Review: Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann

Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: bought
Publication Date: September 23rd 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genres & Themes: YA, Fairy Tales, Poems, Real Life Matters, Feminism, Contemporary


Once upon a time…
you were a princess,
or an orphan.
A wicked witch,
fairy godmother,
prom queen,
team captain,
Big Bad Wolf,
Little Bo Peep.
But you are more than just a hero or
a villain, cursed or charmed. You are
everything in between.
You are everything.

In fifty poems Christine Heppermann places fairy tales side by side with the modern teenage girl. Powerful and provocative, deadly funny and deadly serious, this collection is one to read, to share, to treasure, and to come back to again and again.


Oh, my pretty, you compelled me!

I had no clue poems could be so exquisite. What a reading experience! Some are mystically poignant and can leave you holding tightly to something. Anything.


They can also steal your breath away, is what I discovered. It is not that I had never read a poem in my life, but I had never found myself doing it for my own pleasure and, at the same time, realizing how they could truly affect me.

What I fool was I to ignore all those collections of poems I strongly heard of before! This precious book felt like a wake up call to me. Lola, stories as you define them are not the only ones that a book can contain. Poems, for once, are more discreet, but you have to reach out for them and then you’ll see what extraordinary content they may retain.

Some of the poems inside this are not what you would maybe qualify as ‘beautiful’ but perhaps more as honest. Ones are also very peculiar or abstract and requiring a second, third, forth read. But would they be as interesting as they are, if everything were clear and obvious from the beginning? I loved how they made me think and left me analyzing.

My own favourites, between the fifty ones written, are: Sleeping Beauty’s Wedding Day, A Brief History of Feminism, Vindictive Punctuation (What an original one!), The Little Mermaid, Nature Lesson and View from the Balcony.

What I did find lacking though is the ‘fairytale’ atmosphere. I caught it in multiple poems but many don’t possess it and that is unfortunate because it cold have embellished them even more! Especially the ‘contemporary’ ones.

I had read works including feminism as theme before, but never as present and subjected to obvious opinions as it was in this. Although, that is such an important belief and movement in support of women’s rights and equality, to me, so I will look forward to reading more of it.

Unsurprisingly, I am more than recommending this read! Even if, as I was, you may not be sure that you might enjoy it. It could be that you find yourself suddenly gasping for more, in the end, as I felt. Perhaps that will not happen, but I still think it is worth trying. And, finally, if you have recommendations for me, please feel free to share them in the comments. Happy reading!

17 thoughts on “Review: Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann

  1. Ooh, this is definitely new to me. =I never read poetry for leisure either, as I do for YA fiction. I think Heppermann has a light, dramatic and enrapturing prose. If you liked this collection of poems that sort of mold itself into a story (indirectly), then I think you’ll enjoy any of Lisa Schreiber’s (Hoping I spelled her name right) gorgeously poetic novels. Thanks for the review!

    Matilda @ Characterized


  2. Shame on me but I always skip collections of poems. I have so many and people tend to give them to me like I’m a lit student and all that, but I don’t think I have read any. I need my wake up call and therefore I should read this. I’m so glad it was this good! Great review, Lola 🙂


  3. LOVED IT And i love this too: Poems, for once, are more discreet, but you have to reach out for them and then you’ll see what extraordinary content they may retain.

    Yep, you’re so right. Personally, I’m not that fond of poems unless it’s R Frost and C Rossetti or someone like that. I love poetry but it makes my head hurt so I don’t LIKE it that much (LOOK AT PABLO NERUDA). But this collection. I read my DRC sooooooooooo many times and I do have to buy this one. And sleeping beauty was so cool and you know, it had this incisive tone but remained poignant. Also, I kinda wanted to make a dance routine for A brief history of feminism. 😀


  4. Oh you’ve made me want to read this one now! I’m usually not a poem reader, either but I recently got CHASERS OF THE LIGHT by Tyler Knott Gregson and it’s a book with a collection of his poems so I wouldn’t mind reading another book that’s filled with poems.


  5. I saw this one on Edelweiss and passed on it because of the cover. WHY MUST I BE SO JUDGEMENTAL?! This sounds like exactly the book I’d love. That poem you shared is beautiful! Arghhh I guess I’ll have to see if it’s in the library. Great review, Lola!


  6. I’ve never really understood poems, they just don’t do it for me. It’s nice that all of the poems were so different. This is actually the second review on this book I’ve read and La Coccinelle mentioned lack of fairy tale-ness too. I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂


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