Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “When No One Is Watching” as Want to Read:
When No One Is Watching
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

When No One Is Watching

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  27 reviews
When No One Is Watching is a compilation of poems about love and the loss thereof, trauma and the dark reflections that come with it. It is a depiction of sides that people don't readily show, sides of vulnerability, insecurity and tiny amounts of hope. One could say it is the result of shedding light into a world of secrecy, escapism, an alternate reality belonging to an ...more
Paperback, 100 pages
Published January 28th 2020 by Odyssey Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about When No One Is Watching, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about When No One Is Watching

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  57 ratings  ·  27 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of When No One Is Watching
Mawson Bear
The poetry of Linathi Makanda is both universal and about searing personal experiences. I think each reader will find something here that particularly resonates for themselves. Often poems can each be read as stand alone experiences whether or not they are linked with others. This compilation cries out to be read as one poem and journey.

'Love Rising'

The four parts begin with 'Love Rising' and here the poet's thoughts may seem to concern the common enough subject of poems, looking for love and ye
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
So listen: I don’t read a lot of poetry, mainly because I’ve struggled to understand or identify with a lot of what I’ve tried. I can think of just a few poetry collections that I’ve read over the years, and even fewer poems that have stuck with me.

This collection was different. When No One is Watching is powerful and resonating, and although it most certainly wasn’t written about or for me, I felt very seen and deeply connected to many of these verses. Makanda’s words are raw, painful, hopeful…
Clare Rhoden
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This wonderful book of poetry took my breath away. I'm extremely grateful to the author for sending me an advanced reading copy. This is my honest review.

African author Linathi Makanda has created a brilliant and immersive experience for the reader.

Suddenly we are plunged into the youthful garden of earthly delights, where love is new and full of wonder. This early bliss is fully embodied: All my skin ever needed was you.

But the lover is a woman, and women's experiences with love are fraught. T
jasmine ★
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book of poetry is amazing - I am not usually one for poetry, but these capture such vulnerability and raw emotion that it’s difficult not to get swept up in it, despite the poems being short and reading almost like fragments. It’s impossible to put down, I read the whole book in one sitting.

The poems centre around love and loss, and I believe at least some parts would resonate with anyone reading. They embody hope and place heavy emphasis on femininity and women’s reactions and desires for
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book thanks to publisher Odyssey Books in exchange for an honest review.

Oh wow. When I was kindly offered this poetry collection to review, I had no idea I would fall in love. Linathi Makanda is insanely talented and this collection broke my heart and stitched it back together. I'm always suspicious of comparisons to other works but this is so similarly tonally and quality-wise to Rupi Kaur that I really have no choice. This poetry collection explores themes of feminism
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Linathi Makanda's poetry is a work of genuine emotion and storytelling. This collection allows for the women who may feel hidden and invisible, to be seen in the light of her poetry.

The poems follow a combination of themes such as love, loss and trauma. They flow like a journey within the four sections through self-discovery and self-love, reflecting back on memories and moments from the past that range from heavy to accepting and learning to praise the person you are.

There are some graphic but
Pygmy Puff Reads
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful collection that should be on every girl and woman shelf, a couple of months ago I read Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur and I've been trying to find something similar ever since. I will go ahead and say that I enjoyed this collection even better. One of the things that I enjoyed is the ability of the author to communicate with the reader and engaged in a way you end up breathing deeply. I was highlighting quote after quote that I definitely plan on revisiting whenever I feel like ...more
Sibu Nhlangwini
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is such an beautiful and evocative celebration of becoming. The way the author navigates pain, happiness, trauma, love is a reminder to constantly trust in the process whilst being your truest self. Great read!
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, reviewed
Thank you to Henry Roi of Odyssey Books for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

In her first collection of poetry and prose, Linathi Makanda embarks on a mission to redefine and occupy a creative space where the personal, the public, and the political intertwine for the purposes of hope and healing. Each vivid fragment of her art is an attestation to her natural talent for storytelling, her uncanny ability for exquisite expression of even the most mundane moments.

Mary A.J.
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Poetry is one of the hardest forms of literature to review. It's very subjective and depends on the reader's mood and life experiences. I read this late at night with a bottle of wine, and the pages brought me to Neverland - where I felt the bittersweet relationship between Peter Pan and Wendy, for losing something and accepting yourself is one of the main themes of this book.

When No One Is Watching is an unguarded and raw take on
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, feminism
“I want to give you the kind of love that’ll make even the gods cry”

When No One Is Watching is a collection of poems by Linathi Makanda that tell a story of love, passion, loneliness, trauma, and empowerment. Lots of the reviews and promotions compare Makanda’s work to that of Rupi Kaur, and while their poetic styles are similar, there is something about this collection that drew me in, taking me on an emotional journey through every twist and turn.

Read this and other reviews on my blog!

Unlike m
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The other day was rough. I thought this book of poetry would give me a bit of calm and happy. Oh foolish me. I'd forgotten that poetry isn't so much an escape as it is an opportunity to reflect.   

Poetry is hard to review, because it is so very subjective. So let's start with the facts and move on from there.

The book is short, and is divided into four sections: Love Rising, Love Lost, Internal Uprising, and Hope Rising. The poems themselves are short as well, leaving a lot of room for the reader
Loic Ekinga
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm reading Linathi Makanda's When No One Is Watching for the second time (which in itself is something I hardly do) not because it's beautifully written- which it is- but because I found myself wanting to revisit a feeling: ambivalence. This, Makanda achieves carefully by ladening her words with an authentic sense of loss, longing, reaching for distant things and places and a new found hope. Although the journey she takes us on feels really woman-centric (a true testament of the author's pride ...more
Kate Baguley
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Henry Roi, the PR Manager at Odyssey Books, for sending me this wonderful book in exchange for an honest review.

This poetry collection is an absolute must-read for fans of Rupi Kaur. When No One is Watching explores the process of love, loss, and healing. Written in a style that is recognised by any Rupi Kaur lover, the poems are short and interconnected, flowing into the next like a stream of conciousness. Makanda's words are emotive and powerful; she says exactly what she means w
Andrica Lefu
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just finished your book- I love it, towards the end I felt you writing your experiences, in a calm and logical way, felt like someone who's healed when in the beginning it felt like you were pouring out your heart and also had a bit of anger inside. I assume the book was written in different parts/stages of your life. I love the beauty of truth displayed in that.. the unfiltered emotions you expressed. I love how calm the end is... how soothing these words of affirmation are, it made me feel the ...more
Mar 15, 2020 rated it liked it
I took a break from reading The Bookish Life of Nina Hill to read When No One Is Watching, a poetry book by Linathi Makanda. I was kindly sent an e-copy by Odyssey Books in exchange for an honest review.⠀

The book is a compilation of poems, which, to me, felt like a journey, instead of stand-alone experiences. The poems Linathi wrote were about love, and trauma, each written in such an open and honest way. The book has four parts, beginning with Love Rising in which it is about new and wonderful
Natalie Davis
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I haven't picked up a poetry book in a while and honestly, I'm glad that this is the one I read. First, the cover art is simple but fitting. In all four sections (Love Rising, Love Lost, Internal Uprising, & Hope Rising), every piece is raw! Although Linathi is writing from her own heart and mind based on her experiences, on some level I can say that I too share similar experiences which is one of the main things I love about poetry. Her poems speak on heartbreak, relationships with family membe ...more
Nova Jarvis
Apr 09, 2021 rated it liked it
Not my favorite poetry out there but I devoured the words! The longer poems were STELLAR and I was hooked from the beginning. I wish there had been more this length as I felt as though there were too many one liners. Definitely interested in reading more by this author.
Sep 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved this so much and the last section had me crying tears of realisation that I’ve been slacking on myself. Not respecting myself or appreciating myself! I had a real wake up moment that had me feeling empowered to improve
Kayla Reed
May 20, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I hate criticizing poetry because it is someone's life and heartache on these pages but I didn't get anything out of this. I didn't hate it, it had so much potential with the content but it felt empty I personally needed a little more. ...more
Katie Jones
Apr 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Poems are one of those things that I find myself wanting to read but never fully grasping the meaning behind them. This book, I felt deep in my soul what the writer was trying to convey to the readers. The most felt part for me was the "loving yourself" ones. ...more
Leona Naan
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Review to come
Braden Eugene
May 03, 2021 rated it liked it
This was a beautiful, raw, emotional collection, but the writing was very simple and fell kind of short.

This was very VERY powerful, so people should definitely read it!
Sara (onourshelves)
Apr 21, 2021 rated it liked it
This was fine but meh
Rhina M. Finley
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Definitely a must read! Her poetry is powerful and just beautiful!
Apr 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing

These poems range from a few words to a few sentences and each is as powerful as the last.

They are beautiful and heart wrenching and heart warming. They are all the things.
Feb 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Great read!!!
Elena Cristina
rated it it was amazing
Mar 03, 2021
Anna Held
rated it liked it
May 12, 2021
bianca j.
rated it it was amazing
Apr 13, 2021
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3)
  • The Lights Go Out in Lychford (Lychford, #4)
  • Such a Fun Age
  • Only Freaks Turn Things Into Bones
  • The Menace from Farside (Luna, #3.5)
  • If My Body Could Speak
  • Tell me a story, Babushka
  • The Adventurer: The Fate of Adventure in the Western World
  • Sibling Assassins: Children of the Otori Book 2 (Tales of the Otori)
  • The Decent Inn of Death (John Madden, #6)
  • Nexus (Zeroes #3)
  • Shades of Magic Vol. 1: The Steel Prince
  • Dawn of the Zombie Apocalypse
  • Hexarchate Stories
  • The Lost Future of Pepperharrow (The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, #2)
  • The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan
  • Of Silver and Shadow
  • FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS: My journey through cancer. How love and my cats sustained, fortified me, and helped take the pain away ...
See similar books…
Linathi Thabang Makanda is a twenty-two-year-old South African-based writer of poetry and prose. A Communications and Marketing student and self-taught photographer, she strives to portray genuine emotion through her writing and photographic art. An avid reader, Linathi also has a great interest in music and all forms of visual expression.

Related Articles

This June, as we observe LGBTQ Pride—the annual celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning communities—we...
210 likes · 73 comments