Title: When You Ask Me Where I’m Going
Author: Jasmin Kaur
About the book: It’s a novel written in prose and poetry with illustrations.
I received an advanced review copy from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.
First impressions: I love poetry, but I don’t read enough of it, so I was excited for this one. I like the title and cover a lot.
Content: There are so many incredible poems. Kaur keeps them short and simple while exploring complex issues like racism, immigration, etc. She is also an illustrator, and her drawings add depth by complementing the text.
The prose section tells the story of a woman dealing with trauma and trying to raise a daughter by herself. I got so invested in the characters that I was sad when the section came to an end.
“if the words do not / free you, why do you hold on to them?”
Writing: I love Kaur’s voice and style. She does such a great job of bringing words to life without watering anything down. The poems spoke to me, and I found myself rereading them.
Final thoughts: If you’re a fan of poetry, I highly recommend When You Ask Me Where I’m Going. Even if you aren’t, I still recommend it because the book is a beautiful read.
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Why is it so hard to change what I hate?
To become someone different but still okay.
Why do I always blame myself?
Never point the finger at anyone else.
How do I go on every day?
Without giving up, losing faith.
Is there a secret I don’t know?
Some sort of shortcut to take.
Have I ever seen a miracle?
I memorized these mirages though.
Didn’t let the past bring you down
Because you believed what’s done is done
Wasn’t worried about things to come
Knew you could conquer
Felt you had won
Put so much faith in yourself
Wouldn’t trust anyone else
Since they didn’t see
Every hit you took
They talked about being tired
Yet remained bad liars
So you wished yourself good luck
And walked away without looking back
I made memories,
and I’m not sorry.
If given the chance,
I’d do it again.
But I will cherish
those few seconds
because I found my faith
in the most unexpected place.
At the beginning
just getting started
inspiration in the air
got to kindle the fire
make the flames burn
into the winter
better than before
no intention to break
what isn’t broken
can’t see too far ahead
but I know
I’ll get where I need to go.
I’m closer to where I want to be
Not as far as before
I dream of a better time
I doubt I’ll ever stop
Proud of my progress
I have so much further to go
Still I’ve never shied away from hard work
I can’t help but think my time is coming
I’ll put the pieces together
Spread my wings and fly
Find all the ways I can enjoy life
While I cultivate my own happiness