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Poetry Review: The (Forgotten) Laws of Expectations by Nicole M. Jacob (5/5)

17 Mar

I almost didn’t write this review because if I’m being honest with you, I’m terrible at poetry. I read things quickly and poetry doesn’t lend itself well to being read quickly. But then I realized I owed it to the author who is a dear friend of mine. Because I know what she’s talking about in these words and the way she’s conveyed her feelings really is moving.

Cover image via

Cover image via

The (Forgotten) Laws of Expectations by Nicole M. Jacob

Summary from Goodreads:

A collection of poetry and truths from 2014.

I’m not a poetry person per say. I’ve never bought a book of poetry (that Nicole didn’t write) though I have a few on my shelves that were gifts or my husband’s. I almost didn’t write this review because I didn’t know what to say. I think knowing the author personally helped me understand how poetry can be used. There were things in this book that I’d heard straight from Nicole’s mouth. But she wouldn’t use the same words to describe it to me as she would use to describe the events in this book. For example, on page 89,

It’s much easier to think of the hours than the miles [between us].

To me, she would have said, “I hate thinking about how far away he is.” Nicole has made her feelings very universal for a reader who doesn’t know her to understand and relate to. Though I had my ‘novelist hat’ on and was looking for plot, I found myself relating to the feelings described. Missing my husband when I was in Europe and he was in Michigan. The guy I dated in high school that led me on for months. I remembered these things while reading Nicole’s words.

I could tell that she was talking about a few different people in this book and I think it worked because there were similar feelings playing around each person. You can feel betrayed by more than one person at a time. (I was glad to see there were no references to “my annoying turtle-obsessed reader friend.) This worked well for me because it added a bit of a mixture to the story.

Nicole M. Jacob Image from the author's Facebook page

Nicole M. Jacob
Image from the author’s Facebook page

The layout of the book played a lot of font, style and language. There are quotes in Spanish throughout the text that sometimes relate directly to the poem and sometimes supplement it. In case you’re curious, yes, I did help translate them! (And thus my name in the dedication). Some lines of the poems are larger, helping a poetry novice like myself focus on the important parts of the book. There are a few quotes (one by yours truly!) that reiterate that these are universal feelings that other writers have shared for years. The mix really worked well for me.

Writer’s Takeaway: Reading something outside of the genre in which you write. Poetry reminds me to never forget emotions and to never be afraid to use metaphors to describe things. Maybe my characters would describe things in black and white and maybe they would use poetic language each person needs to speak in his or her own way.

Call it biased if you want, but I enjoyed this book. Five out of Five stars.

Until next time, write on.

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