• Corinna Carabetta

‘Start From Within, and Conquer’

Karaline Alessia’s Love & Other Anxieties is a delicate collection of poems and illustrations that dive into the struggle of finding love and validation.

Aptly named, this collection is all about seeking romantic love while simultaneously fighting the internal battle of self-deprecation and insecurity. It depicts a battle that can, at times, be all-consuming. In Love & Other Anxieties, the poems read like the author’s deepest and innermost thoughts, providing the reader with a very personal perspective.

Accompanying the poems are beautiful illustrations by artist Katherine Neal, which add a visual element to the reading experience. The illustrations are thought provoking, aesthetically pleasing, and make meaningful connections with the writing.

Throughout the collection, Karaline Alessia connects with a feeling of nostalgia. In an age where society’s expectations dictate the way we are meant to see ourselves, the author reminisces on simpler times when our youthful innocence made self-love so much easier. However, Alessia insists that looking back should not inhibit our ability to move forward and regain the strength we have lost. Alessia’s poems are both a guide to finding happiness, as well as a reassurance that no one is ever alone in his or her struggles.

The collection sends a hopeful message to all readers that struggle with inner demons. The road to self-acceptance is not a simple one and though it can be a long and grueling journey, there can always be a positive end. And while finding lasting love seems to be the speaker’s desired end, the poems emphasize the message that acceptance must first come from within. Our darkest moments are not eternal and learning to love oneself holds the promise of fulfillment. In the words of Karaline Alessia: “start from within, and conquer”.


AOS appreciates the profound connections that the written form can create between so many people, and is honored to be able to provide a platform for so many talented authors’ works to showcase their work for a broader audience.


IG Handle: @ccxreads

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