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Love & Misadventure

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Poetry (2013)
Lang Leav is a poet and internationally exhibiting artist. Awarded a coveted Churchill Fellowship, her work expresses the intricacies of love and loss.

Beautifully illustrated and thoughtfully conceived, Love and Misadventure will take you on a rollercoaster ride through an ill-fated love affair- from the initial butterflies to the soaring heights- through to the devastating plunge. Lang Leav has an unnerving ability to see inside the hearts and minds of her readers. Her talent for translating complex emotions with astonishing simplicity has won her a cult following of devoted fans from all over the world.

176 pages, Paperback

First published April 26, 2013

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About the author

Lang Leav

15 books11k followers
Novelist and poet Lang Leav was born in a refugee camp when her family were fleeing the Khmer Rouge Regime. She spent her formative years in Sydney, Australia, in the predominantly migrant town of Cabramatta. Among her many achievements, Lang is the winner of a Qantas Spirit of Youth Award, Churchill Fellowship and Goodreads Reader’s Choice Award.

Lang has been featured on CNN, SBS Australia, Intelligence Squared UK, Radio New Zealand and in various publications, including Vogue, Newsweek, the Straits Times, the Guardian, and the New York Times. She currently lives in New Zealand with her partner and fellow author, Michael Faudet.

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5 stars
22,456 (41%)
4 stars
14,989 (27%)
3 stars
10,185 (18%)
2 stars
3,938 (7%)
1 star
2,473 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,838 reviews
Profile Image for karen.
3,979 reviews170k followers
April 17, 2022

april is national poetry month,
so here come thirty floats!
the cynics here will call this plan
a shameless grab for votes.
and maybe there’s some truth to that—
i do love validation,
but charitably consider it
a rhyme-y celebration.
i don’t intend to flood your feed—
i’ll just post one a day.
endure four weeks of reruns
and then it will be may!


this book has an average rating of 4.34 with 2,119 ratings. that's really high.

and it's terrible.

and i'm not one of these assholes that likes to trash something that other people like. usually i try to figure out who would like it, even if i didn't myself, because i'm just one reader yadda yadda ranganathan, but in this case, the only people i can see actually enjoying it are 13-year-old girls who are all starry-eyed over some boy. and that's fine - nothing wrong with little girls reading and writing love poetry in their diaries. but that's exactly where it should stay.

i am notorious for not knowing what happens in the Great Wide World. and after reading this book and being utterly baffled as to why anyone would publish it, let alone give it such high star-ratings, i had to find out: "is this chick on glee or something??" "is she some rock star's kid??" "is this a little mattie situation where people tell him he's good because he's, you know, terminal?" why does she have a book that people are so delusional about? so i poked around the internet and apparently this chick got famous through tumblr?? and pinterest?? and all those sites you young'uns use these days??

and i looked at her artwork, and it's pretty good

although i feel like mark ryden should be writing her a letter, because ahem


so, the artwork is fine, if a kind of watered-down and less delightfully d(m)ark ryden. but it's not good enough to brainwash people in that "oh, james franco, you want to write books now?? you want to have a cooking show?? you want to fly a commercial airline?? go ahead, superfine one, we will stand by you" way. it's not good enough to make me accept that this is a good poem:

Heart on the Line

Love is good,
it is never bad -
but it will drive you mad!

When it is given to you,
in dribs and drabs.

and it's all like that - barfy-sweet in the happy ones, emo-woe in the sad ones. and rhyming! it made me want to tear my hair out. i bought this book because of the high ratings on goodreads, and because it is an attractively-designed book, and i flipped through and saw it had some decent art, but it just really made me wince. maybe someone else can tell me what the appeal is??

Soul Mates

I don't know how you are so familiar to me - or why it feels less like I am getting to know you and more as though I am remembering who you are. How every smile, every whisper brings me closer to the impossible conclusion that I have known you before, I have loved you before - in another time, a different place - some other existence.

The Girl He Loves

There was a man who I once knew,
for me there was no other.
The closer to loving me he grew,
the more he would grow further.

I tried to love him as a friend,
then to love him as his lover;
but he never loved me in the end -
his heart was for another.


You were you
and I was I;
we were two
before our time.

I was yours
before I knew,
and you have always
been mine too.


Your hand reaches for mine.
We kiss tentatively, passionately
and then, tenderly.

You brush my hair away from my face.
"You're beautiful."
I wrinkle my nose in protest.
"You are."

am i too cynical?? it this sweetie-pie greeting card stuff what people want in their poetry? because i know shit from poundcake about poetry, really, but to me, this is a love poem:

from The Bridge: Southern Cross

I wanted you, nameless Woman of the South,
No wraith, but utterly—as still more alone
The Southern Cross takes night
And lifts her girdles from her, one by one—
High, cool,
               wide from the slowly smoldering fire
Of lower heavens,—      
                         vaporous scars!

Eve! Magdalene!
                        or Mary, you?

Whatever call—falls vainly on the wave.
O simian Venus, homeless Eve,
Unwedded, stumbling gardenless to grieve
Windswept guitars on lonely decks forever;
Finally to answer all within one grave!

And this long wake of phosphor,
Furrow of all our travel—trailed derision!
Eyes crumble at its kiss. Its long-drawn spell
Incites a yell. Slid on that backward vision
The mind is churned to spittle, whispering hell.

I wanted you . . . The embers of the Cross
Climbed by aslant and huddling aromatically.
It is blood to remember; it is fire
To stammer back . . . It is
God—your namelessness. And the wash—         

All night the water combed you with black
Insolence. You crept out simmering, accomplished.
Water rattled that stinging coil, your
Rehearsed hair—docile, alas, from many arms.
Yes, Eve—wraith of my unloved seed!

The Cross, a phantom, buckled—dropped below the dawn.
Light drowned the lithic trillions of your spawn.

and i know - it is a problematic example for a number of reasons, but that is a poem that gets my romantic juices flowing. i have never been into frosting romance. i like my romance to be all red wine and very rare meat. but even frosting should have more substance than these poems.

sorry, world, but i am not with you this time.

come to my blog!
January 27, 2014
Back when I was with my gamer ex-boyfriend, we would give each other cards containing stupid geeky poetry for Valentine's Day:
Roses are red
Violets are blue
All my base
Are belong to you.
As painfully silly as it is, that little snippet is still significantly better than the poetry in this book. At least it wasn't meant to be taken seriously. Unless I've missed something and this book is meant to be some grand satire of the artistic sort. In which case, carry on!

If you think this is good poetry:
To love him
is something
I hold highly

Like having something
so very delicious---
then being told
to do the dishes.
And you still think it is good poetry beyond the age of 9, we seriously need to have a talk. And if you are one such person on my friend list, kindly remove yourself from it posthaste.

Why the fuck is the rating so high? Suspicious...
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews169k followers
August 13, 2018
I've been reading this off and on for the longest time, but I finally made my way through the collection! I'll admit, I don't really know how to review poetry. I enjoyed this collection immensely and I definitely have the desire to pick up more works by Lang Leav. I think she depicted love in an excellent way, showcasing the good, the bad, & the straight up ugly.
Profile Image for Greg.
1,109 reviews1,844 followers
January 27, 2014

Hear the song

Love & Misadventure is a book of poetry that made the leap from self-published works available on the internet to being available in your local bookstores in a physical copy you can own, keep, love, cherish, put on a shelf, carry in your bag, forget about, read again, give away to a thrift store or whatever else it is one does with things made from dead trees.

I'm not a poet, but this book did inspire me to write this little couplet:

I cry for all the dead trees,
for these poems you died thee.

So many dead trees. So much blank space in the book, actually every single verso page in the poetry section is blank (the three illustrations grace verso pages and the traditional verso page has its usual blah blah blah stuff about publishing information). So many trees dying for the pretentiousness of blank pages and white space.

Lots of people like this book, and that is great. I can be sort of snobbish with what I choose to read sometimes, but I think it's great when people read and anything people buy bookwise helps keep me in a job so that's good, too.

The poetry is not very good. I'm not trying to disparage anyone who likes this book, but it's just not that good. It's easy to relate to because it writes about feelings and emotions that we have all probably had at times, and it does so in small little bites with enough melodrama that it feels like something most people have probably thought when they are wallowing in their own joy / self-pity. And I totally get that, I have a whole library of songs that I like to listen to and wallow in—some of which are embarrassing and some of which I'm fairly certain are good outside of the cheap emotional responses they are producing. I was going to compare this just now to Bright Eyes (to give mention to one of the embarrassing sides of my own tastes), but I'm fairly certain that Connor Oberst is a better wordsmith. But the emotional level in this book gives me the same feelings I have when a couple across from me on the subway are actively engaging in public displays of affection or are having a fight, not really something I'd choose to share with them.

As poems these are just undisciplined ramblings. Sometimes there are rhymes thrown in (ok, actually a lot of times there are rhymes), but there is no apparent rhyme or reason to when they are being used. There is no real structure to it. Rhyming in poetry gives a work structure and lyricism, something lacking in these poems. They maddeningly border on being lyrical at times, but then break apart with some borderline pretentious wordiness. Because there doesn't seem to be a structure to the rhymes in most of these poems, they come across as cutesy conveniences rather than as a limit imposed on the work to give it shape. These poems don't feel like they have been worked on, they feel like they have been dashed off and thrown out there for the world. They don't feel crafted.

I'll let the poems speak for themselves though.

Mornings With You

I slowly wake
as day is dawning,
to fingertips
and lips imploring.

The sheets against my skin,
he says,
like wrapping paper
on Christmas morning.


Solo Show

He pulls the thick woolen sweater
up, over my head.

Little sparks of static
dance across my skin.

Does it hurt? He says, running his hands
gently over my warm body.

It is your own little fireworks show,
I whisper.

His Cause and Effect

He makes me turn
he makes me toss;
his words mean mine
are at a loss.

He makes me blush!

He makes me want
to brush and floss.

and one last one.

A Dangerous Recipe

To love him
is something,
I hold highly

Like having something,
so very delicious--
then being told,
to do the dishes.

I had written a bit of an apology here about how this just isn't my thing but I get if you like it. Fuck that though, this isn't good. It's popular but so is a lot of poorly written crap out that. I try not to be a snob about things but fuck it, any negative reviews of this book are up against an army of people out to make it look like Lang Leav does no wrong. There are more than enough places you can see people gushing about how good this is, and you can feel good about yourself in those reviews. This might be art and art might be something subjective but there is still well crafted and poorly crafted art. Just because you've created something is it automatically good. You can tell me I'm wrong, but I'll stand behind what I think of this work, which Yes I did read it in its whole fairly awful entirety.

I'm giving it two stars because I also get that I'm not the audience for this. The audience for this might be bigger than the audience for anything for anything that I like but I want more from books and poetry. I don't want cute little easy snippets of just about twitter length 'awwwws'.

No matter how many copies this sells, and no matter how many followers Lang Leav has it won't change the fact that as poetry this is pure drivel and if in the future there is an equivalent of the Stuffed Owl Anthology of Bad Verse this whole book could be safely put in it.
Profile Image for Jane Kim.
2 reviews17 followers
January 20, 2014
To the reviews that basically take a giant shit on Leav's ability as a poet,

You're missing the point.

I can only speak for myself completely, but I know many people would agree with me when I say that love does not need advanced prose. If what you're looking for is sheer structural and linguistic genius, then this is not the book for you; however, often, true feelings are raw. Prose that comes from these feelings shouldn't need any gimmicks to impact the human heart. In fact, even words at a bare minimum should be able to resonate with you.
That's the point with Lang Leav. Leav has the ability to string together simple words and strike the human heart, and that's why her book holds so much appeal.

PS: I'm sorry if I offend anyone when I say this, but to be honest, I think it's a bit pretentious to look for stylistic sophistication from a genre or type of prose that is supposed to speak the words your heart could never say. In that case, you may be missing the point of prose altogether.

Profile Image for Florencia.
649 reviews1,912 followers
January 26, 2018
Oh my god, I dislike it a lot,
and I don't give a damn if it rhymes or not.

Dear Byron, Plath and Baudelaire,
Oh, Pizarnik, Rimbaud and Verlaine,
What the heck is this? I'm cursing like hell.
It was a painful experience; I need some air.

** The end **

Oh, yes. I dared.
Well. I am so mad because I had high hopes for this book. Sure, I was more intrigued by the misadventure part, but still I thought I would like it.
However, I found this:

? What the hell is that?! Unbelievable. I feel bad for that poor tree that became paper. A bit unfair, don't you think?

Okay, another sample:

Beat that, Emily D.

Let's take a look at these other gems:

Like Care Bears vomiting sugary rainbows on Valentine's Day.
And the prose poetry doesn't get any better (Sad Songs, Dead Butterflies, Soul Mates, Angels...).

Anyway, when I was 12 or 13 years old, I had this diary filled with little poems about love and unrequited love, sighs, love, prince charming, love and more pinky pink love with a pinch of girl-pining-for-guy-ready-to-leave-everything-to-be-with-him. I remember one of those high-quality poems:
"Yes, yes" te lo digo en inglés, "piano, piano" te lo digo en italiano y lo mucho que "te quiero" ... ¡te lo digo en castellano!

That means something like: “Yes, yes”, I tell you in English, “Piano, piano”, I tell you in Italian, and how much I love you, I tell you in Spanish.

Do you see the resemblance? Leav's poems are the kind of thing I (emphasis on word “I”) would have loved when I was 12. And with this, I am not saying I am so mature and such a complex and supernaturally smart person bla blasasdssdf. I love poetry, and I know that it does not have to be all pretentious with difficult words and incredible images and erudite thoughts. But, seriously, have you read those verses I just quoted?! I was expecting something more substantial. Really. For me, it can't be all about how “you belong to me and I belong to you and now that you don't belong to me I feel empty and this truck full of ice cream won't make me feel whole again”, instead of knowing that only THINGS belong to you and you don't need another person to make you feel complete because you were not born half-a-person but whole, a whole human being, so stop eating strawberry ice-cream with that delicious whipped cream on it and move on! Just saying.

Okay. Babbling over.
Anyhow... there are some chocolates here that come wrapped with little poems inside.


And I thought those were awfully cheesy. (Oh no, I am not translating that.)
If only I had collected all those poems... Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo! A better book.

I am sorry. I don't enjoy rating books with one sad star. In fact, I don't have many one-star books. I try to find the silver lining. But in my humble opinion, there is no silver in here, and definitely no lining. It is all cloudy and foggy and with a chance of rain. However, this is just one reader's opinion. A lot of people liked this book, so go ahead and find out for yourself.

* Also on my blog.
** Photo credit: Poem from Dos Corazones by Fel-Fort / me
Profile Image for Milena Wo.
11 reviews12 followers
July 7, 2013
i enjoyed every poem from this book. actually, this is a great example and a reminder for me of what my life is composed of, of random miracles in a form of sentences or people that i have encountered on my way quite accidentally. without a thought or a bigger plan. in this way i am lucky, i need to admit. lucky to hit against things and images, people and twin souls that change and mark my life, make it somehow better, richer.
this book was and still is my friend.a collection of emotions in a form of words which are with me, always. it speaks my language, the kind of language which i understand and adore. i loved it, but then, my blood is of the colour of the book, the thoughts in my head are as beautiful and as ornamental as the letters on the front side of the book. nothing in me is real or life-like, nothing serves its functions. everything serves beauty and love and emotions. just like this collection of poems.
Profile Image for Carla (Carla's Book Bits).
508 reviews125 followers
October 16, 2015
I took some time to peruse this at the library because everyone's been getting excited about it on Tumblr.

I don't really know what I expected.. Love & Misadventure just wasn't for me. Given the hype, I guess I expected to read some really insightful and profound stuff, but instead what I got was this:

"I deplore,
being ignored.
I am not a bore!"


It's not my cup of tea.
Profile Image for Jason.
386 reviews35 followers
November 11, 2013
I wanted to like this poetry collection because a dear former student let me borrow it. I am dreading the talk we will have when I hand it back to her. Maybe I'll just say, "Thank you for sharing this book with me. That was very thoughtful of you." If the student asks me what I thought of the poems, I will shoot straight with her. I will tell her that I was mainly reminded of greeting cards when I read this collection. For example, take this poem "Always":

You were you, and I was I; we were two before our time.
I was yours before I knew, and you have always been mine too.

Gag me. One of the best collections of love poetry I've recently read is Carol Ann Duffy's RAPTURE. Her poems put these to shame, although sometimes they were kind of cute. Here's "Xs and Os":

Love is a game of tic-tac-toe,
constantly waiting, for the next x or o.

See? Greeting card. Lines of verse like that belong inside a Valentine's Day card. The overwhelming majority of these poems seem like they are first drafts scrawled in a notebook by a middle school girl who dots her i's with hearts. Here's "Closure":

Like time suspended, a wound unmended--you and I.
We had no ending, no said good-bye.
For all my life, I'll wonder why.

These bite-size poems feel incomplete, like they were just Jackson-Pollocked onto the page and because they're lovey-dovey, we as readers are supposed to like them. Perhaps I am not the target audience for this collection. I was shocked to see it had such a high rating. This is just an instance of my being an English snob, I suppose.

The one poem I really like in this collection, "Rogue Planets," is a prose poem with some actual development. But one good poem in a deluge of Hallmark ones is not enough to raise this book out of its 1/5 rating.

*Note: In typing Leav's poems, I did not recreate her line breaks for speed's sake.
Profile Image for Ariel.
301 reviews64.2k followers
September 5, 2017
I really enjoy reading modern poetry, especially by poets my age and poets that start their careers with an online following, and so I was really curious to see what Lang Leav had to offer! This collection had a few poems that I dog eared, and I found some of the ideas cute or interesting, but overall it wasn't my style of poetry. I don't think I'll be picking up anything else by Lang Leav, but that's okay! Life goes on! This is probably more like a 2.5 stars for me!
Profile Image for Kimberly Lloyd.
66 reviews24 followers
November 27, 2013

one of my favorite parts:(

“It happens like this.

"One day you meet someone and for some inexplicable reason, you feel more connected to this stranger than anyone else--closer to them than your closest family. Perhaps this person carries within them an angel--one sent to you for some higher purpose; to teach you an important lesson or to keep you safe during a perilous time. What you must do is trust in them--even if they come hand in hand with pain or suffering--the reason for their presence will become clear in due time."

Though here is a word of warning--you may grow to love this person but remember they are not yours to keep. Their purpose isn't to save you but to show you how to save yourself. And once this is fulfilled; the halo lifts and the angel leaves their body as the person exits your life. They will be a stranger to you once more.

Profile Image for Mir.
4,862 reviews5,006 followers
January 12, 2015
This poetry is so terrible that at first I thought it was a joke, but apparently that is not the case.
Profile Image for Louisa.
497 reviews364 followers
June 26, 2018
What strikes me about Lang Leav's poetry is that I could have written a fair amount of it when I was in primary/high school.

He makes me turn,
he makes me toss;
his words mean mine
are at a loss.

He makes me blush!

He makes me want
to brush and floss.

*stares at floss in my bathroom* *thinks romantic thoughts* *NOT*

I like poetry. I like reading it; I like writing it; it's something I wish more people were into, though I can certainly understand why they aren't. Maybe Love & Misadventure is a ton more accessible than, say, Robert Frost's or e.e.cummings's poetry.

But it's just not particularly engaging, especially for a tome that costs a whopping $27 at my local bookstore.

My poetry professor once said that a good poem ought to have some form of metaphor or poetic sense. Lang Leav's poems are all the definition of bite-sized. They're easy to understand - a little too easy to understand. I've written poems like these myself, but I certainly expect a lot more profound stuff from a book as celebrated as this is.

Your hand reaches for mine.
We kiss tentatively, passionately
and then, tenderly.

You brush my hair away from my face.
“You're beautiful.”
I wrinkle my nose in protest.
“You are.”

It's not all bad. It's just so simple. I wasn't wowed by clever turn of words or phrases. There are some I like (most of which have turned up in one form or another on Tumblr), but ultimately it didn't resonate with me. Maybe I'll go floss later. That's about all the impact it had.
Profile Image for Jason.
137 reviews2,300 followers
August 25, 2016
I don’t normally review books of poetry because, if I’m going to be honest, poetry has never been something I’ve traditionally gotten very excited about. However, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t bumped into poems here or there that have affected me somehow, and it is usually (which is the thing about poetry, I think) not what the poem is about per se so much as it is about how it makes you feel. Which then circles back to my point about not being overwhelmed by it in general because that part of me that is supposed to be susceptible to the feeeeeeling of poetry is, clinically speaking, 90% necrotic.

But as I said there are exceptions. One of my favorite poems, for example, is T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” which even to this day I quote sections of to myself from time to time because it really is just that awesome. Of course, admitting that may out me as a mere commoner—“Prufrock” is a highly popular poem, after all. So next I’ll mention a more obscure poem, something I read once in high school and I loved it so much (for whatever reason) that I memorized it, which maybe isn’t that big of a deal because it’s a short poem, but it was a big deal to me because, remember? Necrosis.
The threefold terror of love; a fallen flare
Through the hollow of an ear;
Wings beating about the room;
The terror of all terrors that I bore
The Heavens in my womb.
Had I not found content among the shows
Every common woman knows,
Chimney corner, garden walk,
Or rocky cistern where we tread the clothes
And gather all the talk?
What is this flesh I purchased with my pains,
This fallen star my milk sustains,
This love that makes my heart's blood stop
Or strikes a Sudden chill into my bones
And bids my hair stand up?

                    —W. B. Yeats, “The Mother of God”
I actually read a lot of Yeats poetry during that time of my life and I even went to check out his grave in Sligo when I lived in Ireland, which I realize sounds rather morbid but I swear it’s a thing and people really do it.

Sorry for that long intro, but the reason I’m writing this review is because Love & Misadventure, a book of poetry by someone named Lang Leav, has been popping up on my feed a lot lately. It is one of the highest user-rated books of poetry on all of Goodreads, right up there alongside Emily Dickinson and William Shakespeare (whose poems I’ve also enjoyed, by the way) and so I thought maybe I should check it out.

I played it smart, though, by searching online for her material which, thank god I did because I would have been massively irritated if I had wasted $7.69 on this crap (the price of a Kindle edition), let alone on one of the first-edition signed copies which are going for over $300 on Amazon.

So here’s some Lang Leav for ya...decide for yourself if you think I’m being unfair:
There is a love I reminisce,
          like a seed
          I’ve never sown.
Of lips that I am yet to kiss,
          and eyes not met
          my own.
Hands that wrap around my wrists,
          and arms
          that feel like home.
I wonder how it is I miss
          these things
          I’ve never known.

                    —Lang Leav, “A Stranger”
Ack! But oh good lord there’s more:
Before I fell
          in love with words;
          with setting skies
          and singing birds—
          it was you I fell
          in love with first.

                    —Lang Leav, “First Love”
If I wasn’t necrotic before, somebody please begin the amputation before I so septic on your asses. Here’s another:
There was a time I told you,
          of all that ached inside;
          the things I held so sacred,
          to all the world I’d hide.
But they became your weapons,
          and slowly I have learnt,
          the less that is said the better,
          the lesser I’ll be hurt.
Of all you’ve used against me,
          the worse has been my words.
There are things I’ll never tell you,
          and it is sad to think it so;
          the more you come to know me—
          the lesser you will know.

                    —Lang Leav, “Poker Face”
I feel like she spends more time working on her margins and tabs than she does on the poetry. Didn’t Lady Gaga do a way better job with this material?

So then I was wondering how something that to me seems so transparently saccharine could be so highly regarded. And that is when I came across this:

That is a screenshot of Lang Leav’s personal tumblr blog, and if you have trouble reading the text there, this is what it says: “Competition time! WIN a Kindle and First Edition hand signed copy of Love & Misadventure! To enter, simply click a like on this lovely Goodreads review by Lara ♥ Winner will be drawn randomly from the list of likes and announced this Wednesday. So hurry and get liking. :)

Wow. So not only do we have a woman who struggles to write decent poetry but she actually has to fiscally reward readers for promoting her work which, while perhaps not being an illegal practice, certainly raises ethical concerns given the nature of a website whose ratings system is supposed to be based on the opinion of actual, unbiased readers. Given these alarming shenanigans, in addition to the quality of the writing itself, I’d steer clear of this one.
Profile Image for Jason.
288 reviews533 followers
January 24, 2014
The bee, buzzing buzzing buzzing like a chansaw,
stings me in the eye--

I've created a tumblr page for my poems about my owwies. Please follow!

Poetry should make us feel. This poetry made me feel tired and kind of itchy and pretty fucking grumpy. SUCCESS.

That's a five-star book, right? Minus four for the goddamn ampersand. Plus four for feeling so feely about your feelings, and getting so many others to feel. Minus four for being so cranky about what feelings people have, and pissing on other people's reviews.

Can't wait to read this!*


**not really!
Profile Image for Nandakishore Mridula.
1,242 reviews2,257 followers
August 5, 2016
Review before reading

This book I've not read, but the poetic samples provided
In various reviews, have convinced me that it's best avoided.

Poetry is such a sublime art
That the words should come right from the heart;
If forced, it would only distress impart -
And sometimes what comes out is worse than a fart.

Review after reading

Finally read this! Got a free copy
(Wouldn't spend money on something so sloppy!)
After reading this tome, I am filled with wonder
At the impossible limits of verbal blunder
A person can go to: and still have the gumption
To call herself a poet! Such pretentious presumption!
For the author of this volume thinks that stringing words together
And heaping, without discrimination, one platitude on another
Is enough to create "poetry", and to blissfully philosophise
On love and life - and immediately, the world will empathise.
Well let me say this: if poetry this be
What I've just scribbled is Epic Poetry!
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 29 books13.7k followers
Shelved as 'not-to-read'
January 6, 2016
Lang Leav
Makes many of my friends heav
Influences "include Robert Frost"
I'm officially lost
Profile Image for Rose.
1,872 reviews1,055 followers
Shelved as 'not-my-cup-of-tea'
January 27, 2014
Poetry is one of my first loves in writing, but I looked at some of the samples of the narratives from this and concluded it wasn't my thing. Too expensive of price for the quality of the poetry that's offered here.

Edit: Okay, I think I have something.

This Empty Rhyme
by Rose Summers

Interesting the weight of this book
Outweighs the words hidden inside.
For all the emotion carried within a look
You'd think it'd have nothing to hide.

If we're speaking the experience of love
What it means to be cloaked in an embrace,
Why is it that the words don't shove
Their way past the page, float in space-

Be the cup that fills to the brim, spills,
a crested wave that swallows so bold?
Surely there's more to the heart that fills
Each passing day, glitters more than gold.

When you're in love, you do more than shout
your affections to the expansive skies.
You grab it by the clutches, wring it about
Turn it on its head, fling it 'til it flies

Like a boomerang coming back quick,
Knocking you from any place you may stand.
Heavy and heady, a fog so thick
You're lost to its clutch, no longer in command.

Make me feel this, this pain yet pleasure
In the rhythm of the text with which you dance
Only here I can gain no true measure
Of what love provides you with a single glance.

It's an empty rhyme, the most empty rhyme,
A rhyme with which I do not choose to bide my time.
Because the experience doesn't make me feel like its mine,
And for all that's worth? Not any second, not any dime.
March 17, 2018
Love it!

Sundays with Michael
I hold my breath and count to ten,
I stand and sit, then stand again.
I cross and then uncross my legs,
the planes are flying overhead.
The dial turns with every twist,
around the watch, around his wrist.
Resting there with pen in hand,
who could ever understand?
The way he writes of all I dream,
things kind yet cruel and in-between,
where underneath those twisted trees,
a pretty girl fallen to her knees.
Who could know the world we've spun?
I shrug my shoulders and hold my tongue.
I hold my breath and count to ten,
I stand and sit, then stand again. (c)

You were you,
and I was I;
we were two
before our time.
I was yours
before I knew,
and you have always
been mine too. (c)

Art and Books
Without a doubt,
I must read,
all the books
I've read about.
See the artworks
hung on hooks,
that I have only,
seen in books. (c)
A Betrayal
I cannot undo
what I have done;
I can't un-sing
a song that's sung.
And the saddest thing
about my regret—
I can't forgive me,
and you can't forget. (c)
After You
If I wrote it in a book,
could I shelve it?
If I told of what you took,
would that help it? (c)
Wishful Thinking
You say that you are over me,
my heart—
it skips,
it sinks.
I see you now with someone new,
I stare,
I stare,
I blink.
Someday I'll be over you,
I know,
I know—
I think. (c)
Mornings with You
I slowly wake
as day is dawning,
to fingertips
and lips imploring.
The sheets against my skin,
he says,
like wrapping paper
on Christmas morning. (c)
Soul Mates
I don't know how you are so familiar to me—or why it feels less like I am getting to know you and more as though I am remembering who you are. How every smile, every whisper brings me closer to the impossible conclusion that I have known you before, I have loved you before—in another time, a different place—some other existence. (c)
A Fairy Tale
Start of spring;
heart in bloom;
our whisperings
in sunlit rooms.
Summer was felt
a little more;
in autumn I
began to fall.
When winter came
with all its white,
you were mine
to kiss good night. (c)
A Dream
As the Earth began spinning faster and faster, we floated upwards, hands locked tightly together, eyes sad and bewildered. We watched as our faces grew younger and realized the Earth was spinning in reverse, moving us backwards in time.
Then we reached a point where I no longer knew who you were and I was grasping the hands of a stranger. But I didn't let go. And neither did you.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I had my first dream about you last night.
Really? She smiles. What was it about?
I don't remember exactly, but the whole time I was dreaming, I knew you were mine. (c)
Before There Was You
When I used to look above,
all I saw was sky;
and every song
that I would sing,
I sung not knowing why.
All I thought and all I felt,
was only just because,
never was it ever you—
until it was all there was. (c)
Souls do not have calendars or clocks, nor do they understand the notion of time or distance. They only know it feels right to be with one another.
This is the reason why you miss someone so much when they are not there—even if they are only in the very next room. Your soul only feels their absence—it doesn't realize the separation is temporary. (c)
It happens like this. One day you meet someone and for some inexplicable reason, you feel more connected to this stranger than anyone else—closer to them than your closest family. Perhaps because this person carries an angel within them—one sent to you for some higher purpose, to teach you an important lesson or to keep you safe during a perilous time. What you must do is trust in them—even if they come hand in hand with pain or suffering—the reason for their presence will become clear in due time.
Though here is a word of warning—you may grow to love this person but remember they are not yours to keep. Their purpose isn't to save you but to show you how to save yourself. And once this is fulfilled, the halo lifts and the angel leaves their body as the person exits your life. They will be a stranger to you once more.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
It's so dark right now, I can't see any light around me.
That's because the light is coming from you. You can't see it but everyone else can. (c)
Profile Image for Isa Lavinia.
600 reviews300 followers
January 1, 2015

Is this parody?!

Heart on the Line
Love is good,
it is never bad—
but it will drive you mad!
When it is given to you,
in dribs and drabs.

A Dangerous Recipe
To love him
is something,
I hold highly
Like having something,
so very delicious—
then being told,
to do the dishes.

An Impossible Task
To try
or untry
to forget you not,
may be related
To tying,
then trying
to untie,
a complicated


This is that poetry you wrote at twelve, and you find while cleaning up your bedroom at seventeen, that makes you give up on cleaning your bedroom and on life in general.
Profile Image for Cara Durnin.
38 reviews
January 1, 2014
Some of these verses were cute, but completely shallow. I finished this book feeling exactly the same as when I started, which is not how I wish poetry to affect me. Good poetry leaves a mark
Profile Image for Anu.
365 reviews884 followers
September 11, 2016
I know I said that for a bit I would be busy,
But you all know how bad books send me into a frenzy.
I have a mountain of reviews to finish, I know,
But after reading this 'book', I just couldn't let go.
I think everyone here knows what a masochist I am,
I'm spending way too much time, trying to make this rhyme.

Now, I dabbled in poetry when I was about eleven,
Compared to this, even those poems were heaven,
Odes I dedicated to 'Spring' and 'Rain'
But Ms. Leav's poetry, I'm never touching again.
Better poems were written by Ern Goon
And he was fictitious, and kind of a toon!

I've read reviews here where people have said
That poetry is about feeling, and not about language
Respectfully, I would have to disagree,
Because badly written poetry is just crappy.
I've read Dickinson and Auden and Poe and Blake
I've read about the hills and mountains and lakes.

I've read Odes and ballads and other literary treats,
Shelley and Tennyson and Byron and Keats.
I've never read poetry so dismal,
Even my twelve-year old cousin called it abysmal.
Ms. Leav tries too hard;
She tries to use emotion as her trump card.

She writes about pain and suffering and love,
I've probably felt more emotion for a sock or a glove.
I'm sorry if you thing I'm pretentious and elitist,
Diluted literature is something I can't deal with.
Ms. Leav represents everything I hate,
In literature in today's day and age.

I thank you for listening to my incoherent ramblings,
(I am definitely not a poet in the making)
It's just that this collection was really bad,
I wanted to make fun, but it just made me sad.
My poetry, here I conclude,
Because examples of Ms. Leav's work, I shall include.


A Dangerous Recipe

To love him
is something,
I hold highly

Like having something,
so very delicious—
then being told,
to do the dishes.

Just Friends

I know that I don't own you,
and perhaps I never will,
so my anger when you're with her,
I have no right to feel.

I know that you don't owe me,
and I shouldn't ask for more;
I shouldn't feel so let down,
all the times when you don't call.

What I feel—I shouldn't show you,
so when you're around I won't;
I know I've no right to feel it
but it doesn't mean I don't.

When Ignorance Is Bliss

I deplore,
being ignored.

I am not a bore!

But it's perplexingly sweet,
and quite sexy too—
to be ignored,
ignored by you.

Time Travelers

In all our wrongs,
I want to write him,
in a time where
I can find him.

Before the tears
that tore us.

When our history was
before us.

An Impossible Task

To try
or untry
to forget you not,
may be related

To tying,
then trying
to untie,
a complicated

And so it goes on and on and on. Poetry is about feeling, but it's also about language. In fact, I would have given her the "feelings" argument if even one of her poems made me feel anything. I mostly just laughed a lot, and I laughed at her, not with her. Ms. Leav just comes off as pathetic and desperate in all her poems. And man, she needs to take up creative writing classes, because this is just bad. I feel like I could write better poems than her when I'm senselessly drunk even. She's somehow missed the whole point of poetry, because in poetry, it is the language that makes you feel.

Profile Image for Bonnie.
1,371 reviews920 followers
November 15, 2015
This poetry collection was brought to my attention when it popped up as a Nominee for the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Poetry. I was intrigued. Then it placed 2nd, getting beat out by J.R.R. Tolkien, and I was eager to get this. Thankfully my library had a copy because $9.99 for the kindle version and it’s only 78 pages? No thanks. But I wanted this very much after seeing it beat out Mary Oliver, which means Love & Misadventure HAS to be impressive, right? Except this was like sappy teenage love poems. Emo love poems. If the Lifetime channel started producing poetry collections. Really bad, rejected Hallmark cards. My single favorite of the bunch?

‘Do you know what it is like,
to lie in bed awake;
with thoughts to haunt
you every night,
of all your past mistakes.

Knowing sleep will set it right –
if you were not to wake.’

That is not a bad poem at all.

‘He makes me turn
he makes me toss;
his words mean mine
are at a loss.

He makes me blush!

He makes me want
to brush and floss.’

And that one is not. Sign of a good love? If he inspires me to keep up on my dental hygiene would not be a personal sign for me.

All of the poems in this collection are simplistic (and excessively rhyme-y) but while only a couple were beautifully written, I found the rest of them to be juvenile, immature and lacking any sort of emotional depth which is exactly what I would expect with a collection of love poetry. I found the author’s personal artwork to be a lovely addition to the overall whimsical feel of the book though.

Love & Misadventure is going to be the perfect collection for those that aren’t typically interested in poetry. Because this isn’t poetry. It’s a collection of childish rhymes. Or maybe childish poetry. Either way I failed to fully appreciate this because I like my poetry with some depth and complexity that leaves me pondering and this collection was completely lacking in that regards.
Profile Image for [S] Bibliophage.
950 reviews858 followers
February 19, 2018
These are the poems that I like on this book: Just Friends, Afraid to Love, A Way Out, The Keeper, and Jealousy. Is it me or it is just that some of the poems included here are either lack in depth or feelings?

But despite of that, I really like Lost Things

and Dead Butterflies

especially the latter. I might have enjoyed these books of Lang Leav if I am either in love or heartbroken at the moment.
Profile Image for Bennard.
36 reviews11 followers
February 12, 2014
from The Book Hooligan

I’m not really an avid reader of poetry and my expertise in the genre is minimal at best. However, I do appreciate well-written poems that I read every now and then. I remember that the first poem that I really liked, that had a profound effect on me, was Allen Ginsberg’s Howl which I read during an American Contemporary Literature class. Since then, for brief spurts of time, I read poetry whenever the inspiration to do so strikes. In this regard, I think I now have a handle on appreciating poetry.

Enter Lang Leav’s Love and Misadventures. Admittedly, I was intrigued by its hype and, therefore, decided to read it since it was short and also because I was curious as to why a lot of people were raving about it. Surely, a lot of people can’t be wrong all at the same time and that Leav’s poetry would merit such a magnitude of fame. So, this afternoon with nothing better to do, I plunged in.

What I read was nothing short of the worst poems that I have ever read in the entirety of my existence. I hate saying bad things about the books that I’ve read but I consider it my duty to turn everyone that I possibly can from purchasing or reading this book. I know that I am not offering any objective reasons yet as to why people should not touch this book so for those who trust my reading choices, just don’t, okay? DON’T! However, for those who needs more convincing, read on.

The first problem that I have is Leav’s metaphors. I am not an expert in poetry but I believe that a poet’s skill can be seen through the way that he/she uses metaphors. In Leav’s case, her metaphors leave something to be desired for they don’t just work. An example:

To love him
is something,
I hold highly

Like having something,
so very delicious—
then being told,
to do the dishes.

Leav uses doing the dishes as a metaphor for how the poetic persona feels when loving someone. I’m not sure how to even comment on this because of how Leav chose to use “doing the dishes” as a metaphor to the inner turmoil of someone in love! To me, it is just plain ridiculous and Leav, if she has any talent, could have done better. For the sake of comparison, here is stanza from Neruda’s A Song of Despair:

You swallowed everything, like distance
Like the sea, like time. In you, everything sank!

For me, Neruda used the perfect metaphors in that stanza alone and the whole poem itself is a good example in the use of figurative language in poetry. Now, a lot of people will complain that it is not fair to compare Leav to Neruda. Why not? Neruda published Twenty Love Poems and A Song of Despair at the age of 20 and it was already Neruda’s second collection of poetry. Now, I think Leav published Love and Misadventures at an age older than Neruda’s. So why did Leav’s poems seem more juvenile and pathetic than Neruda’s? Is it really wrong to compare? I think not.

Another complaint that I have against Leav is her use of punctuation. Dashes, commas, and other unnecessary punctuation populated her poems that it does not make sense at times. An example:

The scatterbrain,
is a little like,
the patter of rain.

Neither here,
nor there,
but everywhere.

Why are there commas at the end of scatterbrain, like, here, there? It’s okay, I guess, to use punctuation to denote pauses but this is just plain ridiculous. Even Jose Garcia Villa’s Comma Poems, where there is a comma at the end of every word, does not work all the time. The result of Leav’s excessive comma use has made the poem very unwieldy and painful to read.

Metaphor and punctuation use are the most pervasive faults that I have found in the book. However, the last complaint that I have about this book is the juvenile outlook that it has on love. I can’t really ascertain why I felt that way but, while reading the book, I kept thinking that this can’t be written by someone of Leav’s age. It just lacked the maturity and profundity that I always liked from other books I read that were about love.

February isn’t even halfway through yet but I may have already found my worst read for the year. Come to think of it, it is actually the worst book that I have ever read in my entire life. So please, friends and strangers, stay away from this book. If you are looking for a poetry collection to read this month of love, I would highly recommend Neruda’s Twenty Love Poems and A Song of Despair.
Profile Image for Joshua.
224 reviews
November 1, 2013
I am a massive fan of poetry. I am a big believer in words and the power they possess. So that's why when I heard that this is a book being comprised of poems, I was really beyond excited to get my hands on this paperback. But I was disappointed.

I KNOW I HAVE NO RIGHT TO SAY THIS BUT SINCE IT IS MY PERSONAL OPINION, I WILL VOICE IT OUT. Some of the poems were.... Well, some were bad. God, I feel awful for saying that but that's what I honestly think. Some metaphors were too loose, out of the blue and just wasn't right. Some arent even relevant (Again, I'm sorry, I really feel awful every time I diss a poet). Though some captured my attention (especially the poems Sad Songs and Wallflower), most of the poems felt off, and I really didn't get that feeling that I get, whatever that may be, every time I indulge myself into poetry. Maybe its because of the gender inclusions, since it was told in a female's perspective, or maybe I wasnt just in the mood, but the book felt off many times.

If youre a girl and youre reading this, pick this book up, and you might enjoy it. If youre a guy, I suggest you go pick another book.

Profile Image for Anca-Daniela Spataru.
34 reviews101 followers
April 9, 2022

“A bird who hurt her wing,
now forgotten how to fly.

A song she used to sing,
but can't remember why.

A breath she caught and kept -
that left her in a sigh.

It hurts her so to love you,
but she won't say goodbye.”
Profile Image for Becki .
353 reviews111 followers
January 27, 2014
Fuck no!!!


Time we have too much of
Time we didn't dare to care of
Time we were spilling
Time we were killing
Time we started losing
Time we started choosing
Time we began chasing
Time we dare to care of
Time we have to little of

By Miss Leavs skill level I should have been an accomplished poet when I was 15. Curse you maturity and intellectual reasoning.

You all should be honored. No one has ever clapped their eyes on this masterpiece before.
Profile Image for Abeer Abdullah.
Author 1 book286 followers
January 4, 2015
I had seen this in bookstores about almost a year ago and thought it looked interesting, I read a few pages and changed my mind and forgot about it entirely. Until the end of this year where i saw that either this or Lullaby (the author's second book) won the Goodreads award for best poetry collection. I opened it's page and saw my friends reviews, mostly 1 stars and 'oh my god how is this popular' sort of responses. As a poet (I keep deleting and rewriting that sentence, goddamn I bet a doctor never deletes and rewrites 'as a doctor' he just writes it and dosent think twice, oh well) I am not sure if poetry really is as enigmatic and inaccessible and impossible to define as I think, or if it's just that I'm too close to it to see clearly? but I have so many questions about poetry. I can barely understand my own emotionally charged experience with reading and writing it, nevertheless understand the general public's views on it. I thought up till last year that modern poetry was dying, until I had a conversation with a poetry professor who said that it was never really alive in the sense i thought it was, maybe not. Poetry is a powerful and slow art form, a masterful poem can never truly gain life till the 4th or 5th or 6th time you read it out loud. And only if you memorize it can you say you know it. That's what I think anyway.
Back to Lang Leav, I dont know who coined the term The ADHD age, but I think it's got some merit to it. short videos short article short tweets 3 second vines quick joke quick jolt, being born into that it's incredibly difficult to get your brain to slow down enough to read a 4 page poem that isnt telling you exactly what it means (I'm now thinking of prufrock 'it is impossible to say just what I mean!'), so I suppose quick, simple poetry is much more popular.
But the problem with Leav's poetry is not really it's simplicity or shortness, it says on her page that she's influenced by Emily Dickinson, who is also short and simple and Dickinson's work hits right to the core, deals with immensely complex topics and uses symbols, metaphors and smilies that draw a very lasting image of her poems, I finished this book yesterday and I swear I cant remember most of it. it felt like poetry written about a still image from a typical heartbreak scene in a mind numbingly unoriginal 90's sitcom, it felt like someone showing you a little cut they know you have too and waiting for the two of you to bond. It was so awkward to read, the form of the poetry felt like catalog pictures of what a poem should look like and I was so offended that This Is Successful Modern Poetry. But then a couple of days passed and I asked my self why am I so fucking vain? and well, it's because poetry is my passion and sometimes I think I have the right to deem certain poetry Subpar (this was sub-sub-sub par, I felt) but the truth is that I dont. I dont know what poetry is, and I dont have the authority to say this isn't. But personally, I think good poetry is a product of hard labor, the world's greatest poets work their entire lives and bring forth only two, three, four memorable poems, it is a difficult craft, it takes first an understanding of feelings, then a mastery of expression and a sense of musicality. And naturally, it wont be that easy to understand and it wont be quick but once you give it the time it will make a deep and lasting print on your very genetic make up.
Profile Image for Jareed.
136 reviews274 followers
July 7, 2014
Lang Leav should have stuck with being an exhibiting artist and left poetry to the poets, and maybe, just maybe, I might just have appreciated her bobble-head inspired works, like this:

That stung! Just like reading her poems.

Or then again, maybe not. Sorry, not so sorry.
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