Poemsia by Lang Leav
Publication date: October 1st, 2019
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery
Award-winning author and poet Lang Leav presents a YA novel that is an absolute fan pleaser!
Verity Wolf dreams of being a poet—not that she’d ever admit it to anyone. Her best friend Jess thinks she’s definitely got what it takes, while her cat, Zorro is characteristically indifferent. As for the cute boy she’s just met, he’s about to discover her best kept secret.
When Verity stumbles on an old, mysterious book, Poemsia, she finds herself suddenly thrust into the dizzying world of social media stardom, where poets are the new rock stars and fame is sometimes just a click away.
International bestselling author, Lang Leav takes you into the shadowy world of contemporary poetry in this revealing and emotionally charged story about friendship, first love, betrayal, and the courage to follow your dreams.
– My Thoughts –
Poemsia is a book for those who want to be published authors in this era of influencers, in this era where “cancel culture” exists and internet might make you a celebrity(or trash) overnight.
“In the words of Jean de La Fountaine, ‘A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.”
This is my first time reading a Lang Leav book and I can say that I liked it. Let me explain..
The protagonist here is Verity Wolf, who loves poetry very much and lives with her grandfather or Pop. Her parents passed away when she was little and grandmother left a few years ago as well. Verity lives a normal life: has a best friend called Jess, manages her Pop’s bookstore and writes poems. One day, she discovers a poetry book called Poemsia and the poems in it feel so surreal to her(and her bff) that it’s as if Verity wrote the book herself! Verity would’ve never realized that this book -written by #godknowswho- would catapult her to the status of an Instagram celebrity. Verity’s claims of not having written this poem goes unheard and suddenly she’s mentioned on TV as the author of this poem. From then on, Verity with her best friend Jess’s help sets out to self-publish her poems(the ones she wrote). She also meets a cute boy, her favourite poet, and the toxic side of fame. Verity will soon have to decide between leaving her home to pursue her dreams and staying home which could be the end of all.
“There’s no way to be a poet. You can’t choose it because it chooses you. Maybe your soul refracts the universe in all its complex beauty and you are a shard of light in its great hallway of mirrors. The universe calls and compels you to write poetry because with every ounce of its being, it yearns to know itself through you.”
The writing was beautiful, or shall I say, quote-worthy. However, the pacing felt too fast for me; it was like I was in a rollercoaster and the ride was exhilaratingly good but now the adrenaline’s worn off and I don’t know what the f**k just happened. Verity was a relatable and lovable character for sure; I loved her passion for poetry and her dreams of becoming a published author. This has a wonderful portrayal of female friendships as well. Without Jess, Verity would never have published her poems online or in print and the way the duo were always there for each other was so wonderful to watch. The romance between Verity and Sash(Sebastian) felt a little too cheesy for me and the whole on-and-off girlfriend part was a headache to read.
The character development was done well for almost all the characters and I loved the addition of Mena Rhodes'(Verity’s idol) character. Mena was necessary to the plot and she offered both Verity -and us- a view of what really happens when you become a celebrity. Since this is a book about a lover of poetry, I do wish that there were snippets of poems between chapters or even at the end.
“Poemsia is about coming to the end of the book and not wanting to say goodbye to your favourite characters. The struggle of parting ways, real and imaginary.”
Overall, I would recommend this if you’re looking for a beautifully written book about reaching for your dreams, friendship, first love, family, goodbyes, the effects of fame and of course! if you love Lang Leav’s writing.
Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review for including me in the blog tour!
– About the Author –
Novelist and poet, Lang Leav is an international bestselling author and winner of a Qantas Spirit of Youth Award, Churchill Fellowship and Goodreads Choice Award. Often credited with popularizing poetry among a new generation of young readers, Lang’s poetry books, and hit novel, Sad Girls continue to top best seller charts around the world.
Lang has been featured on CNN, SBS Australia, Intelligence Squared UK, Radio New Zealand and in various publications, including Vogue, Newsweek, the Straits Times, the Guardian, and the New York Times.
She currently resides in New Zealand with her partner and fellow author, Michael Faudet.
Thank you for reading! Have you read Poemsia or any of Lang Leav’s poetry? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!