Shark GirlShark Girl by Kelly Bingham
My rating: 2/5 cats
One StarOne Star


roger daltrey may not get fooled again, but for me, it happens time after time.

dear books, please tell me when you are going to be poetry.

this is Family all over again.

this is a book about a girl who loses an arm to a shark attack. A SHARK ATTACK!! this has “me” written all over it! not because i have lost an arm to a shark attack (although it would explain my atrocious typing) – i would never go near the ocean. and why?? because of all the bleeding sharks, duh.

but i do loves me some sharks.

so i thought it would be great. but i didn’t know it was another novel in verse. like Family or Sold or Out of the Dust. what is it about horrific situations that make authors think they are ripe for poetry? this isn’t even poetry written by the shark-attack victim. this is just a book in verse, for no reason!

i run my hand
along the spines of the albums
lined across the shelves.
my finger rests on the plaid one.

dad’s last year.
i know all the pictures by heart,
and today, i’m in the mood to see his face.

but not

all those pictures

of the two-armed me.

why could that not have simply been written as straight prose?

“get out here, we’ve got lots to do.”
michael has the lawn mower
and clippers.
“bring the trash can,” he tells me.

no, friends, that is not one of the lost stanzas from leaves of grass, that is from shark girl, a book of poetry that chronicles the toll that yardwork takes on a one-armed girl.


again, this is my own damn fault, so i sorta feel bad about the two-star cat rating, because i’m sure this book has an audience that just isn’t me. it does a fine job of chronicling the transition a girl has to make in order to exist as a newly one-armed girl with the stares of friends and strangers and the difficulty of performing tasks she once took for granted, and lord knows i could have opened the book to see if it was written in verse, but shouldn’t books come with warning labels?

the boston globe claims that this is “a poetic and beautiful debut novel” which is not that same thing as saying, “hey readers, this book is in verse!”

i just want a little warning next time. i really just wanted to come home and write a review for Sweetly, but i started reading this book immediately upon finishing Sweetly, and after i finished it, i was just all rarin’ to go and rant on the internet. so this is where we are.

shark attack book. in verse.

hahahhaah i didn’t realize that was a pun until i typed it. wheeee!

read my reviews on goodreads

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