Book Reviews

You Are Your Own Fairy Tale by Amanda Lovelace: ARC & Series Review

This is a spoiler-free review.

Break Your Glass Slippers and Shine Your Icy Crown by Amanda Lovelace

Published March 17th, 2020 and January 26th, 2021 by Andrews McMeel Publishing.

My rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Amanda Lovelace, the bestselling & award-winning author of the “Women Are Some Kind of Magic” poetry series, presents a new companion series, “You Are Your Own Fairy Tale” the first instalment, Break Your Glass Slippers, is about overcoming those who don’t see your worth, even if that person is sometimes yourself. In the epic tale of your life, you are the most important character while everyone is but a forgotten footnote. Even the prince.

Shine Your Icy Crown is the second instalment in her new feminist poetry series, “You Are Your Own Fairy Tale.” This is a story about not letting society dictate the limits of your potential. It’s time to take back your power and realize that you don’t need a king in order to be a queen.

Content Warnings: abuse, eating disorders, self-harm and suicide

Thank you to the publisher, Andrews McMeel Publishing, and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC of Shine Your Icy Crown. All thoughts are my own.

For some reason I find myself returning to Amanda Lovelace’s works over and over again, even though in the past I haven’t enjoyed them very much. Her most popular work, The Princess Saves Herself in This One, really didn’t do a lot for me. While I did connect with the topics of that poetry collection, the execution just fell flat.

So, when I saw that she was coming out with a new series, tackling fairy tale retellings from a feminist perspective – a concept which I loved – I couldn’t help being drawn to them…. even with my track record.

Break Your Glass Slippers is a novel take on Cinderella where the princess learns to leave Prince Charming and instead find herself. In Shine Your Icy Crown Lovelace says the story is inspired by multiple fairy tales, but feels most strongly as if it’s loosely based on The Snow Queen. Both tales focus on “princess” empowerment, weaving tales of women finding their independence through metaphors of breaking glass slippers (and glass ceilings) and donning their (icy) crowns. 👑❄️✨

I found both poetry books, particularly the second, to be – surprisingly – really enjoyable! Between the gorgeous illustrations, the overall themes and the artful story telling, Lovelace manages to create beautiful finished products well worth the hype. In “You Are Your Own Fairy Tale” everything I felt that was missing from Lovelace’s previous works finally comes together.

In her previous works I often found the connections between each poem flimsy and disjointed, but here, its evident Lovelace takes advantage of the fairy tale storylines to craft unique poetry that fits together almost seamlessly into a concise whole. (And she finally, finally gave up the incessant ‘enter’ pressing. 🙄)

In particular, Shine Your Icy Crown really stood out to me in a way none of Lovelace’s previous works have. Maybe it’s because the topic was more about sisterly love and women supporting women rather than heartbreak and emotional abuse at the hands of men – but I really connected with it much more than I expected to.

Often, I find a lot of poetry that advertises itself as “feminist” still manages to focus most of its attention on men – Lovelace’s work in particular – which is all fine and good, but sometimes I just want something else. In that way, Shine Your Icy Crown was so refreshing! And the eye-candy that was the b-e-a-utiful ~aesthetic~ illustrations that tied everything together? Well, those were just the cherry on top. 🍒👌

Who are some of your favorite modern poets?

Let me know!

Liza is a twenty-something book blogger who spends way too much time with her nose in books and feels way too much. She loves cooking, baking, reality tv show watching and, of course, reading. She can be found most often with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other. Her blog, Literary Liza, features bookish content like reviews, recommendations, and author interviews.

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