Midnight Moon by Karaline Alessia

Karaline Alessia’s Midnight Moon shines bright with mystery and love. This collection of poetry and short stories is a diverse set of pieces that effectively express the author’s admiration for language and storytelling. It is a refreshing read that will place your mind in autumn regardless of the current season.

“It is a refreshing read that will place your mind in autumn regardless of the current season.”

Alessia explains in the preface that she holds three tenets in her life: “love, female empowerment, and magic.” These themes are the framework for Midnight Moon, which offers generous insights into a vivid imagination. This book is ideal for readers who enjoy Rupi Kaur’s and Amanda Lovelace’s minimal and accessible approaches to poetry. The opening prose piece sets the overall tone of the book, a love of words and their power, as well as an admiration of the magic inherent in children. Aspiring writers may find encouragement in these lines about pursuing one’s craft: “Work at it. Believe in it, and, most importantly, believe in yourself.”

The turn to the first section of the book, “Ghost Tales,” feels abrupt after the sentimental introduction. Witches, crows, goddesses, spirits, and fortunetellers populate these pieces that balance horror and hope. Fans of magical autumnal settings will be right at home in these pages. 

Many of the stories in the first section foreshadow the next section, “Powerful Women,” which showcases how we can inherit the power and sorrow of witches burned in centuries past. The titular poem at the centre of the book is the heart of the work; “Midnight Moon” is a short poem that closes on lines fit for vision boards and commonplace books:

The moon lights up the path not taken 

because it was only meant for us to walk on.

Other poems and stories in this section are about resistance in the face of the deep invasive history of patriarchy but remain for readers of all genders. Experiences of finding one’s confidence are universal—reflecting on Alessia’s succinct insights into these moments will evoke personal memories in all readers.

The third section, “Life and Thoughts,” focuses on the uncertainty of personal identity and place while on the journey to finding purpose. The poems in this section are less grounded than the more concrete elements of the first half of the book, but Alessia still depicts relatable speakers whose anxieties ring true.

“Love and Other Anxieties Part II” is a short section that concludes the book, borrowing the title of Alessia’s first book of poetry. These are the bonus tracks of a sort from Love and Other Anxieties, which is not mandatory reading before Midnight Moon. If the poems in this section appeal to the reader, they can serve as a launching pad to pick up Alessia’s other book. 

Midnight Moon is dedicated to writers, and it feels warm. The speakers take the reader by the hand through personal journeys toward self-fulfillment and finding one’s place in a world haunted by horrors and oppression. Overall, while I am not currently a fan of poems and stories in Alessia’s simple and uplifting style, I cannot help but feel motivated and supported after reading this book. I would recommend Midnight Moon to young readers, aspiring writers, and people craving some witchy words. 

Karaline Alessia is an author and an elementary teacher. She has a literacy centre for struggling readers and writers called the Caterpillar Club which she runs every summer. Karaline also runs a book club, called Bookmarked, and is a lover of all animals. Karaline currently resides in Montreal, Canada with her significant other and attention-seeking cat, Hemingway.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Independently published (June 16 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 170 pages
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8622285240