I’m so excited to be a part of the POISONED APPLES: POEMS FOR YOU, MY PRETTY blog tour! Author Christine Heppermann uses the power of poetry to retell fairy tales with a dark, modern twist. Thank you so much, Christine, for visiting!Poisoned Apples by Christine Heppermann
Published by Harper Collins on Sept. 23, 2014
Genres: Poetry, Young Adult
Every little girl goes through her princess phase, whether she wants to be Snow White or Cinderella, Belle or Ariel. But then we grow up. And life is not a fairy tale.
Christine Heppermann's collection of fifty poems puts the ideals of fairy tales right beside the life of the modern teenage girl. With piercing truths reminiscent of Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Hopkins, this is a powerful and provocative book for every young woman. E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars, calls it "a bloody poetic attack on the beauty myth that's caustic, funny, and heartbreaking."
Cruelties come not just from wicked stepmothers, but also from ourselves. There are expectations, pressures, judgment, and criticism. Self-doubt and self-confidence. But there are also friends, and sisters, and a whole hell of a lot of power there for the taking. In fifty poems, Christine Heppermann confronts society head on. Using fairy tale characters and tropes, Poisoned Apples explores how girls are taught to think about themselves, their bodies, and their friends. The poems range from contemporary retellings to first-person accounts set within the original tales, and from deadly funny to deadly serious. Complemented throughout with black-and-white photographs from up-and-coming artists, this is a stunning and sophisticated book to be treasured, shared, and paged through again and again.
Christine, why poetry and not an outright retelling in novel form?
The short answer is, because I’m a poet! Actually, several editors who saw the manuscript pre-publication suggested I turn it into a novel-in-verse. I’m really happy my agent connected me with Martha Mihalick at Greenwillow, who felt as I did, that the project worked best as a thematic collection. I wanted the freedom to speak in different voices, but I do think those voices echo and reinforce each other. Martha and I spent a lot of time figuring out the ordering of the poems so one would flow naturally from the other, so the collection would feel like a cohesive whole.
And my review…
While I do enjoy poetry, I also have a hard time with it, as it doesn’t always satisfy my need for a more in-depth story. But the little bites of darkness wrapped in gorgeous poetry found within the pages of POISONED APPLES more than satisfied. In fact, many of those poems were a shot straight to the heart as I suffered alongside the anorexic, the “pretty girl”, the person who never feels like he/she measures up. Each poem is a bullet, used to shatter the mythology surrounding fairy tales of beautiful princesses and princes.
See, I even get all poetical when talking about the book because it really made me think. I had to stop and consider each poem, to roll the wordage around like a fine wine, tasting the vintage, digesting the message (ahh! I can’t stop!). Short and powerful, this novel-in-verse is well worth your time and effort.
About Christine Heppermann
Christine Heppermann is a writer, poet, and critic. Her book of poetry for young adults, Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty, will be published by Greenwillow Books in September, 2014. Poisoned Apples has been called “a bloody poetic attack on the beauty myth that’s caustic, funny and heartbreaking” (E. Lockhart) and a “powerful and provocative exploration of body image, media, and love” (Rae Carson).
Christine’s first book, City Chickens (Houghton Mifflin, 2012), is a nonfiction story about a shelter for abandoned and unwanted chickens in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In 2015 Greenwillow Books will publish the first book of the Backyard Witch Series, written by Christine and Ron Koertge. The middle-grade series follows three best friends and a mysterious visitor who appears for curious adventures just when they need her most.
Christine was a columnist and reviewer for The Horn Book Magazine from 1996 until 2013. Her poems are published in 5AM, The Magazine of Contemporary Poetry; Poems and Plays; Kite Tales; Nerve Cowboy; The Mas Tequila Review; and The Horn Book Magazine. Her reviews of children’s and young adult books have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines. She has an MA in Children’s Literature from Simmons College and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University.
One finished copy of Poisoned Apples to anyone in the US/Canada
Sept. 21 – Andye @ ReadingTeen.net – Guest Post
Sept. 22 – Liza @ WhoRU Blog – Review
Sept. 23 – Jenny @ Supernatural Snark – Interview / Steph & Meg @ Cuddlebuggery – Joint Review
Sept. 24 – Hannah @ The Irish Banana – Review
Sept. 25 – Stephanie @ No BS Book Reviews – Interview
Sept. 26 – Katie @ MundieMoms – Review
Sept. 27 – Mary @ The Book Swarm – Guest Post & Review
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