Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “I Just Hope It's Lethal: Poems of Sadness, Madness, and Joy” as Want to Read:
I Just Hope It's Lethal: Poems of Sadness, Madness, and Joy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

I Just Hope It's Lethal: Poems of Sadness, Madness, and Joy

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  152 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
The teenage years are a time filled with sadness, madness, joy, and all the messy stuff in between. Sometimes it feels that every day brings a new struggle, a new concern, a new reason to stay in bed with the shades drawn. But between moments of despair and confusion often come times of great clarity and insight, when you might think, like the poet Rumi, "Whoever’s calm an ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 24th 2005 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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 I Just Hope It's Lethal, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about I Just Hope It's Lethal

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Apr 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book is separated into several sections, each centered around a specific emotion (or emotions) typical to teenagers, or anyone with a beating heart and breathing lungs really.

It is targeted to young adults, but the selected poems have a very sophisticated taste and depth that I'm only realizing after many re-readings and a class that covers some. There's poems from classics like Rumi, Wordsworth, Dickinson, Dunbar, Blake, Keats, Coleridge, even Lord Byron, and just as many more modern poets
Caroline M
Aug 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, poetry

//notes for myself
Poets I hadn't read before who I am now more interested in: Deena November, Liz Rosenberg, Kate Schmitt, Rumi

Poets who I didn't like before and hate even more now: Charles Bukowski
Deborah Takahashi
Nov 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
In this brilliant collection of poems, Rosenberg and November have provided teen readers with a collection of poetry to navigate the storm known as adolescence. Most of these poems deal with the stark reality of depression, anger, and even the sheer power of joy and healing. With that said, the poems are grouped into categories that are assigned by emotion ranging from living in this crazy world, to feeling alone, and to celebrating the beauty within us. All of these poems are succinct in their ...more
Sam Gilbert
Feb 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen-lit
I thought this was an excellent collection of starting poems for teens. I remember as a teenager, picking up a book of poetry at a garage sale on accident, and actually really connecting to some of the writing in the poems. I don't tend to read a lot of poetry, but when I do, I usually enjoy it. I thought I Just Hope It's Lethal was a great place for a teen to start delving into poems. I loved how there was a short bio about each of the poem's authors, so if a teen really related to one, they co ...more
Nov 03, 2008 added it
The book that I was reading is 'I Just Hope It's lethal.' The authors are Liz Rosenberg and Deena November. The main conflict is the emotions that teenagers go through. The emotions that this poem book talks about is sadness ;love and madness. One poem was about how a boy breaks a girls heart.

I think people who are teenagers and struggles with life should read this book because they go through these issues and emotions that each poem talks about. I also think adult should read it too. They cou
May 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone even if you don't like poetry this book will allow you to do so
Shelves: poetry
An AMAZING and thought-provoking book of poetry whose subjects mimic the emotions not only felt by teenagers but by humanity as a whole. Unlike many other poetry collection books aimed at young adults the poems are actually diverse, creative and deep. In the pages lie poems from many classic and well-known authors as well as some lesser known. The fact that this book includes masterpieces by some of the worlds best poets, yet still is easy to read and understand for teenagers and young adults is ...more
Jul 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of confessional poetry
Shelves: poetry, young-adult
From School Library Journal:
Grade 9 Up–The poems in this diverse collection range from classic (Shakespeare, Lord Byron) to modern (by the compilers themselves). While some of selections might be too complex and antique for reluctant readers, most of the pieces are powerfully written and easy to understand. Sylvia Plath, Dorothy Parker, and Rumi are among the poets included. Two short introductions explain the inclusion of many of these selections and the significance of each of the book's five
Oct 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
The book that I read was I Just Hope It's Lethal, collected by Liz Rosenberg and Deena November. The poems in the book are diverse and range from the classics like Shakespeare, to modern ones. Some of the authors are very well known and others are not. It is full of poems that center around emotions that most people can emphasize with, like ones about depression or missing someone. It centers around the struggles that many may feel at some point in their life. I'd recommend it because the poems ...more
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
- a collection of poetry, from Shakespeare to Plath, on various aspects of sanity and madness
- Dorothy Parker's poem is my favorite:


Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.
James W.  Harris
Jun 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
A great anthology, not just for Young Adults but for anyone. It features a fine selection of short, very readable works by a combination of classic poets, modern poets, and unknowns. I enjoyed many of the selections. One good test for me for such an anthology is whether or not I discover any new poets worth pursuing further, and I did.
Mar 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'm glad this poetry collection exists for teens who are normally feed anemic, coddling poems by well-meaning adults. I just didn't connect with very many poems myself, though I should say that the editor's own poems were among the ones I appreciated most.
Christina Rau
Jan 05, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
The title is the best part of this book. Split into general sections about love and struggle, the collection forces too many unlike poems together with these sweeping generalities. While individual poems and poets were enjoyable, the cohesion never set in.
Nov 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book includes poems that tell of the struggles of the teenage and early adult years and the conflicting emotions that often accompany them. A wide range of poets, many of whom experienced depression themselves, are included.
Tina Rae
Jan 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: poetry lovers
Recommended to Tina Rae by: school
Mmm. I just love poetry books. This one was especailly wonderful because it targeted teenagers and really related to what they are going through. i know i really related to it and thoroughly enjoyed it!
Jan 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There were a hand full of poems that I truly like out of the many that were gathered in the book.
Aug 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
I need to read it again, I want to read it again. I LOVED the title. Can relate to that.
Jayla Johnson
May 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
A great book of poetry!
A good book for hard times.
Apr 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book at the library during poetry month. I never really had an interest in poetry and this is the book that made be have a new interest in peotry.
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm fairly certain the only reason I liked this anthology so much is that I'm still terribly amused by how much poems I was already familiar with or had saved in my bookmarks. Oh well.
Nov 20, 2013 rated it did not like it
I honestly hoped this would be better, but i was disappointed. Most of the poems are quite depressing and i didnt see much of joy at all
Oct 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My opinion of this book is very high. It's a good book for either someone current writing poetry or for a person who is just look for a collection of poetic literature, to enjoy or sympathize with.
Jim Parker
rated it really liked it
Sep 16, 2010
rated it it was amazing
Aug 03, 2017
rated it liked it
Apr 23, 2017
rated it liked it
Jun 02, 2009
rated it liked it
Sep 28, 2009
Louise Bendall
rated it liked it
Oct 16, 2017
rated it it was ok
Dec 26, 2014
Sherry Hall
rated it really liked it
Sep 13, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Fortune's Bones: The Manumission Requiem
  • Requiem: Poems of the Terezin Ghetto
  • Poetry Speaks Who I Am with CD: Poems of Discovery, Inspiration, Independence, and Everything Else (A Poetry Speaks Experience)
  • Borrowed Names: Poems About Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C.J. Walker, Marie Curie, and Their Daughters
  • The Ascent of Everest
  • The Terrible Stories
  • Sixteen: Short Stories by Outstanding Writers for Young Adults
  • The Keepers of the Flame (Fire-us, #2)
  • Number 8
  • Love Struck
  • Spineless Wonders: Strange Tales from the Invertebrate World
  • The Journals of Rachel Scott: A Journey of Faith at Columbine High
  • Think Again
  • The Blind Faith Hotel
  • Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets under 25
  • A Museum of Early American Tools
  • Mongo: Adventures in Trash
  • Mom Still Likes You Best: The Unfinished Business Between Siblings
Liz Rosenberg is an American poet, novelist, children's book author, and book reviewer. She is currently a professor of English at Binghamton University.
More about Liz Rosenberg...