Spark

My friend wrote a book!

Allison is someone whom I am privileged to know personally, and also an author. I tell you, given my love for books, a person who makes more books is pretty high on my list of People Who I Think Are Great.

Allison Beery is a Christian teen with a passion for creating and capturing beauty, whether it’s through writing, art, photography, or taking a walk in the woods. She lives on a big farm in Central Virginia with her parents, four siblings, and a multitude of pets. She strives to glorify God in everything and love people genuinely. Learn more about her at her blog, A Farm Girl’s Life, or stalk her art Instagram @thecolorboxstudio.

And I get to tell you all about how much I like her newest book, Spark.

Spark is a book of poems written in blank verse (which for you ignorant people means that it doesn’t rhyme or have a strong rhythm like traditional poetry). I shall be upfront about this: (to make up for the fact that I am very much not unbiased) blank verse is not something everyone loves. I don’t even usually like it much myself. I have been known to complain about it as “not even poetry”.

However. Something about Allison’s poetry rings so true to me that I absolutely love it. She says at the beginning that she hopes her readers will find pieces of her and pieces of themselves in the poems, and I really did.

The poems are like snapshots that capture those little moments that are so beautiful but fade so quickly. They make me think of what C.S. Lewis says about joy in his book Surprised by Joy. “All Joy reminds. It is never a possession, always a desire for something longer ago or further away or still ‘about to be’.” The poems in Spark remind me of that feeling of awe and longing and rightness that sometimes flashes across my heart when I see or hear something beautiful.

Here are some quotes from my favorite poems.

My personal favorite poem is “Lean To” because it reminds me of some of my own friendships.

those two depend on each other like

a lean-to –

propping up the other one

so the first won’t fall down

I also love/hate “Love is an Action” because it is so true and so convicting to me.

love has nothing to do with you

and everything to do with them.

otherwise,

who are you loving,

really?

“Uncaged” I and II fascinate me and make me really sad at the same time. How can Allison describe so well fears and feelings that I have but struggle even to describe to myself? I do not know. 😉

the day you found the sky,

you realized how small the world was below,

and now a terrible fear grips me that

i’ll never get you back again.

I only managed to get one picture of this perfectly placed bug before it flew away.

I will end with part of “A Secret”.

everything is beautiful

when you stare at it for a little while.

it’s the blinking in your eyes

that gets in the way of sight.


You can get your own copy here. If you’d like a chance to get a free copy (and free books are a VERY big deal), plus fuzzy socks and tea and other lovely things, you can enter in the giveaway Allison is having on her blog. (You’ll find more details and the link in this post.)

If you want to hear more about Spark, or read some author interviews and such, you’re in luck. Here is a list of all the other posts in the blog tour that are or soon shall be written.


Have you read Surprised by Joy? (I actually haven’t *cough cough* but I listened to lectures about C.S. Lewis so I know about it anyway.) What instantly puts someone on your “People Who I Think Are Great” list? Are you going to read Spark??

28 thoughts on “Spark

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  1. YEEESSSSS MY NEW FAVORITE BOOK EEEP. Sam, seriously: “How can Allison describe so well fears and feelings that I have but struggle even to describe to myself?” SAAAAMMEEE. I haven’t read Surprised by Joy but I LOVE C.S. Lewis, so I really need to. 😉 I’m not sure what puts people automatically on my People Who I Think Are Great List. Rather, people kind of just get on there themselves…it happens without my knowing, really. And yes, I read Spark and EEP. *dies*

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  2. EEEP THANK YOU FOR THE LOVELY REVIEW, Sam! 💕 It was amazing. Ha ha, I totally get you on blank verse poetry – I felt the exact same way about it not being poetry until I started writing it, after which I was pretty much forced to change my views. XD Now I often prefer it!
    Ahhh. It makes me happy that you could relate to my poetry in some mysterious way. It’s weird how poetry writers can take thoughts out of your head, isn’t it? That’s why I like poetry in general. I wonder if it’s because poetry runs deep enough, past appearances, to a part where we’re all the same, so it feels relatable to a lot of people in ways normal prose can’t. I don’t know, but I love it.
    (Also oh my word, that perfectly placed bug picture cracked me up. XD)

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  3. What a wonderful review Sam!! You did such a great job! I loved the snippets!

    Actually, no, i”ve never read ” Surprised by Joy?” What instantly puts someone on my “People Who I Think Are Great” list? Hmm……maybe either their love for Christ is just so outgoing, or they did something really, really nice for me!
    Yep, I really want to read Spark! I’ll have to put it on my Christmas list! 🙂

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  4. I’ve not read surprised by joy yet. It’s on my list of things to do in the next ten or so years.:)

    I haven’t read her first book Unfurling but I really want to read Spark now!

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  5. This post really makes me that much more excited for the poetry book!
    I’ve also at times seen that blank verse poetry doesn’t feel much like poetry, but from her last book of poetry I’ve seen how that really depends on the use of blank verse poetry. I think she uses it quite well, too.

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  6. I haven’t read Surprised by Joy but I’d love to someday. C.S. Lewis is high on my list of people who I think are great (: and I really want to read Spark!

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  7. Great post!! So far the only books I’ve read by C.S Lewis are the Narnia books..
    The thing that instantly puts me on my People I Think Are Great list is when they’re kind, sweet people ready to change the world (ok, my list might get long..:P)
    I am totally going to read Spark!
    Have a great day!

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  8. No, I’ve never read Surprised by Joy. (I actually hadn’t even heard of it before.) I love reading autobiographies though, so it definitely looks interesting.

    What gets someone on my “People Who I Think Are Great” list? I haven’t thought about it much, but I think it’s their reaction to the people around them. I’ll always choose selflessness over selfishness.

    Yeah, I’m not crazy about blank verse either. When I write poetry, I usually opt for rhyme, but some thoughts can be expressed better with blank verse. And Yes! I would totally like to read “Spark.”

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  9. if some one instantly gets on my People Who I Think Are Great list, instead of the usual route of taking a while, they have to be really special, but I’m not sure in what way. They just happen.

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  10. I can so relate to that feeling of “awe and longing and rightness that sometimes flashes across my heart when I see or hear something beautiful.” Happens to me all the time when I read well-written books or see a well done play 😀 I haven’t read Surprised by Joy, but C.S. Lewis is a great author so I’m sure it is wonderful! I’d say actions of selfless love/service instantly puts people on my “People Who I Think Are Great” list, probably because it’s such a beautiful reflection of Christ. And I hope to read Spark at some point in time! Thanks for sharing your review Sam!

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  11. Oh, I forgot to answer the blog tour question.
    I haven’t read ‘Surprised by Joy’ but I plan to one day.
    I think what instantly puts someone on my “People Who I Think Are Great List” is…if I see that they’re the sort of person that just is always looking to brighten someone else’s day, or if they’re the type that have a wonder for everything.
    Also, yesss. Even if I don’t win the giveaway, I’m buying Spark for myself.

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  12. I haven’t read “Surprised by Joy,” but I probably should. I appreciate kindness and honesty in someone, and that often will put them on my People Who I Think Are Great list. I LOVE the snippets you shared, especially the one about love. It was so beautiful and true! Thanks so much and I can’t wait to read more!!

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