Aphrodite Made Me Do It

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Member Reviews

*Arc received from Netgalley in return for an honest review* 

It has been a hot minute since I have read this book, but it still haunts me. The poems were all rich dragging me into them and drowning me in feelings. I enjoyed every minute of it and highly recommend it to others. There are some warnings though so be prepared for some heavy topics.
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I read the ARC of this book on my phone.

Not the way to read it.
The words and the pictures that accompany it deserve to be seen in its full beauty.
After reading this book, I wish to hold it in my hand, annotate, laden it with sticky notes and come back to my favourite passages on a low, bad day.

The dialogue between the poet and Aphrodite is beautiful and insightful. The flaws of the poet, the struggles and strife contrast perfectly with Aphrodite's confidence and certainty. She has seen all there is to be seen - and she urges you to learn it too.

A gorgeous combination of light prose and pure poetry, I cannot wait to get my hands on a physical copy.
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I'm not sure what I read in particular. It seems like a mix match of strung out ideas loosely related unfortunately creating a conflicting message about love. The idea that Aphrodite, the embodiment of love, is violent was not the best metaphor at the beginning. It presupposes that love makes you do harmful things (like rape?) and partners are held accountable to your abusive "acts of love". However, the larger plot soon pans out to encompass the actual person Aphrodite might be. Her dreams and the possibility that she has agency for her own life.

Yet, this sort of concept is muddled with poor collages. Poems that read more like diary entries instead of complex, well structured pieces of verse. It's not something I would pick up to give me insight about love. I would even go as far as say this is some kind of deep fake poetry I wrote as a high school freshman. It misses the mark on multiple accounts but the generic uplifting message at the end feels like an afterthought. 

Thanks to Central Avenue Publishing and NetGalley for the advance readers copy in exchange for an honest review!

COVER REVIEW:
Absolutely gorgeous and I'm so upset the content is less than that. The way the illumination from the title colors the waves is *muwah. Well, I guess this is just a missed opportunity.
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Ah, gods such beautiful words. Love the imagery and use of greek mythology. A quick read that just keeps all your attention and focus.
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Aphrodite Made Me Do It is an imaginative collection of poetry, prose, and art that uses the greek goddess, Aphrodite, and poetry voice to uplift and empower individuals. Throughout the novel, Mateer switches back and forth between the voice of Aphrodite and the poet’s voice to represent the past and present. Aphrodite tells her story and how she was forced to be and act a certain way and helps the voice of the poet recognize her strengths by not letting her settle or be controlled by anyone in her life. Addressing topics like love, heartbreak, trauma, being in tune with one’s own thoughts, and speaking your truth opens the reader’s eyes to Aphrodite’s message of believing in your own healing.
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the book, it was interesting and so detailed and beautiful. I loved how Aphrodite was her own character in her own sense I could imagined her in my mind interacting in all of her parts. I really loved the tarot cards and all of the illustrations that were featured in the book that make that more interesting as it wasn’t just a book with a powerful message the pictures helped elevate the message much more clearly and beautiful. 🐚
🐚The story it self was a one of a kind story that you are fully involved with as the poet and Aphrodite are interacting with each other. And the writing style of the author is where I have to give bravo to them as it knocked the story out of the park with there wonderful writing that keep the book going and. I wanted to read more as I didnt wanted the story to end at all.🐚
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Wow, this absolutely blew me away. This poetry collection is about pain and tragedy and hate and assault and surviving and I LOVED it. 

"I belong to no one. They never wrote that part down."

Trista's voice is intense and poetic; this is probably one of my favorite new poetry collections of the year.
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How many times have your heard the phrase “you have always been enough”?! Enough! I also had enough of the "books of poetry" which does not rhyme and which you could finish within 30 minutes (or less!). I guess the one and only target market of such books are teenage girls around the world. Topics covered: love of self, men, broken heart.

"Aphrodite Made Me Do It" is better than "Milk and Honey" - the author is not as self-centred as Rupi Kaur. And what a cool cover.

Many thanks to @NetGalley and the publishers for access to the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Aphrodite Made Me Do It is a collection of prose-poetry, framed as a conversation between the author and Aphrodite, goddess of love, sex and beauty.

The author uses this dialogue to explore ideas of womanhood, and womanhood in relation to the ideas that the goddess represents: pleasure and pain, love and sex, beauty and the gentle, suffering female.  Scattered between the explorations of weighty emotions are lighter notes, in the form of motivational quotes and illustrations, linked to the theme of that section.

This is not a representation of love as romance – all hearts and flowers and frilly words.  This is love borne in blood and sacrifice, enduring and often painful.  Here is also rage and sorrow; at the limitations and restrictions of a woman’s given role and taken rights; at the expectations heaped upon the female form and spirit; of the false representations used to define womanhood and thus control it.

Gradually, the poet (and the goddess) moves from righteous anger and grief to acceptance, forgiveness and a strength to move forward into a more hopeful future, both individually and as a species.  The feeling and expression of strong emotions acts as the healthy catharsis that can allow poet/goddess/woman to open her heart to the peace, self-love and joy that she deserves.

Reading as a glimpse into the private thoughts within a self-care, healing journal, Aphrodite Made Me Do It is a survivors story that speaks to women everywhere, in fierce and loving tones.

 

She says there’s some dispute over the reason for our creation but that it definitely wasn’t to be gilded objects.
She says, if you were only meant to be beautiful, we wouldn’t have put you down here in the dirt.

– Trista Mateer, Aphrodite Made Me Do It


Review by Steph Warren of Bookshine and Readbows blog
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I'm realising now that poetry and ebook just don't work for me. I don't feel connected to them. I did enjoy this, but being an ebook, I found it harder to want to keep going. I'd definitely purchase a physical copy of this, however, as I do think I'd get more from it that way, being able to highlight and annotate.
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5/5 Stars

I received an e-arc from net galley for review and I did purchase a final copy of the book. I started reading the arc on my phone and really loved it. I ended up finishing by reading the physical copy but I thoroughly enjoyed this collection. What stands out in the collection is instead of illustrations that are in a lot of collections, is images with stuff imposed over them. As someone who is bi-sexual I did appreciate that she talked about how the people she knew would mock her about whether she has picked a side. Although later on the author refers to themselves as queer but I appreciate the nod. Themes of getting over a relationship, dealing with negative influences and the fear of what people will think of something that is not the norm. I really want to go back and read the author's other collections and looking forward to future ones as well.
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An interesting concept for a book: not quite poetry, not quite prose, not quite instapoetry. 
This book combines pictures with text and poetry/prose, alternating points in which the author talks to herself  and in which Aphrodite talks to the author. 
Another interesting point is the view on mythology and the narrative the author spins on it.
Overall a book I would recommend. 
Thank you NetGalley for providing it .
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This was beautifully written and inspiring. I learned a lot about Aphrodite which i’m glad was mentioned in this collection.
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This is rather generic personal poetry interspersed with artwork by the author. The poems alternate between Aphrodite and the poet herself in terms of who the speaker is supposed to be. Lots of difficult subjects are touched on like sexual assault. There were a few poems that I was pleasantly surprised by, but most were the sort of Tumblr and Instragram Lite poetry that's big right now.

An example poem:

We thrive best
like gardens,
not singular plants
in lonely pots.

Some people will no doubt love this book, as it speaks about subjects and feelings that connect many of us. I would prefer if it spoke about them more poetically and with fresher use of language.

I read a temporary digital ARC of this book for purpose of review.
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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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