Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite
Dreams of Falling by Ranequa Kelley-Boyd is a collection of poems that are autobiographical in nature in the sense that they all come from Ranequa’s own life experiences. Dreams of Falling starts off with an introduction about Ranequa herself and a little bit about her background of growing up as a black woman in America, as an only child of a single parent, and dealing with mental illness, identity crisis, and racism in American society. The poems are grouped into smaller collections and each collection is presented in its own chapter with a brief summary from Ranequa about where they are coming from and her life experiences about that particular topic. Although each chapter contains poems relating to a specific topic or period in her life, they are grouped such that each chapter can be read independently of the other.
Dreams of Falling by Ranequa Kelley-Boyd is a very readable collection and I thought that the poems were all genuinely well composed with an artistic feel to them. They are lyrical and the words seem to flow naturally. I also liked the fact that they highlight in a candid way the issues in our society: namely, the stigma surrounding mental illnesses, battling with depression and coming to terms with society’s lack of understanding of it, racial discrimination, and the specific issues that young, black women face in American society in particular. All of this is addressed through the poetry in a heartfelt way. I very much enjoyed this collection and would recommend it.
AVAILABLE ON AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1535586605
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Suicidal, NOT: Maximize Your Mental Health by Ranequa Kelley-Boyd is about battling mental illness. The author discusses this unfiltered from the perspective of a black woman suffering from bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, and suicidal idealizations. The book has been divided into two parts, which are two separate journals, and each chapter has its own theme which points towards healing. This handy mental health workbook is a good resource that will aid readers on their journey, especially those who are fed up with their lives and feel like dying.
The approach to the topic is unique and different and the author has added exercises and writing prompts that will help readers explore themselves and veer towards the path of clarity and saying yes to life. What makes this book interesting is that Ranequa Kelley-Boyd does not preach; instead, she pulls readers in to share their thoughts and experiences on the topic so that they can create better habits and coping mechanisms in life. The author is straightforward and honest when speaking about her personal life. She shares her heartbreak and fun memories, and how finally she took control of her life. She also speaks about her spiritual proximity to God and how she builds up her faith and trust in Him. Ranequa Kelley-Boyd's personal insights and thought-provoking quotes will help many readers deal with their suicidal thoughts and stressful episodes. It is a good book for therapists, counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists to use when treating their patients and helping them through their loneliness and grief.
AVAILABLE ON AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1696489636
Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Suicidal, NOT: Maximize Your Mental Health (Volume Two) by Ranequa Kelley-Boyd is part self-help, part-inspiration, designed to help readers grapple with life's pain and self-defeating thoughts and behaviors from a biblical, spiritual angle. A lot of mental health guides are helpful and insightful, but not all of them address psychological stressors from a spiritual perspective. A great many spiritual believers are under the impression that you have to be issue-free and never be down or in despair. Kelley-Boyd changes that notion as the book allows the reader to connect with notions that it's okay to be human, frail, confused, in pain, and in need of help. This isn't the average follow-these-10-steps-and-you'll-be-okay book. It's a thoughtful, poetic, comprehensive dive into the spiritual psyche that connects to readers on a universal, yet personal level. I like the way the author involves the reader from the first pages, inviting them to fill in the blanks with their challenges and thoughts. The book is well-balanced, turning negatives into positives, with good advice on how to be more successful in different areas of life.
As you read, you learn that Ranequa Kelley-Boyd has dealt with personal issues as well, and uses these experiences to help readers in a way that some authors can't. Suicide is taboo in some cultures, even in spiritual populations. But the author breaks the barriers between shame and survival. When a person--believers included--can admit that he/she has trauma or suicidal thoughts, real recovery can begin, and this healing can happen through God's principles. The author lays out a guide in simple yet profound terms, hoping to bring the hurting out from the shadows of shame and into the light of healing. This guide will help you communicate more closely with God and turn to Him in your time of trouble by using touching, evocative poetry, valuable worksheets, and journal prompts. If you're in pain or have considered suicide, Suicidal, NOT: Maximize Your Mental Health (Volume Two) by Ranequa Kelley-Boyd could save your life.
AVAILABLE ON AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1696855845