Title: Please Pick Me
Author: Reina Regina
Genre: Poetry | Contemporary
Publisher: Moonchild Press Publishing
Publication Date: November 11, 2020
Format / source: eBook / ARC from publisher
Content warnings: Mentions of anxiety, depression, abuse, trauma, and a suicide note
So excited to join Caffeine Book Tours today! I’ve been a fan from afar of Shealea’s work with this company and so grateful to be participating in this week’s tour! I knew from the blurb that I’d love this collection and related so much to what the author so honestly shared.
Thanks to Caffeine Book Tours and the publisher for providing me with an ARC to review as part of this tour. Check out the launch post for the full schedule to find more bloggers’ thoughts on this collection.
In a garden of a thousand other volumes, my little yellow book with its earnest plea and hopeful flowers on the cover sits waiting for you to pick it up. It’s got a heart it wants to give away.
These haikus, poems, and prose pieces are about
the miracle of being wanted back by someone we want,
the desperation of hoping they’ll fight harder when they waver,
the rawness of seeking reassurance that we are loved as we are, and
the tenderness we feel when we’re sending love out to others
—all those moments when we are making our need to be accepted plain and praying, please pick me.
This book was born after twenty-six years of learning that it’s okay to want to be wanted, that vulnerability is merely throwing open the gateway to honest connections, and that fighting to be loved the way you deserve is bravery and not weakness.
I hope you open it. I hope it invites you to be open too.
I want to begin my review by sharing a little of the author’s foreword, as she had me hooked from her first words:
“This book is about those tumultuous moments when you’re opening yourself up to be loved by other people. And in that process, you’re excited about what could happen, and afraid that you’ll get hurt if they reject you, and angry at yourself for wanting someone else’s affirmation, and just really, really hopeful that they’ll love you back–all while still desperately trying to remember that you are a worthwhile person whether or not they do.”
My main takeaway after reading this poetry collection is that I want to read more by Reina Regina. She has such a beautiful way of writing, taking us through crushes and the early excitement of romances, through heartbreak and pain, family troubles, all the vulnerabilities of life and figuring yourself and your needs out along the way.
There’s a mix of formats in the collection, some haikus, some multi-verse poems, some more prose-like. While I enjoy the variety, I prefer the longer length poems because I feel I can get more immersed in them. My favourites were six times we were fated and one time we weren’t (on initial stages of a crush and finding connection) and sepsis (on healing and finding closure, or lack thereof).
There was a lot that resonated with me, so much I could relate to from the author’s own personal experiences. And that I think is part of the real power of this collection, that as specific as some of these poems were in detailing Regina’s experiences and relationships, at times it felt like the author could just as easily be writing about my own life. To feel seen and know that others have been through the same things you’re struggling with is an incredible feeling and I loved finding that connection in the author’s writing.
Thanks again to Caffeine Book Tours for introducing me to this collection and I can’t wait to read Regina’s next book! Highly recommend picking this one up yourself for a quick but powerful read.
About the Author: Reina Regina is a writer, professional tarot reader, Instagram creator, and former nurse. She is published online as Reina Bambao on 8List, The Manila Times, Play Without Apology, and the Fully Booked First Look Club. Reina resides in Manila, Philippines, and is the lady of the house for a doctor and two dogs. Please Pick Me is, to her great and pleasant surprise, her first book.
Author links: Website | Goodreads | Instagram
What are your favourite topics for poems to explore?
I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Cover image, blurb, and author info provided by CBT.