The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One – Amanda Lovelace (ARC Review)

February 16, 2018

The Witch Doesn't Burn in this One by Amanda Lovelace

TITLE: The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One
AUTHOR: Amanda Lovelace
SERIES: Women Are Some Kind of Magic, #2
RELEASES: March 6th, 2018; Andrews McMeel
GENRE: Poetry/Nonfiction
SYNOPSIS: The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one.



i didn’t come here
to be civil.
i didn’t come here
to sit you down
with a mug of tea
& a blueberry muffin
to coddle you as
i try to convince you
that respecting
my existence is essential.


Much like the first book in this poetry series, Amanda writes about feminism with a pleasantly surprising level of intersectionality and care; she touches on topics like transphobia, menstruation, rape culture, body-shaming, eating disorders, romanticization of abuse, and more. Her thoroughness is the reason I keep coming back to her writing – as well as her unapologetic nature when it comes to tackling rape and abuse culture in particular.

That said, I struggled to even give this 4 stars (instead of 3, which I considered) because I struggled with the same problems I saw in her first book:

1) Repetition – much of the poetry in this book feels and sounds so much like the first book, or like other poems within the same collection. I feel like I read the same phrasing a few too many times, though I won’t count off for this one as it’d probably be less noticeable if you didn’t read every poem back-to-back like I did.

2) Her writing – something about her writing voice reminds me very much of the poetry I wrote on MySpace as a teenager, and not in a good way. If it was occasional, it would be a really enjoyable, nostalgic touch, but since it’s almost every single poem, it begins to feel very dated.

3) Inspirations used – there were three or four pieces in this book that felt like that had been lifted almost verbatim from inspirational quote images and tumblr posts I’ve been seeing float around the internet for years. It would be one thing if it was vague wording or base paraphrasing, but some of the imagery painted is just too on-the-nose to ignore. It gave me a weird feeling of deja vu throughout several pieces.

All in all, I’m willing to round this up to 4 stars because, regardless of how I feel about her writing itself, the content is important. We need more feminist pieces. We need more rants about rape culture, abuse, transphobia, misogyny, and body shaming. I will forever applaud Amanda for taking the steps that she does to promote intersectional feminism through her work, and would recommend this to anyone who enjoys poetry of its kind. While I will probably not pick up her future works, as I think this book made me accept that her writing is not my cup of tea, I would still encourage you to give this book a try.

Thank you to Andrews McMeel Publishing for granting me this ARC in exchange for an honest review!


More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

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

    1. I completely agree with you on all of these points! I feel like her poetry is somewhat overrated, and it really has that inspirational quote vibe to it. I also gave it 4 stars in spite of that, because I just feel the content is super important and plus I think this one is so much better than her first. And I did really like some of the poems. Great review!

    1. I didn’t realize this was a series of poetry books! I won’t lie, the idea of a series of feminist poetry really appeals to me despite the concerns you see in these. However, the sound like the sort of trap a young poet might easily fall into, sadly.
      I haven’t read either of these yet. Does it matter which book I read first? Despite your concerns, I still want to pick these up. Poetry is so personal — I definitely want to connect with these poems myself.

      1. Oh, no, I totally feel you, Jackie! I’m so here for any sorts of feminist poetry, and even though I didn’t love this one, I still feel like it’s a super important topic to write about, so I applaud her for that! I would say you could read them in either order, but I strongly preferred her first book, so I have to recommend it over this one. 🙂

    1. I haven’t picked this one up yet, but I felt the same way you have said in this post about her writing. There is something mildly stagnant about it, particularly when you read a chunk at a time.
      But I’m still thinking I’ll pick this up because a female author who brings to light such important things should be celebrated! I find her writing great to read one or two prose at a time.

      1. Yes, exactly! It probably wouldn’t have bothered me as much if I’d read it a little bit here and there, instead of all at once. But I would definitely say still pick it up, because she does write about such important topics!

    1. When I read the review, I was reminded of a Mark Twain comment about his brother being as happy as a martyr that wont burn. It sounds like a collection of her writings would be interesting, but I probably wouldn’t want to read a second. Thanks for your review.

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