Review: The Universe of Us, by Lang Leav

Book: The Universe of Us
Author: Lang Leav
Pages: 464
Genre: Poetry, Romance, Nonfiction
Published: 2016, Andrews McMeel Publishing
Rating: ★★★

Planets, stars, and constellations feature prominently in this beautiful, original poetry collection from Lang Leav. 

Inspired by the wonders of the universe, the best-selling poetess writes about love and loss, hope and hurt, being lost and found. Lang’s poetry encompasses the breadth of emotions we all experience and evokes universal feelings with her skillfully crafted words.

I’ve been a fan of Lang Leav and her poetry for a long time, but this is actually the first book of hers I’ve read cover to cover!

There are so many lovely insights in this little book. And while I’ll never cease to be amazed at Lang Leav’s ability to wield lyrical language (seriously, I don’t understand how she rhymes like she does), I must admit I was a little disappointed.

A lot of it felt forced. I hate to say it, but it’s true. I just wasn’t as engaged as I wanted to be. I found most of the poems felt repetitive and unmemorable, sometimes slipping into clichés more readily than I’d prefer. It’s also very ‘you and me’ centric, which I think becomes tedious after a while. I’m not really into romance, and this book is very into romance, or at least the aftermath of that romance. As a whole, it’s almost like listening to half of a heartbroken phone call, or those conversations we rehearse in the shower but never actually start. It’s as if it’s on the edge of something, but doesn’t ever seem to quite actually get there.

I also felt that the ‘theme’ described in the summary was halfhearted. Sure, there were space metaphors that stitched a lot of the poems together with the ‘you’ and ‘me’ personas, but it seemed a lot like an afterthought.

Overall, I really wanted to love this book, but I just couldn’t. It felt lukewarm, and I can’t love lukewarm. It was a quick read, and there were a few poems I really liked, but other than that, it was nothing revolutionary.


Note: Kind thanks to Netgalley, the author, and publisher for this book in exchange for my honest review!


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I'm Emma Kath. Welcome to my blog! This is where I post my original book reviews, litstyle (lifestyle for the lit-nerd), and other bookish things. A little about me: I'm Canadian, and currently a student majoring in English lit and cultural studies. I'm an introvert (INFJ, if you believe in that sort of thing), sarcastic to the bone, I love art and history, and hope to one day travel around a bit. Until then, I'll be reading, writing, and trying to spread a little kindness around the internet. If you have any questions or inquiries, feel free to contact me!

3 thoughts on “Review: The Universe of Us, by Lang Leav

  1. That feeling of really wanting to love something but not being able to is all to familiar. It’s particularly painful when it’s in book form.
    I like some “me-you” poems, but after too many, I totally agree that it becomes strained. It’s awkward, like seeing a couple you know argue and feeling embarrassed, like you weren’t supposed to witness it. I love this review- your shower conversation analogy is spot on!

    Liked by 1 person

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