Book Reviews


5.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt, Relatable, Inspiring, a lovely read
Reviewed in the United States on December 20, 2019
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I love this book “Life in Poetry and Art”.

I bought the book in 2018, and have read the poems multiple times since. The poetry inspires me, uplifting words beautifully written. The Artwork is lovely throughout the book. I gave a copy to my daughter after she had a stroke. I have no doubt that “Life in Poetry and Art “ empowered her wellbeing to overcome the challenges she had to face in her recovery.

Andre Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful book!
Reviewed in the United States on May 13, 2018
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A Beautiful book!!!! Uplifting and insightful...a joy to read, I particularly am drawn to the works that tap into one's own inner strengths...this "Lovely book" is full of them!

Robin C. Reed
5.0 out of 5 stars An Incredible Experience

Reviewed in the United States on May 10, 2018 - Insightful, unbridled, complex, inspirational, unforgettable. Those are just a few words to describe this book. The author takes you on a tour of her life that draws you in and makes you think and leaves you wanting more. The artwork is phenomenal and magically compliments the companion poem. It makes you think, it makes you feel, it’s an incredible experience.

3 out of 4 stars
Reviewed on Jun 30, 2020
[Following is an official review of "Hear Me Roar" by Sandra Leon Gonzalez.]

Hear Me Roar by Sandra Leon Gonzalez is a collection of poems that speaks to the heart of the reader and debates the root cause of many issues. The author addresses topics such as love, sex, gender, bodily autonomy, religion, and judgment. This is by no means a comprehensive list but showcases a few of the topics in the book. Additionally, while it was written in 2019, the author also discusses some topics that are painfully apparent in 2020. Amidst the chaos, many of us are searching for love, strength, acceptance, and unity. These themes are present in many of the poems, specifically in "We Are One." Here, the author urges readers to not focus on color, religion, status, birth order or right, or even politics, but to focus more on our commonalities. This idea of acceptance thoroughly permeates this piece of work.

I found many of the poems to be powerful and uplifting. It was amazing to read and I loved it. As a woman, I found I could relate to much of what the author discussed and I enjoyed the book the further I got through it. In particular, I loved the poem "My Choice" that talks about saying no and how one's body is their own. It reinforced many thoughts and feelings and was representative of an issue many women face. I liked how the author was able to discuss an important subject in just a single page. Perhaps many of these issues are that simple.

I also enjoyed that the author really seemed to dive deep into these topics. She has clearly thought them through and tried to present them in an easy and understandable format. Her messages shown through and touched me.

In all honesty, I couldn't find a thing I disliked about this book, aside from the occasional grammatical errors. That said, at times, the author does mention God which may turn some people away. However, the author is not forcing this on readers. Generally, she mentions God in relation to herself. In fact, in one poem, she even says, "I respect your choice of how to believe." So, for those that are leery of religion- and spirituality-based books, it appears to be unfounded here.

Overall, I give this book 3 out of 4 stars. This book of poems did not get the full four stars given the grammatical errors found, but they did not overwhelm the book. Another proofread could easily eliminate the issues. I would also recommend this book to those who enjoy poetry or an easy read. I had no trouble getting through the book and quite liked it. That said, readers should be aware of the potentially sensitive nature of some of the topics (i.e. sex and gender, race, religion, etc.).

Nickolas Farmakis
3 out of 4 stars

Reviewed on Feb 28, 2021
[Following is an official review of "Life Through Poetry and Art Revisited" by Sandra Leon Gonzalez.]

Life Through Poetry and Art Revisited by Sandra Leon Gonzalez is a collection of poetry about themes such as power, survival, feminism, and beauty. The writer's tone is empowering, inspirational, and confident, while the poems also contain some of the author's personal memories.

The writer begins by describing the beauty of a person, focusing on facial characteristics like the lips and the smile. She continues by talking about betrayal and the pain caused by a person who blew her trust to pieces, as she ignored the inner voice that told her not to trust his motives. Next, the author criticizes racism and prejudice by explaining that all people bleed red under their skin. The writer also regrets making her child feel entitled and not allowing her child to learn to endure hardships and handle stress. Furthermore, the poet deals with the themes of faith and friendship, as faith supports a person in dark times. She also shares a joyous poem about the happy prospect of a new day since each new dawn is a new beginning.

I liked many of this book’s characteristics. To begin with, the poems were very original, as the poet wrote in a very creative and unique way by indirectly sharing her experiences through the poems, thereby creating a personal bond with the reader. Moreover, the poems were exceptionally edited since I did not locate any grammatical mistakes in the text. Additionally, some of the poems contained rhyme and various linguistic devices, such as metaphors, which added excitement and liveliness to the book. What I liked most about this book was that the author attached a picture along with each poem. Most of the pictures were hand-drawn, which added a sense of artistic beauty to the text.

What I disliked most about the poems was that they were often too abstract and confusing. The author should have structured the book in a more logical and rational way in order to help readers understand her poetry more easily.

This book is best suited for readers who like poetry about abstract themes like beauty, womanhood, and happiness. Female readers will likely prefer this book, as the author mainly writes from a woman’s perspective. Both atheists and religious readers can appreciate this book.

All in all, I rate this book with 3 out of 4 stars. I removed a star from the rating because the poems seemed too abstract to me. Nevertheless, I could justify a lower score for this book since it was exceptionally edited, creatively compiled, and aesthetically illustrated.