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February 22, 2019

The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Disorder by Emanuella Hristova ~ a Review

by MK French

Emanuella's book is a collection of poetry written over the course of a very tumultuous year. A romantic relationship began and ended, and her sister died. The poems were a way to cope with all of the emotions. She also has a website and an Instagram account.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Disorder
January 2019; ebook (49 pages); poetry
Poems are free form and stream of consciousness, so don't expect rigid rhyme schemes and meter. There are also changes in font size and bolding to add emphasis at different spots in the poems. From the beginning, I was struck by some of the phrases that Emanuella used, such as a kiss between couples carrying the passage of time. The anticipation described is an almost palpable thing, even though I don't really know Emanuella or her unnamed lover. Juxtaposed with that are descriptions of being with her sister, of the cancer treatments being "poison trying to flush out/another poison."  Though we already know that the relationship fails, there's a hint of that long before the end comes because Emanuella doesn't trust him, and he seems to steamroller her reluctance to have sex.

Even the encroaching heartbreak is beautifully rendered, and I find that the poems about the pain of love are more striking to me than the joys she experienced in the beginnings. Reclaiming her identity as a woman, able to support others emotionally and stand on her own, is also a powerful section of the book. Some of that power is because she sees that from within the lens of the patriarchy trying to establish ownership over appearances and presence. It's certainly an experience that every woman can identify with, even if they haven't experienced assault themselves. That these poems follow in the wake of breakup certainly proves that emotions color memory; the heartbreak is vivid, so the memories of past trauma and her grief are also vivid. But out of that grief come some of the more beautiful lines that really speak to me, and I truly believe that it's the same for life: rising out of the grief, we'll come back stronger and more capable than ever before.


Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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