“Mixed” Book Review

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  • Promotional pictures of Cameron Mouton’s first poetry book “Mixed.” These pictures can be found on her Instagram @wheatbreadcam

  • Promotional pictures of Cameron Mouton’s poetry book “Mixed” table of contents (1/3).

  • Promotional pictures of Cameron Mouton’s poetry book “Mixed” table of contents (2/3).

  • Promotional pictures of Cameron Mouton’s poetry book “Mixed” table of contents (3/3).

One of my favorite pastimes is reading comics and books, but “Mixed,” which was written by one of my past school friends Cameron Mouton, caught my attention.

Cameron Mouton is a UCLA junior who debuted her first poetry book “Mixed” as a homage to her past and upbringing. Our communication has been limited, but reading her story on paper brought me to my knees.

Right off the bat, one aspect that sets her apart from the rest is that she gives a trigger warning at the beginning of her book for topics such as abusive relationships, eating disorders, racism, rape, and trauma.

This warning sets the tone that the book deals with dark, yet real emotions and situations that Mouton has experienced first-hand.

While there are 102 poems in “Mixed,” I would like to talk about a couple in particular.

The first poem to catch my attention was “Is Anyone There?” Mouton, like many children, was raised in a semi-religious household where they were taught to look toward a God for support in a struggle they might be facing at the moment.

As someone who is a first-generation American, I didn’t understand the point of religion even though my abuelo was a pastor, and I would go to church every Sunday. As a child I didn’t understand why bad things would happen, and if there is a higher power such as God, why would he let bad things happen to an innocent child. Mouton brings up the same question of needless suffering and explains how she still doesn’t have an answer as I feel like many children do not either.

Many of her poems reflect aspects of my life that I look back on fondly, as well as aspects that I wish I did not remember. I did not mind the emotional roller coaster, as it shows that her writing can deeply resonate with her intended audience.

“Pinky Promise” uncomfortably hits home for me. Mouton perfectly encapsulates the pain one can feel as they are overthinking about why they aren’t good enough. She displays at the end of the poem that this wasn’t the case, that she knows that this person didn’t deserve her. Mouton ends the poem by saying, “You’re nothing but an example of what not to look for” which to me is a cruel, but necessary realization.

What is interesting about “Mixed” is that even though you can randomly choose a poem to read, Mouton includes stubble storylines, messages, and symbolism that spread across the book. It is a compelling way to keep the reader engaged as they can read it in one sitting (though I think it is good to take breaks in order to properly dissect her poems), or come to it periodically.

I am blown away by Mouton’s writing and storytelling, and I cannot wait to see what she does next.

You can order “Mixed” at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Indie Bound, The Last Bookstore, or Powell’s books. You can also follow Cameron Mouton on Instagram @wheatbreadcam!