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  • Writer's pictureKori

Aphrodite Made Me Do It Book Review

Happy Friday, everyone! If you've been around for a while, you might know I love Fridays because they're dedicated to love and goddesses such as Aphrodite.

In honor of that, I'm reviewing a poetry book I recently stumbled upon in my library's catalog on Hoopla and instantly fell in LOVE with. Unfortunately they do not have this one as a physical copy, so I'll just have to wait until I can get my own— which I will totally be doing because this book is definitely worth rereading again and again.

What do you need? What are you looking for?

Whether it’s hope, sympathetic rage, empowerment, or to be witnessed or held, you’re sure to find it within the pages of this book!

Genre: Modern Poetry

Category: Candy Book

Want to know more about how we categorize books? See our Glossary for details.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Aphrodite Made Me Do It is a poetry collection for every fem, feminist, or fan of the goddess of love. Mateer simultaneously speaks to us about love and loss and the empowerment that can come from them, while channeling the goddess and retelling her story as a form of dedication and reclamation—not only for the goddess, but for those of us who never quite fit the mold they want to shove us into, the one they say is meant for us. It is reclamation of what it is to be a woman, including the dark and rough edges.

“The thing about embracing
your own chaos
is that it never becomes clear
when you need to

After a poem introducing the author’s voice and relationship to love, she goes on to explain a dream she had in which Aphrodite visited her and asked, “What do you need? What are you looking for?” This dream/encounter set the stage for a beautiful conversation between the two; one which holds value for anyone who would hear it.

"I didn’t forget how to fight for
I forgot that I could."

The meat of this book is broken up into chapters/sections that switch between the author’s and goddess’s voices. With this format, each:

  • Airs Her Grievances

  • Speaks on Love

  • Sings of War

Each section (obviously) has its own themes and tones, and speaks to the reader on a different level. But what’s more is that—in true Venusian energy—there's art scattered through the pages. Sometimes the art is the poetry itself, with each page/canvas being a line that flows into the next. I like that it personifies how we can all be something beautiful on our own, yet still connect to create something much larger and more beautiful as a whole. As a tarot nerd, I appreciate the cards used within this book and how they add to the story being told, like with The Fool reversed in the beginning.

“I knew love could draw blood
and still I never went into it
with bandages in mind.
I went into it with ink.
I wrote my own story
and still said all the wrong

I’d like to clarify that I am in no way an expert when it comes to poetry. I have not read as much as some book nerds, so I'm not overly concerned with things like whether or not the lines rhyme. This book reads more like a journal, but that’s what makes it feel so intimate and powerful. I enjoyed this book as much as (if not more than) Milk & Honey and The Sun & Her Flowers, simply because it felt more personal, intimate, and raw.

“I know why Eve
stole the fruit.
I know why Pandora
opened the jar.
Can you really say you don’t?”

There is a perfect mix of melancholy and hope. It will make your wounds bleed then begin to mend themselves. It hurts and heals simultaneously. I felt like this book saw me on an oceanic-deep level and spoke to some of the rawest parts of me, while encouraging me to reconnect with myself and the warrior within. I think it’s because this book opens our eyes to how/why Aphrodite and Ares fell in love—he celebrated the parts of her that lesser men wanted to rip away.

“To sing of love
is almost always
to sing of war.”

I could go on and on about why you should read this book and get copies for yourself and loved ones, but I'll just leave a link here for you instead. *wink*

But as always, I'd like to encourage you to show a little love to your local bookstore by ordering through them. Bookstores are something we all love and can agree are a beautiful addition to this world— let's do our part to keep them around!

Aphrodite Made Me Do It Trista Mateer book review

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