Mini-reviews: Walking on Knives & Bone

Walking on knives & Bone.png

This is the first time I try my hand at mini-reviews because I’m usually very rambly. BUt both of these are too short for me to ramble about so without further ado,  let’s do this.

I received both eArcs from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review

(No spoilers)

Title: Walking on Knives

Author: Maya Chhabra

Publication date : July 26th, 2017goodreads

Publisher : Less than three Press

Genre : Adult | Fantasy

Page Count: 42

Synopsis : The little mermaid has no idea that as she makes her way on land, she’s being watched over by the sister of the very witch with whom she made her bargain. She has no idea that the witch’s sister is falling in love with her.
When the prince decides to marry another woman, the little mermaid’s secret helper offers her a chance to live. But the price may be too high…
.  (From Goodreads)

Rating: 1 star

CW: Rape, dubious consent

So. I think this is my first one starred book in a long time, I just… didn’t find anything redeemable about it. Every aspect was lacking. The plot, the world, the characters. I couldn’t find anything to hold on to and the only reason I finished it is how short it is. Don’t get me wrong, the premise is interesting and it even starts off promising but it falls flat pretty early on.

The writing is very flowery, too flowery, in my opinion, combined with all the rest, it just makes the story unnecessarily heavy and hard to read. For how short it is, I shouldn’t have been exhausted by reading it, but I really was tired when I finished it. Some word combinations and metaphors didn’t make sense so it was all around not the kind of writing I enjoy. The story had me very excited at first, that’s why I requested the book, “a dark little mermaid retelling where the mermaid falls for a witch instead of the prince”? YES PLEASE. But no.

The plot was confusing and all over the place, what made it even hard to grasp and focus on is how many POVs there were, and for something so short, it doesn’t work, especially since the voices aren’t distinct, they all read the same so it takes a couple paragraphs to know who is narrating. Also, the romance??? What was that? The witch loved her when I can count the times they interacted on one hand and the only meaningful conversation out of those is when she confessed her feelings. And the mermaid herself was pinning over the prince one moment and running off with the witch the next. None of it is developped enough to be believable. 

Also, can we talk about the opening scene? That angered me like no other. It’s a rape scene that’s not handled well. First of all, if that’s what’s called “dubious consent” in the blurb, I disagree, it’s non-consensual, it’s rape and very graphic at that. The little mermaid is raped by the sea witch (the love interest’s sister) as part of the bargain and we never know any details about said bargain. What I can call dubious consent though, is a scene towards the end where both parties don’t really wanna have sex but do it anyway. All in all. This is a huge no from me.

Title: Bone

Author: Yrsa Darley-Ward

Publication date : September 26th, 2017goodreads

Publisher :Penguin Books (UK)

Genre : Young Adult | Poetry

Page Count: 136

Synopsis : Raw and stark, the poems in Yrsa Daley-Ward’s breakthrough collection strip down her reflections on the heart, life, the inner self, coming of age, faith and loss to their essence. They resonate to the core of experience. (From Netgalley)

Rating: 3 stars

CW: Rape, sexual assault, racism, homophobia

I was quite excited when I was approved for this because I had been hearing a lot of great things about it from blogger friends who had read and loved it but as much as I enjoyed some of the poems, I was overall disappointed.

This is a powerful collection, the themes are hard and raw and some of the poems hit me so hard,  they left me gasping for air. But I found that the short ones are the ones who had the most effect, the really long ones -over one page- made me lose interest once they dragged and I ended up skimming many of them because I lost focus, which I think is more a “me” problem since I don’t think other people had that problem.

And that wasn’t helped by the line breaks, some ended on weak words, some disturbed the flow of the poem and some just didn’t make sense to me. I feel like a lot of these poems I would’ve like a lot better if the breaks were better situated. I know that because all the poems I loved had good line breaks, on powerful words that just strike a cord in me. They made me emotional, they made me think and reflect on a lot of things. Some I even could relate to which is always a nice plus.

So overall, this is a collection I would recommend because it deals with important issues and I believe that there’s a poem for everyone in there.

That’s it until next time.

Did you read Walking on Knives or Bone? If so, what did you think?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.



9 thoughts on “Mini-reviews: Walking on Knives & Bone

  1. Great reviews! The first one is a big no for me. What a mess :O As for Bone, it was the first poetry collection I reached out when I wanted to start reading more poetry and I truly enjoyed it. It’s so interesting what you say about the breaks on weak words. Do you have an example? I know virtually nothing about poetry, please enlighten me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • A big huge mess, honestly!
      Aww I’m glad you enjoyed it. And of course, there’s one of the poems where she says:
      “They say women are gentler, treat
      Each other better”
      It would’ve sounded better if it was:
      “They say women are gentler,
      Treat each other better”
      So to me, in that verse, treat is a weak word, like, it doesn’t have a big impact in that placement in particular. I hope it makes sense haha.


      • It definitely does. I don’t tend to look at a poem’s form as much as I look at its themes, meaning and the content itself, so it’s really interesting to see the difference a word makes in how you read it. I’m definitely going to pay more attention to that! Thanks for the example 🙂


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