Fairy tale faux: a review of Amanda Lovelace’s recent novel

Meghan Buckman, Social Media Editor

Growing up, we become accustomed to reading fairy tales and poetry books that help us further our knowledge of life. We flip through the imaginary scripts that give us vivid dreams of what we think our life could possibly be like.

“The Princess Saves Herself in this One” by Amanda Lovelace is her own poetry based on the hardships she faced in her life from an early age. Lovelace confronts topics such as family, love and death in short, haunting passages. 

“Remember to practice self-care before, during and after reading,” Lovelace said as a trigger warning in the preface.

Lovelace turns her troubled life into beautiful words as she leaves sensitive regards on every page. She expresses her frustration towards her abusive, alcoholic and sick mother through poetry. It’s hard to read because of how daunting the pain was for her.

The book has four chapters, each detailing a time period in her life. The chapters are titled: “The Princess,” “The Damsel,” “The Queen,” and “You.”

Her first statement:

“Warning I: This is not a fairytale. There is no princess. There is no damsel. There is no queen. There is no tower. There are no dragons. There is simply a girl faced with a difficult task of learning to believe in herself.”

Lovelace explores the pain of love and how it feels for someone not to love you back. It brings the feelings of hopelessness and loss into life. Her words are short and encapsulate the pain she’s feeling.

This book confronts control and power over a partner in a relationship. The feeling of being trapped and the only way out is to fight back. Lovelace is trying to tell herself that she is better and can achieve a greater love one day.

The passages can bring you to tears because of how alone she describes herself. The empowerment from this book comes from how brutally honest she is with her pain. Lovelace makes pain look beautiful as she displays her vulnerability and strength to move on.

“The Princess Saves Herself in this One” is relevant to all young women. We live in a time where media tends to twist love in ways we can’t achieve in real life. Women worldwide are standing up against sexual assault and finding a voice within themselves. As a society, we are coming together to end abuse and prove that women can live their lives freely without validation.

Lovelace’s life depicts a collection of issues relevant today, such as bullying, self-harm, eating disorders and racism.

“The story of a princess turned damsel turned queen,” reads the back of the book. The words show the amount of strength she needed to overturn her dejected life into something more worthwhile. This book was the meaningful thing that came out of her battle.

Lovelace is stating that this is what a princess is. A real life princess is destined to have something to battle.

This isn’t a fairytale poetry novel. It’s reality.

Here are a few poems that left a lasting impression:

• If a house does not automatically make a home, then a body doesn’t automatically make a home either.

I’ve always felt like a stranger in my skin.

My mom told the nice doctorshe was seeing starbursts in her eyes & they were almost beautiful to her-like the Fourth of July had decided to come early.

The doctor hesitated before breaking the news to her. “Those aren’t stars. It’s cancer.” Forty years of a smoker.

• If I ever have a daughter, the first thing I will teach her to love will be the word “no”

& I will not let her feel guilty for using it.

“no” is short for “fuck off.”

• I am a lioness

   who is no longer

   afraid to let the world

   hear her roar

   an ode to me