Book Review: Please Don’t Go Before I Get Better


Following her breakout debut Eighteen Years, poet Madisen Kuhn is thrilled to share this intimate portrait of a young woman navigating early adulthood and leaving her teenage years behind.

Chronicling the complexities, joys, and challenges of this transitional phase of life, Please Don’t Go Before I Get Better is a powerful, deeply affecting work that pierces your heart with its refreshing candor and vulnerability. A poignant exploration of self-image, self-discovery, and self-reflection, this anthology brilliantly captures the universal experience of growing up, and you are bound to find yourself reflected in these glimmering pages.


At the beginning it’s easy to depict the memories and only remember the good parts. Good and bad. It’s always seen as the better times. Yet, that was when it was beginning. Now it’s something real. Yet as time passed we taken it for granted. Must remember this even though at the beginning it seems at times much better, it isn’t because now is better. Now it’s real.

Just like the writer, have to be reminded of this:

1. Whenever he wakes up in a half-asleep daze, he always reaches for me, or kisses me, or rubs his thumb on the back of my hand, and pulls me closer

2. Sitting in the passenger seat as I drove around aimlessly for an hour and a half on New Year’s Eve because I was upset and didn’t want to be at home, he told me in the 7-eleven parking lot while I cried at 1 a.m. , ‘I think you’re being too hard on yourself’

3. Spending hours caring for my dog when she was ill

4. Buying last-minute Christmas gifts the day before Christmas Eve and wrapping an impossible-to-wrap basketball for my brother

5. W forcing me to brush my teeth after I’ve already gotten into bed despite my whiny protests

6. Not taking my bullshit

7. Listening to 2009 alternative rock in his car with a box of Krispy kreme doughnuts in my lap

8. Meaning everything he says

⁃ is better than any mushy text message from when he barely knew me

Tonight I’m thinking about the beauty of embracing life’s chaos with knowing that we can’t choose a lot of things, but we can choose to love without ulterior motives, and to be stronger than our emotions makes us feel, and to always keep spinning forward. it’s okay, it always will be.”

“We become ghosts living in places that don’t exist yet, thinking happiness will only find us after we’ve achieved all the checks on our lives’ to-do lists. once I graduate, I’ll be happy; once I get a good job, I’ll be happy; once I move to New York City, I’ll be happy. we get so fixated on every level of consciousness that isn’t embracing the current. but maybe it’s time to stop letting our minds wander to places that are gone, or haven’t arrived yet. maybe it’s time to open the curtains and feel the sun on our skin and realise that existence is a series of nows. maybe it’s time to start realising that the best times aren’t behind us and better times aren’t ahead of us—better times are here, and they’re happening right now.”

As I’m reading through this novel of thoughts I’m finding it so relatable to my age group as the writer is a few years older than me. It’s so relevant as we take everything for granted, we keep pushing forward for these goals we are set up to achieve in life and I’ve been wondering these thoughts as well as I reached life goals.

“No excuse to abstain from life. If we aren’t living, then what are we doing? It will pass, it always does.”

After half way through reading this novel, it begins to be barely 2 sentences across two pages. For the price of this novel I expect more than a lot of empty pages with little to no meaning in poetry / thoughts in my opinion as there are a lot of great novels out there with a lot more content for a much smaller price tag.

3/5 Stars

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