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2Fish: (a poetry book)

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Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo has developed and refined a method of emoting through writing. 2Fish is a collection of intimate poems (and a few short stories) written by Chilombo from adolescence to adulthood, in no particular order. The book details Chilombo's thoughts in their most raw and honest form taken directly from a collection of not Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo has developed and refined a method of emoting through writing. 2Fish is a collection of intimate poems (and a few short stories) written by Chilombo from adolescence to adulthood, in no particular order. The book details Chilombo's thoughts in their most raw and honest form taken directly from a collection of notebooks she has kept since age 12.


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Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo has developed and refined a method of emoting through writing. 2Fish is a collection of intimate poems (and a few short stories) written by Chilombo from adolescence to adulthood, in no particular order. The book details Chilombo's thoughts in their most raw and honest form taken directly from a collection of not Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo has developed and refined a method of emoting through writing. 2Fish is a collection of intimate poems (and a few short stories) written by Chilombo from adolescence to adulthood, in no particular order. The book details Chilombo's thoughts in their most raw and honest form taken directly from a collection of notebooks she has kept since age 12.

30 review for 2Fish: (a poetry book)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    I guess this wasn't really for me. But, I'm not going to pull any punches here. I found the writing juvenile and syrupy and full of contrived sentiment. I found it immature in longing for things that only make sense to you when you haven't ever had anything of substance in your life. And I found it dumb. Now, in the interest of fairness, there was one "fish" that I did really like, the one about buying coats for the skeletons in your closet. That one worked. And it worked well. But it is too lit I guess this wasn't really for me. But, I'm not going to pull any punches here. I found the writing juvenile and syrupy and full of contrived sentiment. I found it immature in longing for things that only make sense to you when you haven't ever had anything of substance in your life. And I found it dumb. Now, in the interest of fairness, there was one "fish" that I did really like, the one about buying coats for the skeletons in your closet. That one worked. And it worked well. But it is too little for me to surmise that this poet has any real ability beyond the overly sweet, wafer thin feelings she spreads on the pages. The rest of the poems? Meh. This book is like listening to a double album that has only one great song on it. At least it's short and won't take up the kind of time listening to a double album would take. So, it's got that going for it. Your mileage may vary, and I can see how many readers would like the author's points of view. But they're not for me. I prefer a poem with a sharp, dirty, serrated edge that's going to hurt when it plunges into your heart. These were mostly plastic butter-knives. They bend when they hit your chest and barely leave a scratch. One last note: when I read and reviewed this book, I didn't know that it was the work of a very young person. I just knew that there was a buzz around it and that people were talking about it in glowing terms and I had to find out why. It makes sense now. It reads exactly as what it is.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Juleah

    It took me a while to finish the book bc I really took my time and I actually read it twice because I wanted to really understand what she was saying. The way Jhené writes, 3 ppl could be reading the exact same thing but interpret it in 3 different ways. I love the complexity yet simplicity of it. She’s a collection of paradoxes. She is but she isn’t. She’s up but she’s down. She makes perfect sense and none at all. Jhene belongs to no one. This book is all about...coping in my opinion. She’s de It took me a while to finish the book bc I really took my time and I actually read it twice because I wanted to really understand what she was saying. The way Jhené writes, 3 ppl could be reading the exact same thing but interpret it in 3 different ways. I love the complexity yet simplicity of it. She’s a collection of paradoxes. She is but she isn’t. She’s up but she’s down. She makes perfect sense and none at all. Jhene belongs to no one. This book is all about...coping in my opinion. She’s dealt with the loss of her brother, her grandmother, and even herself. She’s very vulnerable in this book and I appreciate that. We definitely see another side to her. I especially love how she wrote a poem about my all time favorite rapper. I’m sure y’all can guess who. If you’re new to poetry, most of her poems may go over your head. Don’t expect to understand what you read right away. Really think about what she’s saying and the context in which it’s being said. I recommend everyone to read this book.💚

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bobbieshiann

    you every read something and have to take your time to understand it, and once you do, it seems like you have unlocked every hidden message? in the beginning i was just like okay but then i started to hear her cry for help. her heartbreak. she was losing so much of herself while also dealing with deaths. she looked for answers through drugs. looks for answers through death but only coming close to meeting it. you try not to live but you wake up everyday and have no choice but to figure it out. (“n you every read something and have to take your time to understand it, and once you do, it seems like you have unlocked every hidden message? in the beginning i was just like okay but then i started to hear her cry for help. her heartbreak. she was losing so much of herself while also dealing with deaths. she looked for answers through drugs. looks for answers through death but only coming close to meeting it. you try not to live but you wake up everyday and have no choice but to figure it out. (“never over dose, wakes up to war outside”. ) when she shares her heartbreak she does not share it in as a intimate relationship with a lover. she speaks of losing her brother and how hard it is to cope. you can read how fresh her pain is and how opioids was her drug of release. a release that was not real. it caused more pain. an addiction that drowned her in sorrow and suicidal thoughts. as a fan, her music has always moved me but this poetry book and her latest album together really are a TRIP. we are all suffering and wanting to be heard. we just have to find a way to ask for it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tricia Pham

    I am a big fan of Jhene Aiko and after reading this poetry book, I was able to have a glimpse of what she went through in life. I was able to implement her poetry to my life experiences as well. A very short book, but well worth a read for those who enjoy poetry about love, loss, motherhood, and life.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sylvia

    Simply haunting and beautiful. So full of emotion and pain. Lovely.

  6. 4 out of 5

    What the Fluff

    This was overall a nice poetry collection. The illustrations were very nicely done; this little book has a lot of heart. The style of many of these poems are, like other reviews have pointed out, more like song lyrics than poetry. These poems sometimes seemed "unfinished". I felt like some of the writing had clichés, and made the poetry seem like beginner-level-needs-editing work. However, it was still so heartfelt and honest that the positives outweighed the negatives. I guess it must have been This was overall a nice poetry collection. The illustrations were very nicely done; this little book has a lot of heart. The style of many of these poems are, like other reviews have pointed out, more like song lyrics than poetry. These poems sometimes seemed "unfinished". I felt like some of the writing had clichés, and made the poetry seem like beginner-level-needs-editing work. However, it was still so heartfelt and honest that the positives outweighed the negatives. I guess it must have been a sizing mistake, but much of the handwritten parts shown were zoomed in too close, and words were cut off. I feel like the poems about the writer's brother dying, and the grief that ensued, will stay with me in particular. I understand Jhené Cholombo when she writes about how the bond between siblings can never be matched by any other relationship. I also admire her passion for perseverance. No matter how bad it may seem, you will see the sunlight. Main themes/subjects include: love, relationships, body image, family, grief, depression, drug use.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Diep

    I‘m probably very, very biased but I love Jhené with all my heart and soul. Words cannot explain how much her music and she as a person mean to me. 2fish definitely made me cried twice, I‘m not gonna lie. Jhené has this incredible talent of expressing herself through her words, lyrics, poems. I’m in awe, honestly. I might have to re-read this book a few more times to understand what she‘s really trying to say to us. Other than that, I hope to see more poetry books of hers in the future. **TW for I‘m probably very, very biased but I love Jhené with all my heart and soul. Words cannot explain how much her music and she as a person mean to me. 2fish definitely made me cried twice, I‘m not gonna lie. Jhené has this incredible talent of expressing herself through her words, lyrics, poems. I’m in awe, honestly. I might have to re-read this book a few more times to understand what she‘s really trying to say to us. Other than that, I hope to see more poetry books of hers in the future. **TW for addiction, drug abuse, death**

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chapter by Chapter

    I have been a huge fan of Jhene Aiko’s since for years, and years, and when I first saw 2Fish in stores, I knew that I had to pick it up. The collection of short stories and poetry were so personal to their author and honestly changed the way that I view an artist who I’ve respected, and looked up to, since I was young. Everything about 2Fish was intimate, beautiful, and raw. This was a book that made me emotional. It was fantastic. The content in 2Fish looks at Jhene’s experiences with substanc I have been a huge fan of Jhene Aiko’s since for years, and years, and when I first saw 2Fish in stores, I knew that I had to pick it up. The collection of short stories and poetry were so personal to their author and honestly changed the way that I view an artist who I’ve respected, and looked up to, since I was young. Everything about 2Fish was intimate, beautiful, and raw. This was a book that made me emotional. It was fantastic. The content in 2Fish looks at Jhene’s experiences with substance abuse, the loss of her brother, her past romances, and past experiences in her life. There are a lot of hand-written notes in the poetry book of familiar lyrics that she’s written—and anyone who listens to her music would quickly recognize them, including references to songs from her latest album Trip. I found that 2Fish was so well-thought out and honest. It was absolutely, stunningly beautiful. Jhene’s talent with words are evident throughout 2Fish. There were so many poems that ripped out my heart, and made me so emotional. Her writing was beyond relatable, especially when it came to the poems she wrote about her late-brother. The way she describes the relationship between she and her brother perfectly describes the relationships, and emotions, shared between siblings. The poem ‘43Fish’ brought me to tears (after reading it I was crying until I was finished the book). There is just so much emotional depth to 2Fish that help to make it such a worthwhile reading experience. I would recommend 2Fish to readers who are fans of Jhene’s music. To any readers who are looking for a heartfelt and emotional poetry book, this is the read for you. To any readers who want a poetry book that is raw and real, you won’t want to put this one down.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alvini

    It's simply beautiful and touching everytime she talked about his bro♡

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Arredondo

    Read this as soon as I got it (late on my review). To be honest, I read this...loved it...read it over again...still loved it. Gave it to my teenage daughter to read because she is the biggest Jhene Aiko fan and she loved it. The beauty of this poetry collection...is that it is not just a book of poetry. It's like a journal...a personal journal and I love that style when it comes to poetry books. It's just so special to open a book of poetry and find much more than lines of words. Poetry books a Read this as soon as I got it (late on my review). To be honest, I read this...loved it...read it over again...still loved it. Gave it to my teenage daughter to read because she is the biggest Jhene Aiko fan and she loved it. The beauty of this poetry collection...is that it is not just a book of poetry. It's like a journal...a personal journal and I love that style when it comes to poetry books. It's just so special to open a book of poetry and find much more than lines of words. Poetry books are often scarce in content...a few pages...minimal use of the entire page. Poetry books are often to the point.....just poetry. But this book and it's style had more. I loved the snippets of entries. I loved the little doodles and sketches. If you know her music you'll learn that it's very much in that style...she has a way with flow, a way with describing things poetically but not over done. You can read something that seems like it could be easily written by yourself because it's that to the point....and then you read further and can clearly understand why she is the grammy nominated songwriter. Just beautiful...I wish it was over 1,000 pages. Thanks as always to the wonderful people of goodreads, Jhen Aiko Efuro Chilombo, and to Ulysses Press for my free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review to which I gladly and voluntarily gave.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Risa

    jhené aiko is one of my favorite artists of all time. her voice is therapeutic, as well as her lyrics. the way she puts so much of her soul into each of her songs has resonated with me for the past few years. some of her songs remind me of old friends, past relationships, good experiences, bad... when i heard she was going to organize her poems into a book, part of her M.A.P., i was so excited and i knew i had to read it. i was gifted this book from a friend for christmas and i could've read it jhené aiko is one of my favorite artists of all time. her voice is therapeutic, as well as her lyrics. the way she puts so much of her soul into each of her songs has resonated with me for the past few years. some of her songs remind me of old friends, past relationships, good experiences, bad... when i heard she was going to organize her poems into a book, part of her M.A.P., i was so excited and i knew i had to read it. i was gifted this book from a friend for christmas and i could've read it all in a single day, but i took my time instead. i feel like she just really puts herself out there in everything she does. i learn more about her with every song and every poem and every video. i relate to her so much even though we have totally different experiences. this poetry book was really nice, and i hope she continues to publish more of her poems and stories.

  12. 4 out of 5

    RastaMone

    Ive been a Jhené Aiko fan since the beginning of time and now that I have read this book I love her even more. 100% this book was filled with paradoxes and I loved every bit of it. As women growing from a child into an adult we go through a lot of changes and the list of those changes could go on forever. Reading this book I seen a lot of myself in Jhené and I couldn't ever be more grateful that she wrote this. Ones with a certain level of understanding or overstanding will appreciate the lovely Ive been a Jhené Aiko fan since the beginning of time and now that I have read this book I love her even more. 100% this book was filled with paradoxes and I loved every bit of it. As women growing from a child into an adult we go through a lot of changes and the list of those changes could go on forever. Reading this book I seen a lot of myself in Jhené and I couldn't ever be more grateful that she wrote this. Ones with a certain level of understanding or overstanding will appreciate the lovely paradoxes written in this book. So, thank you Ms. Jhené your music and soul are appreciated. 💖

  13. 5 out of 5

    sirenadelsol

    Feb 1, 2017 I am afraid I am not good enough to deserve anything great I can not stop comparing Im afraid I will never get it right Im afraid I will give up before my time I am afraid I am losing myself to my addictions I am afraid I am addicted to everything I need so much attention but also, so much space I am afraid that I will push everyone away So far best poetry book I've read in 2018

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lizz

    Wow! This book was amazing, from the first page to the last page. After reading this I learned so much about Jhene Aiko; from losing her brother to using drugs. Even though I cannot connect with her specific life struggles, I was able to connect with her poetry in other ways. Everyone should read this book!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Naydia Westerman

    Incredible Depth This collection has her soul and her mind woven in between the words. 69Fish made me cry - such innocence and depth. I appreciate the ways she shared the moments that shaped her. It made my mind remember the things I do and the moments I share with my children can weigh heavy. First collection with SO many bookmarks. Read it people!! I patiently wait for more.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mikaylynn Jenaé

    Creative Chaos, I honestly loved this. If you are a fan of Jhene's and know some of her story this poetry book makes perfect sense. This book was her in raw form. This is about love, loss, and silver linings. Its about true chaos that some of us go through. She is definitely a writer that keeps on writing. It was very her.

  17. 5 out of 5

    William

    It's not bad for what it is. Not great poetry, but for just up and publishing one's old middle school poetry books, it ain't bad. Reading as recommended by a student. I was expecting more rupi kaur than this rhymy stuff. It's okay, though. Like I said, for what it is, it's aight.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Laura Bee

    I bought this book because I fell in love with the rhythm of the Chilombo's writing. It only took me three pages to know I wanted to read more and re-read more. It made me want to write; and if that isn't a book worth reading then I don't know what is.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Galván

    It took me several pages to get into her poetry, I think because I doubted Jhene Aiko’s ability to transcend the gap between singer/songwriter and legitimate poet. The pages taken directly from her diary were often hard to read, but I appreciated being able to see her process. Some of her poetry was simple, A-B-A-B rhymes, which I always feel are forced. A lot of it was about opioids, depression, and childhood love. I don’t resonate with the type of love that hurts so badly, that its absence mak It took me several pages to get into her poetry, I think because I doubted Jhene Aiko’s ability to transcend the gap between singer/songwriter and legitimate poet. The pages taken directly from her diary were often hard to read, but I appreciated being able to see her process. Some of her poetry was simple, A-B-A-B rhymes, which I always feel are forced. A lot of it was about opioids, depression, and childhood love. I don’t resonate with the type of love that hurts so badly, that its absence makes you doubt your own existence in the way Jhene’s does. That was difficult for me to empathize with. What eventually got me, and the reason I’m giving 2 Fish 3 stars, was the magic that she wrote when she wrote about her brother. Her poems about her brother shook me, made me weep, and echoed in my heart long after I read them. I recommend 2Fish to young adults who have known sadness and need a friend who can relate, and for those who have known loss and want to bond with a heart who aches in the same way.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Fleck

    Loved so much about this book! She includes her handwritten journal pages throughout, which really allows you to see her writing process. I also thought the poems about her brother who passed away were incredibly powerful. Great book of poetry, especially for those who don't think they like poetry. Read it!!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Forsyth

    I just couldn't get into this - the book proudly touts that it collects poems witten since Jhené was a teenager, and I think the collection might have been stronger with removing those poems.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Solany Lara

    So real. Lots of poems that can be related to. I especially love her poems on love and loss. I've only listened to a few songs by her, but will be putting on her music today.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mirabelle

    2Fish by Jhene Aiko was such a great read. You might recognize her as the singer for many modern R&B songs but she’s been a poet ever since she was a little kid. 2Fish is Jhene Aiko’s first published book and contains recent poems to poems she wrote in notebooks at age 13. She writes about many topics which strays from how most poems in poetry books are about romance. I’m aware most of the these poems are romantic, sorry. Jhene’s poems vary in length and some pages even have illustrations. I 2Fish by Jhene Aiko was such a great read. You might recognize her as the singer for many modern R&B songs but she’s been a poet ever since she was a little kid. 2Fish is Jhene Aiko’s first published book and contains recent poems to poems she wrote in notebooks at age 13. She writes about many topics which strays from how most poems in poetry books are about romance. I’m aware most of the these poems are romantic, sorry. Jhene’s poems vary in length and some pages even have illustrations. I’m fond of her style; she rhymes as if her poems were hip hop lyrics as opposed to following classical poetry rhyming rules. To be honest, most modern poets I read from are white so it’s refreshing to support a fellow asian poet like Jhene. I couldn’t fit my favourite poems from this book (23Fish, 43Fish, and 45Fish) in this post because they all take up 3 pages, but they’re about her late brother. I cried during those and I don’t even have a brother.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Renee M. P. T. Kray

    This is a really cool little book of poetry that packs a lot of weight. Including the author's uncorrected, handwritten progress pages made it so much more personal, and her poems about losing her brother were so heartbreaking.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer 黄雷 ✧

    Some very deeply personal pieces are in here. It's a humbling invitation to read. Content warning for suicidal ideation+attempts, narcotics, death of an immediate family member. Though very painful subject matter, Chilombo writes with childlike honesty about her experiences. The rhythm of these poems are impressively quite Seussian, but even when the speaker is at peace with their yin and yang, the words are still laced with so much melancholy. A must for every pisces tbh.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    This was... not good. Heavyhanded, lacking any deftness or subtlety, and just overly literal. Glimpses of wit were ruined by attempts at pseudo-poetic depth. A few poems were good lines—but they were lines, not entire poems as Chilombo wrote them. Also, the 1Fish, 2Fish, 3Fish thing didn’t serve any valuable purpose. Like, okay, you alluded to Dr Seuss. Why? How does this connect at all to your imagery or subject matter? It all seemed like a stretch. There we a couple decent poems, but they did n This was... not good. Heavyhanded, lacking any deftness or subtlety, and just overly literal. Glimpses of wit were ruined by attempts at pseudo-poetic depth. A few poems were good lines—but they were lines, not entire poems as Chilombo wrote them. Also, the 1Fish, 2Fish, 3Fish thing didn’t serve any valuable purpose. Like, okay, you alluded to Dr Seuss. Why? How does this connect at all to your imagery or subject matter? It all seemed like a stretch. There we a couple decent poems, but they did not justify the rest of the collection. It felt lazy, derivative, and, quite honestly, amateur.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    Kind of disappointed. The handwritten parts had parts of the words missing which made it hard to understand like it was cut off by the binding. And some of the words were hard to read because she wanted it to look messy.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Illeyana

    It's simple and meaningful, and still might not be for everyone. For someone, it could be as simple as knowing her background and understanding where she's coming from. Or, if you've experienced some of what's being said, then having a deep connection to the poems. All in all, the works are very good and a delight. (Even more so, if you can relate.)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This read was perfection in that I see I am not alone. Coping is such an individual experience but can also be highly similar to others, pun intended. The greatest on-the-go insight. I would absolutely recommend this to others.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Erika Kraus

    Amazing collection of chaos and love. I am a huge fan of Jhene Aiko Efuru Chilombo's writing. My sketch and notebooks look similar to this, inspiring words, thoughts, poems and seemingly random drawings. I loved it!

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