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Swimming Lessons Takes Your Breath Away

January 5, 2022

Swimming Lessons by Lili Reinhart is a book of poetry told from Reinhart’s diverse perspective about her struggles being a woman in today’s harmful media. This beautiful collection of poems managed to make me feel all sorts of emotions with skillful drawings and meaningful words.

This engaging book has a red and white color scheme with gold and black detailing on the cover. Every other page of her book is filled with her detailed artwork that helps readers picture how Reinhart felt when writing a specific poem. While her art might be seen as provocative, I, on the other hand, believe it is a beautiful way to represent her life and struggles. Very few times throughout the book, Reinhart adds red detailing to her artwork, which I believe is a beautiful way of contrasting the pure black lines. 

Reinhart, an actress best known for her work on the TV show Riverdale and as an activist for mental health, shares her first collection of poetry in this book. In fact, her poems are mainly based on her almost twelve-year battle with depression, as well as her severe breakup with fellow Riverdale star Cole Sprouse. 

While a multitude of her poems evoke her life as a well-known actress who feels pressured by modern media, they have a way of making you feel as though you know her personally. Reading each page feels as if you’re listening to a friend telling you a story. According to Glamour Magazine, “There’s a reason fans feel they know her. She’s been outspoken on various platforms about deeply personal topics.”

Reinhart manages to express her feelings of loneliness and betrayal while relating to the reader with shared pain. At times, her poetry is lighthearted and is sure to give you a laugh, which may be Reinhart’s way of conveying that happier times are ahead even when it may not seem like it. Some illustrations depict a woman’s body and her poems delve deeply into mental health.

Swimming Lessons may not be light reading, but I would still personally recommend this breathtaking book for anyone going through a hard time. Whether you need to relate to someone else or you need a good laugh, Swimming Lessons can provide both while giving you a better outlook on the life of a woman.

So far, Swimming Lessons is Reinhart’s only published work, but she has hinted at releasing a new collection of poetry. If you like this book, you may also like Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur and Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell. 

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About the Writer
Photo of Morgan Drumheller
Morgan Drumheller, Journalist

Morgan is in 12th grade and her third year of Journalism. She plays on the field hockey and lacrosse team. She works on the Literary Magazine and loves...

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