Book Review – Verbal Vomit and Other Poetry and Prose

Verbal Vomit and Other Poetry and Prose by Stephanie Lamb

Stephanie’s Instagram: @stephanielambpoetry

The Amazon link

I read this book in paperback. This is an unsolicited review.


What I Loved:

I’m not sure how anyone could equate Ms. Lamb’s intensely beautiful writing to “vomit” and yet that’s just what she has done. She writes some of the most heart-wrenching, incredibly gorgeous poetry and prose I have ever read. Definitely not your run-of-the-mill “Insta-poet”; no, what we have here is some exquisite free-flowing work, mingled with nature and indeed the cosmos itself.

When I read her work, I feel it, deep in my bones. It’s like I have known her all my life and have never known her at all. It’s exploratory while feeling like home. To be honest, I’m not sure how she does it, but it’s magnificent.

It’s a smaller book than I prefer but at just over 100-pages, it’s a good break-in to her work.

What I Didn’t:

I hate to pick on a book with such incredibly elegant writing, but this is a review of the entire book, and so I must be true to the analytical reviewer part of me, without remaining solely in the drenched soul of poetry.

For me, I didn’t care for the general “look” of the book. The front cover didn’t work for me, feeling incoherent and sophomoric. The colors and background image, and the title, weren’t the problem, more the fonts/sizing. It just doesn’t fit the delectable inner parts. With work this good, I need the cover to reflect the artist within.

Inside there were other amateur publishing faux pas which made it harder for me to stick with it. The font, which I liked for the poetry, was too large as if trying to fill up the space. There industry standards and this was larger than that standard. The prose, with all its impressive and pleasing imagery, needed some breaks to give the eye a break, the heart a small rest, in between thoughts.

There were a few minor punctuation and editing errors but they were few and pretty easy to dismiss.

My Favorite Bits:

Oh goodness. Don’t make me pick!! Not with this author! Her prose pieces are out of this world amazing. “Lonely Nights”, “Fickle and Feverish”, “Moonbeams and Beautifully Broken Things”, and “Vagabond Soul” could have all been ripped right from my own soul. Subjects of love, loneliness, longing… all my own common themes.

And then there’s the poetry, so many that remind me of.. well, me. My thoughts and struggles and triumphs. She writes with such heart, I am swept away.

My Overall Score:

4.0 stars

(1/2 for the cover, 1/2 for awkward editing/formatting)

Final Thoughts:

Ms. Lamb has presented us with a lovely flower, though one I feel should have been finessed in the editing and publishing arena. There were cringe-worthy issues in the book that screamed “non-researched, self-published” though the book was actually put out by a small-house publisher, as I see by the copyright page and logos. It was the editing and formatting which was the only downfall for me. The actual writing itself is absolutely superb and I quite simply adore (darn near idolize) the author.

Regardless of all the other stuff, I will happily pay for any future books I am sure she is going to put out because man-oh-man can this woman write. From here, I see her going straight to the stars.


I will also, as a side-note, say, it may seem that I am harsh on many writers for their editing, formatting, grammar, punctuation, etc. I do so unapologetically. One, because this is a review, not a popularity contest. Two, because honest criticism should help us grow as artists.

The fact of the matter is, these things MATTER. A mathematician must use his tools and use them correctly to be an effective mathematician. A surgeon cannot simply say, “I know I can’t sew the wound closed but at least I could remove the appendix or whatever it’s called.” Same with writers. We can’t claim to be writers but refuse to use proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. We can’t claim to be a photographer just because we know how to push the button on the camera (or phone). There’s an art to it.

So while I may appreciate the artist as a person and their words, I believe that it does us all a disservice to say lower quality editing is okay. Believe in yourself! Believe in the power of your words! Put the effort into being the very best you can be. Ask for help. Grow and learn.


Read more book reviews by following my Review Category.

be a good writer: read.
~tara caribou

**If this review was helpful or you’ve read it and want to add to the discussion, please let me know in the comments!

9 Comments on “Book Review – Verbal Vomit and Other Poetry and Prose

  1. Constructive criticism enables us to grow, and yours doesn’t put me off the book. Good writing is good writing. I often think that writing is the easy bit for an indie author.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, Chris. And the writing is just part of it. I will still highly recommend it to anyone who loves unrequited love and love and nature poetry. She’s an amazing writer.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Benjamin and I agree. These days art and writing seems to be a popularity contest, stroking egos, and criticizing unfairly those who seemingly threaten to topple one’s pedestal. That’s not to say there aren’t differing opinions. Or styles. I can only be true to myself and my art. Any review is just that: an opinion. And that’s why I am careful to explain my rating in detail. So that you can decide for yourself. Thanks for all the support and reading!

      Like

  2. You’re the best, Tara. I regret that I didn’t see this sooner. Thank you for an honest review. I know some people don’t take it too well, but the constructive criticism will help me grow as an artist. Any pointers are always welcome. I appreciate all you do. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I honestly can’t wait for your next book because if this is how incredible your first book is…. damn! It’s gonna be amazing. I adore your poetry.

      Admittedly, I am a harsh critic which is why I explain my ratings and how I score as I do. Then if someone reads and say “oh that’s not a big deal to me”, then they know the rating would be higher. Believe me, I’ve got some texts and emails regarding people disagreeing. But as you and I have discussed, it’s not a popularity contest. I have received some criticism for my work. Some I took to heart and some I disagreed with. The thing is, how will we grow if everyone is tip-toeing around saying what we “want to hear” rather than the truth or perspective.

      For instance, I have one critic who constantly says my work is “just okay” or worth the “garbage bin”… yet she continues to read my work, which I don’t understand… if I don’t like something, I quite reading 🤷🏼‍♀️. But she has a right to her opinion. I just think it should come with WHY she doesn’t like it, rather than just saying she doesn’t. But again… it’s all opinions.

      I will continue to recommend you and your work. I believe in you! 💕

      Like

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