Tuesday 4 November 2014

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Review: Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav

Love & Misadventure by Lang LeavLove & Misadventure by Lang Leav - Beautifully illustrated and thoughtfully conceived, Love and Misadventure will take you on a rollercoaster ride through an ill-fated love affair- from the initial butterflies to the soaring heights- through to the devastating plunge. Lang Leav has an unnerving ability to see inside the hearts and minds of her readers. Her talent for translating complex emotions with astonishing simplicity has won her a cult following of devoted fans from all over the world. From Goodreads

About two weeks or so ago, I was browsing the quotes on Pinterest pinned by those I follow. A few poems kept coming up by the same person, Lang Leav. I felt so moved by those pins and the emotion in them, I had to research Lang Leav, and discovered she has published two books of poetry. I was desperate to read more, and was soon in possession of Love & Misadventure. And it's absolutely beautiful.

I enjoy poetry, but I don't tend to read too much of it. I find it difficult to get my head around. The kind of poetry I tend to like is the odd poem I've come across while studying English Lit at school, by Shakespeare or William Blake, or poems linked to art, like those by Dante Garbriel Rossetti. These kinds of poems I struggle with, simply because I have a hard time understanding the language, and generally need to look up what the poem is saying, what it means, before I see how amazing it is. So it's difficult for me to sit down with a book of poetry and understand what's being said. Modern poetry has never really spoke, and I have felt bogged down in all the imagery and having it lost on me. This was not at all the case with Love & Misadventure.

As the title suggests, this is a book about love and romantic relationships. The beginnings of relationships, the end. The hope for love, the regret over mistakes made, the pain of having been left. At times, it felt like Love & Misadventure was telling the story of the narrator's love life over time, of maybe two or three different relationships, especially as the book is split into three parts, Misadventure, The Circus of Sorrows and Love. Yet at other times, the poems seem to not be related to the one that came before, or the one after. A poem of the end of a relationship coming between two poems about happiness in a relationship. It feels very much like it's open to the interpretation of the reader whether there is a story here, or individual poems that fit into three themes.

Leav writes with a simplicity that is wonderfully misleading. There is, of course, imagery and metaphors, but they feel almost obvious or every day, so there's no confusion on my part in what Leav is getting at. Most of the poems in Love & Misadventure are quite short; two or three stanzas with three or four lines each. Simple, short. But they each pack a real punch! There is such raw emotion in each poem, it's hard not to feel it. The love, the heartbreak, the sorrow, the regret, the joy, the bliss. I may not personally relate to each poem she wrote, but they spoke to me. It's impossible not to be moved by the honesty that Leav has poured into her words, and the grace with which she writes. They are so powerful, it's a hugely emotional read.

I don't know very much about the composition of poetry. I couldn't tell you what Leav's poetic style is. Saying that, there are obvious patterns to some of her poems; the length, the rhyming words, the rhythm, and even I can tell that Leav has a serious talent to be able to say so much, so honestly, powerfully and beautifully while still sticking to the confines of the poetic style, especially when they're, mostly, so short.

I would like to end my review by sharing a few of my favourite poems from the book with you, but I'm not sure I could format them right, so I will instead link to them on Pinterest: Sea of Strangers, A Stranger, A Way Out, Sad Songs, and Beauty's Curse. Love & Misadventure is a completely beautiful book of poetry, and I am so, so glad I stumbled across Leav's poems. I can't wait to to immerse myself into her second book, Lullabies.

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Published: 17th September 2013
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Lang Leav's Website


  1. Hey. I just finished reading the book and I love it too! Nice review by the way :)

    1. Thanks! Leav is such a wonderful poet, isn't she? I loved her second book, Lullabies, too!