Review ARC | The Dilemma

I would like to thank the author for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions shared are my own personal thoughts.

Lovely of Danielle to provide not one but two of her works for me to look over and review!

Description Summary | Detailing the brightening and simultaneously the shadowing reality of love, Danielle Holian presents what it is to love someone, give your all, break apart, and blossom up again in a 3 part anthology of poems.


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Book Summary | (Skip to Review)

In The Dilemma, Holian uncovers a past love and ventures into the depths of first kisses, the moments of love, late nights and harsh fights all with an ending goodbye through her second anthology of poems. The collection is divided into 3 parts:

  • The Loving 
  • The Breaking
  • The Healing

Holian leaves nothing as the reader begins with the first blooms of love into the full force of it, before moving on to the next where the painful cracks turn to scars and wounds reflecting the falling out of love, and finally the true grace of what it is to heal of a past love and know that you are worth and deserving of the best kind of love there is: self love.



The Dilemma is also an exploration about self worth and self love, but unlike Beautifully Chaotic, Holian’s first book, The Dilemma puts up a looking glass on the wondrous and aching reality of what it is to fall in love and fall out of it.

Personally I did not resonate with this book as I did with the first one, simply because I cannot empathize with a feeling I haven’t felt before. Yet that did not change the fact that Holian writes with not only her heart but with her entire being. I loved how she did not hold herself back in the good and the bad parts of love; this wasn’t a condensing break up song, this was an honest reflection on the failures and lessons of love.

I loved that when writing the poems she took the time to reflect on herself and see the mistakes and miscalculations she might have made. It paints a true grey picture that no one is perfect and is the true meaning of what it is to be human : no one is innocent but we try to be better despite everything.

A particular detail that I took note off is how she describes falling in love for the first time:

“…It terrifies me as I feel I am 

Falling in love for the first time”.

I love the choice of word terrify, too often love is described as this beautiful blossoming thing like sunshine after a rainy day. But this is what I imagine what it is to fall in love; it’s this fear that someone could have a hold on your emotions and heart so swiftly like that. 


The structure of the anthology is also something that I loved, just like a life cycle she presented her journey in three main parts. None of the parts muddled into one another and you can tell a shift in tone by the last part where the language is more empowering and strong reflecting a survivor who made it out of battle. 

At the same time the change was gradual, kind of like looking at an ombre. It just seems seamless and the flow was consistent throughout

I did think that some were repetitive or written about the same thing but through different words, nonetheless it doesn’t undermine anything in the book.

Do I recommend?  Yes. Though again keep in mind, some writing of heartbreak and abuse may be upsetting for some readers.

About the Author

Danielle Holian is a poet, journalist, and photographer, born in the West of Ireland.

She studied digital media of journalism and marketing in college and has since gained substantial experience in the media field branching off into poetry and photography.

She flourishes her creative love through words and art. She continues her passion for words through her media work as a music critic of reviews and interviews. She documents her interests, sparks, and amusements as she captures moments she relives through her art.

She released her debut book, Beautifully Chaotic, in 2019.

For media inquiries please contact: Danielle Holian:


Published by jawahirthebookworm

Hello I’m Jawahir the bookworm, a lost twenty-something year old bookish blogger who enjoys her books with a cup of strong coffee; milk no sugar no cream.

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