Mundie Moms

Friday, September 26, 2014

Poisoned Apples by Christine Hepperman, Blog Tour: Book Review / Giveaway

Published by: Harper Teen
Released on: September 23rd, 2014
Source: arc from publisher to review
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Every little girl goes through her princess phase, whether she wants to be Snow White or Cinderella, Belle or Ariel. But then we grow up. And life is not a fairy tale.

Christine Heppermann's collection of fifty poems puts the ideals of fairy tales right beside the life of the modern teenage girl. With piercing truths reminiscent of Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Hopkins, this is a powerful and provocative book for every young woman. E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars, calls it "a bloody poetic attack on the beauty myth that's caustic, funny, and heartbreaking."

Cruelties come not just from wicked stepmothers, but also from ourselves. There are expectations, pressures, judgment, and criticism. Self-doubt and self-confidence. But there are also friends, and sisters, and a whole hell of a lot of power there for the taking. In fifty poems, Christine Heppermann confronts society head on. Using fairy tale characters and tropes, Poisoned Apples explores how girls are taught to think about themselves, their bodies, and their friends. The poems range from contemporary retellings to first-person accounts set within the original tales, and from deadly funny to deadly serious. Complemented throughout with black-and-white photographs from up-and-coming artists, this is a stunning and sophisticated book to be treasured, shared, and paged through again and again.

My Thoughts

Gritty, dark and twisted, Poisoned Apples may be small in size, but Hepperman's words cut to the core. Hepperman takes society's skewed views on love, sex, women, body image and food with teenage girls and creates a collection of realistic poems that blur the edges of what's right and wrong, realistic and fantasy. 

This is definitely not your mother's book of fairy tales. Poisoned Apples is a book of poems that cut to the heart of the issues that plague our societies views, and the impact they have on young girls. Hepperman's words are unsettling, and truthful. As a reader, I didn't get every poem in this book, but the ones I did get, I feel that as an author Hepperman did her job in getting her point of across. There were some poems I found to be really dark, but, the harsh reality is, these are images and messages that plague our society today. Hepperman does a great job at brining these issues to light in each of her poems. I admire the fact that she didn't take serious subject matters lightly.

The haunting black and white photographs add to the books disturbing and dark feel. Each picture matches the poem it's shown beside. If I could use one word to describe this book, I would say it's provocative. On a side note, I just have to mention that I love this cover. Both it and the title are a perfect fit for this book. Poisoned Apples won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I feel there is something for everyone within in the small pages of this book. 

Praise for Poisoned Apples

“It’s a bit of a mystery how a slender, subversive book of flayed fairy tale poetry can chronicle how the world tries to rob young women of power, while at the same time handing them back that power. Teen girls should read this—and so should their mothers, their aunts, their grandmothers. . . .”
—Gayle Forman, author of New York Times–bestselling Just One Day/Just One Year duet

Poisoned Apples is simply phenomenal. Heppermann’s honest voice grabs the reader with urgency.
This collection is a champion for teens and adults who see our world as an advertisement for
perfection that doesn’t exist. Readers will want to read these poems aloud over and over again.”
—A. S. King, author of Printz Honor book Ask the Passengers

“Over and over again, Christine Heppermann’s poems reveal the worm in the messages
young women get about love, sex, food, and bodies. These poems cast
a harrowing but irresistible disenchantment.”
—Sara Zarr, author of National Book Award finalist Story of a Girl

“Christine Heppermann writes with a brilliant wizard’s pen. If redemption
comes to us in stunning, sidelong ways, via metaphor, parallel thinking,
reshaped tales with new characters who might be us, this is a book that will
save. Not only you, but so many people you know. Take a look.”
—Naomi Shihab Nye, author of National Book Award finalist
19 Varieties of Gazelle

“This powerful and provocative exploration of body image, media, and love
broke my heart and made me gasp aloud with its relentless truth.
Dark, unsettling, and altogether brilliant.”
—Rae Carson, author of New York Times–bestselling The Girl of Fire
and Thorns

About Christine Heppermann
Christine Heppermann is a writer, poet, and critic. Her book of poetry for young adults, Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty, will be published by Greenwillow Books in September, 2014. Poisoned Apples has been called "a bloody poetic attack on the beauty myth that's caustic, funny and heartbreaking" (E. Lockhart) and a "powerful and provocative exploration of body image, media, and love" (Rae Carson).

Christine's first book, City Chickens (Houghton Mifflin, 2012), is a nonfiction story about a shelter for abandoned and unwanted chickens in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In 2015 Greenwillow Books will publish the first book of the Backyard Witch Series, written by Christine and Ron Koertge. The middle-grade series follows three best friends and a mysterious visitor who appears for curious adventures just when they need her most.

Christine was a columnist and reviewer for The Horn Book Magazine from 1996 until 2013. Her poems are published in 5AM, The Magazine of Contemporary Poetry; Poems and Plays; Kite Tales; Nerve Cowboy; The Mas Tequila Review; and The Horn Book Magazine. Her reviews of children's and young adult books have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines. She has an MA in Children’s Literature from Simmons College and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University.

The Giveaway
To enter to win 1 finished copy of Poisoned Apples, just leave me a comment telling me what our favorite fairy tale is. Please be sure to include your email address, so I can contact you if you're the winner. Ends on 10/3/14 *Winner will be randomly drawn. Open to residents in the US/Canada only. 

Blog Tour
Sept. 21 - Andye @ - Guest Post
Sept. 22 - Liza @ WhoRU Blog - Review
Sept. 23 - Jenny @ Supernatural Snark - Interview / Steph & Meg @ Cuddlebuggery - Joint Review
Sept. 24 - Hannah @ The Irish Banana Review - Review
Sept. 25 - Stephanie @ No BS Book Reviews - Interview
Sept. 26 - Katie @ MundieMoms - Review
Sept. 27 - Mary @ The Book Swarm - Guest Post & Review