Cover Image: Aphrodite Made Me Do It

Aphrodite Made Me Do It

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Member Reviews

4.5 stars

This would be a five-star work if there were more of it. 

The work, which is a collection of poetry, prose, and fantastic illustrations, incorporates a mythological perspective of Aphrodite as if she were recording and sharing her thoughts today in 2019. I love the treatment of her queer identity, her trauma, her processing of a number of life events in which she has been silenced or simply not been given a space to voice her experience, and especially her reclaiming of the voice that has been either silenced or derailed. 

I am obsessed with the illustrations. They enhance the text notably, and I found myself connecting most to them. Favorites include the protest scene, the inclusive representations of chests (some with breasts and some without - or a combination), and the Tarot additions. Mateer moves Aphrodite from a traditionally represented (mostly by male artists), relatively one-dimensional character, to a modern, inclusive representation of women-identifying folks with a variety of shared experiences. 

This is a short work that packs a powerful punch. I am dying for Mateer to create a whole series of related works. Mateer will be one I keep an eye on from this point!
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I never really read poetry. Either it's poetry in a style like this and I've let myself be told that this is not what poetry is supposed to be or it is just too intimidating. This time I decided to give it a go.

Aphrodite Made Me Do It was an enjoyable quick read; it almost felt as if I was reading someones personal journal that was nog meant to be seen. I actually finished it in one sitting and loved the use of art in this book. The way the author used Aphrodite in this poetry collection just really worked and the parts centered around her were by far my favorite. I wasn't the biggest fan of the other parts but overall it was a good read. I'll definitely be giving poetry collections like this a go more often in the future!

"All of us are survivors until we are not anymore."
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I don't know how I didn't read this sooner. This is such a beautiful poetry collection, it even has full color art! It's so incredibly beautiful and inclusive aswell. I'm ordering the physical copy right away. Thank you NetGalley and Trista Mateer for the amazing opportunity to read it!
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The one word I think I would use to describe this is pure. 

Pure magic
Pure emotion
Pure Art


From beginning to end this book is filled with so much raw emotion and you feel it all the way through. 
It's fierce, its angry, its emotional, its powerful. 

I loved the progression of this book and how it goes from Aphrodite's story and back to the narrators
and you can feel the difference in the two. Aphrodite is the fierce 'stand up straight' strong voice and with
the narrator you can feel the hurt, the fear, the hope to find someone to understand. 

And I love that Aphrodite is the one who understands.  

It is a journey through pain, trauma and finally recovery. 
In the pain it perfectly reflects the sadness and that feeling or 'whats the point' 
and in the recovery you can definitely feel the growth and its more of a 'who gives a shit' type of voice

Over all I really loved this and I'm giving it 4.5/5
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This poetry is something that I connected with on a deep level. Every bit of this was perfection, or perfectly imperfect. It was incredibly moving and it was something that I really needed at this point in my life.
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The format of this book was placed together perfectly. The writing that the author used was absolutely beautiful but, also spoke the truth in the way someone could connect. I liked how the pictures were included in the poetry. I will definitely read more of her work.
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This collection definitely had its moments. Although I felt like I could connect with some of the pieces, a good percentage felt like self-help snippets. The theme itself did not feel strong enough. 

There were some pieces that were truly relatable and made an impact on this reader. There was honesty and a raw edge, which was truly appreciated.

I didn’t understand the need for the images strewn through the collection. They didn’t seem to integrate effectively with the prose.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to read this ARC! A more comprehensive review will be posted on social media in the near future.
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I absolutely adored this book! Poetry for me can sometimes be a little intimating but Aphrodite Made Me Do It was incredibly accessible. This book does deal with a lot of difficult topics so trigger warning for rape, body image, eating disorders, death, sexual and physical abuse and queer phobia so be cautious if you will be affected by any of these topics. I am excited to share this incredible poetry book by Trista Mateer and I look forward to reading some of her previous books and whatever she comes out with next!

I received an ARC through Netgalley courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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First things first. I got this book through Netgalley and the publisher recommended buying the physical book to get the full feel of it. I thought 'well yeah, you need to sell the book, I get it but I'll be fine.' And then I read the first part. And decided I needed to get it after all. So, thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this but also: they're right. It IS different if you can actually hold it. 
That being said: this is a collection of prose and poetry about the goddess Aphrodite and the poet. It's basically a collection of thoughts "by Aphrodite" on a certain subject followed by a collection of thoughts from the POV of the actual poet on the same subject. 
I absolutely adored Aphrodite's take on how her history was shaped by society's expectations and how she went from being this worshipped, strong goddess to this vindictive, sinful one just for expressing her lust and having soft moments. The Aphrodite parts were my favourite. Mateer's personal parts weren't any less emotional or personal. I couldn't connect quite as much because (luckily) I haven't experienced the kind of abuse most of her poems were about. I did, however, enjoy the mix of short and long poems and sometimes just outright prose. Yes, they sometimes feel like journal entries but that usually makes poetry more enjoyable to me. It has a certain confessional feeling to it that I love. The reason why I need to buy the physical copy though was the digitally modified art. Yes, they looked like Instagram posts from an inspirational page but they were so well done. Sometimes so simple but I truly enjoyed them. Sometimes you only need something very simple that hits you in just the right moment. 
My favourite part was how the poems weren't just standalone poems. Usually they told a story for each of the book's section. 
Overall, quite a treat.
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I really enjoyed a great many things about this book. Characters were fleshed out and the plot was well spaced. Some of the secondary storylines could've used a bit more page space but all in all an enjoyable read!
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I don’t normally enjoy poetry, but this blew me away. The writing was surprisingly deep and spoke of topics that are tough. Recommend
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Very aesthetic poetry collection about self-care and love. Some beautiful poems, overall I feel pretty meh. Nothing bad to say, I just eh? Recommended.
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Review: Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer // Or, A Journey Through The Pain Of A Woman And A Goddess

★★★,5☆ | Let Aphrodite into your soul

"They made me a goddess of love and then vilified me for loving freely, for kissing and fucking and strolling boldly down the streets of Cyprus."

✒️ gorgeous art accompanying the poems
✒️ a dialogue between a poet and a goddess
✒️ the pain shared by women
✒️ a journey to healing and self-love

Aphrodite made me do it didn’t feel like poetry to me — and I’m not saying it in a malicious way.

It was poetic — yes — but it didn’t stricte fit into my definition of what is poetry. 

And that’s ok.

That didn’t make me like it less. 

It felt more like a combination of poetic writing style with philosophical conversations and cautionary tales.

BUT IT WAS FIRST AND FOREMOST A JOURNEY.

A journey of a woman and a goddess through their pain and their trauma.
A journey through the centuries and bodies shamed and forgotten.
A journey of women’s understanding and the fight for JOY and HAPPINESS.
Aphrodite made me do it speaks of giving the woman’s pain a voice, of bringing it out of the years of concealment and ignorance — BUT ALSO OF LETTING IT GO AND NOT ALLOWING IT TO RULE YOUR LIFE FOREVER.

The words itself were not as memorable to me as they are with other poetry collections but the message sticks nevertheless.

IT IS TIME TO SHATTER ALL THE EXPECTATIONS OF WOMANHOOD and just let yourself be happy.

After all, Aphrodite made me do it.

"But love wanted a sacrifice and I made myself one. I drank straight from the tap of it, wiped my mouth on my palms, picked up a pen, and called myself a poet."
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This was so beautiful and heart wrenching and just so empowering and powerful. 

I loved this poetry collection so much. This collection now has a special place in my heart, it just touched me and moved me in ways I didn’t know poetry could. I’m so glad I read this and experienced it. 

TW: body image, sexual assault, rape, eating disorders, emotional/physical abuse, gore, blood, death, queerphobia, fire
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I just finished reading this book in one sitting. I am always a bit nervous going into a book of poetry because you never know quite what you will be getting. On this occasion, I really enjoyed what I found. The words seemed to flow nicely and the topics discussed blended together throughout the book. I loved the element of artwork added between the pages. I would definitely pick up more work from this author.
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My favorite part about Aphrodite made me do it where are the sections from Aphrodite herself. I wasn't sure what to expect when I first read this book but it definitely does not disappoint and I would recommend it to anyone
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Aphrodite Made Me Do It is a collection of words alternating between the perspective of the poet and the perspective of Aphrodite. Relying on feminism, trauma, and love, this work reminds the reader that they are more than the bad and the good, just as Aphrodite is.

This collection has an undoubtedly captivating cover and interesting title. But it’s the meat of the work that didn’t really exist for me. The poems, especially those told from the poet’s perspective, felt very repetitive and tumblr-y in nature. There are some sentiments in this book that have been said so many times that their meanings have been erased. The author didn’t do anything new to these pieces of wisdom either, and instead opted to write them exactly as they’ve been told in a thousand different posts on the internet. This advice/ wisdom/ whatever you want to call it is, simply put, overdone and tired. Similar sentiments deserve to be told in new ways, and there was room in this collection to have done so.

Aphrodite’s parts were better, but not by much. I am tired of old myths being resurrected and I am even more tired of seeing them done so shallowly. Aphrodite is fantastic, no doubts about that, but I think either new myths should be created or the old ones should only be utilized when their stories are really being expanded upon. 

There were some lovely moments in this book, but I think overall it feels very unfinished and tired. 

I received an e-copy of this book for free via Netgalley.
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Raw and powerful, Trista Mateer’s Aphrodite Made Me Do It will sucker punch you with single lines. AMMDI brings new dimensions to the Goddess of Love while interweaving the author’s own journey of trauma and healing throughout. It is a testament to the strength of women, and it is a taking back of the female narrative too long controlled by men. It shows what being a woman really IS, independent of society’s and history’s ideologies of what women SHOULD be. Instead of being black and white, little dolls or monsters, women are displayed in AMMDI as the glorious, HUMAN grey zones they are: “Bloody and beautiful, divine and approachable.” 

AMMDI is a modern, mythological feminist book of poetry that will leave you feeling seen, healed, and loved exactly as you are. And it will teach you how to grow, how to love yourself wholly. It will show you all the complexities in love, the good and the bad. And the strength. 

AMMDI has amazing LGBTQIA+ rep which I loved, and is not afraid to get personal, tell it like it is. One line that had me YESing was, “The world was full of men who called themselves heroes for crossing boundaries, claiming bodies like prizes. The world still is.”  It’s true, and Aphrodite said it. It goes back to what I mentioned before about men writing the narrative of womanhood for centuries. 

Throughout history, women have been used as scapegoats and masks for men’s immoral behavior. Used to excuse it, dilute it, divert it. And it still happens today, in questions like, “What were you wearing?” In lighter sentences or nonexistent ones. The receipts are long and old, of men not having to take responsibility for their actions and behavior, of twisting the images and realities of women to protect themselves. AMMDI is not afraid to call it out (and call loudly for it to change) with lines like this: “They made a monster of Medusa as well. Hated how loud her trauma was. Couldn’t believe she had the audacity to not taking it lying down. They made a war-ground of her body, so she made one of theirs.”

I read somewhere that we won’t have full equality for 200 more years, and that kind of news can be really discouraging. It is books like AMMDI that continue to keep hope alive, fists raised, fires burning.

Beautiful artwork emphasizes the power of Mateer’s words throughout the book. They’re as emotional and moving as the poetry.

AMMDI will leave you feeling empowered and ready to take on the world. A solid four stars from me!

If you like poetry that strikes you right in the heart and gut, AMMDI is for you. Before picking it up, though, I would definitely urge you to be mindful of trigger warnings (sexual assault, queerphobia, body image, abuse, eating disorders, death, gore). 

** I received an eARC of this book through Netgalley (thank-you!) in exchange for an honest review. **
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This was a wonderfully crafted poetry book. I love the prose, the idea of using Aphrodite as a feminist guiding force in the narrator's journey to acceptance and self-love was unique and intriguing. The art wasn't my favourite but the layout was engaging. It was gorgeous, lyrical, poetry and I was delighted to be able to read it.
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Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an advanced copy of “Aphrodite Made Me Do It” by Trista Mateer. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

While I’m not opposed to poetry, I don’t necessarily reach for it very often. That being said, I really loved this collection. It was such an experience going through the pages. Even reading digitally conveyed how lovely the artwork flowed with the words so I can only imagine how pretty a finished hard copy would be. I found the topics relatable and heartfelt. Though I thought it would end up being a quick read, I found I wanted to take my time as I went through each section. I would definitely like to explore more of Trista Mateer’s works in the future. 

4/5 stars!
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