve loved Amanda Lovelace’s books. I received Honeybee by Trista Mateer as a gift and have yet to read it but that might change. I had already heard such good things about Aphrodite Made Me Do It so I decided to snag it for review and WOW, that was a great read. I read poetry quickly so I sat outside in the nice weather (it finally hit the low 60s!) and devoured this book. I love how this book connects the story of Aphrodite but also intertwines personal writing in there as well. If anything, this poetry book is a perfect feminist read. It immediately reminded me a bit of Sylvia Plath’s writing (not her poetry) and that’s a compliment. This book manages to show so much growth while still remaining consistent with it’s theme and creating a beautiful story with poetry. I highlighted several different poems, but here are some of my highlighted quotes/poems: - “They called me a hundred different names, an epithet for everything. Couldn’t even bother trying to comprehend it all together– that I could be bloody and beautiful, that I could be divine and approachable.” - “Aphrodite tells me that love is like wine. If your cup is already full and you try to add more, it will just spill onto the carpet. Some people try and try and just stain everything. Their fingers are purple with want.” - “To love something deeply is only to know that you will go to great lengths to protect it.” -“She says, if you were only meant to be beautiful, we wouldn’t have put you down here in the dirt.” and so many more. The writing is so lyrical and gorgeous that it’s easy to love. Anyone who loves a good feminist poet or is interested in mythology will love this! I’ll be looking forward to this author’s next releases! *please note I read an unfinished copy so these quotes might have been changing within the original copy*

  21. 4 out of 5

    Trisha

    A compelling journey into the paths of love, life and everything that goes along with both. Some poetry collections feel more personal than others and Aphrodite Made Me Do It never holds back from spilling emotions right onto the pages. The poetry switches back and forth between the narrator and Aphrodite, who is much more than just the goddess of love. She has a story to tell and her sections were some of my favorite throughout the collection. I liked seeing the other side because it's A compelling journey into the paths of love, life and everything that goes along with both. Some poetry collections feel more personal than others and Aphrodite Made Me Do It never holds back from spilling emotions right onto the pages. The poetry switches back and forth between the narrator and Aphrodite, who is much more than just the goddess of love. She has a story to tell and her sections were some of my favorite throughout the collection. I liked seeing the other side because it's mostly glossed over. Something a lot can relate to with their own story and life. Only parts are highlighted and labels are given so quickly. It can be difficult to step outside of them and be a lot more. I belong to no one. They never wrote that part down. This is a collection about assault, struggle, heartbreak and being ripped apart. But at the very same time it is also about acceptance and finding the inner source of self love. The empowerment radiates off the pages and really digs in deep. I love poetry where it's easy to tell the poet isn't holding back. Instead, they're letting everything just pour out and it's much easier to find pieces to relate to then. There were a few times while reading where I paused and really let the words sink in. Forgiving yourself and accepting who you are and not who you have been are such difficult things. It's comforting to read the struggle isn't one you share alone. Regardless of whether you desire it, love is what sits at the core of the world. It is stronger than greed and hate and jealousy and pain. What brings us together will always be more powerful than what keeps us apart. ------------------------------------------------------------ 3.5 fighting stars. rtc!

  22. 4 out of 5

    ˗ˏˋ aphrodite ˊˎ˗

    thank you SO much to my dear friend, kerri (kerrithebookbelle), for getting me a personalized copy of my new favorite poetry book of all time. so I’m not particularly familiar with what people call ~*emotions*~ but modern poetry always pulls at my dusty heartstrings. this is no different. the basic theme of the collection is following our narrator who has endured abuse & lost the meaning of love as she finds the goddess aphrodite in her room. aphrodite then (as the feminist, lgbt icon she thank you SO much to my dear friend, kerri (kerrithebookbelle), for getting me a personalized copy of my new favorite poetry book of all time. so I’m not particularly familiar with what people call ~*emotions*~ but modern poetry always pulls at my dusty heartstrings. this is no different. the basic theme of the collection is following our narrator who has endured abuse & lost the meaning of love as she finds the goddess aphrodite in her room. aphrodite then (as the feminist, lgbt icon she is) explains the power of love and forgiveness to our narrator. I don’t want to spoil the book because I need you all to preorder this book STAT. but I will include some of my favorites so I can convince you to pick this up: “they married me off in the stories So they could call me an adulteress, but I brought the god of war to his knees” “they colored me pink and wrapped me in flowers. they scrubbed the dirt from under my nails” “they made a war-ground of her body so she made one of theirs” I HIGHLY recommend this to EVERY queer person & ally for the LGBTQIA+ community if you’re in the place to read it (trigger warnings at the bottom) its a beautiful story about forgiveness, dealing with past trauma, and accepting yourself. it’s beautiful, it’s heart wrenching, and it HAS A HAPPY ENDING !!!! the book itself is stunning too with illustrations and typography from the poet herself. all in all, I can’t recommend this book enough. I know I have a bias through my goddess but everyone can use some love in their life. ((trigger warnings: body image, sexual assault, rape, eating disorders, queerphobia, emotional abuse, physical abuse, gore, blood, death, fire))

  23. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    [I received a copy of this to review through Netgalley] Aphrodite Made Me Do It is a collection written as interactions between the poet and Aphrodite, relating to love in all its forms and breaking down the misconceptions towards Aphrodite throughout history and how her image has been twisted and corrupted. I found that the poetry told from Aphrodite's perspective was what I enjoyed most about this collection. I find the breakdown of Goddesses in particular fascinating in modern writing, to see [I received a copy of this to review through Netgalley] Aphrodite Made Me Do It is a collection written as interactions between the poet and Aphrodite, relating to love in all its forms and breaking down the misconceptions towards Aphrodite throughout history and how her image has been twisted and corrupted. I found that the poetry told from Aphrodite's perspective was what I enjoyed most about this collection. I find the breakdown of Goddesses in particular fascinating in modern writing, to see their stories written from a female perspective, and Trista Mateer does a wonderful job of making her more than what she has been sees as throughout history. Aphrodite becomes a force of nature who sees love as a strength rather than a weakness, who also talks about how it can be destructive and unhealthy, and how finding love that isn't toxic is important. Her voice is blunt and doesn't shy away from the truth, which sets her apart from the fragility of the poet who is still coming to understand the intricacies of love. As I received this as a Netgalley arc, a lot of the structure was, of course, lost in the file translation, but I still really enjoyed the way it was set out on the page. I loved the images scattered throughout, almost like looking into someone's journal, but at times they came across as quite basic and lacked the same impact as the more hardhitting poems in the collection. My one major issue that stopped me from enjoying this completely was how repetitive the poetry is. It's the same structure throughout, with short sentences and an overuse of the same grammar and punctuation, and it's just so... boring. There's no variation in the way the poems are presented a lot of the time, which makes me feel like we're not getting to see Trista Mateer's full ability as a poet. She has talent, you can see that in the emotions and messages behind her poetry, how raw they can be, it just feels like form is holding her back a lot. I would recommend this collection, but I don't think many of the poems will stick with me, just the way a Goddess so significant in mythology and throughout history has been portrayed. It's rare to see Aphrodite explored without making her seem flat compared to other Goddesses.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Stargazing

    This is a really nice short collection of prose and poems about self-growth, self-acceptance, and healing. The author resurrects Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, to tell the story of the wild goddess Aphrodite was before she was forced into obedience, her stories were re-written, and she became the embodiment of beauty and love. "I wept at what became of my name." The author uses Aphrodite's tales to show how women were always forced to morph, bury themselves, to become acceptable. She This is a really nice short collection of prose and poems about self-growth, self-acceptance, and healing. The author resurrects Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, to tell the story of the wild goddess Aphrodite was before she was forced into obedience, her stories were re-written, and she became the embodiment of beauty and love. "I wept at what became of my name." The author uses Aphrodite's tales to show how women were always forced to morph, bury themselves, to become acceptable. She uses her example to provoke women to be loud, to be heard, because we aren't born to stay quiet. This book teaches you a lesson on love; how the most important kind of love is the one that you give to yourself. It talks of abusive love, sexual assault, queer- shaming, being insecure and afraid to love, being afraid of being hurt again. It also talks about body image, mental health, and healing. "The battles you fight will not always be loud, bloody affairs. Sometimes they will happen in your own home. Sometimes they will happen in your own head. Just remember: you have in you what it takes to overcome." I enjoyed more the prose that the poetry in this collection. The thoughts the author shared with us are very powerful and I admire her determination and fearlessness to being able to speak so freely. Thank you to NetGalley and Central Avenue Publishing for providing me e-ARC for this book in exchange for an honest review. I solemnly swear that all opinions are my own.

  25. 4 out of 5

    d e b o r a h ☽

    ** I received an arc for this a few months back from Netgalley** I never really read poetry. Either it's poetry in a style like this and I've let myself be told that this is not what poetry is supposed to be or it is just too intimidating. This time I decided to give it a go. Aphrodite Made Me Do It was an enjoyable quick read; it almost felt as if I was reading someones personal journal that was nog meant to be seen. I actually finished it in one sitting and loved the use of art in this book. The ** I received an arc for this a few months back from Netgalley** I never really read poetry. Either it's poetry in a style like this and I've let myself be told that this is not what poetry is supposed to be or it is just too intimidating. This time I decided to give it a go. Aphrodite Made Me Do It was an enjoyable quick read; it almost felt as if I was reading someones personal journal that was nog meant to be seen. I actually finished it in one sitting and loved the use of art in this book. The way the author used Aphrodite in this poetry collection just really worked and the parts centered around her were by far my favorite. I wasn't the biggest fan of the other parts but overall it was a good read. I'll definitely be giving poetry collections like this a go more often in the future! "All of us are survivors until we are not anymore."

  26. 4 out of 5

    ellie

    how can I possibly love someone right when I was raised with the worst examples?

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jade Melody

    Rating: Received an arc from NetGalley for an honest review. Expected Release: October 1st 2019 **Trigger Warnings** Body Image, Sexual Assault, Rape, Eating Disorders, Queer-phobia, Emotional Abuse, Physical Abuse, Gore, Blood, Death. I love poetry. I discovered Trista Mateer by finding out about one of her other works, The Dogs I Have Kissed. I know little to nothing about what this about about but I know it's a poetry book and the title itself makes me want to read it. Then I found this Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Received an arc from NetGalley for an honest review. Expected Release: October 1st 2019 **Trigger Warnings** Body Image, Sexual Assault, Rape, Eating Disorders, Queer-phobia, Emotional Abuse, Physical Abuse, Gore, Blood, Death. I love poetry. I discovered Trista Mateer by finding out about one of her other works, The Dogs I Have Kissed. I know little to nothing about what this about about but I know it's a poetry book and the title itself makes me want to read it. Then I found this Trista Mateer book on Net Galley and was lucky enough to be given a copy of it. This is the poetry that I feel I don't read enough of; The raw and authentic. This is the kind of poetry that opens my eyes to the perspective of other people. How they live their lives and how others treat them. How they suffer and how they survive. Trista Mateer did a beautiful job interweaving different poetic thoughts with mythological references and metaphors. It made it somewhat mythical and just out of reach while still touching the back of my mind with the hard hitting topics that are looked over too often in society. The write about such experiences is real and it's important to me, and I hope to others, to know the thoughts of these people. The ones discriminated by family, the ones abused by others, the ones with the internal struggles, or even all of these mixed together. I'm trying not to glorify it, but I think it's important people know the authentic stories, the plasters created by people who have no idea what it means to deal with these hard hitting subjects. I just want to thank Trista Mateer for writing this and I am thankful that I was given the opportunity to read this. It truly was a beautiful and poetic story. I am definitely going to pick up the other things Trista Mateer has written because of this book. Pre-Review Beautiful.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Thank you very much to Central Avenue Publishing for providing a copy of this collection of poetry in exchange for an honest review. "I stand in awe of your survival." Aphrodite Made Me Do It is such an amazing collection of poetry. Actually, I'd say this is probably my favourite collection of poetry, just behind Sappho's Fragments. I read it in one sitting and then I went back and read it all over again. What I especially love is that the collection is framed around Aphrodite and the author Thank you very much to Central Avenue Publishing for providing a copy of this collection of poetry in exchange for an honest review. "I stand in awe of your survival." Aphrodite Made Me Do It is such an amazing collection of poetry. Actually, I'd say this is probably my favourite collection of poetry, just behind Sappho's Fragments. I read it in one sitting and then I went back and read it all over again. What I especially love is that the collection is framed around Aphrodite and the author having a conversation with her, listening about her life. I've always loved Ancient Greek myths, particularly the ones that involve women: my favourite is the story of Medusa, which we briefly read about here. Most recently, I've been enjoying relearning these myths from a modern and feminist perspective, which Mateer definitely does -- along with poems about her own personal life mixed in with Aphrodite's. "Men wrote stories of my birth as if they were standing on the shore when I was spat up onto it. They picked up their pens and waxed poetic and nobody questioned it. Nobody asked me instead." The poems are about trauma and assault, but also about empowerment, self discovery and inner strength. I really enjoyed the inclusion of artwork as part of the poems, which were very beautiful and necessary to the story. This was my first experience with Mateer's poetry, and it definitely won't be my last. Also trigger warnings (which are included in the book) for: sexual assault, rape, eating disorders, queerphobia, body image issues, emotional abuse, physical abuse, gore, blood, death, fire. Even though I received a free copy of this collection, I will definitely be purchasing a physical copy so I can annotate it (and cry over it). If you've ever been interested in poetry, but didn't know where to start, I recommend this collection for a beginner!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Anwen Hayward

    ARC received in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed and appreciated this collection. As soon as I realised it was an illustrated collection, I did begin to worry that it would be yet another Milk and Honey ripoff, but I'm glad that I was wrong. It was much, much more than that. For me, possibly because I'm a Classicist, the poems about Aphrodite were by far the strongest. I would happily read a whole book of poetry from her point of view written by this author. Her voice was so ARC received in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed and appreciated this collection. As soon as I realised it was an illustrated collection, I did begin to worry that it would be yet another Milk and Honey ripoff, but I'm glad that I was wrong. It was much, much more than that. For me, possibly because I'm a Classicist, the poems about Aphrodite were by far the strongest. I would happily read a whole book of poetry from her point of view written by this author. Her voice was so incisive and brutal that whenever the 'poet' took over, I was almost disappointed. That's not to say that those poems were bad, but they seemed much less original; I've read Mateer's work before, and a lot of them could honestly have been copied and pasted from other collections. There's only so many ways to rewrite the same poem about self care and believing in yourself, I think. For that reason, I much preferred the beginning of this collection. Although Mateer herself states that she's tired of writing poems about her trauma ('fuck another poem [...]') and wants to write about healing instead, the truth is that the poetry about healing was almost trite and much less original than the poetry about Medusa's violation, or Aphrodite's misrepresentation. That's by no means to say that poets should only write about darkness, but it almost felt like Mateer's heart wasn't in the latter half. As though she felt she should be writing a certain kind of collection which had a cohesive narrative from trauma to recovery. I may well be wrong about that, but it didn't feel as authentic to me. That said, I did love how there was an over-arching theme in this collection. Leaving it on a positive note was a clever move, and it felt hopeful rather than dark and unending. The actual writing is beautiful; I highlight lines that I love when I'm reading, and I must've highlighted a good quarter of the book. Trista Mateer is clearly a huge talent, and I eagerly await whatever else she publishes.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alexa

    I received an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This is definitely going on my list of favourite poetry collections, and it gets extra points for having a list of trigger warnings at the beginning. I really wish that was normalised for all books. (The list is: body image, sexual assault, rape, eating disorders, queerphobia, emotional abuse, physical abuse, gore, blood, death, fire.) The world was full of men who called themselves heroes for crossing boundaries, claiming I received an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This is definitely going on my list of favourite poetry collections, and it gets extra points for having a list of trigger warnings at the beginning. I really wish that was normalised for all books. (The list is: body image, sexual assault, rape, eating disorders, queerphobia, emotional abuse, physical abuse, gore, blood, death, fire.) The world was full of men who called themselves heroes for crossing boundaries, claiming bodies like prizes. The world still is. Trista Mateer blends mythology with present, and discusses abuse, rape, body image, queerphobia, but most of all healing, letting go and finding joy. In a way, this is also a retelling of Greek myths, with Aphrodite and the poetess taking turns speaking. There are also wonderful illustrations and reimagined Tarot cards that I loved - I especially love The Lovers card. Read this book. Because you too deserve to have a goddess help you heal. We thrive best like gardens, not singular plants in lonely pots

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