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Amanda Lovelace's The Princess Saves Herself in This One
Book Review by Bridgette Gidney

Amanda Lovelace is a social justice advocate and feminist which she expresses in her collection of poems The Princess Saves Herself in This One (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2017). This wonderful collection of poems reflects life in the real world. Lovelace plays with style and structure to create captivating and unique poems which connect with the reader. In this collection, a story forms around a woman going through life’s hardships. From deaths in the family, to relationships gone bad, to first love, she empowers not only women, but also people trying to find themselves. This collection encourages people to be who they are and not change for anyone. Lovelace uses few words to evoke powerful feelings, increasingly connecting with the reader as the book goes on. Most of the poems do not start with a title, but have a sort of side note at the end which could be used as both title and part of the poem. “A List of Red Things” is one of these poems with the last line, “—worth the wait,” a powerful and emotional message which shows itself at the end of the poem and is emphasized with the content of the rest of the collection. The short poem reads:
a list of red things:

I. his hair.
II. our lips.
III. my nails.
IV. our breath.
V. my sheets.
—worth the wait.

The mundane quality of this poem contrasts with the ending line for a powerful effect as Lovelace, earlier in her collection, introduces less- than-loving relationships. Lovelace sets the reader up to connect with her by using familiar feelings and pop-culture, such as Harry Potter references. One of these poems reads:

the little girl
isn’t listening to you—
she’s was too busy
staring out the window,
fantasizing about the world of
magical accidents,
flying envelopes,
screeching owls,
adoring giants,
brooms that
do more than sweep,
friends who are
always loyal,
& a train
that will take her
to an enchanted place
far far far
away from
—put under a lifelong spell

This poem captures what many Harry Potter fans may feel, and the relatability of this collection is one of the things making it so powerful. The Princess Saves Herself in This One is divided into four sections: The Princess, The Damsel, The Queen, and You. Each of these sections contains its own piece of self-discovery. It teaches readers how to grow and be okay with themselves. The reader can expect to learn with each passing page.