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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
It Wasn't Supposed to Be Like This: Poems by Greg Masters is a collection of poems that captures the author’s sentiment of change and the general experience of those that have experienced deception after being enticed by the American Dream. The author talks about the innate resistance to learning, culture shock, and the feeling of being thrust into a foreign world where one has to learn and adapt. Readers encounter a person who has evolved from someone who used to recant to one who decants.
The poems are written in a lively tone, and the economy of punctuation makes them breathless. At times, there are long, unbroken sentences that carry on for four lines, which is done intentionally, quickening the rhythm and creating a sense of urgency in grasping the emotion being communicated. Greg Masters shares personal experiences in some of the poems, intense and revealing moments cogently captured in a few lines, and ideas that readers can unfold. In this collection, the author demonstrates the contrast between reality and appearance, holds those in power accountable, and evokes people's lives, including artists, as they struggle with day-to-day challenges. It Wasn't Supposed to Be Like This: Poems is evocative, filled with strong imagery, and the poet’s diction is rich and contemporary. In this collection, Greg Masters explores concepts like identity, social justice, cultural differences, success, self-preservation, and he does so within the context of the American Dream. These poems will speak powerfully to readers who leave their lands to follow a dream in another.