Title: Bright Minds Empty Souls
Author: Jennae Cecelia
Genre: Prose poetry
Where I got the book: I purchased this collection through Book Depository.
My rating: ★★☆☆☆
Summary: A poetry collection about falling in and out of love with yourself and others. For the hopeless romantics and those who need a friend to comfort their late night thoughts.
“There were very few minds that
I wanted to explore.
Some call it pickiness.
I call it patience.”
– “Patience” in Bright Minds Empty Souls, Jeannae Cecelia
Ignoring the fact that this collection’s summary didn’t exactly pique my interest, I went ahead and got this anyway because I really loved the intriguing title and this gorgeous cover (yeah, I do this a lot). I realize that this strategy basically results in either a hit or miss, and in this case I’m leaning more towards the latter.
I don’t think this is a terrible poetry collection, or that the writing is bad. It’s just that overall, this fell rather flat for me. There are many poems in here that sounded clichéd, or like something I’ve heard many times before. These are poems I feel should have had a certain substance to them but just didn’t. On the other hand there were also some poems that I liked, especially those that centered around anxiety and insecurity. I would very much have loved to see more of those. I also think the degree of me being able to relate to this has a lot to say for my review. I’m not the kind of reader who feels I have to strongly relate to something in order to enjoy or find meaning in it, but it has to resonate with me somehow, strike some kind of chord, and the majority of these poems failed to do that. I read them and that was that.
I actually gave this 3 stars to begin with, but I quickly re-read it before I wrote this up and discovered a couple of unnecessary mistakes that I didn’t catch the first time. It gives off an impression of being unfinished, or rushed, like it hasn’t been properly edited, and that’s unfortunate. I have no problems letting a typo or two pass, but I think “a couple” of these mistakes is simply too many in a collection that is as small as this one, with one short poem on each page (68 pages in total). There’s also no structure to the collection as a whole. I would have liked to see more cohesiveness throughout this instead of just one poem after the other in a seemingly random order. Maybe this rating can be seen as a strong 2 stars; it’s a collection that is easy to read and understand, and just because most of the poems fell flat for me doesn’t mean they will for others. But considering all of the above, I don’t think this lives up to 3 stars.