Book Review: Dandelion By Gabbie Hanna




Sierra Deaver, Senior Staff Writer

In years past popular YouTubers, like Shane Dawson, Lilly Singh, and Jeffree Star have expanded their platforms by writing books, and Gabbie Hanna is no different. Just last month, the famous YouTuber released her second poetry book, titled Dandelion. Her newest book is a collection of poems that showcase her experiences, achievements, and struggles throughout her life.

This isn’t the first book she’s written, as she wrote another poetry book, Adultolesence in 2017. However, it received negative reviews, mainly because people thought the book was rushed, poorly written and lazy. 

I’ll admit that I’ve never actually read her first book, because the negative reviews shied me away from buying it. However, I did see some of her poems from the first book online, and they felt like they were more like someone’s tweets than actual poems. Many of her “poems” in the first book had a lot of abbreviations, making them look like a text message on someone’s 2005 BlackBerry phone, instead of an actual poem.

Because of the negative reviews around her first book, I debated whether or not her second book would be worth my money or my time. My expectations were quite low and I was afraid that this book would be too similar to her first book. I have been a fan of hers for over a year, but as much as I love Gabbie Hanna and her content I was hesitant to preorder her new book. However, I decided to give it a shot, thinking that her writing and poetry would have improved over the past three years. 

When I got my edition of Dandelion, in the mail, I wasn’t sure what to expect at first, and whether I will regret this purchase or not. However, all biases aside, the book was pretty good, and a vast improvement from her first. The book had a variety of poems, ranging from sad, to blatantly funny and from thought-provoking, to relatable. It’s clear that she put more time and effort into this book than her first one, as many of the poems I read of hers made me stop and think about the meaning behind the poem. While a lot of the poems were less than a page each, there was some thought and effort put in almost every single one.

The book focuses mainly on Gabbie’s life, specifically her struggles with her mental health in the past. As someone who is a fan of hers, and someone who could easily relate to some of her poems, I felt like I got to know her better through Dandelion, and developed a deeper connection with her. 

Accompanying many of her poems was a hand-drawn illustration that usually related to the poem. Occasionally with some of her poems, there would be a little mouse wearing glasses, a newsboy hat, holding a cane, and asking a question, or saying advice, which I thought was cute and creative. Her illustrations were one of my favorite parts of the book. I’ve never really seen her artwork or drawings in any of her videos, so seeing her illustrations in her book was a cool feature. 

When I was reading this book, several of her poems reminded me of her music, and her song lyrics as I felt like it was written in the same style. The titular poem, “Dandelion” for example, had the same lyrics as the song “Dandelion” she wrote after the book. There were also allusions to some of the previous songs she had written, which was cool, though I don’t know if it was intentional or not.

The one complaint was that some of her poems still read like tweets, or “deep” tumblr posts written by a 14 year old girl. Sure, there were no abbreviations this time, but some of her poems, especially her shorter ones felt surface-level deep. All of her poems were lowercase as well, which added to that fake deep vibe that some of her poems already gave off. However, I didn’t find this too problematic, as numerous of her poems

Overall, Dandelion is a good book, despite its flaws. It’s obvious that Gabbie Hanna put a lot of work and effort into this book, and took some of the criticism that she got from the previous book and improved upon it. Whether you love her, hate her, or just heard of her after becoming a meme on TikTok, Dandelion is a good read, regardless of its flaws.