REVIEW: WYRD – The Wild & Weird Adventures of A+B

With now being the second year of the pandemic, I really miss being able to travel. It was something that I took for granted, amongst many other things that this lockdown had made me realised.

Reading, playing sims and watching movies had been a great form of escapism for me the past year. Now with the vaccine coming in, we can finally (somewhat) return to normalcy. It’s going to be strange, but I am looking forward to it.

What are you looking forward to?

WYRD: The Wild & Weird Adventures of A+B
by Sasha Borya

get it here


Join Aleks & Boris on their magical journey around the world, as they meet interesting characters, get into crazy situations, and learn a little more about themselves and everything around them along the way.


4.5 stars

*An e-copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.

That is, until that moment. We turned over a new leaf and stepped further out of our comfort zone. No more taking the easy route. This new journey was about challenging ourselves at every turn. It was about saying “yes” to new experiences and new opportunities for us to grow.

– Borya, WYRD

This is the ultimate quarantine book. Although the vaccine is available, I’m still a little fearful about going out, especially travelling abroad. Through WYRD, Aleks and Boris do it for us and we are able to live vicariously through them. They write about their spontaneous trip to Japan with no destination in mind, just their bags, a heart full of adventure and each other. Their experiences were truly unique and a once in a lifetime experience.

Aleks and Boris explain about the different places they’ve went, their experience and how difficult it was to find food as vegans. They pulled all-nighters occasionally, met people from different parts of the world who resided in Japan, and shared good times and laughter from strangers. It’s definitely not easy to travel to a place so different from what you’re used to, especially when you don’t know the language and have to rely on Google Translate and GPS.

This is a book that will transport you to Japan and ignite your wanderlust. It’s different from other travel books since Aleks and Boris shares about their relationship, the struggles they faced and how they lift each other up. It makes me excited to plan a trip with my loved ones and experience the world together. As they are vegans, they also shared their struggles in looking for vegan food in Japan. I am not too sure about how is it like for other dietary restrictions but it’s definitely something to take note of and research.

If any of you are bored during quarantine and are looking forward to travelling, I believe now is the best time to read this book. It’s a fun and enjoyable read if you love travelling and Japan. Besides Japan, Aleks and Boris also travelled to many other countries. In their second book, they travelled to North and South Korea, and in their third book, they travelled to Malaysia and Singapore. They both are so lovely and passionate, I’m extremely excited for wherever they go in the future.

REVIEW: The Spy Who Raised Me

My goal this year is to finish two books a month. Somehow it’s almost the end of February and this is my first review. I am reading, but not at a very quick pace. I’m also juggling 3 books at once, which I seriously don’t recommend but sometimes, that’s just what we need to do.

Sometime in January, I had the sudden desire to read graphic novels. I don’t know why I don’t read it often, but whenever I do, it’s usually from Netgalley. Hopefully I’ll read another one soon.

The Spy Who Raised Me
by Ted Anderson and Gianna Meola (illustrator)

get it here


Some parents want their children to turn out just like them. Only a few secretly turn their kids into elite special operatives.

Josie Black can infiltrate any building, speak a dozen languages, and fight like a martial arts master. But no one told her that. After J.B. detects gaps in her memory, her mom reveals the truth: she works for a covert agency, and she’s given J.B. the skills of a super spy. After J.B. freaks out, runs off, and tries to escape the weird world of espionage, she’ll have to decide who she wants to be.


*An e-copy was given through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

As someone who grew up thinking being a spy would be really cool, I was very excited to read this. It follows J.B. who lived a very ordinary life but one day found out that she had the skills of a spy and that her mother was hiding a very big secret from her.

The storyline was interesting, unlike anything I’ve read before. It was fast-paced, though a little confusing at times, but also action-packed. As I kept reading, I became more disturbed by the many lies that J.B. grew up with, especially with how manipulative her mother was. The main character, being a somewhat ‘programmed’ child, had certain controls that could be voiced activated, such as “Halt and Obey”. As if that wasn’t messed up enough, there’s a [slight spoiler] few frames in the book where it’s being repeated over and over again [end spoiler]. I can’t help but to wonder if this storyline had a deeper meaning behind it. However, other reviews explains it to be child abuse.

I didn’t enjoy the art style. It just wasn’t my thing. However, I can appreciate the monochromatic colours since that isn’t easy at all to do. It also wasn’t particularly memorable. While reading it, I took a break for a few weeks only to feel very confused as I couldn’t remember what J.B. looked like. Now, as I am writing the review a week after finishing the book, I still can’t remember most details of the book.

I still have many questions after finishing the book. Some are unanswered, some are just events in the book that I am very confused by. There were definitely many points from other review that made me realise there were a few plot holes which I didn’t notice at all. Though I didn’t change my ratings because of that, it’s still an important point to note.

This book left me with mixed feelings. On one hand, it was interesting and different, not memorable for the most part but there were parts that left me with negative feelings and only those are the ones that are ingrained in my memory.

REVIEW: What’s the Tea with Gen Z

I can’t believe I am starting off this year with my second local read! As someone who used to not take interest in reading local books, this is extremely exciting. Many POC readers I know are slowly trying to read more racially inclusive books, I hope to do so too.

Today’s review is a book written by 50 (or more) Gen Zs about their generation. It’s a book that is for Gen Z-ers and other generations as well. It’s different from the usual books I usually read but why not give something new a try?

While reading this (very educational yet dense book), I had to juggle some other books in between since this was unbearably heavy. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t bad, but it’s definitely not a book to read for a few days straight. However, that’s my personal take. I’m sure others have enjoyed it more than I did.

What’s the Tea with Gen Z
by G.Z. Manuel

get it here


“During my time …”

“Your generation has it easier”

Sounds familiar? At some point of time, we were all once at a place where we wanted to voice out but were always suppressed to do so. Now, we live in a different environment and a whole new society. We want our voices to be heard, thoughts to be considered and understood. Is that too much to ask for as ‘kids nowadays’? We don’t want demands but instead, a mutual relationship with each other. Sometimes it is hard to take the first step into understanding one another because we all give in to our ego.

Here is a personal guidebook for you to understand our world as we reveal who we are as a generation. From how we think to what we say, what we stand for and why we do so. We have evolved in many different ways compared to those older than us. Oftentimes, our generations don’t seem to understand each other. That is why we have gathered everything you need to know about us, Gen Z.


*An e-copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

I had very mixed feelings about this book. It’s interesting, factual and educational, yet I wanted to DNF it 3 times.

This is filled cover to cover with information about Gen Z. From the differences of Gen Z and other generations, their goals, interest, beliefs, culture and habits, it’s a book that can help other generations learn about Gen Z and help the Gen Zs to them learn about themselves.

I deeply appreciate the amount of research done on the topic. With a great chunk of this book talking about the pandemic, it’s very likely that it was written in the span of less than 10 months. It’s educational and detailed and inspirational.

There were parts I enjoyed reading and really felt inspired by it. There were also parts that were difficult to read, because of minor reasons such as the tone and the many different topics. It’s very text heavy (definitely strange for a reader to say) and it felt overwhelming, which made me want to DNF it often. In terms of design, it had minor but glaring issues such as the space between the page number and the edge, and the thick strip of colour that became an illusion to the center of the page. It’s definitely because of the format the book was presented in but it took away from the enjoyment of reading for me.

My favourite parts were on that one chapter explaining how unprocessed trauma from previous generations are passed on, the history of the ‘black code’ and the chapter on creativity. There were many things that I was able to learn through this book, both about understanding Gen Z and myself, which I am sure you will too.

5 Books I’m Excited to Read in 2021 + Updates

It is finally 2021! I’m extremely excited for this year. Much like everyone’s 2020, mine didn’t go as well as expected. Aside from having online classes and having to stay at home all the time because of a pandemic, most of my days were spent watching movies and tv shows on Netflix and Youtube (I’ve watched so many good shows, I’ll probably write a blog post on that soon).

My initial reading goal for 2020 was to read 24 books. I intended to spend time on creating my portfolio (which I’ve yet to begin and will have to look for an internship in the later half of the year or the next), hence I thought 24 books would be reasonable, it is only 2 books a month after all. That was a huge oversight. I was speed reading the last 30 pages of my 14th book an hour before the New Year began.

This year, I’m still keeping my goal of 24 books. It might be a bad idea, but I think I can do it. I’m kinda getting the hang of online classes and so far in 2021, I’ve been reading almost every day! I’m feeling rather positive about hitting my goal.

Note: Yes, I did a post like this one last year. No, I didn’t even read any of the books on that list. Yes, I do not learn from my mistakes.

  1. What They Didn’t Teach You in Design School by Phil Cleaver

This is a book that will be crucial for me to read. I’ve found out about this through a classmate, who referenced it in her assignment and I had to get my hands on a copy too. I’m currently 50 pages into it and it is really helpful to me, especially since I’m applying for an internship this year.

I’ve read a book similar to this, What They Didn’t Teach You in Art School, but it focuses more on artists and exhibitions and not design like what I’m currently studying. I definitely recommend it if you are interested in learning more about how art exhibitions and galleries run.

2. Lullaby of the Universe by Anastasia Bell

I remember seeing this book on Bookstagram a few years ago and wanted to read it ever since. Somehow, I’ve won myself a copy when the author was doing a giveaway on Twitter last year so I’m thrilled to be able to read it!

3. WYRD: The Wild & Weird Adventures of A + B, Part 1: Japan by Sasha Borya

This is a book that was given by the author in 2019 which I am half regretfully only reading now. I feel awful about getting back to them so late, with the pandemic and the urge to be anywhere but where I am now, reading a book about the couple’s adventure in Japan feels like a great escape.

They also have a book on their trip to South and North Korea, and another one about Singapore and Malaysia! As a Malaysian, I’m really excited to hear about what tourists and travellers think about my country and what were their experiences. So far, I’m almost halfway through the book and really don’t want it to end.

4. A-Z Great Modern Writers by Andy Tuohy and Caroline Taggart

It’s the mix of knowledge, literature and art that made me curious about this book. I’ve always been fascinated by lists where others would write about the ’50 books that you need to read before you die’ or ‘greatest books in history’ and this feels like a good mix, accompanied by the beautiful (yet slightly scary, since they are just staring straight into my eyes) illustrations.

5. Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie

I remember reading my first Christie novel in 2019 while I was working as an intern. (Now that I’m thinking about it, I think I read another Christie mystery last year so maybe I’ll be reading an Agatha Christie book once a year. If I can control myself.)

The pandemic has made me realised how much I enjoyed watching crime and mysteries. I’ve spent so much time on Netflix that I’ve made my subscription worth it. I’m really hoping to read a few mysteries this year and I know that Christie never disappoints, so why not begin from there?

Aside from all these mentioned, there are a few more books that were sent as a review request that I’m excited to read. For some strange reason, I’ve received a sudden influx of poetry to review, which I’ve already had a ton of prior to this. It’s very likely that I’ll be reading a collection a month, in order to get through my terrifyingly large stack of books.

There’s many other ways to say this but I’m just excited. To read, to watch movies, to learn, there’s so many things I’m excited for and looking forward to this year. Perhaps it is just the January hopefulness and positivity speaking but I’ll try to make the most out of it.

So what are you excited to read this year?

REVIEW: Colours and Tears

It is finally 2021! Although the pandemic is still ongoing, I can’t help but to feel excited for the new year and the possibilities of it being a better year than the last. The first book I’ve finished is a poetry collection which I picked up in the middle of reading a much more heavier book (review coming soon!) and I finished it all in one sitting. A poetry collection is a great way to feel encouraged to read again, especially when you can see the Goodreads Reading Challenge bar going up higher!

What’s your reading goal for this year? I’m excited to hear what your goals are! I’ll be writing about mine in another blog post coming soon!

Colours and Tears
by Nay Universe

get it here


Colours and Tears is a writing journey on how Nay Universe portrayed her life in chapters from love, friends to lost.


*A physical copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

This was a short 100 pages poetry collection written by a local Malaysian! I was sent a physical copy last year but only got to it recently when I needed a break from a very lengthy book that I’m currently reading.

Colours and Tears is a poetry collection that is divided into 4 chapters. Most of the poems are surrounding love, heartbreaks and self-love. The themes of each poem was powerful and I really admired the strong feelings behind each poem. You can definitely see the pieces of the author scattered around the book, which I really appreciated.

I had a few poems which I really enjoyed, such as Lost in Shah Alam, A Liar and Maple Syrup, amongst many others. As a Malaysian, I really loved the line ‘Shah Alam has been nothing than utter disappointment’. It brought me so much laughter since I also have my fair memories of that town. However, international readers can enjoy reading it too as there are only a few lines that references Malaysia, so it doesn’t affect the poems.

For me, I think that the ideas were there but sometimes the word choices didn’t really do the poems justice. There were grammatical errors throughout the book which if reduced, could make reading it more enjoyable.

REVIEW: An Unfinished Colouring Book

I’ve always been intrigued by short stories for the longest time, especially when it is about the every day human lives ever since finishing The Museum of Things Left Behind a few years ago. I’ve been kind of on the lookout for such books so when the author came to me to ask for review, I was excited and had to say yes.

An Unfinished Colouring Book
by Cameron Lee Cowan

get it here


An unfinished coloring book is a collection of short stories from Cameron Cowan. These short stories explore dramatic moments in the lives of everyday people. The collection also features the exclusive release of The RKO Killer: An I.G. Farben Mystery.


*An e-book review copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

t/w: mentions of rape, substance abuse

A collection of 10 very different short stories centred around the lives of everyday people. There were stories about people losing their house, winning the lottery, dealing drugs, just people talking about their lives, there’s definitely something that will resonate with every reader. It’s a reflection of life.

Halfway reading, I found it difficult to review since it felt it felt weird to give someone’s reality a rating. However, as a story, I had no strong feeling towards the book. I did think that this book really reflected what is going on in society today and the problems of everyday people and it did a great job writing different the situations, which I really admired.

I had a handful that I really liked and a few that didn’t really interest me. My favourites were The Diner, Beverly Garden, Windswept Wastes and The Ticket. All the stories were so different from one another, it really felt like I was watching many different movies and now that I think about it, I really enjoyed the experience.

Short stories have always been a struggle for me since I tend to like reading longer series or books that I can have a deeper connection and understanding of the characters, but this book really made me realised that it is enjoyable to read about different situations and having that sort of ‘connection’ to the characters isn’t the only thing that is capable of driving a story. I’m excited to read more short stories in the future.

REVIEW: Sentience

It has been so long since I’ve written a book review, I had to spend a few minutes clicking around WordPress to find out how to view my previous few posts.

Today’s book relates to Artificial Intelligence. Sci-fi is a rare genre on this blog since it’s not something I enjoy reading about. It’s usually difficult for me to understand, and the thought of science and robots taking over humanity is quite scary. My stance on Artificial Intelligence is more on the negative side, since I can’t help but to fear how it may overtake humans and humanity, and how big corporations may abuse it, but I do see the benefit.

This book that I’m reviewing today, Sentience, presents both the positives and negatives of AI in a way that is easy to understand yet interesting. It shows the many different perspectives and possibilities regarding the future, and presents very strong arguments from both sides.

by Courtney P. Hunter

get it here


Running from a checkered past, Leo Knox participates in a Turing Test hosted by greedy tech-giant, AlgorithmOS, to score enough money to escape her life of violence and chaos. She enters Eden, a contained, natural preserve where the test is set to take place, with twenty-three others. However, four of the individuals in the experiment are not human, but instead, an advanced form of humanoid AI so indistinguishable that everyone begins to question their nature. 

The twenty-four embark on a predetermined journey within the preserve, rigged with obstacles devised by the experiment controllers to elicit human response and emotion. Quickly, madness ensues and divides form, partnering Leo up with Avery Ford, a marine who wears his demons on his sleeve. Romance falls together as the world around them falls apart, revealing the lengths people will go to protect those they love, to achieve monetary gain, or simply to survive.

The story unfolds on the screens of Nathan Aimes, a scientist at AlgorithmOS responsible for monitoring the surveillance over the experiment. Nathan studies the humans involved, only days removed from the immense personal conflicts that sent them in pursuit of the experiment’s generous payout, as they wrestle with where they stand on the polarizing issue of AI and its applications. All the while, he must watch the AI unknowingly fight to prove their humanity, just to leave the experiment unscathed, and simultaneously reconcile the weaponization or commodification that waits for them should they pass the test.


*An ARC was given in return for an honest review.
*T/W: hinted rape, blood, substance abuse, vulgar language, violence

“Can you put a price tag on the infinite complexities of the human mind and the human soul?”

Courtney Hunter, Sentience

I don’t usually read Sci-Fi, let alone books relating to Artificial Intelligence but I’m glad I took the chance with this one. A big part of it is definitely the guessing game of who is and who isn’t AI, which was absolutely impossible since even the AI’s backstories were built so well.

Twenty-four people, within them are four AlgorithmOS models and the purpose of the experiment is to test whether they can spot who is and who isn’t human. It’s a lot more characters than I’m used to, and throughout the whole story, I doubt half of them were mentioned more than thrice.

Usually, I’d get very invested into a character and that gives me the drive to continue reading. For this one, it was storyline driven. I kept flipping the page, curious about who was AI. Some get revealed halfway through the book, but usually it’s not who I expected. The AI were so humanlike and even the humans couldn’t tell them apart.

For most of the time, this book made me feel uncomfortable and angry. It was difficult to read at some point because some characters pissed me off. Although it is fiction, it raised the question of how violence can be justified, and how in a group of 23 other people, a large number were compliant when ‘authorities’ were violent towards others.

One of my favourite parts of the book were the scientist’s point of view where you could understand their viewpoint of creating AI and the struggles the scientists and developers were facing. Although they were working in this together, their motives and morals were different. Although I personally believe that AI could possibly create more harm, both sides of the argument were presented strongly, which I really admired.

In the end, I think this book was enjoyable. It’s not for the faint-hearted, note the warnings, but it’s for those who want a book that makes them yell in frustration, get angry at the characters and leave them shocked at the many unexpected twists and turns for when the grand scheme is revealed. This is a book that made me marvel at how twisted humans can truly be.

REVIEW: The Bookshop on Lafayette Street

This is a book that was sent to me a year ago. I read it the first time a few months back, only to be a little confused and had to take a break from reading. A few days ago, I picked it up again and although I was a little confused at times, I enjoyed it so much more.

As this is a real place, I am very intrigued and had to search it up! It’s in Trenton, New Jersey and according to Trip Advisor, it’s a highly rated spot for booklovers where you can find books, gifts, games, but most of all, a place that supports local communities.

I doubt that I’d be able to visit Classics Books but The Bookshop on Lafayette Street seems like an accurate representation of what a wonderful place it is.

The Bookshop On Lafayette Street
by Eric Maywar (editor)

get it from Classics Bookstore, Ragged Sky Press or Amazon


This collection has everything that you love about used bookstores: books, the sense of wonder and discovery, the cozy clutter, idiosyncratic book lovers, and the feeling that you are in a haven buttressed against the cruelties of the world.

Written by a Pulitzer-Prize winning poet, a newspaper columnist, a playwright, a Dodge poet, a graffiti artist, a blogger, a bookstore owner and more!


* A copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

This is one of those books where I had to read twice. It was difficult to get into the first time, so I had to take a break from reading and try again. The second time, it felt like I was transported into the bookstore and experiencing the events myself.

The Bookshop on Lafayette Street is a collective work of writers and book lovers centered around the love for books and Classics Books. Some of the events in the book intertwines which appealed to me greatly, but my favourite part was the way the writers wrote about what books and bookstores meant to them in the ‘Extracts’ section. It was such a beautiful way to begin the book – having snippets of the stories and poems but also feelings that were so relatable.

As a reader, it felt magical. I felt excited reading about the way people romanticise reading and bookstores, knowing that these people feel the same way I do. It’s a little like I’m reading their thoughts, feelings and experiences with books, but its so familiar. It is such a treat for book lovers.

Despite reading the book twice and having more luck the second time, there were still some stories/poems which I didn’t understand. Hence I couldn’t feel strongly enough about it to give it 5 Stars. Other than that, it was wonderful and I had so many favourites.

My favourites are Wise Silence, Space, The Last Independent Used Bookstore at the Corner of Warren and Lafayette, The Infinite Collection of Unfinished Stories, Elmore and What the Bookseller Knew. Those were the sections I enjoyed reading (aside from the Extract), which shows that this collection of stories and poems are an absolute work of art.

It felt nice to read about something that I love so dearly. It felt great to know that many others share the same feeling, and it is absolutely evident in The Bookshop on Lafayette Street.

REVIEW: Angel of Mercy

I would have never thought that I’d like reading Historical Fiction but it changed the moment I read the first chapter of this book. It was a pleasant surprise, since reading books set during wartime never interested me but Melina Druga really sparked my interest in historical fiction and now I want to read more (only if it was as good as this one).

Despite liking this book since the first chapter, I took a long time to read it. Many things came up in between but also, I had a little reading slump where I did nothing but watch Netflix. It’s now August, and I’m slowly trying to make time for reading as my TBR list keeps growing. It’s really getting out of hand but now, I have two weeks till the next semester so I hope to squeeze in time to read every day!

Angel of Mercy
by Melina Druga

get it here


She had her entire life planned until the Great War began and everything changed.

April 1914.  Barrie, Ontario.  Hettie Steward is feisty, educated, ambitious and stubborn.  Her fiancé, Geoffrey Bartlette, the love of her life since childhood, has been a patient man.  He waited while she attended nursing school and worked a year, but now it is time to wed.  While Hettie is thrilled to be starting her life with Geoffrey, she laments that marriage means sacrificing her beloved nursing career, and domestic life brings her nothing but drudgery and boredom.

When the Great War begins a few months into their marriage, Geoffrey enlists and persuades Hettie to join the Canadian Army Nursing Service and follow him overseas.  After all, everyone says the war will be short, and it will be their opportunity to have a proper honeymoon.  Returning to work is exactly what Hettie was craving, and she eager accepts.

The war, however, does not end quickly.  Soon tragedy strikes, proving true the old adage “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.”  Geoffrey is killed at the Second Battle of Ypres, and Hettie is faced with a choice.  Return home or stay in Europe and continue nursing?  Moreover, will she discover the person she is meant to be now that her life has been steered onto a new path?



*a copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review

Life is too short to entertain such thoughts.

– Melina Druga, Angel of Mercy

Angel of Mercy is an enjoyable book. I don’t often read Historical Fiction as some drag on and on to the point where I lose interest. But this, this book was amazing. Every scene had a purpose and not a single scene was boring. It really makes me want to read more Historical Fiction, especially if it is going to be as good as this.

The opening scenes were a little too fast for my liking. One moment Hettie was getting married, the next moment she was a nurse in the war, but I could tell that the author had other things she wanted to focus on but it also makes me unsure of what the future part of the story holds. It plays out really well, since at the start I couldn’t understand what would be so interesting about the life of a nurse while a war is happening, but oh I was so wrong.

Angel of Mercy shows the life of Hettie, a nurse who followed her husband into war. It focused on friendship, family, love and romance, but it also shows the horror of wars and sexism that reflected that era of time (and unfortunately now too but that’s a different matter). It also shows how war can really change someone, and how people deal loss differently. The writing was also easy to understand, which I find very important for a genre that I don’t often read.

My favourite part was how the story is sometimes told through letters sent by Hettie and family members to each other while they were apart. I’d like to say that it was a smart way to include depth into the story, but I don’t read enough of this genre to be able to judge. The author also includes a section at the end of the book explaining about the different wars and what had happened, which I appreciated. I don’t know much about Canada so this was a good way to start.

As someone who don’t often read Historical Fiction, or Romance, this was refreshing. It is a change from the genres I usually read but it is a change that is enjoyable and makes me want to read more.

REVIEW: Cranium Retaliations (Flags, Broken Bottles and Senses Weeping Due to Exhalations)

I’m currently in my first semester of my second year in college! The first few weeks were tough, I had multiple submissions due around the same time but now there’s 3 weeks left till the end of the semester and I surprisingly *think* that I *might* have everything under control.

I haven’t been finding time to read much, but when I do, I hope to take it at a slow pace, enjoying each book rather than speeding through just to give a review. I have a few books that I’m juggling at the moment which I’d like to share with you guys soon.

Till then, enjoy this review of Cranium Retaliations!

Cranium Retaliations (Flags, Broken Bottles and Senses Weeping Due to Exhalations)

get it here


The Flags represent some of the icons that made the human history and their values are still alive to this day.

The Broken Bottles represent the misadventures, obstacles and sad facts that can pop during a lifetime.

The image of Senses Weeping represent all kinds of emotions generated by the first two, love on top of all.

Through three symbols, sense of humour and storytelling, the Italian poet Isaak Sank talks about literature, art, history, social injustice, world politics and his roots. Please feel welcomed into the mind of a young artist.



*A review copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

“…I don’t say what I read, I never make notes or underline passages.”
“Can I know why?”
“Because that’s where you reveal the most about yourself, it can be a true personal diary.”

Cranium Retaliations – Isaak Sank

This is a book that I (looking at the reviews and ratings before me) wanted so badly to like. It had such high ratings but I didn’t feel the same way about it.

It is important to note that Cranium Retaliations not like most of the poetry and prose collections that I’ve read. There were lengthy text and a heavy usage of imagery, which I would usually enjoy. However, some of the poems/proses were a little difficult to understand.

I believe it was due to language. Some sentences were not grammatically correct, so I would assume it was translated from another language. Then again, my grasp of the English language isn’t that strong either so I could be wrong. The idea behind each prose was solid, however it wasn’t easy to understand. I had to read some a few times over to understand the meaning, some of them I still don’t really know what it meant but there are notes at the end of the poem indicating what it was about.

With that being said, I have mix feelings about this book. Perhaps, I was not the right target audience. There were a lot of events, words, imagery that were significant that I did not know about, causing me to be confused for half of the proses in this book. For a non-spoiler example, in Expositions Part 2, set in what I believe was 1980, it spoke of things which I knew and was familiar about, all because I had an art history lesson about the 80s and the culture of the people of that era. Which made this quite an issue – to be able to fully enjoy this book, it is necessary to be able to have a basic understanding of the eras or subjects mentioned.

However, with a lot of them, when I finally understood the meaning, it felt like a powerful poem – some reflects on humanity, some gives a mystical feeling, shares different perspectives and even challenges to think differently. I had a couple of favourties from this collection, such as Dear Collard, Penmanship, Wi…Fine?. Although I enjoyed those few, I still can’t get over the difficulty of not understand what some poems were about.