NONFIC MINI REVIEWS — Race Me in a Lobster Suit, soft magic., Unfollowing You, Child of the Moon

January 19, 2019

This week’s mini review round-up includes 1 book and 3 poetry collections—all nonfiction!

Some the reviews below are the shortened version of my review, but the “goodreads” link buttons will take you to the full review. Enjoy!

Race Me in a Lobster Suit by Kelly Mahon

TITLE: Race Me in a Lobster Suit
AUTHOR: Kelly Mahon
RELEASES: March 26th, 2019; Andrews McMeel Publishing
GENRE: Nonfic/Humor

When NYC copywriter Kelly Mahon started posting weird, fake gig ads as a creative outlet, she found that there was someone interested in every bizarre offer she came up with.


In theory, this sounded like it was going to be hilarious, and it starts off pretty funny, if a bit tedious—I definitely found myself skimming some of the stories because I was just getting bored of the constant repetitive nature. After a while, though, I began to notice a theme with some of the email conversations: many of the people responding to the ads really needed the money and were willing to do anything to get it.

Once that “clicked” for me, it was impossible to view this author as anything other than a raging jerk because, I mean, imagine someone offering you hundreds of dollars to do some weird but feasible thing when you really need to get your rent paid or buy your kids groceries, and then after days of having your hopes up, they tell you it was all a joke so they could make money off of this book.

I dunno, I’m being a spoilsport and I know it, but this kind of sucked and I have no respect for the author.

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!


soft magic by Upile Chisala

TITLE: soft magic.
AUTHOR: Upile Chisala
RELEASES: February 26th, 2019; Andrews McMeel Publishing
GENRE: Nonfic/Poetry

soft magic is a collection of poems and prose exploring the self, joy, blackness, gender, matters of the heart, the experience of Diaspora, spirituality, and most of all, how we survive. soft magic is a shared healing journey.


I want to think that God smiles
when a black woman is brave enough
to love herself.

I don’t say this lightly when I say that soft magic. is my favorite collection of poetry I have read in years. It is powerful, and brave, and loving, and comforting, and flawless. I want to paper my walls with every page of this collection. There’s nothing I can even say that Upile Chisala couldn’t say a million times better, so instead of reviewing this, I’m just going to leave you with a few of my favorite poems and let them speak for themselves:

Little boys with sunshine in their giggles are being
mistaken for men
Because their bodies were built like those
of warriors.

If no one has called you brave lately, I will.
You are fighting sadness with everything you’ve
got and for that you are mighty.

gather up all the hurt in your body
and tell it how you weren’t meant for broken.

All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Unfollowing You by Komal Kapoor

TITLE: Unfollowing You
AUTHOR: Komal Kapoor
RELEASES: February 5th, 2019; Andrews McMeel Publishing
GENRE: Nonfic/Poetry

After prolific growth on social media, Komal Kapoor is utilizing her perceptive understanding of romance in the digital age to present her first collection of poems. Unfollowing You tells a chronological tale of a modern love through a series of poems, prose, texts, screen grabs, and unsent letters.


For all the badasses reluctant to show their soft side—you are not alone.

Unfollowing You is a story of a “situationship” (because, let’s be honest, judging from the text, it never really reached full “relationship” status) going wrong. It starts off cheesy, but with promise, but sadly, goes downhill very quickly in quality and the poetry becomes off-putting, childish, repetitive, and unrefined.

Time with you now feels
like a trip to Taco Bell;
great in the moment
regretful the next day.

Yup… that’s a direct quote.

I was still going to give this 2.5 stars until I reached the end and there was an advertisement for Bumble thrown in the mix. (Bumble is a dating/meet-up site.) I don’t mean it was casually mentioned, I mean that it was literally spouted off like an advertisement—”You should leave Tinder and move to Bumble!”—complete with an incredibly corny tagline, one of those “Give love a try!” sort of motivational moments. It’s a mess. I honestly can’t help but suspect that the entire collection was written for the sole purpose of promoting this dating site now.

Thank you so much to Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Child of the Moon by Jessica Semaan

TITLE: Child of the Moon
AUTHOR: Jessica Semaan
RELEASED: January 8th, 2019; Andrews McMeel Publishing
GENRE: Nonfic/Poetry

An illustrated poetry collection about finding light in the darkness. Set against the backdrop of the Lebanese Civil War and the author’s turbulent family life, Child of the Moon is a powerful reflection on her journey through fear, shame and despair, and the unconditional love that helped her begin to heal from childhood trauma.


The bad news is you can only heal yourself.
The good news is you can only heal yourself.

Child of the Moon is a poetry collection and a story—a tale of abuse, healing, survival, colonialism, immigration, self-loathing, feminism, pride, and finding everything we need within ourselves (with a little help from the moon, of course).

Trauma robbed me of my potential.
May all my pain turn into healing so the women who come after me don’t have to carry it
and can live their potential.

Semaan’s writing style isn’t my favorite—far from it, to be honest—but the messages being portrayed in this collection are so powerful, and important, and beautiful. My heart ached for her throughout the entire thing, and I feel grateful to have been allowed this glimpse into the author’s life.

Thank you so much to Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!



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More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

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    1. I read Child of the Moon and I felt the same way. I didn’t love her writing style, but trauma is such an important thing to a shine light upon and it was hard to dismiss the majority of the poems just because I didn’t absolutely click with every poem.

    1. oof these books sound like they were a time in a half to drag your teeth through. Except for the soft magic one (which I so quickly put on my Books To Get list) that one sounds enthralling and I’m super intrigued to read it for myself! Here is to hoping you have a better non-fic reading experience in the days to come!

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