Book Review: “Sorry I Haven’t Texted You Back”

Sorry I Haven’t Texted You Back

Author: Alicia Cook

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Publication Date: October 6, 2020

Genre: Poetry; 240 pages

My thoughts

I enjoy reading and writing poems. I’ve even self-published several books of my own poems. While I admit writing them was cathartic, the poems helped only me.

The poems in the book, “Sorry I Haven’t Texted You Back” are different. Mental health advocate and author, Alicia Cook offers poems that aim to help others.

I’m happy to see contemporary poems written in this sort of navel-gazing, confessional style gaining in popularity; however, the thought that so many people share similar trauma makes me feel a kinship and a sense of dread simultaneously.

Track Thirty-Three by Alicia Cook

The Devil's making lemonade
out of my dilemmas.
I'm not antisocial-
but I don't speak venom.
It's a slippery slope,
to deny it or cope.
Won't know 'til I hit water
if I will sink or float.

The more you console me,
the lonelier I get.
I know you can't handle
the loose threads in my head
I must be something to see,
weeping under the willow tree,
trying to get out the knots
in the necklace you gave me...

(an excerpt from page 40)

Since the book is a mixtape, the poems have track numbers instead of titles. I liked that I didn’t have an idea what the poem was going to be about until I read it. Common themes are love, grief, hope, with frequent mentions of anxiety, drugs, and alcohol.

At the end of each poem, there’s a name of a song and artist that the speaker of the poem is currently listening to, which is a fun feature if you love music.

🎧 (By the way, I’m currently listening to Courage to Change by Sia) 🎶

I recommend this poetry book to:

  • poetry fans
  • readers who think that they just don’t “get” poetry
  • people who need a break from vitriol

Overall, the poems drive home the point of a popular quote going around social media that goes something like, “Be kind. You don’t know the struggles others may be going through.” A smiling face doesn’t always mean that all is well.

In challenging times like these, especially, even a quick message shows you care. It could make someone’s day!

About the Author

Alicia Cook has written 2016’s bestselling book of poetry, Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately; 2018’s I Hope My Voice Doesn’t Skip; and 2020’s Sorry I Haven’t Texted You Back.

Cook dedicates much of her life to shedding light on how drug addiction impacts the mental health of families.

She received an MBA from Saint Peter’s University and a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Georgian Court University. She currently resides in Newark, NJ. She loves her family and iced coffee.

You can find her on Instagram and Twitter.

To buy the book, visit her website or Amazon (this is not an affiliate link).

Thank you to NetGalley for an advance review copy in exchange for an honest review.

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