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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 note 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 note 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

    Luna

    "i shouted to the stars but there were no answers i called out to God you were there" i always knew of jhené aiko but once i found out she wrote poetry and was releasing a book things changed. i respected her. i adored her. and as expected i adore this book. facebook advertised it to me enough times. her songs are poetry enough. her lyrics. it's surreal to see actual poetry. this is her heart on a page. on pages. her soul. and it was divine.

  5. 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.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jordan

    A quick read. There were some great lines in here! I really enjoyed the poems rhyming, but the ones that look like they’re out of a note book were hard to read. The formatting looked off for some of them too.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Renata

    This was nice to read but I guess that’s it? It’s a nice short poetry book to read and really fast to read, but maybe it wasn’t for me, though. “do you know what really sucks? when you swallow a pill and that pill gets stuck and you wait for the feels but the feels won’t come cuz the pain of the pill in your throat makes it numb focused on the pain you miss the whole high you forget the whole feeling of wanting to die cuz now you’re like “please, pill! please pass by!” and you sob and you cry then it all gets This was nice to read but I guess that’s it? It’s a nice short poetry book to read and really fast to read, but maybe it wasn’t for me, though. “do you know what really sucks? when you swallow a pill and that pill gets stuck and you wait for the feels but the feels won’t come cuz the pain of the pill in your throat makes it numb focused on the pain you miss the whole high you forget the whole feeling of wanting to die cuz now you’re like “please, pill! please pass by!” and you sob and you cry then it all gets worse… now you’re high and you’re crying and your throat really hurts” “two fish different directions one is accepting one is rejecting one is a curse the other’s a blessing while one is the worst the other’s the best thing and there is no resting between the two it’s either it’s or but she’ll never choose hopeful and bruised sure, but confused one fish with a wish split into two”

  8. 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.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sylvia

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

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ngoc 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**

  11. 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

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kylie Psaila

    "there was no captain but you were my anchor" In all honesty, I was debating if I should DNF it or not, but I read the poem '23fish' and it motivated me to keep on reading and give this collection a chance. Unfortunately this wasn't for me, and the only reason why I gave it 2 instead of 1 star was simply because of certain lines/verses through it all (which are quite a few), along with the '23fish'. I found it rather boring and tiring - I truly thought that I was going to enjoy this more.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sydney

    3.5 an inside look. *64Fish i once told a stranger i met “the more that you know me, the more you’ll forget. the closer we grow, the stranger i get” he doesn’t get it quite yet*

  14. 4 out of 5

    Romário Ribeiro

    I've never cried this much. so grateful to get to know more of jhene and be so close to her writing. I think that everybody should give a try to her album Chilombo and just feel the experience.

  15. 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.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alvini

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

  17. 5 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.

  18. 4 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.

  19. 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. 💖

  20. 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.

  21. 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!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mikaylynn

    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.

  23. 4 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.

  24. 4 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.

  25. 5 out of 5

    sara

    I always admire people for being able to tell their story and share their art, especially from a young age. There is no doubt in my mind that Jhené has both talent in her music and strength in what she has been through. She is someone to look up to. I've never heard of her music, but I've heard of her name and I've seen this book before, so I decided to check it out. I like poetry. I got to be honest, this was not some of Jhené's best work at all. I found the collection mind-numbling, cliché, an I always admire people for being able to tell their story and share their art, especially from a young age. There is no doubt in my mind that Jhené has both talent in her music and strength in what she has been through. She is someone to look up to. I've never heard of her music, but I've heard of her name and I've seen this book before, so I decided to check it out. I like poetry. I got to be honest, this was not some of Jhené's best work at all. I found the collection mind-numbling, cliché, and just not my cup of tea. It read like hip-hop, and maybe would have been better suited as a song than music. Her writing was often basic, simplistic, lacking any detail that poetry usually has. I struggled to get through it. Some of the writing did come close to what I would consider good, and the subject matters being portrayed were important and close to Jhené, but there was no time, while reading this book, that I enjoyed it. I thought that it would be better if some of the journal entries were transcribed, I couldn't make out what Jhené was writing. I think that I understand why this book fell short, many of these poems were written when she was younger, and to display them with what she has built now, shows how much she has grown, but still how bad her writing was. The format was kinda cool in all respects, and the cover.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Lawler

    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.

  27. 4 out of 5

    AMITY

    I love this woman and her beautiful words, I’ll start off with that. There were such intimate themes in this book of poems and short stories from her childhood, but there was also an element of trying to comb through the words to figure them out, which I feel a reader shouldn’t have to do. That is, it’s one thing if the theme isn’t conveyed clearly as that’s always up for debate, but when the book itself is of the author’s handwriting when she was a young girl and we the reader are expected to m I love this woman and her beautiful words, I’ll start off with that. There were such intimate themes in this book of poems and short stories from her childhood, but there was also an element of trying to comb through the words to figure them out, which I feel a reader shouldn’t have to do. That is, it’s one thing if the theme isn’t conveyed clearly as that’s always up for debate, but when the book itself is of the author’s handwriting when she was a young girl and we the reader are expected to make it out? I feel that’s giving the reader a disservice, but that’s just me. Overall, a very solid read with very descriptive words and memories.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bre

    I didn't know Jhene had a poetry book out until one of my social media friends posted something on their story that sounded good and I had to check it out. I figured the book could've been a little better because there were poems written on notebook paper I could barely read. She could've did it like 2pacs poetry books. I only liked the Langston Hughes short story and the story/poem about her brother. I got bored reading some of the book that's why I gave it 2 stars. I still like Jhene tho

  29. 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!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Allie Vera

    I appreciate the idea behind presenting raw works, especially from a younger age, but for me the quality of the writing became more of a distraction than a narrative component. I did like some of the 'fish' in the book, which inclines me to believe that I may like Aiko's more polished work, but the more finished parts of 2Fish were simply drowned out.

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