Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Review: How to (Un)cage a Girl

Title: How to (Un)cage a Girl
Author: Francesca Lia Block
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Poetry
Pages: 128 (Paperback)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Won

Goodreads Summary:
The pain of wanting to fit in
The joy of being consumed by love
The shame of not feeling at home in your body
The strength in learning you're beautiful
These are moments that every girl knows . . . for they are part of growing up, of uncaging yourself, from your childhood, your environment, your view of yourself. Francesca Lia Block follows the journey from girlhood to womanhood in this three-part poetry collection that channels girls' innermost feelings and experiences and celebrates women everywhere. It is a call to embrace the girl within, to heal her and set her free.

My Thoughts:
First off, I want to thank Joli for sending me this book for the July RAK.  I got it in the mail, sat down, and read it as soon as my hands touched it.  How to (Un)cage a Girl is beautiful, tragic, and inspiring- as is most of Block's work.  I'm a huge fan, so I'm always happy to find others that enjoy her books too.  

The first few poems focus on a teenage girl's life, beginning at age fourteen and continuing until age nineteen.  Being a teenage girl, I can relate to the text on the paper.  It wasn't too long ago that I had to deal with first getting my period, the urges and pressure to have sex, looking in the mirror and hating what I see, and losing a parent.  The writing is honest and it seems to fit most kids' day to day lives.

The second set of poems focus on the pressure that the media has put on women.  It's about jealousy and fear and expectancy.  It's been put into our heads at a young age that we have to look or act a certain way or else we won't be pretty or desirable.  Francesca captures that feeling perfectly, and I've dealt with a lot of that growing up.

The third- and largest- section of the book is called "love poems for girls".  Don't let that fool you.  It's not romantic or blissful.  Nor is it naive.  These poems are real.  They fill you up with a sense of strength; no matter what, you can carry on with life and be happy.

Overall, this book of collected poems piece together to create one big picture that is called life.  It's real and raw and there's no way you can deny that you haven't felt one of the many emotions held within the pages of this book.  This was a very quick read but I'll recommend it to all my girls out there.

If you have read it, reviewed it or plan on reading it in the future, please let me know.  :)

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