It Starts Like This – Shelby Leigh


Published December 16th 2016, Kindle Edition
Full title: It Starts Like This: a collection of poetry
Author: Shelby Leigh
Genre: Poetry
Pages: 95
Star rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Opening Line:

“I remember those nights I awoke from nightmares, my sheets damp from sweat yet my body shivered like I had just finished an ice bath.”

Goodreads synopsis:

After writing a poem a day for a year, Shelby Leigh decided to take her favorite works from the challenge and create her debut poetry collection. Beginning with heartbreak and loss and ending with closure and hope, It Starts Like This is the narrative of a girl learning to overcome and appreciate all aspects of life. This collection takes you on a journey through love, loss, grieving, and healing and will resonate with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

My Goodreads review:

It Starts Like This: a collection of poetryIt Starts Like This: a collection of poetry by Shelby Leigh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a pleasant read with a mixed bag of poems. I liked the introductory chapter, but it set up an idea of what was to come, but didn’t follow through with my expectations. Nevertheless, the poems are beautifully written, and the author’s love of the written word shines through.

I can’t relate to the love poems, although there are some great lines in them. Once that theme ended, others began and there were a range of subjects from self-perception, loss of a loved one, the love of words and books.

So four stars because I enjoyed the read, but some poems I just couldn’t connect to. But I appreciate them, and can tell that they were written from the heart. They tell a story.

View all my reviews

One of my 2017 reading goals is to read more self-published, independent authors. So far I have read and reviewed We Carry The Sky by McKayla Robbin, and now I have read this short book of poems, which was a real sweet collection, with a variety of subjects covered.

I particularly like the title, as I feel it relates appropriately to what the majority of the poems are about: love. The author writes plenty of poems to a ‘you’ who we assume is their other-half who they have fallen in love with. But they aren’t simply love poems, they are poems born from the author’s attempt at writing a poem a day for a year…and in that respect, we can really see how much loving, and losing this person has influenced the writing of these poems.

The first half had me wondering when poems about this other person were going to end. Not because I didn’t like them, but because the theme seemed to go for too long. But then I reached the poem ‘Blank page’ which begins: “I want to stop writing poetry about you/but my pen does not obey.” The ending to this poem is brilliant, and for all my doubts about the way the book was progressing, this poem made me appreciate the theme, despite my tendency to not enjoy these kind of love poems so much.

I bookmarked my favourites, and for any future readers, here are the titles of the one’s a found to be most noteable, and had the most impact on me:

‘The Thief’
‘A Reminder’

As the love and heartbreak theme ended, I noticed the love of words shining through, and these are the poems I connected with the most. In some cases, the poems included lines that reminded me of my own poetry, so in a sense I feel that myself and this author could be slight poetic kindred spirits. So for that reason, this collection will remain one that I think of fondly, and will return to so that I can revisit my favourites.

For a debut collection, this book promises great things from the author. And I’d love to read more from her ‘poem a day’ year-long challenge. If you’re a reader looking for self-published authors, and are looking to support them, this is a nice collection to keep in mind.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s