‘She Used to Be on a Milk Carton’, by Kailey Tedesco (illustrated by Whitney Proper)

This is going to be an unconventional review, because this time I’m off to pastures new: I’m reviewing a book of poetry. Hug your coffee mug and read about my experiences with it!

I got this book from NetGalley and April Gloaming Publishing in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.

Β (GoodreadsΒ /Β Amazon)


I have to say I’m not much of a poetry reader. It doesn’t mean that I don’t like, or even love it, it’s just that I rarely feel like sitting down and actually read it. It saddens me sometimes, because I love great poems, but when it comes to choosing a book novels, or even collections of short stories always win. I do read poetry, mostly one or two poems at a time when I stumble into something good. I think I have never read a full book of poems at once, though. A couple of days ago I was thinking about this, and it bothered me a bit, so I went on NetGalley and chose two collections of poems, one being this here.


I’m not sure this book should have been the one I start with. This book just wasn’t for me. It may be more a me than an actual writing problem, though. See, I’ve never been a huge fan of modern poetry. (I don’t mean poems written today in general, rather I think of the style many of them are written in.) It’s at many times too chaotic for me. So my problem might be that I simply don’t get it.

On the other hand, I feel like I actually understood what the poet wanted to talk about. I understood many things, and suspected the meaning of many others… I don’t say I get it all, but I get the picture. At first I thought I’m just too dumb for it, I mean I’m far from an individual qualified in the liberal arts, but now I’m not so sure. I get its meaning and see the metaphors and everything – if I want to. Problem is, I have to force myself to think about it. The poetry I love isn’t like this. Excellent poetry sucks you in, even if you don’t get every layer instantly, it floods you, makes you feel, and you don’t even realize that you started thinking about what it all means. It MAKES you think, not tires you so much you’re not in the mood anymore to do so. Because with this book, I felt like that.

To me, the chaos and randomness of the wording and phrasing felt forced, and just for the sake of being so chaotic and random. It kept me from forgetting myself in it, and enjoying even those poems that I completely understood. I could see that every piece was well-thought-out, and deliberately put the way it was put, I could see and even appreciate all the work that went into it. Sentiments did not come through, though. Only thing this book made me feel was uncomfortable and confused.

There were one or two poems, though, that I had no problem with. The one giving the title name, ‘She Used to Be on a Milk Carton’ and ‘If Hell Had a Boy” were okay, and I found ‘God in Real Life’ quite good.

I also have to say that the illustrations were nice and they matched the poems.

Let’s give it a grade! & Recommendation:

As this is a collection of poems, I cannot use my usual method to rate the book. After thinking about it a little, I decided to use NetGalley’s rating system: rate based on how strongly I would recommend it to others.

So, my rating is:

3 stars – *** – meaning: maybe

Based on my experience with the book, I’d probably give a little less, but I think poetry is something very subjective, and everybody should figure out for themselves if they like a poem or not. Poetry is something thats best place is in your heart, not in your mind. πŸ™‚

I recommend it to people to whom abstract thoughts come more naturally than to me. (And here I thought I was open-minded…)


I don’t know… can something be unique because it’s weird?

Drink tip:

Based on these poems I’m tempted to write menstrual blood, especially if you’re a woman and it’s your own, but come ooon, that’s SO disgusting. I can’t even.

So, I’m going with any sickeningly sweet liqueur.

Music room:

Hm…. P.J. Harvey? Maybe.


This book did not take away my enthusiasm to read more poetry – it actually made it stronger. Now I want to read beautiful poems, ones that gets my soul immediately and that are music for my ears. I don’t think I would ever read poems by this particular author.

Let me just have this one conclusion at the end: these poems successfully paint a world where womanhood is this raw, creepy, scary and confusing thing, but this is simply not my experience of womanhood. I don’t know what events made her to have this take on her life, but I wouldn’t want to live in Kailey Tedesco’s world.


I hope you enjoyed my very first review of poems. Do you like to read poetry? Who and what are your favorites? Please, give me tips – I’m new in this territory, especially on the English front.


Hugs πŸ™‚

5 thoughts on “‘She Used to Be on a Milk Carton’, by Kailey Tedesco (illustrated by Whitney Proper)

  1. I’ll pass on the drink tip, lol. I also feel a little conflicted about not reading more poetry–especially since I used to teach it to middle school students. It requires a kind of attention that I find hard to apply at times.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, it’s really hard to concentrate on really understanding poetry when one’s tired with other stuff… Especially after a long work day or something. Those are the days when I just want something simple and easy-to-read in my hands. Tbh I think I was more into poetry when I was in middle school πŸ˜… I had all the time to think about the world and life! I had very good literature teachers, thanks for that. It’s amazing that you do/did that, shaping young minds is so important! ☺️


  3. I’ve read more poetry in the last year and found some favourites, but the moment I put this one down I was searching for other reviews because I’m so confused. I get what she wanted to talk about I think (although I highlighted the words pregnant, vampires, blood just for how many times they were brought up), but I couldn’t understand the actual poems. I felt bad for it, but I have to agree that the chaos also seems a bit weird, like either go full chaos where you need to decipher everything or have it make sense. Just my immediate thoughts. Good review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😘 I was unsure about whether the problem is me or we really have a case of ‘trying too hard’ here. I’ve seen people who liked it very much, so I don’t know… But at the end of the day, what’s sure is that this is not my kind of poetry. I’m glad I’m not alone with this opinion, though! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

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