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I Must Belong Somewhere: Poetry and Prose

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  82 ratings  ·  54 reviews
A daring but necessary insight into themes of longing, home, bullying, loneliness, and mental health, I Must Belong Somewhere is a silver lining for anyone struggling.

With her third poetry collection, I Must Belong Somewhere, acclaimed writer Dawn Lanuza is returning to her most popular literary platform. Written during her year of rest and travel, this new collection spea
Paperback, 144 pages
Published January 5th 2021 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
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Abbie | nerdyabbie
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Full of loneliness, beauty, and heartbreak Dawn Lanuza weaves together a haunting account of finding home, contentment, and so much more.

Her mind carries all of the worry and weight.
Sometimes, when she’s in a new place, wandering and learning its streets, she just hears herself sighing,
I must belong somewhere.

This was beautifully written, and at times, heartbreaking. I LOVED the trigger warning that was placed at the beginning of the book, and really wish more authors did this. My favorite
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

I must belong somewhere is a powerful book of poetry addressing many things that can often be taboo subjects such as loneliness, displacement, gender and so on.
This poetry digs under your skin and makes you stop and ponder the verses and poems written and reflect upon them.
Andrea Pole
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I Must Belong Somewhere by Dawn Lanuza is a powerful and personal reflection on love, longing, and displacement. Told in beautiful and flowing prose, Ms Lanuza ruminates on her own journey of mental health and self- esteem. The topics covered are wide-ranging and eminently relatable, and I believe that this collection will resonate strongly with many readers.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to read this ARC.
Paula M

Full review to be posted once I have the physical copy. Dawn Lanuza really just keeps on getting better and better!
Feb 11, 2021 rated it it was ok
These poems and stories seemed like they were keeping everything (the reader, the subject, the underlying emotions) at a distance. It feels like there's some real meat there, but most of the works ended up being vague and general and cliched and conventional, like in '9':

"He asked her,
'Why do you keep writing love poems?
there are so many things
in the world that need
to be discussed:

poverty and war,
deceit and injustice.'

And she said,
'What hurt could
a little love poem do?

Every day that we see
Beatrice Masaluñga
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, poetry
Thank you Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

It's too early for me to write a review and I have to say I Must Belong Somewhere is by far Ms. Lanuza's best poetry collection...yet. The poems are personal and majority of them struck me. Some of us are finding the sense of belonging, there are moments we felt invisible in a crowd and it hurts not being seen for being yourself. Reading them is like a reflection of what I've experienced. It made me emotion
In this collection, Lanuza touches on themes of longing, belonging, healing, loneliness, identity, mental health, and more. Modern poetry can often be hit or miss for me, as some of it, unfortunately, feel cliché and surface level. While I did find some of these pieces to be trite, others helped unearthed parts of me that I had pushed down or ignored. The poems within are in turns moving, raw, vulnerable, joyful, and uplifting. Even many of the shorter pieces strike powerful chords that resonate ...more
Sarah Marie
3 stars. I didn't hate this poetry collection, but I didn't connect very well to it. It was pretty middle of the road for me. Review to come. ...more
jime ✰
Dec 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
really love this one.
Feb 02, 2021 rated it liked it
Something I've learned that's important to do in recent years is to find trigger and content warnings, so before I say anything else, here are this book's:

tw // death, suicide, ideation, violence, bullying, injury, self-harm, body image, sexism, & mental health

These are things many of us go through, and it's likely that readers will see a part of themselves in most pieces. My reminder, just like the author's, is to please read with caution. (Or get an experienced buddy for guidance). Some parts
Sonali Dabade
Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
I saw this poetry collection on a friend's Instagram stories and immediately knew I had to get it. I was absolutely ecstatic when I saw that this was ready to read and now that I have read this, I know that somehow, the author knows who I am without knowing of my existence. There were so many points in the book where I paused, choked back my tears, collected myself, and then went on because it hit so close to home! I don't want to be that person who fills up reviews with excerpts from the book, ...more
Nov 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Thank you Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the arc! This title will be released January 5, 2021.

“Half of me is worried about the lives I’m not living;
half of me is too tired to do anything about it.”

I Must Belong Somewhere hit too close to “home”. Lanuza has captured what I couldn’t put into words. The feeling of wandering aimlessly and being lost in life. The yearning for love and a purpose. The desire to know how you want to live your remaining days.

This collection isn’t all pretty
Pretty Little Bibliophile
Nov 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: modern-poetry
I read another one of Lanuza's works THE LAST TIME I'LL WRITE ABOUT YOU, early in 2020 and I quite liked it. Although it did not leave a lasting impression on me, that collection was pretty likeable.
So when I saw that I MUST BELONG SOMEWHERE was available to read, I jumped at the opportunity - to see what turn Lanuza's writing had taken. Needless to say, I was quite impressed. I think I MUST BELONG SOMEWHERE was a wonderful improvement on the previous book and I was in love. The words were simp
Alison (The Lowrey Library)
Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am a big fan of this style of poetry. I must say that before anything else.
I love when there is a thematic element (belong, in this one) that courses through a collection. I love when the poet considerately thinks to arrange the poetry with longer pieces next to shorter ones. And I love a well-placed illustration. There's variety, but depth. There's love, but also loss.
A beautiful work! I admire it greatly.
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 rounded up! ✨

TW: suicide, self-harm, bullying

I think this is the first poetry and prose book that I read that was written by a Filipino author. And girl, it didn't disappoint. Some poems are relatable, some are inspiring and some are full of hope. I liked that it somehow tackled the importance of mental health.

Thank you Dawn Lanuza for this! I will try to read your other books. Thank you also to Andrews McMeel Publishing for the ARC!
Sai at theengineerisreading
The way Dawn Lanuza weaves words and finishes with a majestic masterpiece that leaves you with a question about your whereabouts is topnotch!

I rarely read poetry books because, as a training poet, I have a rule to reduce poetry consumption to avoid duplication of style and copying of voice but when I saw this galley available for review, I immediately downloaded and devoured it.

I Must Belong Somewhere is a questioning book.

You'll see yourself asking where do you belong as you flip the last page
Benicia Noia
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
With a premise as human as existential doubts and personal problems, this collection of poems is wonderful for those who need to immerse themselves in their thoughts with comfort and understanding.
Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Every once in a while she is convinced that she doesn't belong here anymore.
Yet she doesn't know where she should be just yet.
She finds herself where she is because she doesn't know where else to be.

Where would you go? she asks herself. If everything would be taken care of, where would you rather be?
But she can't see it that way yet.

Her mind carries all of the worry and the weight.
Sometimes, when she’s in a new place, wandering and learning its streets, she just hears herself sighing, I must
Oct 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This collection of poetry is a raw, and visceral work that comes from the heart. A bleeding heart. These poems work through heartbreak, loss, health problems and depression. Along with carrying the weight of gender roles, sexism and growing into womanhood, the author pointedly explores the harm and digression of these rules have on young girl and women everywhere. She makes the case for how womanhood has made her feel and how she now feels that she belongs upon getting her period. She declares h ...more
Em (BookishPotatoes)
Nov 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-netgalley
“I didn’t want to just survive this life, I wanted to live”

Content Warnings (as listed at the start of the book): Death, Suicide Ideation, Self-Harm, Violence, Bullying, Injury, Body Image, Sexism, Mental Health

Dawn Luzana crafts a beautiful web of interwoven stories in the poetry collection “I must belong somewhere.” Telling the story of a girl (whether that is herself, you, or the girl next door) who is obviously just trying to get through life, the words will wash over you in a way that is
Angelique Nish
Dec 26, 2020 rated it liked it
*I received an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

3 / 5

Dawn Lanuza is an upcoming author of novels and poetry that I believe has a lot of potential. Her poems are raw and unfiltered. I like and can relate to many of her thoughts and feelings.

I really loved some of her poems, they struck very deep chords in me as I share some sentiments of her life. Being Filipino, finding a new home, pondering what a home really is.
On the other hand, some of her poems fell flat in their since
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book and was ready to give it 5 stars early on.

Lanuza's poems are simple but articulate and beautiful and relatable. She doesn't use flowery language, complex grammar or poetic style, big bold words. I think her stories and emotions are able to read clearly is because they don't get lost behind useless adjectives and superfluous words. And there is something about the way she arranges words, simple everyday words, that expresses emotions and pain elegantly and as a reader I felt
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gave-me-feels
I can only describe this book as the feeling of being 22 and female. Of being an age where your collected memories transform into a recollection of how your life experiences are defining you as a human being.

After reading this book I feel:
* The reminiscence of teenage summer romances and heartbreaks.
*The essence of freedom, of craving more from your existence.

The poems read like a life unfolding with sorrow and self-realization. The realness of vacancy as people step in and out of your life,
Ailla Magcamit
May 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I think I found my new favorite collection from Dawn Lanuza.

The metaphors are sharper and imagery, more vivid. Plus, the themes are more direct which hits hard, resonating to things I've often kept buried in my head.

While it still has similar ideations on love which I've positively associated the poet with, I Must Belong Somewhere also explored more topics outside her usual which I'm surprisingly glad to see (includes musings on how you can love your country but also see the negative things
Nov 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
*4.5 stars
Trigger warning: This book contains discussions on death, suicide ideation, violence, bullying, injury, self-harm, body image, sexism, and mental health. As mentioned on the first page. I'm praising the author for inserting the trigger warnings.

This book is a powerful reflection on oneself's life in longing, displacement..., It is beautifully written and emotional. I think it is perfect for early teens looking back. The author shows her struggles and her journey with mental health and
Mar 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
I sold myself on this book, thinking I’d enjoy it, but something lied to me along the way. I didn’t read what I paid for.

I guess I expected to be seen through the lens of the writer, to have my trauma displayed on the page through the life of another. I mostly got shallow short lines, that could have easily been more with the writers skill. I also got very few prose, mostly just a lot of long poems, that were really just prose disguised with needles enjambment.

The writing isn’t bad, in fact, I
Fatima Anwar
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I must belong somewhere is an amazing collection of poetries and prose, which talks about love, loss, acceptance, healing, changing and self-love. It is a unique, interesting and heart touching book. The poems are really relatable, some poems were touching, I felt they were talking about me, all the things I felt. Some poetries are truly feminist and empowering. The cover is really beautiful. And the illustrations in between the pages is a bonus for the readers. If I have to describe this book i ...more
Nov 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, poetry
I Must Belong Somewhere by Dawn Lanuza is the first poetry book I've read since.. ever. And I have to admit, I absolutely adored it.

I Must Belong Somewhere reads as a personal journal. It's a story about love, loss, fragility, longing and loneliness. The subjects aren't easy and light, but I read this novel in one sitting. The writing is beautiful and modern. It felt relatable and honest, which made me connect with the author. This is a wonderful and powerful collection of poems.

Trigger warning
Feb 06, 2021 rated it liked it
"This collection captures the ways of how difficult life can get and lends that comfort of being emotionally 'seen' and the lesson that there is always hope."

Continue reading here.

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Anna Patricia
Mar 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
“Sorry” is a nice word. “Sorry” means feelings were considered. “Sorry” means “I learned.” And love? Love means having the courage to say you’re sorry.”

This isn't my first poetry book by Dawn Lanuza but I must say, among all the books I've read, this is my favorite and the best one yet. A lot of the poems were written from her heart and it strucked me. Some of the themes were finding oneself, belongingness, depression, self-harm, suicide.

Please make sure that you are in the right headspace
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Dawn Lanuza writes contemporary romance, young adult fiction and prose poetry. She has two first loves – music and writing – and is lucky enough to surround herself with them. She currently lives with her family and a very loved cream toy poodle.

She sometimes blogs at

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“Sorry” is a nice word. “Sorry” means feelings were considered. “Sorry” means “I learned.” And love? Love means having the courage to say you’re sorry.” 1 likes
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