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Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  4,905 ratings  ·  1,016 reviews
Every little girl goes through her princess phase, whether she wants to be Snow White or Cinderella, Belle or Ariel. But then we grow up. And life is not a fairy tale.

Christine Heppermann's collection of fifty poems puts the ideals of fairy tales right beside the life of the modern teenage girl. With piercing truths reminiscent of Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Hopkins, t
ebook, 128 pages
Published September 23rd 2014 by Greenwillow Books
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Mckenzie Also Marilyn Singer's books of reverso poems are amazing. They include mirror mirror, follow follow, and echo echo.

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3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,905 ratings  ·  1,016 reviews

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Emily May
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Emily May by: Sara Zarr
Feminist poetry!

I was surprised by how much I liked this book. To be honest, I was seduced by that cover and the fabulous title and didn't really expect it to hold that much substance. But, after a slightly shaky start, I found myself wanting these poems to go on and on.

Heppermann retells traditional fairy tales, legends and even biblical myths in her poems, incorporating metaphors for all the issues teen girls face - insecurities, sex, misogyny, eating disorders, etc. The poems were dark and ex
Nov 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, my pretty, you compelled me!

I had no clue poems could be so exquisite. What a reading experience! Some are mystically poignant and can leave you holding tightly to something. Anything.


They can also steal your breath away, is what I discovered. It is not that I had never read a poem in my life, but I had never found myself doing it for my own pleasure and, at the same time, realizing how they could truly affect me.

What I fool was I to ignore all those collections of poems I strongly heard of
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
I really enjoyed this! It was an interesting little read full of gripping poems & stunning photographs. feminist poetry ftw! While I enjoyed most of the poems, there were a few that we're just too all over the place for my liking.
This poetry collection takes a honest look on love, sex, food, and bodies. And it does so with dark, unsettling imageries that ultimately made it so unique.

Though it was brilliantly exceptional and bizarre, it ultimately failed to impress me save for a few poems:

If Tampons
Were for Guys

“Of course there are no pink wrappers,
only camo.
Forget Gentle Glide and pictures of pearls—
the box reads Smooth Ride across
the hood of a bitchin’ red Porsche.

For pads with Wings, Kotex shows jet fighters.
For Heavy
Steph Sinclair
Christine Heppermann handles female issues in such a unique and interesting way in Poisoned Apples. Her poetic style is quirky, witty and deeply real, highlighting numerous problems with gender inequality girls face throughout their pubescent stage into adulthood. Keep in mind, however, that she also somehow manages to infuse these with classic fairy tales we grow up on. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood and other themes like Prince Charming are merged with issues such as sex, ...more
I'm sorry to say but I wasn't at all impressed by this.

Feminist poetry and fairytale retellings are totally my thing, so I should have liked this. But out of the fifty poems, I think I really enjoyed only two.

My low rating here stems from what I think is a lack of originality in the poems. The ideas felt regurgitated and cliche. The author talks about how women are portrayed in the media and how women are taught to view themselves, incorporating eating disorders and self-harm into the mix. I fee
⊱ Poppy ⊰
DNF @35%

I just couldn't take it anymore. This, this is not a poetry, but What was this????

Whitney Atkinson
DNF at 70%.

This book wasn't bad, it just wasn't good. The fairytale theme became quite artificial and forced, and nothing really connected with me because it all rode on clichés. This discusses important topics like eating disorders and sexual abuse, and the photography in it was gorgeous, but compared to poetry that discusses the same topics, it's really not special at all.
Never has it been a more appropriate time to read some feminist poetry (bless the goddess of perfection that is Emma Watson). Well-written feminist poetry based on fairy tales and interspersed with black-and-white photos! They're all relatively easy to digest, but I had to go back and reread the whole book just because they're so subtly hard-hitting.

If the source of inspiration doesn't intrigue you, maybe this will:

Sleeping Beauty’s Wedding Day

After the kiss and the trip to the castle comes the


Sorry, but this was just plain bad.
I have a big big problem with "modern" or "postmodern" novels/poetry of such kind. I refuse to acknowledge it as sophisticated literature, I am not sorry, this is my personal and very subjective opinion. Many love it, and it's fine, but I personally hate it. I have tried to read various works, and no, we don't get along - such writing and I.

In order to make sense and to create beautiful imagery one has to write at least slightly longer and most definitely bet
Paige  Bookdragon
Look at the cover. Isn't it gorgeous?


Now, I almost gave this book a two-star because (my fault) I thought this book is a poem about fairytale retellings in a morbid contemporary way. Which in a way, is correct. But this book consists of poems that talks about feminism that infuses fairytales, so I added one star in my rating.

It is amazing isn't it? But I got the ARC of this book and (my fault, really) I was expecting a different kind of poems. I'm not a poem expert seeing that I love haikus like
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three and a half stars.

This is a super-quick read! I zipped through it in one evening.

I really admire the raw honesty and insight in these poems. Some of them feel desperately, frighteningly true to what it must be like to be anorexic. And they all hit hard on the body messages all girls are bombarded with -- that our bodies are always flawed, just because they're female bodies. Luckily, there are also some humorous notes to break up the grimness, so the book as a whole doesn't feel too heavy
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love poetry. And not just the classics like Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman. I also want to explore modern poetry so when I stumbled across this little book (really, it's tiny, 50 poems on 110 pages), I had to give it a try.

First things first: this collection is AMAZING. Really.
Christine Heppermann manages to combine fairy tales with poetry AND modern-day topics. The first poem, "The Woods", introduces the theme of this book best when saying "... No need for a bunch of trees. You can lose you
Rebecca McNutt
I bought this thinking that it would be a fantasy novel, but what it really turned out to be was a poetry anthology of self-esteem stuff for girls.


I don't have a problem with that at all, and this book might be really helpful to some readers, but if this book is about girls' self-esteem in general, then why are their so many poems about eating disorders? Binge-eating, comfort eating, anorexia, bulimia, starvation, obesity - it almost made me want to binge-eat the book just to get rid of all the
Apr 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This poetry collection is AWESOME. But what makes it even more excellent, aside from the content (these are feminist fairy tales), is that this is a mixed media work. There are really intriguing photos to accompany the poems.

I read an advanced copy and need to pick this up in final form to see the photos at their best.

More to come.
Aug 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-releases
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Poisoned Apples by Christine Heppermann
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: September 23, 2014
Rating: 3 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

Every little girl goes through her princess phase, whether she wants to be Snow White or Cinderella, Belle or Ariel. But then we grow up. And life is not a fairy tale.

Christine Heppermann's collection of fifty poems puts the ideals of fairy tales right beside the life of the modern
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was ok

I got a copy of this to review through NetGalley. I was drawn by the premise of poems merged with fairy tale retellings, since I love both. It was okay, but in the end it just felt like something was missing here...the imagery just wasn’t there and the poems focused on the same theme over and over.

This was a very short collection of poems that talk mostly about teenage life and girls and the expectation society has of them. Some of this is related to fairy tales that have been given a modern twi
2.5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

This was a collection of fairly odd poems, and it all got very repetitive as the book went on.

Basically every poem in here was about eating disorders and being over-weight, and while I could maybe put up with that for a short while, it all just got too much. I mean how many times do we need to hear about girls comfort eating? How many times do we have to hear about
Sarah DiMento
Woohoo I finished my 2016 reading challenge just in time!

This book of feminist poems seemed promising, but ultimately felt a little cliche and unoriginal. However there were a couple of gems and the photography is stunning. Probably my favorite part was the author's note at the end:

“If you find the dividing line between fairy tales and reality, let me know. In my mind, the two run together, even though the intersections aren't always obvious. The girl sitting quietly in class or waiting for th
Aug 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
Nonsensical, bland and average - I really did not get what could possibly be appealing here.

This collection of feminist poems, with its gorgeous cover and a tempting promise of fairy tale re-tellings, beckoned me closer as soon as I heard of it. I had sky high expectations which unfortunately weren’t fulfilled, mainly ‘coz the poems I liked were much, much less in number compared to the poems I was indifferent toward, or the ones I didn’t really get.

The poems, targeted at young girls and teenagers, resonate with the sordid state of affairs in today’s world: eating disorders, body dysmo
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! Whenever I read poetry it always seems to change my viewpoint on the subjects I am reading about, this is defiantly that case here. A lot of the poems made me rethink things and look at stuff at another angle. I enjoyed this book so much because it was written in a fairy tale sort of setting which made it easier to understand for me. Although some of it wasn't in this setting I still completely understood what the author was talking about. I highly recommend this book! :)
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really quick read for me, some of the poems in this book were a bit strange, but all of them were good. I'm not a huge poetry person but this book was really good.
Callie Rose Tyler
This wasn't what I was expecting but it was still really good. I thought this was going to be a collection of dark fairy tale re-tellings in verse. What it really is, is a collection of poems about being a teenage girl mixed with fairy tale characters and stories to create a strange tone where the line between fantasy and reality are blurred.

The points and topics in this book are biting and jarring providing commentary on what it is like to be a young woman. Many of the poems revolve around body
Liza Wiemer
General comments: Great cover with the river of red fabric for the cloak worn by a young woman. Symbolic and powerful. Stunning artwork alongside Christine Heppermann’s poems.

My review in free verse:

Bite and taste



down girls throats

by society,


the clothes

on mannequins

selling sexuality,

diet aids, beauty.

Rebel against


Stand up

for feminism. Take

a good long look

in the mirror, mirror

on the wall

who’s the fairest


of all. See how

we’re brainwashed

to beli
Laine The Librarian
Once upon a time....

Those four words have sustained little girls all their live into believing that all they have to do is sing in the woods, be beautiful, courageous, have patience and be kind to others, you will have a wonderful happy ending and a most wonderful man in your life.

Then the little girls grow up to be hard working women in the hard world and found out that all those fairy tale stories were.....


You don't always get Prince Charming. You sometimes get his evil twin; his
Disturbing and brilliant.
Mackenzie H
This book I found some what difficult to understand. Poisnoned Apples is mostly geared towards teenage girls. That was one thing I really did enjoy about the book. The issue that I kept having was that she didn't make her poems flow when she talked about the fairytales aspect of it. In result to that I found it kinda difficult to read. But she did talk about some topics that some people don't want to talk about, which made me happy.
Apr 01, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Even one star is too generous.
What damnation was this? the poems, more like strings of nonsense, lacked art, aim and honestly it was just like an angry woman belly-aching about men. -__- there's a fine line between realism and downright backwashing something and this work clearly crossed it.
another failure to make me hate moder poetry (even if u can call this modern poetry)
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
I’m really on the fence about how to rate this one. The poems are so-so, but this book is filled with arresting images and critique of how our culture treats young girls. The author uses fairy tales as a basis for poetry that reflects challenges and fears teens face.
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Christine Heppermann writes fiction, poetry, and criticism. Her books include Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty (2014), City Chickens (2012), and Backyard Witch (with Ron Koertge, 2015). She currently reviews young adult books for the Chicago Tribune.

Christine grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, where she attended an all-girls Catholic high school. As an undergraduate she studied philosophy and li
“If you find the dividing line between fairy tales and reality, let me know. In my mind, the two run together, even though the intersections aren't always obvious. The girl sitting quietly in class or waiting for the bus or roaming the mall doesn't want anyone to know, or doesn't know how to tell anyone, that she is locked in a tower. Maybe she's a prisoner of a story she's heard all her life- that fairest means best, or that bruises prove she is worthy of love.” 35 likes
“Nature Lesson

The dress code says
we must cover ourselves
ample pants,
skirts that reach well below
our lascivious knees,
polos buttoned over
the rim of the canyon,
a glimpse of which can send a boy
plunging to such depths
he may never climb back up
to algebra.

We say
that if a hiker strays
off the path, trips, and
winds up crippled,
is it really the canyon's fault?”
More quotes…