Cracked Open By Megan O’Keeffe [Book Review]

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Book Review: Cracked Open by Megan O'Keeffe | Poetry | Blogging | Book Blogger | Reading | Poetry Collection | RachelPoli.com

I received a free digital copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

A collection of love poems.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comI think the book cover is very pretty. I like the colors and it certainly looks like exactly what the title suggests – something is cracked open.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comI’ve read my fair share of poetry collections so I was more than happy to give this one a try.

Plot | RachelPoli.comCracked Open is about the narrator getting over her lover. And… that’s pretty much it. There is a happy ending but it took a while to get there. This collection tells a story through its poetry from start to finish yet I didn’t feel as though there was a beginning, middle, and end.

Characters | RachelPoli.comI don’t have much to say about the characters. There are no names and not many gender pronouns used either. I could relate with the narrator since I’ve been through a break up before. I have to say, that part was captured nicely and accurately despite each of us going through it in our own way.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The poems in this collection were just okay for me. They were free verse – most of them not really having much rhyme or rhythm. With that said, the poems didn’t seem to flow well for me. I felt as though I was reading a letter written by the narrator to her ex instead of poetry. The words felt a little flat rather than poetic and while the emotion was well captured, it felt as though the narrator was just complaining to her ex rather than fully letting go of her emotions in a rhythmic poem.

Overall | RachelPoli.comCracked Open wasn’t a bad read. It’s short and sweet. I couldn’t connect with the poems that much though I did sympathize with the main character, whoever she may be. With that said, this was just an okay read for me.

Cracked Open by Megan O’Keeffe gets…
Book Review Rating System | 3 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com3 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“We are not a love story
and we are not a lesson.
We were just two people wasting time
Comfortable in the in-between
hiding from our truths.”
-Megan O’Keeffe, Cracked Open

Buy the book:

Amazon

About Megan O’Keeffe

Megan O'Keeffe | Author | Cracked Open | Poet | Poetry Books | Book Blogger | Blogging | RachelPoli.comUp and coming Poet, Megan OKeeffe has been writing poetry for the last decade and has made the leap to publish her first collection. The love and support Meg received from her blog Debatably Dateable encouraged her to make this next step in her writing career. When she’s not writing, Meg is binging Brooklyn 99 or walking her dog Maverick. You may spot her touring the newest spot on Long Island, NY with her sisters and boyfriends.

Be sure to check out other Poetry books I’ve reviewed!

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Sabbath By Yecheilyah Ysrayl [I Am Soul Blog Tour – Guest Post]

It’s my pleasure to welcome Yecheilyah Ysrayl to my blog for the I Am Soul Blog Tour!

I am Soul by Yecheilyah Ysrayl | Poetry | Blog Tour | Blogging | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

I just wanna turn off my brain.
Not completely, just enough to gather my breath
and lay it at the head of the bed.
A temporary moment to which renewal finds itself,
Back to my pillow
to which I may die,
And in the same second be reborn.
I want my eyes to bow in submission to my bones,
And my soul to fall slowly to the contours of this mattress.
And for a second pretend that the world has dissolved around me.
For a second, for just a moment, let me lay my body
at the foot of sleep’s doorstep,
Pretend to swim with the clouds,
And at the same moment,
taste of rejuvenation’s delicacies.

About Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Yecheilyah Ysrayl | I Am Soul Author | Blog Tour | Book Blogger | Blogging | RachelPoli.comYecheilyah (e-SEE-li-yah, affectionately nicknamed EC) is an Author, Blogger, and Poet and lives in Marietta, GA with her wonderful husband. She has been writing poetry since she was twelve years old and joined the UMOJA Poetry Society in High School where she learned to perfect her craft. In 2010, at 23 years-old, Yecheilyah published her first collection of poetry and in 2014, founded Literary Korner Publishing and The PBS blog where she enjoys helping other authors through her blog interviews and book reviews. The PBS Blog has been named among Reedsy’s Best Book Review blogs of 2017 and 2018 and has helped many authors in their writing journey. I am Soul is her fourth collection of poetry.

Fun Facts about Yecheilyah:

  • She loves to laugh, and her favorite comedy TV show is Blackish
  • She is originally from Chicago, IL
  • She’s been married to her husband 8 years, together for 11 years
  • She believes eggs makes everything better
  • She is a twin
  • She is addicted to reading and new notebooks
  • Her favorite desert is ice cream

Author Website | Blog | AmazonAmazon Author Central | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

I am Soul is now available on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Scribd. Click Here to choose your retailer.

Greenbriar Mall
The Medu Bookstore
2841 Greenbriar Pkwy SW
Atlanta, GA 30331

I am Soul Blog Tour | Yecheilyah Ysrayl | Poetry | Blogging | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

Have you read I Am Soul yet? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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September And October 2018 Writing Submissions [Writing Contests]

2018 September & October Writing Contests | Writing Submissions | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

September 2018

Genre: Any – see website for list (Book must be self-published)
Website: Writer’s Digest
Deadline: September 4, 2018
Entry Fee: $125
Prize: Grand – $5,000

Genre: Any – see website for list
Website: Writer’s Digest
Deadline: September 14, 2018 (early-bird)
Entry Fee: $25
Prize: Grand – $2,500

Genre: Nonfiction
Theme: Mom Knows Best
Website: Chicken Soup for the Soul
Deadline: September 30, 2018
Entry Fee: N/A
Prize: $200

October 2018

Genre: Poetry
Website: Writer’s Digest
Deadline: October 1, 2018 (early-bird)
Entry Fee: $20
Prize: Grand – $1,000

Genre: Any – see website for list
Website: Writer’s Digest
Deadline: October 15, 2018
Entry Fee: $30
Prize: Grand – $2,500

Genre: Fiction (unpublished writers only)
Website: Glimmer Train
Deadline: October 31, 2018
Entry Fee: $18
Prize: First – $2,500

Genre: Nonfiction
Theme: Life Lessons from the Dog
Website: Chicken Soup for the Soul
Deadline: October 31, 2018
Entry Fee: N/A
Prize: $200

Ongoing

Genre: Stories, essays, plays, poetry, art
Website: Literal Latte
Entry Fee: $3

Genre: Various
Website: Narrative Magazine
Entry Fee: Yes, but amount is not listed

Genre: Short story, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, novel excerpts, poetry
Website: Rejected Manuscripts
Entry Fee: N/A
*Your piece must have been rejected for publication or failed to win a prize at a literary competition in order to qualify.

Please be sure to read through the guidelines for each submission. Information may change.

Do you know any other deadlines coming up? Are you thinking of submitting to any of these? Let me know in the comments below. Good luck! If you liked this post, please share it around!

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Never His – A Poem [Guest Post]

It’s my pleasure to welcome Jayati to my blog!

Guest Post: Never His - A Poem by Jayati | Blogging | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

He had no idea who I was,
The girl that stared at him longingly,
The one that loved him crazily,
A girl he never noticed.

She saw him every day,
But he never even gave her a glance,
He shone out bright,
But she hid in the crowd.

He was popular,
He was loved,
She was shy,
No one knew her.

He loved someone else,
While she pined after him,
He was out having fun,
While she sat at home hoping he’d come.

He did not care,
Who she was,
He was in love,
With someone else.

He was her world,
The one she loved,
But she was nothing,
No more than a speck of dust.

About Jayati

Jayati from Junky Writing | Blogging | Guest Post | Poetry | RachelPoli.comHey! I am Jayati, an almost 16-year-old Book Blogger. I live in India, attend High School and spend most of my time reading. I also write some short stories and poems sometimes. I also love playing the guitar and cooking. I love to ramble about anything and everything, but mostly about books.

Blog | Twitter | Goodreads

Did you enjoy Jayati’s poem? Do you write poetry too? Let us know in the comments below.

If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, you can check out the other Guest Posts that have been featured on this blog! If you’d like to be a guest blogger on here yourself or ask me to write a post for you, you can check out the Guidelines.

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Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook By Shel Silverstein [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Book Review: Runny Babbit A Billy Sook by Shel Silverstein | Children's books | Poetry | Reading | RachelPoli.com

I got the book at Barnes & Noble when I was a kid.

Summary:

Runny Babbit is Shel Silverstein’s hilarious and New York Times-bestselling book of spoonerisms—words or phrases with letters or syllables swapped: bunny rabbit becomes Runny Babbit.

Welcome to the world of Runny Babbit and his friends Toe Jurtle, Skertie Gunk, Rirty Dat, Dungry Hog, Snerry Jake, and many others who speak a topsy-turvy language all their own.

So if you say, “Let’s bead a rook
That’s billy as can se,”
You’re talkin’ Runny Babbit talk,
Just like mim and he.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

As usual, Silverstein’s cover doesn’t disappoint. It’s out of the ordinary yet simple.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

Shel Silverstein was one of my favorites back when I was a kid. I read and reviewed Where The Sidewalk Ends and Falling Up and, coincidentally, my mom found this one in the garage the day the second review went up. So I read this one as well.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

As usual, this book is filled with charming and silly poems. Shel Silverstein thinks outside the box when it comes to the imagination. It’s a quick read and the poems are great fun to read aloud with others.Overall | RachelPoli.com

It was fun to revisit this one. It’s a book I’ll keep in my library forever and will share with my nieces and nephews for sure.

Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook by Shel Silverstein gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Runny’s Nicpic

One day Runny Babbit
Met little Franny Fog.
He said, “Let’s have a nicpic
Down by the lollow hog.”
He brought some cutter bookies,
Some teanuts and some pea.
And what did Franny Fog bring?
Her whole fog framily.” -Shel Silverstein, Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Falling Up By Shel Silverstein [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Book Review: Falling Up by Shel Silverstein | Poetry | Reading | Childrens books | RachelPoli.com

I got the book at Barnes & Noble when I was a kid.

Summary:

Millie McDeevit screamed a scream
So loud it made her eyebrows steam.
She screamed so loud
Her jawbone broke,
Her tongue caught fire,
Her nostrils smoked…

Poor Screamin’ Millie is just one of the unforgettable characters in this wondrous new book of poems and drawings by the creator of Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic. Here you will also meet Allison Beals and her twenty-five eels; Danny O’Dare, the dancin’ bear; the Human Balloon; and Headphone Harold.

So come, wander through the Nose Garden, ride the Little Hoarse, eat in the Strange Restaurant, and let the magic of Shel Silverstein open your eyes and tickle your mind.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

The cover portrays the title well and matches the illustrations used inside the book to explain the poetry.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I was very much into Where The Sidewalk Ends when I was a kid, so I ended up getting this book as well.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

Shel Silverstein upholds his reputation of writing silly yet witty poetry for kids. Each poem has the same premise of using the imagination and also having a certain rhyme or rhythm to it yet the content of each poem is vastly different from the last. The lengths of the poems vary, but they’re all quick reads and this is a book to keep turning the pages.Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was a great book to revisit from when I was a kid. My nephew is about 2.5 and I’d love to read this book with him sometime. This is a great one for kids.

Falling Up by Shel Silverstein gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you – just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.” -Shel Silverstein, Falling Up

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Where The Sidewalk Ends By Shel Silverstein [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Book Review: Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein | Reading | Poetry | Children's books | RachelPoli.com

I got it when I was a kid from Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

Where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein’s world begins. There you’ll meet a boy who turns into a TV set and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I’ve always loved the book cover. It paints the title of the poetry collection so well. The drawing is simple and while it may seem bland to some, I find it to be perfect to go along with the illustrations inside the book.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I used to read Shel Silverstein a lot when I was a kid. I found this on my shelf and decided to read it again for old time’s sake.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This is a collection of poetry aimed toward kids. Some poems can be long, but most of them are pretty short being less than a page long. A lot of the poems have illustrations similar to the cover to accompany the poem which are all well done.

The poems are silly and completely unrealistic, but that’s what makes them great. They usually rhyme and you can’t help but read them with some sort of rhythm in your tone.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

It was great to revisit Shel Silverstein again. I haven’t read his poems in a long time and I forgot how great they were. This is a must read for kids who are looking for something quick and silly.

Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“If you’re a bird, be an early bird–
But if you’re a worm, sleep late.” -Shel Silverstein, Where The Sidewalk Ends

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Locomotion By Jacqueline Woodson [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Book Review: Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson | Reading | Young Adult | Realistic Fiction | Poetry | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

I bought a paperback copy at Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

When Lonnie was seven years old, his parents died in a fire. Now he’s eleven, and he still misses them terribly. And he misses his little sister, Lili, who was put into a different foster home because “not a lot of people want boys-not foster boys that ain’t babies.” But Lonnie hasn’t given up. His foster mother, Miss Edna, is growing on him. She’s already raised two sons and she seems to know what makes them tick. And his teacher, Ms. Marcus, is showing him ways to put his jumbled feelings on paper.

Told entirely through Lonnie’s poetry, we see his heartbreak over his lost family, his thoughtful perspective on the world around him, and most of all his love for Lili and his determination to one day put at least half of their family back together. Jacqueline Woodson’s poignant story of love, loss, and hope is lyrically written and enormously accessible.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

The cover is sweet and pretty. I like its simplicity, though it doesn’t have much to do with the contents of the book.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I’ve read a couple of Jacqueline Woodson’s books before and she’s a great writer. So when I saw this at the bookstore I decided to pick it up.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Through poetry written by Lonnie, the protagonist, we learn a lot about what’s going on in his life and the world around him. This is the story of him and how he’s growing through his poetry and overcoming challenges and his past with his little sister and his foster mom.

It’s a sweet story but that’s basically all there is to it. We about Lonnie’s past and how he’s trying to overcome it. It’s a lot of telling through his poetry.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

There’s only a handful of characters in this story and we see them all through Lonnie’s eyes and what he writes in his poems. Lonnie is an interesting character to follow and I liked his teacher and foster mom. His younger sister played an important role though she wasn’t in it much.

The development is subtle, but it is there for most of these characters.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This is a book of poems written by the main character in his point of view. They’re easy to read and flow well. The poems range from various styles and definitely work well with the plot. The book itself is short and sweet being only 100 pages. It’s a very quick read to get through.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

While I wouldn’t peg this as one of my favorite books by Jacqueline Woodson, this was a good read and I enjoyed it. This is certainly worth the read.

Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Ms. Marcus don’t understand some things even though she’s my favorite teacher in the world. Things like my brown, brown arm.” –Jacqueline Woodson, Locomotion

Buy the book:

Amazon

Read my reviews of Hush and Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson!

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around! Also, check out some other Book Reviews I’ve done!

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Amnesia By Breanna Brown [Book Review]

Amnesia by Breanna Brown | Book Review | Poetry | Self-publish | RachelPoli.com

Summary:

This is a collection that details my struggles with grief and abandonment issues after the death of my mother and the dissolution of my household. I struggled with relationships, parenting and my mental health. Eventually, I found God again and He reawakened me from my depressive slumber. Through Him and my daughter, I learned to live and love again.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I have to say I absolutely love the book cover. The colors were well chosen. It’s pretty and it pops out. Yet, everything is mixed together, as is the title. The way the title is written is clever because with “amnesia” everything is jumbled up.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I’ve been wanting to read more poetry and expand my horizons a bit in that genre. I’ve also been reading a few mental health subjects lately so I figured I’d give this a try.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

This book tells the story of the author’s struggles in life after losing her mother. It was a powerful read, especially since this is something we all have gone through or will go through. It’s part of life. Like some, the author found God and was able to bring her life back on track.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed reading this book. It’s broken up into poems of various lengths and forms. I’ll admit there were a few poems I had to re-read in order to understand them. Though I don’t think it was from the writing, I think it was because I was reading so quickly. It’s easy to get caught up and carried away with poetry, especially short ones.

I felt the author had a nice way of conveying her feelings through it all. At some moments, I felt like I was right there with her.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was an uplifting read, despite the context, but it was filled with hope. The writing was well done and the story was told well through the poetry. If you enjoy poetry, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this book.

Amnesia by Breanna Brown gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com 4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“is there such a thing / as a happy medium / when your body is / swollen with life / but your soul is watching / everything else / walk off with death?” –Breanna Brown, Amnesia

Buy the book:

Amazon

About Breanna Brown

Breanna Brown, Author | RachelPoli.commy name is Breanna Brown, 26 years old, mother of one, in Nevada
writing has been my passion since my mother taught me
before I entered preschool. I love writing poetry and fiction
and I am currently pursuing my masters in English
my literary heroes are Stephen King
O’ Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson, Ellen Hopkins
Rupi Kaur and Christopher Nolan. Coffee
oils my gears, reading horror tames my fears
rap and rock flood my ears
and if I could, I’d live out my years
off french fries and spend my days
listening to classic rap
surrounded by a dozen cats
with paper stacked
both literary and monetary
I’m grateful for the miracle life
and what it has to teach me
so I cringe when people preach to me
unless it’s metaphysics, philosophy
or poetry
but I’ll digress and say I’m very appreciative
you giving your time and kindness
thank you for reading this
I hope you will enjoy
some more of what I got
comin’

Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to chat!

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*This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Short Story Sunday 193: Looking Back

Short Story Sunday

Another year
Has come and gone.
Did the year stand
To your expectations?

Did you
Accomplish your goals?

Did you
Tell people how you really feel?

Did you
Remain optimistic?

Did you
Find happiness?

Did you
Stay carefree?

Did you
Say heartfelt goodbyes?

Did you
Show kindness to all?

Did you
Reach your goals?

Did you
Try something new?

Did you
Face your fears?

Did you
Give thanks to people you love?

Did you
Change for the better?

Another year
Has come and gone.
Remember all the good and bad,
And live and learn for next year.

Words: 97

I hope you enjoyed the story! Let me know what you think in the comments below and we’ll chat!