My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It Starts Like This has a great hook—Shelby Leigh wrote a poem every day for a year and decided to publish a poetry book of her favorites after that experience.
There were poems that weren’t my cup of tea because they lacked imagery or sophistication, some I liked enough, and some I absolutely loved, which I thought were really strong. It Starts Like This is a well-done debut poetry collection, and Shelby Leigh has a lot of potential. If she continues writing and ever publishes another book, I anticipate it being even stronger. The emotion and rawness in some of the poems was palpable, and even some I didn’t particularly love I could still appreciate because of the clear heart throughout the book.
In no particular order, I believe the best poems were: Battle Scars, Keepsakes (I love the rhyme here), Sleepwalker, Predator, Bones, Rhymes, and Journal. I think the brief Swearing was my favorite:
with every kiss
you leave words on my tongue
and every time you break away
I breathe a poem
into my lungs
4 stars for a good collection of poetry. It was dotted throughout with tiny gems I fell in love with, and will definitely read again in future.