ARC Review: Depression & Other Magic Tricks, by Sabrina Benaim

Depression and Other Magic Tricks Sabrina BenaimRating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Non-fiction, Poetry, Mental Health

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I have received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I had read that this book was a collection of poems about depression, love and heartbreak, and normally I don’t love poetry much, so I hesitated for a long time before getting it. Still, I’d forgotten it was a poem collection when I got this book in Netgalley, and the first poem threw me off: I’m not a fan of modern-looking poems which read like a stream of thoughts, stressful and not entirely constructed to make sense to a reader outside of the author’s head. So I glared a bit at the book and mentally scowled at myself for having gotten it. Then I kept turning pages.

And turning pages, and turning pages. The poems changed and, while the first is still my least favorite one, I started to enjoy them. Sabrina speaks in soft, quiet verses, stirring your emotions ever so slowly. My heart broke at her poem “explaining depression to my mother“.

mom,
my depression is a shape shifter;
one day it is as small as a firefly in the palm of a bear,
the next, it’s the bear.
those days i play dead until the bear leaves me alone.

The truth in these verses hit me like a soft-spoken acknowledgement. From then on, this book and I understood each other a thousand times better, and I came to love this poem best, followed by untitled (i) and untitled (ii). I don’t love the Beyoncé parts, but that’s okay. The poems in the middle of the book are my favorites, and I feel the urge to buy this to read more quietly and patiently.

I wanted to make these poems last, and I wanted to devour them. So I took several breaks to ponder and listen to instrumental music, and even then the book didn’t take more than half an afternoon to read.

This book has a sadness to it, but it’s not inherently sad itself. It’s just very emotional.

Trigger warnings: depression, anxiety.

One thought on “ARC Review: Depression & Other Magic Tricks, by Sabrina Benaim

  1. Totally agree with explaining depression to my mother poem, it’s what got me into requesting the book😍
    Great review, Naty, also we have similar tastes, your favourites are mine haha🤗.
    Did you read any other poetry book? Do you recommend any?

    Like

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