Book Reviews

Sea of Strangers: ARC Review and Discussion

“And that is our main point of difference. I will keep mining ground we’ve covered to see if there is anything worth salvaging, and you will always be looking for new territory to explore.”

I received a digital ARC of Lang Leav’s latest poetry collection, Sea of Strangersvia Net Galley and Andrew McMeel Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I’ve perused the pages of Leav’s other collections on a number bookstore runs, but nothing I read ever spoke to me enough to purchase her books. Sea of Strangers managed to shift my opinion of her work – this collection contains some genuinely gorgeous poems. I’ve come to expect simplicity and banality from modern poetry, but I didn’t find that here – well, at least not often.

I’d say I related to and marked off about 50% of the poems in this collection. I especially enjoyed the pieces that spoke of writing, such as Shelter and Writing and Poetry and Prose. There were also a handful of poems that discussed family, depression, and life in general. These are the ones that kept me flipping through the pages, eager to find more like them.

As always, the poems about love and heartbreak just didn’t connect with me. Existential angst is more up my alley when it comes to poetry topics. But regardless of whether the poems touched me on a personal level or not, I was still able to find value in most of them. The language and metaphors Leav uses, especially when speaking of nature, are so powerful that it’s difficult to read them without feeling awe.

Of course, there were a few of Leav’s works that came off sounding like clichéd Facebook quotes. I’m sure some readers do enjoy this type of poetry, but it just isn’t my jam. That said, these poems were few and far between, so I wouldn’t judge the entire collection based off of them.

I gave Sea of Strangers a 3 out of 5 star rating on Goodreads. I recommend it to fans of modern poetry, and especially to those who enjoy reading about matters of the heart. While every poem didn’t resonate with me, I think there’s something for everyone to relate to in this collection.

Sea of Strangers hits shelves on January 9th. If you’re interested in pre-ordering it, you can do so here.