This week we’re branching out further than I knew when I picked up this book from NetGalley due to its release date and the fact that it sounded interesting. Today, we look at The Same Blood by M. Azmitia, releasing on August 1, 2018.
I went into this book expecting a novel about a girl who is struggling with the death of her twin sister and subsequent revelations about herself. And I was highly surprised to find not a novel, but a long form narrative poem – a type of literature I hadn’t read since college, when I had to read Beowulf for a world lit class. In 2001.
Even with the unexpected writing device though, this book offers a strong tail of a young teen’s struggles – perhaps made more effective due to its writing and printing style, though I still believe that a stronger tale could have been told in a more traditional novel form. Overall, its examination of mental health, guilt, addiction, longing for home, and the struggles of Puerto Ricans generally and specifically after Hurricane Irma destroyed large swaths of the island last year are strong and worthy of considerable thought – which seems to be the overall goal of the author.
My only complaint this week is of a more technical issue – apparently the publisher only made a certain file type available via NetGalley, and that forced me to get creative to actually be able to read and review this book. Instead of reading it on my Kindle Oasis, as normal, I had to download the Overdrive app to my laptop and read this book on my dual monitor setup there. The book itself was perfectly fine for what it was, and a very recommended read – if for no other reason than a bit of diversity in story format.
And the Goodreads/ Amazon review:
Story In Poetry Form! I was expecting a novel based on the description of this book, and instead wound up reading long form poetry. Which overall turned out to tell an interesting tale of a teenage girl struggling with her twin’s suicide and spiraled into how her family dealt with it as well. And all of that part of it was truly solid. I personally would have preferred it in novel form, and think it could have been even stronger as such. But for what this book is, it really is quite good. (Well, unless there is any hidden meaning here that my HS English teachers always insisted was present in any poetry, but which I’ve never been good at detecting – if that is here, I completely missed it and cannot speak to it.) But for the visible story, an interesting take that I wouldn’t normally have read. So do yourself a favor and read this long form poem, even if you normally prefer novels. If nothing else, it will be a quick read. 😀