Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer
Central Avenue Publishing, 2019, 175 pages
Trigger Warnings: body image, sexual assault, rape, eating disorders, queerphobia, emotional abuse, physical abuse, gore, blood, death, fire
About the Author: Trista Mateer is a writer/artist who traveled a lot in her life but has finally decided to reside in New Jersey by the sea. She started out as a blogger on Tumblr in 2013 and won the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award for poetry. She then transitioned into traditional publishing and in 2017 when she released her first collection Honeybee and also went on to create “The Unholy Wild” and Aphrodite Made Me Do It, which represents her art of prose and poetry.
“I didn’t forget to fight for myself, I forgot that I could.”
Mateer speaks about traumatic experiences, untold stories, love, and heartbreak throughout her story. She tells it in a creative way by having the chapters shown in two different perspectives, Aphrodite and the voice of the poet. Many individuals know Aphrodite as being the “Goddess of Love” and being very beautiful, however, in Mateer’s edition, the reader gets to hear Aphrodite tell her story and how she was forced to be and act a certain way. The poet struggles with being LGBTQ and not fitting those expectations others made of her. Aphrodite helps the poet recognize her strengths by not letting her settle or be controlled by anyone in her life.
Aphrodite Made Me Do It is an imaginative collection of poetry, prose, and art that uses the Greek goddess, Aphrodite, and the poet to uplift and empower individuals. Throughout the novel, Mateer switches back and forth between Aphrodite and the poet’s voice to represent the past and present. Addressing topics like love, heartbreak, trauma, being in tune with one’s own thoughts, and speaking your truth opens the reader’s eyes to Aphrodite’s message of believing in your own healing.
PRR Writer, Ajia Barnes
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