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I Belong

Review: Poisoned Apples by Christine Heppermann

Poisoned ApplesTitlePoisoned Apples: Poems For You, My Pretty

AuthorChristine Heppermann

Genre: Fantasy/Contemporary Poems

Series: N/A

Publication Date: September 23, 2014

Format: Hardcover, 128 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062289578 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13:  978-0062289575 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin


Once upon a time…
you were a princess,
or an orphan.
A wicked witch,
fairy godmother,
prom queen,
team captain,
Big Bad Wolf,
Little Bo Peep.
But you are more than just a hero or
a villain, cursed or charmed. You are
everything in between.
You are everything.

In fifty poems Christine Heppermann places fairy tales side by side with the modern teenage girl. Powerful and provocative, deadly funny and deadly serious, this collection is one to read, to share, to treasure, and to come back to again and again.

Quick & Dirty: These riveting, captivating poems impressed me in their honesty and uniqueness. I also loved the art that went along with them.

Opening Sentence: The action’s always there.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

To be honest, I was not sure I would like Poisoned Apples. My experience with poem books in the past have been flawed. To tell you the truth, I’ve never been a huge poem geek, novels are more my thing. But going into these poems, I found myself impressed. They showed both the messy sides of the fairytales and how fairytales are alike to today’s society. It was both modern and fantastical, and I really enjoyed them. There was really funny and really serious ones, but I was drawn to both kinds. They covered a lot of topics and feelings, good and bad, black and white, and a wide range of grey area.

This review will be really short, as there isn’t much for me to cover. Poems don’t have the same sense of character arc/development or plotline that a novel has, so I don’t have much to discuss. But these poems did everything. They covered anorexia a couple times, and drugs, and obesity. They talked about fairytales, the unseen parts, like how the ugly duckling wishes she were back in the reeds and not gliding through the water with her stiff, not chatty swans. There was a poem on the dress code, on health class, and other normal, everyday things. In one, a girl lost her virginity; in another, there were haikus written for different classes. Those were hilarious. Altogether, there was a wide range of poems and I enjoyed that there was no apparent order for where the real life ones blurred into fantasy.

I really enjoyed the author’s note as well. She talked about how she was meaning for the fantasy aspect and real life one to blur together, as she believes fairytales are retold every day in different forms. A girl living in poverty might be Rapunzel, trapped in her tower, perhaps waiting for a guy to drag her out of it. I didn’t realize that she is a popular editor starting the book, but good for her. Anyway, I found the Poisoned Apples poem book to be really well done, with interesting formatting that didn’t decrease from the story, and a prose that flowed nicely.

Notable Scene:

Photoshopped Poem

Some say the before poem

had character.

This poem is much more attractive.

With the Healing Brush Tool,

I took out most of the lines.

I left in a few

so it wouldn’t look unnatural.


FTC Advisory: Greenwillow/HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Poisoned Apples. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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