Side Steps Terrorizing Sound Bites Part 2

Some things are black and white

Non-Fiction - Religion/Philosophy
116 Pages
Reviewed on 08/30/2020
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Author Biography

Amy Jean is a dreamer, a poet, mother, and writer, sharing compelling stories. As a poet and writer, she has written numerous books. The Kingdom has Arrived: Foundations Volume 1, her debut memoir is a compilation of poetry and prose that details her mystical and otherworldly encounters, including physical manifestations, visions, locutions, prophetic dreams, and apparitions—be inspired and discover your authentic self by following along on a spiritually enlightening journey using the My Insight Journal that accompanies Volume 1. Be sure to read two more of her books; Side Steps Terrorizing Sound Bites and A Step Back, a forthcoming thought-provoking book that is a continuation of the first two Side Step books. Amy’s first two Side Step books received numerous five-star reviews. Experience Scripture coming to fruition to warm the hearts of humanity in The Kingdom has Arrived Volume 2: Passion’s Fire.
Amy is an entrepreneur and spent several years growing a cleaning company in NC. She recently started Jean Publications, LLC, and seeks to share forward-thinking, unique works of art that inspire and propel humanity towards universal liberation. Specifically, creative writing and artistic masterpieces offering bold new thoughts leading society to a brighter future where all lives matter. When she is not writing and working, she enjoys spending time with her three grown sons and two daughters-in-law.
Learn more about Amy and her books at www.amyjean.live

    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

Side Steps Terrorizing Sound Bites Part 2: Some Things are Black and White by Amy Jean, with illustrations by Eric Savage, is a non-fiction poetic memoir that follows Jean's first book and its shared title. Many of Jean's work correlates to her own life and experiences, with periodic extensions into more diverse pieces that grab on to the recessive nature of humanity and an almost predatory societal system. Scattered throughout the book and between Jean's poems are a collection of the author's own quotes and a series of sketched illustrations by Savage. While Jean's poetry is written in free verse, they do have a metered rhyme scheme of shared vowel and/or consonant sounds that vary by poem and subject matter. In all, twenty-three poems and an introductory piece make up the whole of the book's compilation. They are intended to be read in chronological order.

There is no question that Amy Jean is an extraordinarily talented poet. Side Steps Terrorizing Sound Bites Part 2 is intelligently written with creative, powerful messages. Jean's punchy delivery is applied throughout, and for me, it was the political work with wordplay that was the standout. For example, Social Distancing, a timely poem on being together while apart for the good of all—“A way to depart, from civil distress, and rework the country, using common sense...” As for the illustrations, while well-executed, they frequently distracted me from the poignancy of Jean's work. That said, many are quite beautiful and even included a reworking of the 15th century tapestry The Lady and the Unicorn. Poetry is as subjective an art form as any, but Jean is able to weave themes that most would find to be universally affecting and I can see the work being embraced by many.

Lesley Jones

In Western society, we often believe that we have the freedom to choose our own unique beliefs. But are we really free? In this powerful, thought-provoking collection of poems, Side Steps Terrorizing Sound Bites Part 2 by Amy Jean, we are invited to explore how restricted we truly are. Discover how the media, political persuasion, our environment, and others play an integral part in adopting views that can be destructive and negative to our well-being. Uncover the truth behind how we are being manipulated to chase materialism and wealth to boast our 'synthetic existence'. Each poem deals with current issues that affect humanity on a daily basis, social distancing, political persuasion, inequality, discrimination, corruption, and exploitation. Each one placing a stranglehold on humanity and holding us back from becoming our authentic selves.

I absolutely loved this collection. The subject matter, although controversial, is extremely poignant and inspirational. Amy's use of the English language is beautiful and her poems spoke to me on such a deep level. Her work will truly help people step off the treadmill of life and become more aware of their surroundings and the invisible forces holding them back from living an authentic and happy life. The illustrations by Eric Savage complemented her work perfectly, the colors were rich, vibrant, and extremely detailed. The poems that resounded with me the most were The Grind; 'I don’t know why I fall in line, It’s not a life; it’s a daily grind,' and the compelling Done, 'Our ship sailed; we are done.' My absolute favorite, however, was Extinction; 'Our attention focused on false attractions, leaving us lacking affection for the salient things that bring authentic satisfaction.' Side Steps Terrorizing Sound Bites Part 2 by Amy Jean would make a brilliant introduction into a debate on social, emotional, and political issues. A superb, faultless piece of writing.

K.C. Finn

Side Steps: Terrorizing Sound Bites Part 2 - Some things are black and white is a work of non-fiction in the philosophical consideration, social commentary, and lyrical poetry sub-genres, and was penned by author Amy Jean. Partially a personal and emotive journey and partially a more big-picture discussion of religion, faith, and universal truths, the work consists of poetic and lyrical expressions from the writer as well as illustrations by artist Eric Savage, which serve to further highlight the freedom of emotion in the piece. What results is a nail-biting collection that takes readers through many highs and lows into a deep journey of the author’s mind that reveals much about her, but also the world in which we all reside.

Author Amy Jean has created a true rollercoaster of poetic works and musings, one which delivers on both its structural front as a collection and the emotional front as an experience to work through. A particular highlight of the work for me was ‘Faberge Egg’, which exuded such a powerful aura of artifice versus reality, and intelligently played this theme over our real lives, and ‘Say It Isn’t So’, which explores the importance of female empowerment, ideas of childhood naivety and the freedom that comes to us all from ‘the game of life’: chillingly brilliant. Overall, I would certainly recommend Side Steps: Terrorizing Sound Bites Part 2 to readers who are seeking deeply considered and well-crafted verses that they can connect to and reflect on.

Debjeet Mukherjee

Side Steps Terrorizing Sound Bites Part 2: Some Things are Black and White, written by Amy Jean and illustrated by Eric Savage, is a work of poetry based on religion, philosophy, government, and human limitations. The poet has touched on many grave aspects requiring immediate attention. She argues that mankind has not yet attained enlightenment as she goes on highlighting the mess our current world is in. There seems to be a direct connection with the pages and real-world events. The illustrations are relevant to the problems being discussed in the stanzas. Many issues are highlighted and a few of them stand out in their own merit. Overall, it’s a collection of free-verse poetry that is a true eye-opener for many readers.

Amy Jean has been successful in maintaining the flow in the chapters. From historical examples to a modern-day crisis, a plethora of topics have been covered to compile Side Steps Terrorizing Sound Bites Part 2. I liked the rhythm and flow of syllables even in longer sentences. Some poems are short while others cover a few pages, yet the illustrations always push your mind into deeper thinking. I also appreciate the few inspiring quotations that have been used sometimes in between the pages. It’s nice how the poet begins this collection with a touch of individuality discussing human problems before moving over to macro issues happening around the world before again returning to self-awakening in the end. The poet’s anguish surrounding the future of mankind is apparent in her foreboding lines of warning and prayers targeted at social issues.

Tammy Ruggles

Side Steps Terrorizing Sound Bites Part 2: Some things are black and white by Amy Jean is a collection of poems that span a wide range of thoughts and feelings. An early theme in the book touches on reality, how we perceive it, and how sometimes people mistake it for something else. In a sense, some of the poems serve as a reminder or wake-up call to view life, yourself, and events from a closer angle. Another theme in the book is that truth can be found in Holy Scripture, and the author desperately wants her readers to understand this and seek the truth out for themselves. Jean relays her wide-ranging emotions, from rage to peace and everything in between. As she does in her memoir The Kingdom Has Arrived, Jean captures what it feels like to be misunderstood, rejected, and singled out.

This collection of poems is illustrated in certain places and brings a personal dimension to the thoughts and emotions portrayed here. The author's raw way with words cuts deep and rings true, and poetry is the perfect vehicle for conveying pain, ridicule, joy, and sadness (divorce, inequality, illness, etc.). If you've ever felt any of these things, you're sure to connect with at least some of the poems in this short volume. Jean's writing is rhythmic and earnest, and if you like poetry that speaks of universal ideas and experiences, while being readily accessible and personal, Side Steps Terrorizing Sound Bites Part 2 by Amy Jean is a volume you should consider reading.