Genre: Poetry, Prose Poetry, Short Story
Pages: 123 (289 pages in the paperback edition)
Format: eBook (Kindle), paperback
Publication date: November 1st, 2019
*I received a free eCopy in exchange for an honest review. No compensation has been given and I write this book review willingly. A big thanks to Jonathan Bell!*
You know me, a poet myself and writer, and a great lover of the poetry in prose genre and short stories, I couldn’t resist Bell’s offer to review his prose poetry and short stories book. Plus, his publication age (he’s 15 years old!) really impressed me and his activism intrigued me, and so I wanted to help him out.
Let me tell you I don’t regret the choice I made!
It's a risky business, saying hello. In "Hello," Jonathan Bell explores themes like hope, faith, adventure, loneliness, relationships, and life itself through insightfully crafted short stories and poems that transcend traditional genre boundaries. "Hello" is a cultural commentary, a longing for something more, and a voice speaking out and standing up.
The Positive Sides:
I noticed two things right away: the wit in his verses, which is admirable, and there’s such imagery! I feel like in another world yet I relate. His texts are so personal and profound, yet accessible, and all delivered with an enhanced vocabulary and beautiful, gripping, and surprising imagery. Seriously, these points are what made the book a success to me! It made me feel the stories, the emotions, and think about the different situations. Wonderful!
It’s very pleasant to read and touching, and I like how there are subtle activist messages about environment and the human nature. They were hard but satisfying to read because most of them ring true, at least to me.
There’s something intriguing he does in his writing. I sometimes do it myself in my poetry. The author intertwines nature with the texts, making it resound with importance, as well as putting important words such as “Hope” and “Someone Else” in capitals for a touching effect.
Finally, I couldn’t wait to resume reading every day. I would look forward to going to bed to read more of his prose and poetry, and most importantly, to feel intensely. Now, I feel stuff intensely on a daily basis, but his book really grabbed me to the point I connected with his words and they echoed in me. And it was all so beautiful, I just wanted to see what was in store next, and so on.
The Negative Sides:
Despite all these good sides, there is one thing that bothers me. The introduction, which is uninterested and careless is off-putting. It’s quite a shame because the rest of the book is wonderful and enriching!
There are people who read these introductions (like me!) and this one is more harmful than fun or informative. More professionalism is preferable in this particular aspect.
As you can see, my complaint isn’t about the work itself, the prose and poetry are great. But the introduction needs polishing.
While the introduction is upsetting, I’m telling you this book deserves to be read. Thanks to its relatability, its depth and sublime imagery, I give Hello by Jonathan Bell a rating of 5 out 5! I recommend it to all readers either for a discovery of the poetry in prose genre or for an emotional, poignant read that makes you think and feel.