The Octopus Curse by Salma Farook



Science would have us believe that we are nothing but cell upon cell. I disagree. We are made up of stories. The stories we hear from our mothers, the ones we tell our daughters. The tales we share with sisters and friends. The ones we never say out loud, but are heavy on our minds and run like a fever in our blood.

There are a multitude of great divides between us; race, religion, cultures, the way we dress, the languages we speak, but the stories we tell bridge us together in the universal tongue of smiles, tears, pain and laughter. They remind us that, as women, we’re all chasing similar fairytales.

This book is a call to celebrate the bridges, delight in our stories and to focus on the joy in our lives right now, rather than racing behind the happily-ever-after. That will come in it’s own time.



A collection of poems about love, life, death. About staying positive and being strong. I love the simplicity of these poems and it’s not hard to understand the meanings and lessons behind them. The illustrations/ artwork included throughout the book were a surprising, yet an amazing bonus (and some of my faves pages to look at!)

Poems always have a way of making me contemplate about life. As a person who constantly suffers from depressive states where all I want to do is sleep the days away.. quotes, passages from a book, or certain poems have occasionally snapped me out of my dark funk. Words are powerful. I find they can be reminders, be advice, or can even give solace when I’m feeling isolated. And when I find a piece that I resonate with, they tend to stay with me.

Here are a few that I found from The Octopus Curse.

Funny things, words.

Pour them out in anger,

And they’re molten steel.

Blow them out a little,

And they’re the sharpest arrows,

Aimed to kill.

— ‘Shoot’


I’ve got a soft corner for him,

She says,

I laugh and tell her

You’re nothing but soft corners

In fact, you give all the soft

To the world,

Leaving all the corners

For yourself.

Be kinder, I insist.

To you, for you.

— ‘Kinder’


Most trees die when they’re submerged,

But with year after year of floods,

These trees have learnt to live

In the water.

Isn’t this proof?

That you can breathe

Even when you’re drowning?

That you can grow

Even if the rain comes,

Again and again?

And against all odds,

Every adversity and obstacle,

You can survive.

— ‘The Flooded Forest, Cambodia’


Although I didn’t connect with every single poem in this book, I could still appreciate the thought and meaning behind each one. There’s a diverse range in this collection for any poetry fan. I don’t often read a lot of poems, except for the occasional few included in some books I’ve read. But as I mentioned earlier, I did come away with a few faves — ‘Kinder’, ‘The Flooded Forest’, ‘Shoot’ and ‘Words’ to name a few.

Overall a beautiful, thought provoking collection. Read it all in one sitting.

RATING: ♥♥♥♥/5

Thank you for the book, Salma. Congratulations on the release! 😀


The Octopus Curse is available on ebook at Amazon. Hardcover edition available November 1st, 2019 (TODAY!!)


I hope you guys liked the review! I know it’s a little different from my usual fantasy fiction or contemporary romance book reviews. But if you like poetry, then I hope this review has assisted you in discovering new poems to read, and given you a bit of a snippet into what you can look forward to from this collection.

As always, happy reading! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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