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I Must Belong Somewhere: Poetry and Prose

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A daring but necessary insight into themes of longing, home, bullying, loneliness, and mental health, I Must Belong Somewhere is a silver lining for anyone struggling. With her third poetry collection, I Must Belong Somewhere, acclaimed writer Dawn Lanuza is returning to her most popular literary platform. Written during her year of rest and travel, this new collection spea A daring but necessary insight into themes of longing, home, bullying, loneliness, and mental health, I Must Belong Somewhere is a silver lining for anyone struggling. With her third poetry collection, I Must Belong Somewhere, acclaimed writer Dawn Lanuza is returning to her most popular literary platform. Written during her year of rest and travel, this new collection speaks to the indescribable feelings of displacement and longing for the companionship she left behind. Touching on the difficult themes of body image, death, bullying, sexism, mental health, and injury, Lanuza brings her contemporary views and powerful honesty to address topics many are too scared to talk about. With its modern, global perspective, I Must Belong Somewhere is sure to resonate with a wide array of readers.


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A daring but necessary insight into themes of longing, home, bullying, loneliness, and mental health, I Must Belong Somewhere is a silver lining for anyone struggling. With her third poetry collection, I Must Belong Somewhere, acclaimed writer Dawn Lanuza is returning to her most popular literary platform. Written during her year of rest and travel, this new collection spea A daring but necessary insight into themes of longing, home, bullying, loneliness, and mental health, I Must Belong Somewhere is a silver lining for anyone struggling. With her third poetry collection, I Must Belong Somewhere, acclaimed writer Dawn Lanuza is returning to her most popular literary platform. Written during her year of rest and travel, this new collection speaks to the indescribable feelings of displacement and longing for the companionship she left behind. Touching on the difficult themes of body image, death, bullying, sexism, mental health, and injury, Lanuza brings her contemporary views and powerful honesty to address topics many are too scared to talk about. With its modern, global perspective, I Must Belong Somewhere is sure to resonate with a wide array of readers.

30 review for I Must Belong Somewhere: Poetry and Prose

  1. 5 out of 5

    Abbie | abbienruis

    Full of loneliness, beauty, and heartbreak Dawn Lanuza weaves together a haunting account of finding home, contentment, and so much more. Her mind carries all of the worry and weight. Sometimes, when she’s in a new place, wandering and learning its streets, she just hears herself sighing, I must belong somewhere. This was beautifully written, and at times, heartbreaking. I LOVED the trigger warning that was placed at the beginning of the book, and really wish more authors did this. My favorite Full of loneliness, beauty, and heartbreak Dawn Lanuza weaves together a haunting account of finding home, contentment, and so much more. Her mind carries all of the worry and weight. Sometimes, when she’s in a new place, wandering and learning its streets, she just hears herself sighing, I must belong somewhere. This was beautifully written, and at times, heartbreaking. I LOVED the trigger warning that was placed at the beginning of the book, and really wish more authors did this. My favorite had to be 95. Such a beautiful take on the wicked stepmother! I also loved how you almost seemed to go on a journey with Dawn, and towards the end, there was an optimistic light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you to Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for sending me an ARC copy of this book! Trigger Warnings: death, suicide, violence, bullying, injury, self-harm, body image, & sexism.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Natalie all_books_great_and_small

    I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers. I must belong somewhere is a powerful book of poetry addressing many things that can often be taboo subjects such as loneliness, displacement, gender and so on. This poetry digs under your skin and makes you stop and ponder the verses and poems written and reflect upon them.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Pole

    I Must Belong Somewhere by Dawn Lanuza is a powerful and personal reflection on love, longing, and displacement. Told in beautiful and flowing prose, Ms Lanuza ruminates on her own journey of mental health and self- esteem. The topics covered are wide-ranging and eminently relatable, and I believe that this collection will resonate strongly with many readers. Many thanks to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to read this ARC.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paula M

    Full review to be posted once I have the physical copy. Dawn Lanuza really just keeps on getting better and better! Full review to be posted once I have the physical copy. Dawn Lanuza really just keeps on getting better and better!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Geoff

    These poems and stories seemed like they were keeping everything (the reader, the subject, the underlying emotions) at a distance. It feels like there's some real meat there, but most of the works ended up being vague and general and cliched and conventional, like in '9': "He asked her, 'Why do you keep writing love poems? there are so many things in the world that need to be discussed: poverty and war, deceit and injustice.' And she said, 'What hurt could a little love poem do? Every day that we see the These poems and stories seemed like they were keeping everything (the reader, the subject, the underlying emotions) at a distance. It feels like there's some real meat there, but most of the works ended up being vague and general and cliched and conventional, like in '9': "He asked her, 'Why do you keep writing love poems? there are so many things in the world that need to be discussed: poverty and war, deceit and injustice.' And she said, 'What hurt could a little love poem do? Every day that we see the word crumble, how are we not able to remember: a litle bit of love could make this better.'" Nothing in this collection stirred my heart.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Beatrice Masaluñga

    Thank you Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. It's too early for me to write a review and I have to say I Must Belong Somewhere is by far Ms. Lanuza's best poetry collection...yet. The poems are personal and majority of them struck me. Some of us are finding the sense of belonging, there are moments we felt invisible in a crowd and it hurts not being seen for being yourself. Reading them is like a reflection of what I've experienced. It made me emotion Thank you Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. It's too early for me to write a review and I have to say I Must Belong Somewhere is by far Ms. Lanuza's best poetry collection...yet. The poems are personal and majority of them struck me. Some of us are finding the sense of belonging, there are moments we felt invisible in a crowd and it hurts not being seen for being yourself. Reading them is like a reflection of what I've experienced. It made me emotional at some point and I had to sit back and breathe. I may not be a fan of its structure but the way it made me feel is a plus. This collection also talks about various topics which might triggered you such as depression, self-harm, suicide etc. Please keep this in mind before reading it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    bella

    In this collection, Lanuza touches on themes of longing, belonging, healing, loneliness, identity, mental health, and more. Modern poetry can often be hit or miss for me, as some of it, unfortunately, feel cliché and surface level. While I did find some of these pieces to be trite, others helped unearthed parts of me that I had pushed down or ignored. The poems within are in turns moving, raw, vulnerable, joyful, and uplifting. Even many of the shorter pieces strike powerful chords that resonate In this collection, Lanuza touches on themes of longing, belonging, healing, loneliness, identity, mental health, and more. Modern poetry can often be hit or miss for me, as some of it, unfortunately, feel cliché and surface level. While I did find some of these pieces to be trite, others helped unearthed parts of me that I had pushed down or ignored. The poems within are in turns moving, raw, vulnerable, joyful, and uplifting. Even many of the shorter pieces strike powerful chords that resonate long after you've turned the page. This is the first collection I have read of Lanuza's, but it made me happy to read a fellow Filipino’s poetry and I now fully intend to check out her other collections! I also want to express my thanks to all authors and books that provide trigger/content warnings at the start; this is something that may seem small but is extremely important, and really shows that extra bit of effort and care for the reader. My thanks to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. trigger/content warnings: death, suicidal ideation, violence, bullying, injury, self-harm, body image, sexism, mental health.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Marie

    3 stars. I didn't hate this poetry collection, but I didn't connect very well to it. It was pretty middle of the road for me. Review to come. 3 stars. I didn't hate this poetry collection, but I didn't connect very well to it. It was pretty middle of the road for me. Review to come.

  9. 4 out of 5

    jime

    really love this one.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sonali Dabade

    I saw this poetry collection on a friend's Instagram stories and immediately knew I had to get it. I was absolutely ecstatic when I saw that this was ready to read and now that I have read this, I know that somehow, the author knows who I am without knowing of my existence. There were so many points in the book where I paused, choked back my tears, collected myself, and then went on because it hit so close to home! I don't want to be that person who fills up reviews with excerpts from the book, I saw this poetry collection on a friend's Instagram stories and immediately knew I had to get it. I was absolutely ecstatic when I saw that this was ready to read and now that I have read this, I know that somehow, the author knows who I am without knowing of my existence. There were so many points in the book where I paused, choked back my tears, collected myself, and then went on because it hit so close to home! I don't want to be that person who fills up reviews with excerpts from the book, but this is a book to be savored. And that's all I'm going to say for now until I can formulate my thoughts better. I'm just going to leave you with these two verses that wrecked me: Despite my knowledge, these words swirl around my belly, a fetus of doubt and worry, a voice in the back of my head saying my existence depends only on my ability to birth another life. "You should toughen up" is why I'm hard on myself. I've been told I'm soft. - like "soft" is a bad word

  11. 5 out of 5

    Celina

    Thank you Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the arc! This title will be released January 5, 2021. “Half of me is worried about the lives I’m not living; half of me is too tired to do anything about it.” I Must Belong Somewhere hit too close to “home”. Lanuza has captured what I couldn’t put into words. The feeling of wandering aimlessly and being lost in life. The yearning for love and a purpose. The desire to know how you want to live your remaining days. This collection isn’t all pretty Thank you Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the arc! This title will be released January 5, 2021. “Half of me is worried about the lives I’m not living; half of me is too tired to do anything about it.” I Must Belong Somewhere hit too close to “home”. Lanuza has captured what I couldn’t put into words. The feeling of wandering aimlessly and being lost in life. The yearning for love and a purpose. The desire to know how you want to live your remaining days. This collection isn’t all pretty aesthetics and words like most modern poetry floating around these days tend to be. This collection brings to the surface thoughts you might have been trying to bury. It actually made me feel something and forced me to reflect which most poets these days are failing to accomplish. I strongly recommend picking this up! There are some dark themes and I appreciated the content warning provided at the start; “This book contains discussions on death, suicide ideation, violence, bullying, injury, self-harm, body image, sexism, and mental health.” *posting review on my bookstagram/twitter and goodreads the day of publication as well as on retail sites.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ailla Magcamit

    I think I found my new favorite collection from Dawn Lanuza. The metaphors are sharper and imagery, more vivid. Plus, the themes are more direct which hits hard, resonating to things I've often kept buried in my head. While it still has similar ideations on love which I've positively associated the poet with, I Must Belong Somewhere also explored more topics outside her usual which I'm surprisingly glad to see (includes musings on how you can love your country but also see the negative things I think I found my new favorite collection from Dawn Lanuza. The metaphors are sharper and imagery, more vivid. Plus, the themes are more direct which hits hard, resonating to things I've often kept buried in my head. While it still has similar ideations on love which I've positively associated the poet with, I Must Belong Somewhere also explored more topics outside her usual which I'm surprisingly glad to see (includes musings on how you can love your country but also see the negative things within it e.g. EJK) Also, for some reason, the fact that it wasn't "divided" into subchapters made me enjoy the reading experience more? It felt like seeing the persona's journey. tl;dr: This is her best one yet 🥺😭 tw: discussions and ideations on death, suicide, mental health, bullying, body image, violence, sexism

  13. 4 out of 5

    Pretty Little Bibliophile

    I read another one of Lanuza's works THE LAST TIME I'LL WRITE ABOUT YOU, early in 2020 and I quite liked it. Although it did not leave a lasting impression on me, that collection was pretty likeable. So when I saw that I MUST BELONG SOMEWHERE was available to read, I jumped at the opportunity - to see what turn Lanuza's writing had taken. Needless to say, I was quite impressed. I think I MUST BELONG SOMEWHERE was a wonderful improvement on the previous book and I was in love. The words were simp I read another one of Lanuza's works THE LAST TIME I'LL WRITE ABOUT YOU, early in 2020 and I quite liked it. Although it did not leave a lasting impression on me, that collection was pretty likeable. So when I saw that I MUST BELONG SOMEWHERE was available to read, I jumped at the opportunity - to see what turn Lanuza's writing had taken. Needless to say, I was quite impressed. I think I MUST BELONG SOMEWHERE was a wonderful improvement on the previous book and I was in love. The words were simply magic and really touching. The prose works were also very powerful - especially the women-centric ones. The overall tone was very nostalgia-induced and I for one was all for it! I think this one was a must-read! do check it out!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Yoke Mun

    I’ve never quite been a poetry type of person, and I don’t think that has changed, but I quite liked this book. I felt like I was reading my journal. The author’s writing carried a lovely softness, for lack of a better phrase, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Great stuff.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rhys

    "Once you learn the power of “not yet,” you will feel a certain kind of ease. It is not now, but someday, somehow, through some way, you will." loved, loved this. "Once you learn the power of “not yet,” you will feel a certain kind of ease. It is not now, but someday, somehow, through some way, you will." loved, loved this.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alison (The Lowrey Library)

    I am a big fan of this style of poetry. I must say that before anything else. I love when there is a thematic element (belong, in this one) that courses through a collection. I love when the poet considerately thinks to arrange the poetry with longer pieces next to shorter ones. And I love a well-placed illustration. There's variety, but depth. There's love, but also loss. A beautiful work! I admire it greatly. I am a big fan of this style of poetry. I must say that before anything else. I love when there is a thematic element (belong, in this one) that courses through a collection. I love when the poet considerately thinks to arrange the poetry with longer pieces next to shorter ones. And I love a well-placed illustration. There's variety, but depth. There's love, but also loss. A beautiful work! I admire it greatly.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    3.5 rounded up! ✨ TW: suicide, self-harm, bullying I think this is the first poetry and prose book that I read that was written by a Filipino author. And girl, it didn't disappoint. Some poems are relatable, some are inspiring and some are full of hope. I liked that it somehow tackled the importance of mental health. Thank you Dawn Lanuza for this! I will try to read your other books. Thank you also to Andrews McMeel Publishing for the ARC! 3.5 rounded up! ✨ TW: suicide, self-harm, bullying I think this is the first poetry and prose book that I read that was written by a Filipino author. And girl, it didn't disappoint. Some poems are relatable, some are inspiring and some are full of hope. I liked that it somehow tackled the importance of mental health. Thank you Dawn Lanuza for this! I will try to read your other books. Thank you also to Andrews McMeel Publishing for the ARC!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lanika

    Not for me, and I was told as much by the gorgeous friend who lent it to me lol. I prefer more word trickery and different imagery in my poetry and creative nonfiction. But I'm sure it really resonates with some people! The parts about loving someone suicidal definitely found their way to me. Not for me, and I was told as much by the gorgeous friend who lent it to me lol. I prefer more word trickery and different imagery in my poetry and creative nonfiction. But I'm sure it really resonates with some people! The parts about loving someone suicidal definitely found their way to me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sai at theengineerisreading

    The way Dawn Lanuza weaves words and finishes with a majestic masterpiece that leaves you with a question about your whereabouts is topnotch! I rarely read poetry books because, as a training poet, I have a rule to reduce poetry consumption to avoid duplication of style and copying of voice but when I saw this galley available for review, I immediately downloaded and devoured it. I Must Belong Somewhere is a questioning book. You'll see yourself asking where do you belong as you flip the last page The way Dawn Lanuza weaves words and finishes with a majestic masterpiece that leaves you with a question about your whereabouts is topnotch! I rarely read poetry books because, as a training poet, I have a rule to reduce poetry consumption to avoid duplication of style and copying of voice but when I saw this galley available for review, I immediately downloaded and devoured it. I Must Belong Somewhere is a questioning book. You'll see yourself asking where do you belong as you flip the last pages of this galley because as humans, we tend to seek the feeling of being home in places, people, and things we feel comfortable. The vivid description of how the voice of the story transcended from childhood to adulthood without having definite answer to her own questioning is purely human and resonates with me in a personal level. Overall, this coming-of-age book is highly-recommended for readers from all walks of life because at the end we are all human and the most fitting answer to our own questioning is the title of this book, I Must Belong Somewhere. RATING: 4.5stars

  20. 5 out of 5

    kb

    Something I've learned that's important to do in recent years is to find trigger and content warnings, so before I say anything else, here are this book's: tw // death, suicide, ideation, violence, bullying, injury, self-harm, body image, sexism, & mental health These are things many of us go through, and it's likely that readers will see a part of themselves in most pieces. My reminder, just like the author's, is to please read with caution. (Or get an experienced buddy for guidance). Some parts Something I've learned that's important to do in recent years is to find trigger and content warnings, so before I say anything else, here are this book's: tw // death, suicide, ideation, violence, bullying, injury, self-harm, body image, sexism, & mental health These are things many of us go through, and it's likely that readers will see a part of themselves in most pieces. My reminder, just like the author's, is to please read with caution. (Or get an experienced buddy for guidance). Some parts can indeed be dark and raw, but this book overall carries that comfort of being ‘seen,' and reiterates the lesson that there is always hope. "When you reach that corner, remember to look up. You'll find that somebody drew you a heart." Watch the bookjo video (and everything else we've written about this author!) @bookbed. Everything I read in 2021 here.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Benicia Noia

    With a premise as human as existential doubts and personal problems, this collection of poems is wonderful for those who need to immerse themselves in their thoughts with comfort and understanding.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Neriah

    "2. Every once in a while she is convinced that she doesn't belong here anymore. Yet she doesn't know where she should be just yet. She finds herself where she is because she doesn't know where else to be. Where would you go? she asks herself. If everything would be taken care of, where would you rather be? But she can't see it that way yet. Her mind carries all of the worry and the weight. Sometimes, when she’s in a new place, wandering and learning its streets, she just hears herself sighing, I must "2. Every once in a while she is convinced that she doesn't belong here anymore. Yet she doesn't know where she should be just yet. She finds herself where she is because she doesn't know where else to be. Where would you go? she asks herself. If everything would be taken care of, where would you rather be? But she can't see it that way yet. Her mind carries all of the worry and the weight. Sometimes, when she’s in a new place, wandering and learning its streets, she just hears herself sighing, I must belong somewhere. She hasn't found it yet, but she hasn't given up on the idea of it." Thank you NetGalley and Andrews McMeel for providing me with a temporary e-arc. I didn't sign up to start tearing up at the first page LOL. Also, this poetry collection comes with a trigger warning. Practise self-care before, during and after. Written during her year of rest and travel, I Must Belong Somewhere is Dawn Lanuza's third poetry collection. Being a tear-jerker with poems that wind around your heart and say 'I hear you', I Must Belong Somewhere takes you on a stirring journey and reaches out to assure you that this collection is where you belong. Exploring the feeling of displacement and yearning to feel at home while looking back on to the companionship and love left behind, this poetry collection is truly one of the best poetry collections to have written. It is so hard for anyone to read this book and not feel that Dawn just touched a part of you that no one has been able to yet. Dawn Lanuza weaves heart-rending poems on topics that are difficult to dive into such as bullying, death, mental health, slut-shaming & sexism with focus on 'not feeling at home' and 'yearning and hoping for that feeling home'. Dawn dives into exploring wanderlust in a way like never before. When I said earlier that this book gives you a feeling of belonging, I meant it. Even if it is impermanent, it is still lasting for a moment. That counts for something. Dawn weaves poems of different lengths- each with its own intimate touch that lingers on your mind for a fair amount of time. Even when few of the poems felt out of place breaking the reverie this collection takes you into, they were still impactful, heart-rending and thought-provoking. It also contains a few illustrations- they made a mark on me. I found myself annotating poems and saving them in my personal collections so many times over this read and I would do it again sometime this week since I am craving for what this book had offered me. There is something therapeutic about this particular read. It will always be one of the collections you will find me recommending to anyone looking for a perfect read when you need comfort or to feel sadder but end the session with a nice note. Rating: 3.75/5

  23. 4 out of 5

    Coriander

    This collection of poetry is a raw, and visceral work that comes from the heart. A bleeding heart. These poems work through heartbreak, loss, health problems and depression. Along with carrying the weight of gender roles, sexism and growing into womanhood, the author pointedly explores the harm and digression of these rules have on young girl and women everywhere. She makes the case for how womanhood has made her feel and how she now feels that she belongs upon getting her period. She declares h This collection of poetry is a raw, and visceral work that comes from the heart. A bleeding heart. These poems work through heartbreak, loss, health problems and depression. Along with carrying the weight of gender roles, sexism and growing into womanhood, the author pointedly explores the harm and digression of these rules have on young girl and women everywhere. She makes the case for how womanhood has made her feel and how she now feels that she belongs upon getting her period. She declares how uncomfortable growing breasts and changing affected how boys. looked at her at a young age, and how it made her feel like an object instead of a person. The themes here are not heavy handed but they are not light either. The poignant way in which Dawn Lanuza writes about her experiences is what creates just the right touch for these hard hitting sensitive topics. Even the way she talks about travel, and how traveling light has informed the way she lives is captivating and makes you recess the things that make you feel like yourself. This collection is near perfect to me, it makes you think without making you uncomfortable, it quietly unloads poignant thoughts in an effective way. This book gets five stars from me. Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Em

    “I didn’t want to just survive this life, I wanted to live” Content Warnings (as listed at the start of the book): Death, Suicide Ideation, Self-Harm, Violence, Bullying, Injury, Body Image, Sexism, Mental Health Dawn Luzana crafts a beautiful web of interwoven stories in the poetry collection “I must belong somewhere.” Telling the story of a girl (whether that is herself, you, or the girl next door) who is obviously just trying to get through life, the words will wash over you in a way that is “I didn’t want to just survive this life, I wanted to live” Content Warnings (as listed at the start of the book): Death, Suicide Ideation, Self-Harm, Violence, Bullying, Injury, Body Image, Sexism, Mental Health Dawn Luzana crafts a beautiful web of interwoven stories in the poetry collection “I must belong somewhere.” Telling the story of a girl (whether that is herself, you, or the girl next door) who is obviously just trying to get through life, the words will wash over you in a way that is soothing to the soul. The voice in this collection is strong, the poetry is captivating, and the flow was easy to follow. Personally, I found her poetry in this book to be particularly raw and relatable. The way that Luzana describes mental health, in particular anxiety and depression, in this collection is done in a way that is so true and honest to the experience. The desire to simultaneously run away but also to have a home, the need for freedom but the yearning for steady love, it is all here. This book talks about moving on in all forms, from lost love, from broken families, and most importantly from your own demons. If you love poetry collections, this is one you do not want to miss. Thank you to NetGalley for this Arc

  25. 5 out of 5

    Angelique Nish

    *I received an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 3 / 5 Dawn Lanuza is an upcoming author of novels and poetry that I believe has a lot of potential. Her poems are raw and unfiltered. I like and can relate to many of her thoughts and feelings. I really loved some of her poems, they struck very deep chords in me as I share some sentiments of her life. Being Filipino, finding a new home, pondering what a home really is. On the other hand, some of her poems fell flat in their since *I received an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 3 / 5 Dawn Lanuza is an upcoming author of novels and poetry that I believe has a lot of potential. Her poems are raw and unfiltered. I like and can relate to many of her thoughts and feelings. I really loved some of her poems, they struck very deep chords in me as I share some sentiments of her life. Being Filipino, finding a new home, pondering what a home really is. On the other hand, some of her poems fell flat in their sincerity and presentation for me. I also felt that the general flow of the book was scattered at times. The order and how feelings were portrayed a bit messy. Sometimes it felt as though I was just reading notes of hers. Not quite finished, polished works. Though I suppose there’s charm to that. I’m certainly no expert, but my wish is she find a bit more control and finesse in her writing to create a more developed and put together collection. She has great potential, but also much room to improve, which I am sure she will with more practice and years under her belt. I am excited to see where her career takes her. I’d be interested to read more of her work in the future. There are some beautiful gems in this collection. I hope she keeps mining for more.

  26. 5 out of 5

    BAM

    I received an ARC copy awhile back from NetGalley and Andrews McMeel. Due to losing access to my Net Galley account I was unable to submit my reviews until now. I Must Belong Somewhere by Dawn Lanuza is a powerful and personal reflection on love, longing, and displacement. These poems and stories will really connect with you if you have a sense of longing to belong and wonder of where life will take you. Modern poetry can often be hit or miss for me, as some of it, unfortunately, feel cliché and I received an ARC copy awhile back from NetGalley and Andrews McMeel. Due to losing access to my Net Galley account I was unable to submit my reviews until now. I Must Belong Somewhere by Dawn Lanuza is a powerful and personal reflection on love, longing, and displacement. These poems and stories will really connect with you if you have a sense of longing to belong and wonder of where life will take you. Modern poetry can often be hit or miss for me, as some of it, unfortunately, feel cliché and surface level. While I did find some of these pieces to be trite, others I found unique. This collection also talks about various topics which might triggered you such as depression, self-harm, suicide etc. Please keep this in mind before reading it. A loved these pieces: “Despite my knowledge, these words swirl around my belly, a fetus of doubt and worry, a voice in the back of my head saying my existence depends only on my ability to birth another life.” "You should toughen up" is why I'm hard on myself. I've been told I'm soft. - like "soft" is a bad word” “Every once in a while she is convinced that she doesn't belong here anymore. Yet she doesn't know where she should be just yet. She finds herself where she is because she doesn't know where else to be.”

  27. 4 out of 5

    Allieveryday

    I devoured this book and was ready to give it 5 stars early on. Lanuza's poems are simple but articulate and beautiful and relatable. She doesn't use flowery language, complex grammar or poetic style, big bold words. I think her stories and emotions are able to read clearly is because they don't get lost behind useless adjectives and superfluous words. And there is something about the way she arranges words, simple everyday words, that expresses emotions and pain elegantly and as a reader I felt I devoured this book and was ready to give it 5 stars early on. Lanuza's poems are simple but articulate and beautiful and relatable. She doesn't use flowery language, complex grammar or poetic style, big bold words. I think her stories and emotions are able to read clearly is because they don't get lost behind useless adjectives and superfluous words. And there is something about the way she arranges words, simple everyday words, that expresses emotions and pain elegantly and as a reader I felt them and many times thought "She has perfectly expressed everything I could never find the words for". But it didn't cut me to the core like other poetry books (that I had to put down, lovely but painful), Lanuza's words real and relatable as they were, were more the reflecting kind for me. After many poems I found myself staring into space, letting the words sink in, the feelings sink in. This is absolutely a book I intend to buy, need to own, need to feel, to mark my favorite poems, would buy for friends.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    I can only describe this book as the feeling of being 22 and female. Of being an age where your collected memories transform into a recollection of how your life experiences are defining you as a human being. After reading this book I feel: * The reminiscence of teenage summer romances and heartbreaks. *The essence of freedom, of craving more from your existence. The poems read like a life unfolding with sorrow and self-realization. The realness of vacancy as people step in and out of your life, I can only describe this book as the feeling of being 22 and female. Of being an age where your collected memories transform into a recollection of how your life experiences are defining you as a human being. After reading this book I feel: * The reminiscence of teenage summer romances and heartbreaks. *The essence of freedom, of craving more from your existence. The poems read like a life unfolding with sorrow and self-realization. The realness of vacancy as people step in and out of your life, the sense of being the observer on the outside of a suicidal downfall, and the understanding that as a woman you have strength no matter how the world wants to suppress it. Just as Lanuza wrote it herself, "Embrace what you have gone through." That is the beauty these poems speak.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Hana Pauls

    "I wish you'd completely forget being the architect I wish you'd throw away your blueprints." 3.5 stars really. I adored much of this book's longer poems and prose. Her sense of style just seemed to shine more within her longer pieces than in the shorter ones though. As a note (from someone who loves to use too many words): I definitely agree that less is sometimes more. HOWEVER. I am getting a tad tired of 21st century poetry authors filling space with the quote unquote "instagram worthy" poems (w "I wish you'd completely forget being the architect I wish you'd throw away your blueprints." 3.5 stars really. I adored much of this book's longer poems and prose. Her sense of style just seemed to shine more within her longer pieces than in the shorter ones though. As a note (from someone who loves to use too many words): I definitely agree that less is sometimes more. HOWEVER. I am getting a tad tired of 21st century poetry authors filling space with the quote unquote "instagram worthy" poems (which in this piece, I found were more often than not the shorter, one liner poems). The author has talent, but it seemed like she was holding back on some poems. Some of her word choices seemed overly simplistic and safe, and I found myself urging for more. Good ideas, good flow, but some of her words needed that extra umph.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cláudia

    *4.5 stars Trigger warning: This book contains discussions on death, suicide ideation, violence, bullying, injury, self-harm, body image, sexism, and mental health. As mentioned on the first page. I'm praising the author for inserting the trigger warnings. This book is a powerful reflection on oneself's life in longing, displacement..., It is beautifully written and emotional. I think it is perfect for early teens looking back. The author shows her struggles and her journey with mental health and *4.5 stars Trigger warning: This book contains discussions on death, suicide ideation, violence, bullying, injury, self-harm, body image, sexism, and mental health. As mentioned on the first page. I'm praising the author for inserting the trigger warnings. This book is a powerful reflection on oneself's life in longing, displacement..., It is beautifully written and emotional. I think it is perfect for early teens looking back. The author shows her struggles and her journey with mental health and self-esteem. This is extremely raw which makes it all better, and it helps you to connect with the author on a deeper level. I found myself in some of her poems and prose. Excellent collection

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