Book Review

Chameleon Aura

Chameleon AuraChameleon Aura
Author: Billy Chapata
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
First Published: January 22, 2019
Genres: Poetry, Self Help
Pages: 288
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley


Chameleon Aura presents a harmonious blend of experience and advice through a chaptered series of prose and poetry that focuses on shared experiences in love and loss. Emboldened words and phrases capture the essence of the author’s message and distinguish his unique style. Chapata’s touching narrative celebrates humanity for their biological resilience and undeniable worth. This collection leaves readers warm with hope for growth, rebirth, and, most prominently, self-acceptance.

My Thoughts

If you’re in need of a pick me up, Chameleon Aura is the book for you. This book is filled to the brim with poetry and prose offering advice on relationships and self love. It’s a mix of personal experiences and advice for others on learning to love and accept yourself and moving away from toxic people. If you’re looking for more depth though, I’m beginning to think that the instapoet trend is not the place to find it.

“some will be intimidated by how deeply you love yourself.
you are not obligated to shallow your depth
or tame your intensity for them.”

I thought that this would be an easy and positive read, but I was surprised that I actually found myself struggling to finish. While I found several key passages that I appreciated, overall the collection felt extremely repetitive. Words and phrases were used over and over in passages that it made it all start to seem a little bland. Self love, love languages, waves, flowers, sun and moon, these phrases show up on every other page. I think the message would have been just as effective with a significantly lower page count, and that many of the poems and passages could be edited into one piece.

“there are older versions of you that only exist because other people give them oxygen, and you are not obliged to keep those versions alive to make other people happy.”

It is also clear that Chapata knows that the average instapoetry reading audience is female, as there is a lot of empowering messages disproportionately aimed toward women specifically, but not so much for men. While it’s nice to be included, it also feels like so much of the same that I read in every other modern poetry book with feminist themes. While I’m beyond happy that the core message of love, acceptance, and female empowerment are becoming more mainstream with more open support from men, I feel like it’s becoming a bit of an easy inclusion to appeal to masses on social media for shares.

It is honestly really hard for me to even consider this poetry, as a majority of the work feels like more of the same easy platitudes that are seen everywhere on media feeds. Of course it is still a decent book with a lot of positive messages for those that may be struggling. It’s actually a pretty decent first book if you’re new to modern poetry. Personally though, I didn’t find much new from this collection from the next that I see pumped out month after month.

About Billy Chapata

Billy Chapata is a Zimbabwean writer, author, and creative based in Atlanta, Georgia. Billy’s work aims to touch on the concepts of love, healing, connections, and growth, through poetry, storytelling, and narrative. Writing came into his life as a means of sustenance, self-love, and empowerment: Billy writes to heal, he writes to grow, he writes to survive. His poetically infused words, memorable lessons, and bittersweet experiences have become a point of resonance and comfort for many across the world.

Leave a Reply

Recommended Articles