THE iREAD REVIEW
Author Tyfany Janee’s debut book, The Invitation, is a very unorthodox poetry anthology in which different subject matters including death, romance, and hope, expressing a variety of emotions, including angst towards lost love and the promise of success by embracing one’s self. Although some of the poems do rhyme, most are free-verse.
The writer divides her collection into subsections. “The Work of Art That Is Me” opens with a free-verse poetic foreword inviting the reader into her mind and ending with mourning of her grandmother. Other sections include “It’s complicated,” with its initial entry, “Center Stage,” describing her soulmate as a show she hopes won’t end. It ends in verses that are, as their subtitle indicates, “An Ode to Luther Vandross.”
While perusing the first few poems, readers will find the poet’s style inconsistent. The first poem of “Stay Away Break Free” is political, although she doesn’t take open shots at either side of the partisan spectrum; for example, one of the lines reads “black lives matter,” which is followed, though, with “all life matters.” She touches again on ethnic issues in the section “Where do I fit in?” with its sole elegy, “Young Black Boy,” addressed to African youth, telling them to embrace their heritage and aim high by doing things like entering the Ivy League. The most rhythmic piece in the author’s assemblage, “Beautiful Mistake,” is one of many odes to former love. The final poem in the concluding section, “For Yet I Live”, finishes things on a high note with the reminder that sunrises provide new days to embrace.
One can best describe The Invitation as experimental, given its variable structure and infrequent rhyming. The flagrant use of the F-word in “Rockstar,” for instance, seems somewhat out of place, given the otherwise family-friendly nature of the collection. The target audience seems to be African-American youths, given the niche subjects of some of the poems, and while those expecting a conventional poetry anthology will find disappointment, those interested in a daring one will enjoy its sundry yarns.
THE iREAD REVIEW
Beyond Love, the second story of the Beyond series by author D.D. Marx, finds Olivia and Finn trying to make their new relationship work despite numerous obstacles encountered.
Brought together by two of their deceased loved ones, the couple, now at the other end of a whirlwind romance, must find a way to merge their lives. When Finn gets in a life-changing accident and Olivia must reveal a painful secret, the two must work through these hurdles in order to find happiness. With the support of family and friends, will they find their way to happily ever after?
D.D. Marx has written a heart-wrenching follow-up story about two individuals who just can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to love. This sequel to Beyond Believing will have readers crossing their fingers for it to prevail. Olivia experiences more than her share of heart-stopping moments as she prepares to move across the country to be with Finn and faces various moral dilemmas, coming across as a very sympathetic character. The reader wants her to come to the right decision, while also not wanting her to experience any resulting negative fallout.
At times, it may seem like things come a little too easily to our protagonists, such as when Olivia effortlessly pulls together a fundraiser and has a roster of celebrities ready to help out, or when she is able to achieve her career dreams with very little personal struggle. However, the challenges they encounter, such as Finn finding himself at the heart of a terrorist attack, help balance that. And while Beyond Love could be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel, readers will appreciate the character development and story background provided in Beyond Believing.
Filled with mouth-watering food descriptions, heartwarming moments with friends, and enough romantic moments to satisfy even the most voracious romance reader, Beyond Love is a satisfying addition to the Beyond series, and one that will leave readers clamoring for the next release.
The iRead Review
We provide professional reviews for Indie and small press published authors.