Am I a Bad Feminist if I Don't Like 'The Witch Doesn't Burn in this One'? | Amanda Lovelace"

January 15, 2018



I love the idea behind all of Lovelace's books. They're strong, powerful poems that are aimed towards strong powerful women. The message in all of them is wonderful which is why I am reluctant to rate this anything lower than 3 stars. I understand the important impact that books like this can have on a person. However, there is quite a lot of filler content in her books and this one is no exception.

The Witch Doesn't Burn in this One (Women are Some Kind of Magic, #2)The Witch Doesn't Burn in this One by Amanda Lovelace
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received an ARC of The Witch Doesn't Burn in this One via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Poems with one or two words can be powerful, there's no doubt about it. However, when a book is filled with tiny clusters of words per page, these singular words can seem a little bit redundant. There is almost too little content per poem. When this happens, your eyes might start to drift onto the next page only to confuse differing poems in your mind. Or, perhaps the words become meaningless because they are just too little by themselves. Quite a lot of the poems in this book were baby poems. Often times they felt incomplete.

There are a few saving graces in the collection which I thought were beautiful. Detailed below is a piece of prose that I really enjoyed and thought fit the theme quite well. Like the title, it's ominous and highlights how powerful women can be.

the man with the witch-killing look in his eyes drinks deeply from the chipped lilac teacup, his trembling hands making it clink against the saucer as he places them back together. my stomach churns in circles as the dark liquid dribbles down his chin in lines. he eagerly slides the cup & dish to me across the old, rickety table & I waste no time turning the cup over the dish to get rid of the excess. when I turn the cup right-side up, I spot the clusters of soggy brown & black leaves that litter the bottom in various shapes & sizes. I study it for a moment & immediately look away, nervously wringing my hands in my skirts. there’s no question what the means.

“well? what does is say?” he asks.

i keep my eyes down. “the leaves say you’re going to . . . pay.”

“p-pardon?” he sputters, his eyes filling to the brim with terror.

“They say . . . you’re all going to pay,” i whisper.

– the leaves never lie



💁🏽Other Poems I Like Are On Pages:
54 (highlights some men's complete disregard for the comfort of others)
55 (points out how abuse is often romanticised)
72 (reminds me of supernatural and brings up a fair point)
74 (quite devastating)
77 (also devastating)
110 (about confidence)
111 (also about confidence)

🙅🏽 Poems I'm Not a Fan of Are On Pages:
128 (this sounds a lot like murder and kind of creates a negative connotation about women getting what they want)
143 (seems a bit stalker-ish)
144 (about how crazy ex-girlfriends are just reacting to their bad partner . . . but it's placed right next to the stalker one. not a good choice)

In conclusion, no. I don't think that I'm a bad feminist for not liking this book. Not just because feminism isn't a cult in which we all must like the same things, but also because some of the poems in this collection delve into the sketch category. However, I can understand why this might be a life changing book for some and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who wants to read it. 

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4 comments

  1. I like how you approached this review. You acknowledge the significance of Lovelace's poetry while balancing your mixed feelings about the poems. Is it just me or are poetry books kind of pricey for the content within them? Like, the page count is that of a thin novel, but it is the price of a full price book. Also: do you have an poetry recommendations that are more of a "classic"? Fire away. Stay awesome.

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    1. Thank you! When I was reviewing this, I definitely tried to keep in mind the idea that literature is subjective and experiences are different for everyone. I personally didn't enjoy this, but I know a great deal of people will get something out of it. On the topic of prices; I 100% agree! I suppose it has something to do with the lack of people buying them so they have to make up for it by bumping up the prices. Thanks for reading and I hope you stay awesome too!

      Some recommendations:
      Eighteen Years by Madisen Khun (similar to Lovelace's style, but with a little more depth)
      Nikita Gill (similar style, feminist and a little bit more substance)
      Sylvia Plath (very feminist and handles the topic of mental health)
      Homer (long epic poems that tell a more defined story)

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  2. Really interesting. I got an arc from Netgalley and I will read it after exams, but I've been dying to read it and its previous book. I heard amazing things about them, but again, literature is subjective and I found that poetry can be hard for me to like. However, there are some that I really enjoy and I hope this one is one of them :) I will read it and match it up with your interpretation, and come back to the comment. I think it will be interesting :)

    Tasya // The Literary Huntress

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    1. Despite my somewhat negative review on this book, I hope that you enjoy what you find! It's definitely been a revolutionary collection for numerous people. I'm in the minority on this issue I'm afraid. Good luck for your exams and thanks for commenting!

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