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Swimming Lessons: Poems

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The debut collection of poetry from Lili Reinhart, the actress and outspoken advocate for mental health awareness and body positivity. Swimming Lessons explores the euphoric beginnings of young love, battling anxiety and depression in the face of fame, and the inevitable heartbreak that stems from passion. Relatable yet deeply intimate, provocative yet comforting, bite-si The debut collection of poetry from Lili Reinhart, the actress and outspoken advocate for mental health awareness and body positivity. Swimming Lessons explores the euphoric beginnings of young love, battling anxiety and depression in the face of fame, and the inevitable heartbreak that stems from passion. Relatable yet deeply intimate, provocative yet comforting, bite-sized yet profound, Lili's poems reflect her trademark honesty and unique perspective. Accompanied by striking and evocative illustrations, Swimming Lessons reveals the depths of female experience, and is the work of a storyteller who is coming into her own.


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The debut collection of poetry from Lili Reinhart, the actress and outspoken advocate for mental health awareness and body positivity. Swimming Lessons explores the euphoric beginnings of young love, battling anxiety and depression in the face of fame, and the inevitable heartbreak that stems from passion. Relatable yet deeply intimate, provocative yet comforting, bite-si The debut collection of poetry from Lili Reinhart, the actress and outspoken advocate for mental health awareness and body positivity. Swimming Lessons explores the euphoric beginnings of young love, battling anxiety and depression in the face of fame, and the inevitable heartbreak that stems from passion. Relatable yet deeply intimate, provocative yet comforting, bite-sized yet profound, Lili's poems reflect her trademark honesty and unique perspective. Accompanied by striking and evocative illustrations, Swimming Lessons reveals the depths of female experience, and is the work of a storyteller who is coming into her own.

30 review for Swimming Lessons: Poems

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    i think she has the heart of a poet, but her words don’t quite measure up to the feelings behind them. the poems are like journal entries; real and very raw, but not really refined. very little poetic devices are used outside of plain imagery and similes, so not as interesting or creative as it could have been if different strategies had been explored a little more. overall, i was underwhelmed.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Forsyth

    The coolest girl in class can also write pretty good poems, too? This is starting to feel unfair.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Laura Altmann (laurabookish)

    Thank you to @harpercollinsaustralia for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review! In her debut poetry collection, Lili Reinhart, of Riverdale fame, explores relationships and mental health in a straight forward and relatable style. Tbh, I went into this book with fairly low expectations. Though I think highly of Reinhart and admire how open she is when discussing her depression, my previous experiences with books written by actors have been mostly negative. Thus, I w Thank you to @harpercollinsaustralia for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review! In her debut poetry collection, Lili Reinhart, of Riverdale fame, explores relationships and mental health in a straight forward and relatable style. Tbh, I went into this book with fairly low expectations. Though I think highly of Reinhart and admire how open she is when discussing her depression, my previous experiences with books written by actors have been mostly negative. Thus, I was happily surprised to find that I really enjoyed Swimming Lessons. Reinhart’s work is soft and lovely. In one poem, she describes herself as a hopeless romantic, and that quality shines through in her writing. I also loved the poems in which she discussed her mental health, they felt the most raw and relatable to me. The illustrations that are scattered through out the book were also a beautiful addition. I will say, however, that some of the poems in Swimming Lessons fell a little flat for me. The book was structured in a way that made the relationship focused poems feel a bit repetitive. I think the book could have been tighter, and more impactful, if some of the weaker poems had been cut. Overall though, I was really impressed by Reinhart’s debut collection! It’s a gorgeous little book, inside and out. I think some poetry fans may be tempted to dismiss this book because of Reinhart’s work on Riverdale, but I would recommend giving it a chance. Personally, I hope that Reinhart continues to pursue writing! I would love to read more of her work.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alej

    Poetry can be anything. This can fit under the umbrella term, however these pieces of writing feel distinctly like journal entries. While Reinhart insists it's not specific to her experiences, and more toward feelings, it's difficult not to picture her most famous relationship as the primary base for these writings. Additionally, while I do not want to limit her feelings or life struggles and appreciate that hardship is hardship and grief is grief, these pieces come from a very privileged, strai Poetry can be anything. This can fit under the umbrella term, however these pieces of writing feel distinctly like journal entries. While Reinhart insists it's not specific to her experiences, and more toward feelings, it's difficult not to picture her most famous relationship as the primary base for these writings. Additionally, while I do not want to limit her feelings or life struggles and appreciate that hardship is hardship and grief is grief, these pieces come from a very privileged, straight place. It's a very universal sentiment that has been shared. She may want her words to collect dust. They very well will. I hope Reinhart explores the deeper, darker, more collective conscious themes she lightly touches on here. She asks what if we all took a moment each day to realize how short life is? Well, I do that and live in great anxiety because of it. For me, this was better than Rupi Kaur, but by a small bit. I do hope she will keep writing, though.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    It was really short and simple. She speaks so eloquently online and in interviews, so I expected more depth from these. The poems just aren’t very original or interesting. It reminds me of R. H. Sin or Rupi Kaur which is to say that it’s already been done before. It might be because I can’t relate to that experience right now- I don’t wanna focus on straight heartbreak or longing. It’s boring. Everything is about that. I think the poems about mental health and platonic/familial love are better, It was really short and simple. She speaks so eloquently online and in interviews, so I expected more depth from these. The poems just aren’t very original or interesting. It reminds me of R. H. Sin or Rupi Kaur which is to say that it’s already been done before. It might be because I can’t relate to that experience right now- I don’t wanna focus on straight heartbreak or longing. It’s boring. Everything is about that. I think the poems about mental health and platonic/familial love are better, but they’re still very simple. I feel like books like these are praised so much because a celebrity wrote it but if an unknown author made this no one would even hear about it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mara

    I didn’t expect much from this and so my disappointment is manageable. Lili has a lot of potential as a writer but she’s still too unpolished for my taste. This was also much too short and should’ve been fledged out more.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    Lili Reinhart really has me in my feelings at 6 am. 😄 I never really read poetry, but I wanted to switch up my reading for 2021. I dont really know how to rate someone's poetry..its like rating someones diary..very personal. But I will go with my gut. I loved this. For me, poetry has always been about 'feeling'. I always ask, "Does it make me feel something?" In this case, Swimming Lessons by, Lili Reinhart does. I listened to this on audiobook, and loved her readings of her short poems on love, Lili Reinhart really has me in my feelings at 6 am. 😄 I never really read poetry, but I wanted to switch up my reading for 2021. I dont really know how to rate someone's poetry..its like rating someones diary..very personal. But I will go with my gut. I loved this. For me, poetry has always been about 'feeling'. I always ask, "Does it make me feel something?" In this case, Swimming Lessons by, Lili Reinhart does. I listened to this on audiobook, and loved her readings of her short poems on love, depression and heartbreak. This was beautiful in it's own way. Poetry is very subjective. Dont let Goodreads ratings sway you. Give everything a chance ( at least once). I loved this and am looking forward to her future books. 4.7 🌟🌟🌟🌟

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alice (Married To Books)

    Listened to the audiobook via BookBeat UK! Hands down one of the best poetry collections I’ve ever read. It was simply stunning! If you are looking for a relatable poet who writes about adolescent life, anxiety and depression or making decisions that could cause joy or heartbreak, look no further. I’m so excited to purchase a copy and annotate it for myself :) (This is the first review I’ve written in over 6 months, I’m scared to come back.) XD

  9. 5 out of 5

    Krista Regester

    I stopped taking photos of sunsets a long time ago. I can never capture its colours. The same goes for you.

  10. 4 out of 5

    frances

    This was too raw and a bit unpolished for my taste; too simple and needs more depth. These were like the poems you scribble as a teen on the back of your notebooks after a bad breakup.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Soha Ashraf

    I liked the doodling figures more than the poems written inside the book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    kristen ♡

    I read this in one sitting. I don’t really know anything about Lili, so I think I had the advantage of seeing just her poetry and not her fame. I am not really a fan of “modern” poetry (ex. Milk & Honey) it just feels so lifeless and only made to be shared on tumblr with no feelings behind the words, but I really felt like this was not that. I connected so much with these poems, especially the poems I interpreted about losing a loved one and depression & anxiety. I really hope Lili continues to I read this in one sitting. I don’t really know anything about Lili, so I think I had the advantage of seeing just her poetry and not her fame. I am not really a fan of “modern” poetry (ex. Milk & Honey) it just feels so lifeless and only made to be shared on tumblr with no feelings behind the words, but I really felt like this was not that. I connected so much with these poems, especially the poems I interpreted about losing a loved one and depression & anxiety. I really hope Lili continues to write poetry. UPDATE! I bought this book at Target today, I couldn’t help myself because I loved it so much. And it is one of the prettiest books I have ever seen in my life!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Khadeeja

    So excited for this, Lili Reinhart is a phenomenal actress and she’s already taken on some major acting roles and I can’t wait to see what she brings to the writing world. I wish her lots of success and happiness on her journey, May 5, 2020, mark your calendars people!!!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stay Fetters

    "And this vengeful part of me wants to hurt you before you can ever hurt me again." Lili digs deep and speaks from her soul with so much emotion that you can’t help but feel this all throughout yourself. Her words are beautiful. She puts power behind her words to pick you back up after you fall. Swimming Lessons made feel that there’s a rainbow at the end of the dark tunnel. All we have to do is reach out and grab it. "And this vengeful part of me wants to hurt you before you can ever hurt me again." Lili digs deep and speaks from her soul with so much emotion that you can’t help but feel this all throughout yourself. Her words are beautiful. She puts power behind her words to pick you back up after you fall. Swimming Lessons made feel that there’s a rainbow at the end of the dark tunnel. All we have to do is reach out and grab it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Star

    Thank you to Harper Collins Australia for sending me a finished copy of this book to read and review. Thank you also to me who bough this book on iBooks and then the very next day received it in the post. A+ on my behalf. It's really hard to rate poetry, but I shall try. Lili's words are so very lovely and relatable. Anyone who has been through a broken heart will find this collection easy to relate to. It’s really hard to review poems, as they’re so completely and utterly personal. Lili Reinhart of Thank you to Harper Collins Australia for sending me a finished copy of this book to read and review. Thank you also to me who bough this book on iBooks and then the very next day received it in the post. A+ on my behalf. It's really hard to rate poetry, but I shall try. Lili's words are so very lovely and relatable. Anyone who has been through a broken heart will find this collection easy to relate to. It’s really hard to review poems, as they’re so completely and utterly personal. Lili Reinhart of Riverdale has compiled her poems into this wonderful book – and when I first heard of it, I knew immediately that I needed to get my hands on a copy. And I am so glad I did, because these poems are so very lovely. I love that Lili is so open about mental health in her poems, and I know that she is an advocate for mental health and mental illness – so these poems rings to true to me. The way she writes is so simplistic and beautiful, and I think that almost anyone will be able to relate to her poems. I am thoroughly impressed with this debut collection of poems, and I am hoping that Lili writes more – I am looking forward to whatever she writes in the future. 4/5 stars.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jessm9700

    She is a very talented writer. Her poems on her tumblr are beautiful. Cannot wait to see what she's come up with! She is a very talented writer. Her poems on her tumblr are beautiful. Cannot wait to see what she's come up with!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Yoda

    It´s a lovely first poetry book. It reads like an authors first book but there is potential for more depth. I´m definitely going to read the next one.

  18. 5 out of 5

    April (Aprilius Maximus)

    "The beauty of something doesn't cease to exist just because it ends." representation: honestly can't remember soz fam [trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers] ★★★ I honestly don't know why I keep trying these modern poetry collections when i KNOW i won't like them that much haha but tbh i was just curious because it's lili reinhart 👀 i'm still convinced that anyone could pull simple poems like these out of their arse (plz dont hate me everyone lol) trigger "The beauty of something doesn't cease to exist just because it ends." representation: honestly can't remember soz fam [trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers] ★★★ I honestly don't know why I keep trying these modern poetry collections when i KNOW i won't like them that much haha but tbh i was just curious because it's lili reinhart 👀 i'm still convinced that anyone could pull simple poems like these out of their arse (plz dont hate me everyone lol) trigger warnings: can't remember and forgot to take notes sorryyyy i'm the worst.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    4.5 This definitely met my expectations. Absolutely loved it. Definitely not a celebrity trying to become author, this was real and true. You could tell it was written by someone who is actually passionate about poetry.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Temi Panayotova

    You let me lay on your clean sheets and wrap myself in your damp duvet. The tumbling washing machine mixed with the sound of your video games.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Since this poetry collection is written by none other than the lovely Lili Reinhart I knew I had to read it. I really enjoyed it, maybe even more than I was expecting to. I was pleasantly surprised, especially considering the fact that this is her debut book. I really appreciated the themes she decided to approach and also how she tackled them. Totally recommend this one!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Karunnya Menon

    Some poems really spoke to me. The poems where she talks of depression and anxiety are heartfelt, and you can picture exactly what she means. But others felt sort of forced, like she had to have some positive hopeful poems? Ps: I have the hardest time rating poetry collections because I don't know how to rate all of them in one umbrella. 🤷🏽‍♀️ Some poems really spoke to me. The poems where she talks of depression and anxiety are heartfelt, and you can picture exactly what she means. But others felt sort of forced, like she had to have some positive hopeful poems? Ps: I have the hardest time rating poetry collections because I don't know how to rate all of them in one umbrella. 🤷🏽‍♀️

  23. 5 out of 5

    Renata

    Wait I just realised this is written by the actress Lili Reinhart, I feel like boo boo the fool omg. But anyway, beside that shocking news to me, I liked this book. I guess some poetries weren’t for me and others I loved a lot so overall it was a good one.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cody Roecker

    Enjoyed this WAY more than expected tbh, Lili's narrative voice is great and would love for her to narrate more audios Enjoyed this WAY more than expected tbh, Lili's narrative voice is great and would love for her to narrate more audios

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sabina

    "Allow me to lose myself in your constellations." "Allow me to lose myself in your constellations."

  26. 4 out of 5

    izzy

    poetry of the week #8 " I stopped taking photos of sunsets a long time ago. / I can never capture its colors. / The same goes for you. " I want to preface this by saying I have absolutely no opinions of Lili as a celebrity or actress, as I have not watched Riverdale or anything else she's in. That being said, I was interested in trying another 'celebrity' poetry collection, after Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass. Lili, in this collection, forgoes evocative imagery and metaphor for more simplis poetry of the week #8 " I stopped taking photos of sunsets a long time ago. / I can never capture its colors. / The same goes for you. " I want to preface this by saying I have absolutely no opinions of Lili as a celebrity or actress, as I have not watched Riverdale or anything else she's in. That being said, I was interested in trying another 'celebrity' poetry collection, after Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass. Lili, in this collection, forgoes evocative imagery and metaphor for more simplistic, prose-like lines. She is more interested in the progress/plot and emotionality of her relationship (and yes, all but a couple of the poems seem to trace the throughline of a relationship) than out-there use of language. Which is fine. It's not what I prefer from poetry, but it does occasionally pack an emotional punch. "Mutual heartbreak would be the only comforting option, but you can't seem to spare me that." One thing that surprised me is that I quite liked the line art. I often find art and photos in poetry collections distracting, but these were nice. Overall, a simple but deceivingly sad collection. Not my exact cup of tea, but surprisingly good for a 'celebrity' collection. "our forevers are so fleeting / they almost mean nothing"

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ashlee Thomas Watt

    You can definitely tell this is Reinhart’s first writing experience. However, there are some real poetic gems in this. I really connected with her poems about mental health and earthly time. There were some poems about love that also stood out to me as well. Yet there were some poems that flatlined or sounded like a whiny teenager instead of profound intellectual (for which I took 2 stars from the overall rating). For a first book, I really thought she did well. I’m curious to see how she improv You can definitely tell this is Reinhart’s first writing experience. However, there are some real poetic gems in this. I really connected with her poems about mental health and earthly time. There were some poems about love that also stood out to me as well. Yet there were some poems that flatlined or sounded like a whiny teenager instead of profound intellectual (for which I took 2 stars from the overall rating). For a first book, I really thought she did well. I’m curious to see how she improves if she braves a second or third novel. Content warning: Many of the sketches have nudity in them. Which I believe is to resonate with the stripped rawness of her poetry. However, if that’s triggering for you, I’d probably not recommend reading this.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Yanira

    The book was ok because I only liked a few poems. Most of them were about love and kind of repeated the same thing but there were a few that made me feel connected to the book. It also gave me a little insight of the mind of a "celebrity" and it made me realize that even famous people have hard lives and it's not easy like people think. The book was ok because I only liked a few poems. Most of them were about love and kind of repeated the same thing but there were a few that made me feel connected to the book. It also gave me a little insight of the mind of a "celebrity" and it made me realize that even famous people have hard lives and it's not easy like people think.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Maimona Masarwa

    I was turned between giving 3 or 4 stars, in the end, it's 4 since I really enjoyed it! and this book definitely is a good one. the author was able to make me feel the sadness, the jealousy, the love, and the betrayal throughout the whole book. there was an impact in her words that can make anyone relate to it. though I loved it, still I think her use of words was very limited ( even though English is not my native language) I can tell when the poet didn't express him or herself enough! she coul I was turned between giving 3 or 4 stars, in the end, it's 4 since I really enjoyed it! and this book definitely is a good one. the author was able to make me feel the sadness, the jealousy, the love, and the betrayal throughout the whole book. there was an impact in her words that can make anyone relate to it. though I loved it, still I think her use of words was very limited ( even though English is not my native language) I can tell when the poet didn't express him or herself enough! she could have made a much more powerful impact on the reader.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kera (featherboundbooks)

    I absolutely adored this collection of poems. Lili writes some heartbreaking verses about love and loss in Swimming Lessons that had me clutching my chest. This was a vulnerable peek into one of the most private aspects of her personal life. She speaks of some difficult moments of depression and the feelings of incredible inadequacy when the one you love does not or cannot love you back in the same way. But then, she writes about feeling a love so deep that she will never feel those exact feeling I absolutely adored this collection of poems. Lili writes some heartbreaking verses about love and loss in Swimming Lessons that had me clutching my chest. This was a vulnerable peek into one of the most private aspects of her personal life. She speaks of some difficult moments of depression and the feelings of incredible inadequacy when the one you love does not or cannot love you back in the same way. But then, she writes about feeling a love so deep that she will never feel those exact feelings and those moments with another person. This was such a beautiful collection, especially since I had the opportunity to listen to an ALC thanks to Macmillan Audio, which was narrated by Lili herself. She has a wonderful way lyrical way of speaking anyway, but this was next level. I am so thankful to have been given the chance to listen to this collection of poems. And while this is her first published work, Lili Reinhart has been writing poetry for YEARS. She is an advocate for women and mental health, and that shines through in this collection. Thank you so much to Macmillan Audio for my ALC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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