Aphrodite Made Me Do It

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Member Reviews

The only reason I am not rating this 5 stars is that some of the texts weren't my favourite but I think this book has a really important message. 
This is about love. And all that love stands for. The fear, the abuse, the trauma, the happiness, the overcoming of everything. It is about you. Learning how to be yourself. 
It's a short book that has been made to be appreciated, it was made for annotations and highlights and thoughts. It is poetic and inspiring and takes you on the journey of becoming. If you want a short book written in a mixture of poems and narrative texts about love, being a woman, trauma and overcoming it, read this book. 
I will definitely be reading other books from Trista Mateer and that's all I had to say.
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I've actually read Aphrodite Made Me Do It twice now, on account of the fact that I absolutely flew through it the first time, and my brain was too busy processing to fully flesh out any kind of review. The second read definitely helped on that front, and I had the added bonus of getting to reflect on the collection in greater detail.

"They want you to believe love is weak, that you cannot curse and kiss with the same mouth"

I knew almost immediately that I was going to adore Aphrodite Made Me Do It. I think we can all agree that the cover itself is pretty much a giant beacon promising great content. And boy does it deliver on that front.

"Love knows no face. Love knows no gender. Love knows no sexuality. Love knows only love."

This is the kind of book where you start reading and suddenly you find yourself, to your own disappointment, mere pages from the end. From start to finish Trista Mateer gives us a gripping, uplifting and profoundly emotional read. My only possible complaint of this one is that it was finite, because every page spoke to me on such a level that coming to the end felt like such a huge disappointment. Thankfully, you can just flip right back to page one and start all over again. I can personally attest to enjoying it just as much the second time around.

"Nothing that came before matters unless you want it to."

Aphrodite Made Me Do It isn't a traditional read, and I think by essence it appeals to anyone who's ever felt nontraditional. It celebrates differentness, inclusivity and diversity. More than anything else, it promotes love. And my god it does so beautifully! Mateer's mixture of prose and poetry is seamless and works perfectly. I was a little unsure about the swap in narrative between her own life and that of Aphrodite, but the end result is an even more poignant final product. The moment where you may feel unsure as to who you're focused on feel all the more powerful for it. It's a book that is applicable to so many people for so many different reasons, but in turn makes each experience feel deeply emotional for the reader. For many it's probably a hard book. But ultimately leaves you with the understanding that it was a book you needed to read.

"Even a match remembers the moment before it was struck."

Almost every page of my copy is highlighted. Every section delivered me a quote or idea that resonated with me. Every poem, prose or art left me with that urge to print it out and paste it on my wall, to read every morning. I can't think of a single person I like who wouldn't resonate with this book, and I can't think of a single person I don't like who wouldn't benefit from reading it. And on top of all that, its downright aesthetic. The art and photography are exactly to my tastes, and the overall colour palette is so pretty. The art feels very current, a mixture of diary style  illustrations, and stunning photography. Every element feels so thought through, and the result is a really beautiful thing to behold.

"We use labels to help explain ourselves to others. They don't define us, we define them. [...] Language evolves and revolves around you."

Can you tell I've entirely obsessed? If you've been wondering why every paragraph is interspersed with quotes, its because I tried to narrow it down to a couple I loved most and I came up with at least twelve. So naturally I compromised with a healthy six. I'm about five minutes away from buying Trista Mateer's entire bibliography and reading on repeat. I can say without a doubt say that Aphrodite Made Me Do It is a new go-to for me. I'll leave you with this final quote, which is definitely a competitor from my favourite:

"If you were only meant to be beautiful, we wouldn't have put you down here in the dirt."
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There was something really crafty and dreamy about this book and poems. Sometimes I felt I was a little too old for them, but enjoyed it no matter what.
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This was nothing like what I expected. First of all, poetry. I forgot about it when I read the description and when I started it, I was really confused!
BUT. But, it was so good.
I connected with this so much more than I expected. It was really aesthetically pleasing and powerful. 
I think this will be a perfect quick read for fans of The Handmaid's Tales, because it was really a big quote to put on a gravestone. Or to shout to the world, you pick!
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I. ABSOLUTELY. Loved. This. Book. 
I've been a fan of Trista Mateer for awhile and this book was definitely NOT a let down! Amazingly moving and incredible poems told about and through the eyes of the goddess Aphrodite. I honestly loved this book so much and had a bit of a book hangover after reading it! A book I will absolutely be visiting again in the near future!
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ARC received from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All of my opinions are my own, and are in no way affected by the exchange.

I really wanted to like this. I thought that the premise of a poetry collection told from Aphrodite's perspective was going to be amazing. Unfortunately I did not connect with a single one of the poems in this. It feel both very over the top and not flushed out enough. I really enjoyed the pictures however. The illustrations were fantastic! I loved the art style and I found those more impactful than the words on the page.
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I love the concept of Aphrodite just appearing to the author in a dream, at once an enemy and a friend. It was a great idea with some really powerful images and moments, but it lacked depth overall.
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This was my first book by this author, It was pretty enjoyable. I would give this book a 3.5 star rating! It was a pretty Quick and easy read!
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Thanks to Central Avenue Publishing and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review. 

I'm not really a poetry girl but I automatically request anything Classics related, no matter how tenuous the link.

The book was a mix of reflections, self-help ponderings and affirmations about topics as varied as desire, lost love, abuse, LGBT issues and sexual assault that all came together into something rather beautiful and powerful. 

The Aphrodite parts were the standout for me but overall I just really enjoyed this although I'm a total newbie when it comes to poetry.
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It’s a first-time reviewing poetry on this platform for me. However, I am more than happy than it is with Trista Mateer’s poetry. Her book, Aphrodite made me do it, intertwines the story of the goddess of love with the one of every and each woman. Through it, you discover how to survives the world and how to heal from wounds older than you, such as injustice made to women and discrimination, abuse, fear of rejection or heartbreak.Essentially, what is surprising and what really resonates with me in the writing is this ambition to write the common and the daily life as sacred spaces and moments, as many possibilities to found yourself and to heal. The real world, just as the world of myths and goddesses, becomes important and magical, sublimed by the person who live in it.
By unraveling the story of Aphrodite, Trista Mateer wants to show how empowering taking back your own narrative can be. She interrogates, meddling with past and present, ancient and resolutely modern, how history is rewritten by the “victorious” and the ones who benefit from the power dynamic.
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I’ve read most of the books written by Trista Matter and “Aphrodite made me do it” is my favourite of all.

It’s a beautiful collection of poetry and prose and reading it feels like checking the author’s art journal, because it has illustrations and photos with messages... and it’s so gorgeous!

And I love how it deals with topics such as feminism, body image, sexual assault, abuse, queerphobia, trauma, healing and self care.
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WONDERFUL. I'm not sure this collection of poetry will be for everyone but for me it was great. I think sometimes poetry falls into our hands at the exact moment we need it. I LOVED this whole collection and the images just enhanced the experience. Aphrodite Made Me Do It deals with a lot of tough topics in a beautiful way.
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A wonderfully magical collection of poetry and prose!
Mateer manages to not only re-write Aphrodite in the modern lens but gives her a voice so powerful and succinct I found myself highlighting phrases of the book every two seconds.
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I received an advanced copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

2.5/5 stars

This collection was thought provoking and parts of it were very well crafted. I highlighted certain lines as they spoke to me, but I think that my overall issue with the collection was that I liked parts of it and not all of it. As a whole, I didn’t feel like it flowed well and consistently.

That doesn’t say that it wasn’t well written. Parts were eloquent and edgy, and I really did enjoy reading that. I liked the blend of artistic pictures combined with the poetry and writing, and it made for an engaging read.

This is a review written for a book outside my comfort zone. I don’t read a lot of poetry. I don’t go crazy for Milk and Honey or much modern verse, and I don’t really write it. So this is the review of someone who went outside of their comfort zone to read a book written by and for women. 

I give it a 2.5 out 5 because it was between a “meh” read and an “I liked it” rating. It may just be personal belief and personal opinion that this book wasn’t a stunner for me. I did enjoy the idea of it and certain lines, and feel like this is a book one would have to read themselves to form a full opinion of.
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This read was beautifully written and made me as reader pause and soak in every word. I truly enjoyed this author's writing style and look forward to seeing her name more in the future.
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The writing didn’t mesh well with me. I found myself getting utterly lost in the text and not in a good way. Should’ve went through at least another round of edits. But the actual premise was interesting.
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To be perfectly honest, I knew little to nothing about this book going into it. From a very broad blurb and someone else's review, I formed this idea of a novel where the protagonist is encouraged by Aphrodite to give love another chance. In a way, the theme is still there, but the book proved to be so much more, using poetic prose and mixed media.  Mateer's style of poetry is very reminiscent of the 2010's tumblr era, which made me relate to her writing even more. 
Mateer's achieves the perfect balance between acknowledging trauma and rising above it, and has found a way to deal with very difficult and triggering issues that does not make you want to look away. This is a book I didn't know I needed and one that I read at the perfect time. I expect I'll be re-reading this whenever I need reminding of some very important lessons. 

Thank you to netgalley, Central Avenue publishing, and Trista Mateer for providing me with an e-arc copy of this book.
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I don't know why I keep doing this to myself. I want to give young, new poets a chance and I am always looking for new talent, but every time I try them out, I end up disappointed. I think it's great that so many people can turn to writing to express their thoughts, heal from their pasts, and fight for social justices. But this new wave of poets and their poetry seem to read more like diary entries or Instagram posts than poems.

I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.
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I’m usually torn when it comes to modern day free verse poetry, and this collection is no exception. 

On the one hand, I mean, just look at it and read the synopsis. It features thoughtful utterances about personal growth, trauma, and loving yourself and others, presented in parallel with the myth of Aphrodite and in conversation with her, which is such a cool concept (I’m a big mythology nerd so giving Aphrodite her own voice for once is really nice). The book also features some very nice art work in a sort of scrapbook style, which I really liked. The collection is also in part the author's vehicle for expressing herself and reflecting on her experiences, feelings, and traumas, which she does admirably. The themes that she talks about are highly personal and relate mostly to her own life, but are also universal in a way, meaning that many people will relate to at least parts of the work and recognise themselves in the verse. 

On the other hand, the poetry itself feels a little contrived and perfectly fits the mold of pseudo-psychological self-care posts online that are written in a kind of internet poetry format, which I (an English literature student fairly uninitiated in modern poetry) struggle to truly appreciate in the way it probably deserves. I know that this type of poetry is very popular online and among millenials and this is the way in which the poet has chosen to express herself and I respect that, but it just doesn’t speak to me that much. I guess that when it comes to poetry, I am still quite an inexperienced and conservative reader. Additionally, although the themes seem universal (i.e. love, abuse, anger, heartache, etc), they are just not universal for me. These are not generally topics that I relate to, though that is certainly more to do with me than with the author or this collection. I am just not exactly the right person for this book.There are many people that I think this book will be perfect for and that will relate to it and adore it, but I am not one of them.

Having said that, there are some poems and parts of the collection that I enjoyed very much. I adored ‘modern hymn for myself’ and the entire three of cups section that followed. I made a bunch of screenshots of sentences and poems that spoke to me or that I thought were particularly interesting, just so that I can easily find them again. As I mentioned before, I also really liked the art pages that were interspersed throughout the book. Overall then, this was a pleasant and quick read, although my enjoyment of it was somewhat diminished by my inability to fully relate to and appreciate both the format and the subject matter. 

3.5 out of 5 stars
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This was such an incredible collection of poetry and prose. I could not put it down once I started it. Trista’s words have the ability to make you feel so many emotions at once. This collection was extremely powerful and beautiful. 

I know that I will be purchasing a final copy as soon as it comes out, but I am extremely grateful to have been given an advanced copy. I will now be shouting about its greatness to all of my friends- poetry loving or not. 

If you yourself are not a big poetry reader, this is a great place to start as it is a quick read and contains lots of prose as well. 

I am still in awe of how amazing the words on the pages were, and I could only hope that one day my own collection will be as eloquent as this one. 

Adding it to my shelf of favorite poetry books right away.
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