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Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul

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Most of these poems read like they were ripped from a Tumblr post or Twitter thread on empowerment and self-love. If you are a fan of fairytale retellings, especially ones which explore the classics in a more feminist perspective, then this collection is just perfect for you. The poems and stories are cleverly written, imagining "what if" the princesses in the stories knew they could rely on themselves instead of waiting to be rescued. Rapunzel can cut off and climb down her own hair, rather than let a man use any part of her body to climb over. Also one story in here perpetuating the idea that women cannot be their own person while also being a wife and/or mother?

But rather, uses tropes , repeating ideas and language, cliches, mixed metaphor and boring images to project “girl power” which evokes such a lack of sincerity, that the intended feminist ideas in the book are cancelled out and falsified in the sheer light of inadequacy. It was an absolute joy to read them and I'm excited to see that the author Nikita Gill has other collections of poetry. I enjoyed the way Gill kind of climbs into these characters in the stories, whether they are villains or heroes, and enables the reader to see them in a different perspective.Nikita Gill has taken classic fairytales, and in these she has masterfully combined the subjects of empowerment, love, feminism, abuse and mental illness. Maybe the old woman in Hansel and Gretel was misaligned and wasn't the one who tried to eat the children but instead rescued them when their father abandoned them.

It's too bad because many of the poems near the beginning of this compilation are solid, strong takes on known stories.And now she knew how important it is for a woman to be beautiful, as it is the only currency she truly had in this world, she became even more bitter. Complete with beautifully hand-drawn illustrations by Gill herself, Fierce Fairytales is an empowering collection of poems and stories for a new generation. They read less like important mantras to tie together the collection and more like Gill couldn’t find different ways to say the same thing.

Were it not for the last quarter of the book this would probably get a four star rating from me; but I struggle to even give it three stars given how much I disliked the last few passages. What if I told you, Cinderella's step mother was protecting her and preparing her to face the world? I loved how the two pieces went together for each poem and story as it gave a new level to my reading experience. I'm disappointed that the overall point and end of Fierce Fairytales was clearly that we women need to take control of everything over our male peers.There are princesses rescuing themselves, villains who are comfortable being villains, new perspectives on certain stories, and many other unique twists. Though the illustrations are gorgeous and there’s a couple of impactful poems/stories in there, I was ultimately unmoved and unimpressed with like, 95% of it. This is one reason I highly recommend the print over the audio, unless you do both, as you miss the drawings in the audio version.

I know it might sound a bit deranged, but I would make sure that I would read some of the poems and stories in this book to my children to make them understand that stories, even though beautiful and magical, can be told in so many different ways.Her mother told her she could grow up to be anything she wanted to be, so she grew up to become the strongest of the strong, the strangest of the strange, the wildest of the wild, the wolf leading the wolves. These days, falling in love is letting your soft, innocent heart get into a car with a dangerous stranger and just praying nothing dreadful happens to it. I kind of lost any hope for enjoyment when the phrase “how to play with your brokenness like it is a fidget spinner” was used. I would have cherished it as a child just for how pretty it is; even if I didn't like all the stories. I thought the author brought all these messages to us in a very accessible way, even for poetry noobs like me, which is what makes this so special.

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