Poetry Book Review

Chameleon Aura

Chameleon AuraTitle: Chameleon Aura
Author: Billy Chapata
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
First Published: January 22, 2019
Pages: 288
Genres: Poetry
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Rating: ★★★


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 Review:

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.

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 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.

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 is becoming more mainstream with more open support from men, I feel like it’s becoming a bit of an easy inclusion to appeal to the 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, I didn’t find much new from this collection from the next that I see pumped out month after month.

“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.”

I’m a Filipino American blogger, historian, and lazy writer. I enjoy books, video games, anime/manga, and smoking hookah.

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