Book Review · Books

It’s Getting Harder and Harder To Tell the Two of You Apart by Casey Renee Kiser and Johnny Scarlotti [BOOK REVIEW]

It's Getting Harder and Harder To Tell the Two of You Apart by Casey Renee Kiser and Johnny Scarlotti poetry book review blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

I don’t always read poetry, but I won “It’s Getting Harder and Harder To Tell the Two of You Apart” by Casey Renee Kiser and Johnny Scarlotti through a giveaway on LibraryThing.

And if you are already familiar with my “reading rules”, you know I try and read every single book I have ever received, because it’s only fair. And sometimes, the most unexpected books and the ones we don’t actively search for tend to surprise us the most. That happened with this book as well!

“It’s Getting Harder and Harder To Tell the Two of You Apart” is written by two authors – two amazing writers of poetry, who have a very similar style of horror and suspense, but also very distinctive differences in their writing style too. The book is split in two parts, and we get the chance to explore both worlds. 

Part 1 – Casey Renee Kiser

The first part of the book was written by Casey Renee Kiser, and my favorite poem was “I am not a ghost yet”. It is morbid and powerful, and I loved the way the feelings and scenes were amplified in a morbid sense. I love the brutality of the writing. 

“Everything was beautiful the day you died”,
You said as you touched my cold hand. 

Part 2 – Johnny Scarlotti

I could instantly see the difference in the poems between the two poets, but at the same time, also admire how similar their styles and themes are. I find Johnny’s writing very creepy, much creepier than Casey’s. Especially when the mood suddenly changes and the random “haha’s” and “woahh’s” in the poems appear.

Now I’m dashing through the park clipping
Children’s kite strings
Ha ha, that’s what you get, you little freaks!

It felt like I was reading the secret diary of the Joker. Either him, or Pennywise. It was so fucked up, but it read as the new normal, which is what a psycho would think and feel. It was creepy, it was wrong, but at the same time it satisfied my curiosity. I think that may be the same curiosity that makes me watch true crime shows, crime confessions and old interview with Ted Bundy. And I really enjoyed it. 

If I could change anything about my experience with this book, I would have read this for Halloween. I think it would have been the perfect experience, next to a lot of red candles and dim lighting, alongside some quiet creepy music. 

I would recommend “It’s Getting Harder and Harder To Tell the Two of You Apart” to all fans of horror poetry – it is dark and twisty, brutally honest and creepy, and it will pull you over to the dark side, even for a day. 

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Wide Open – Amy Bodossian [BOOK REVIEW]

Wide Open is one of the few books of this kind. I personally am not a huge fan of poetry, and I don’t enjoy reading it too often, but sometimes a book comes and makes me wonder I act this way. Amy Bodossian truly wrote something beautiful and unique, and I look forward to reading more poems from her.

I have to say a huge thank you to Outside the Box Press, for letting me have a copy of this book in an exchange for an honest review.

Wide Open (Published by Outside the Box Press) is a book that contains poetry written about love and sex. Amy writes with so much emotion and oh, the feels! It can be very straightforward and harsh at times, and it can be warm and loving as well, and it is a perfect blend of feelings and emotions that make you see the art of love and sex in a completely different and unique way. In the book you can also see a lot of amazing illustrations made by Amy, which perfectly represent each poem.

I wouldn’t say I loved it, because I don’t easily love books, but I have to mention that this one did surprise me in a very pleasant way. It is incredibly open and very thorough, and I believe it deserves a place on your shelves as well. It makes your body shiver from her words in an unusual way, and it helps you realise to always keep your heart open – to new loves, to new experiences, to new adventures, to new opportunities!


Set Me Free: The Story of How Shakespeare Saved A Life – Salvatore Striano [BOOK REVIEW]

I received an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review of this book from Text PublishingNetgalley! The translator of the book did a wonderful job, as it didn’t feel at all like it was translated!

This is a story about an Italian prisoner that tells us how the prison system works, all the unfairness in it, and this is also a story that tells us how a person can still turn up good into a bad environment, and I was very happy that I witnessed that change from one chapter into another.

The way it was written was quite good, even though at times it felt a bit blunt and boring. Shakespeare was used in the book a lot, and sometimes he was overused and was in places where he shouldn’t have been. I believe that Shakespeare had influence over Sasa, but not as much as the theatre itself. I believe it was the theatre that made Sasa free, and not Shakespeare in particular. At the end of the day, I actually think that Sasa made himself free… Sometimes you only need a little push and nothing more.

I loved Sasa’s character, and I loved the way he sees life. I love how he sees the positive in all the negative, and besides all, he still wants to be a better person. We are all human, and we all make mistakes, and sometimes people know they made mistakes, regret them and want to become better. That is exactly what Sasa did, in an unfair environment.

I thought the prison was presented a bit unrealistic, as we all know what happens inside, and as much as Sasa wouldn’t hurt anyone if not necessary, almost 90% of the other inmates would – on regular basis. This was a little fact that annoyed me a bit. Other than that, I really enjoyed the book and can’t wait to read another book from Salvatore Striano.

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