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Manifested Dreams by Dr. Yvonne Johnson – Review by Lorralei Hoerner

Manifested DreamsManifested Dreams by Yvonne Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book truly is a journey. I loved how that Author has this story with different character’s POV via letters that are found by Amari when his grandmother passes away. You go through a history of slavery, Red Summer of 1919, Martin Luther King Jr march and his assassination, Rodney King and 44th President of the United State, Barack Obama. Each generation has a story to tell in these letters of these different historical events. I really embraced every word of this book and it is truly a great read. My Favorite line in the book that I loved was “We all have a little Dr. King in us, even you.” Well Done Author Yvonne Johnson!!!

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Manifested Dreams by Dr. Yvonne Johnson – Review by Jennifer Gordon

Manifested DreamsManifested Dreams by Yvonne Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This original story by Dr. Yvonne Johnson is a fascinating, emotional and thought provoking novel. ‘Manifested Dreams’ “chronicles the history of an African-American family through several generations living in a radically divisive America”. The story is told via letters which Amari is reading, the box of letters was found in his beloved grandma’s belongings after she had died. Amari loved listening to his grandma tell him stories from their past and when he discovers these letters he realises it is where the stories come from. Each letter is written by a different person in a different generation and explores the world around them and how they live at that time. Sallie who was born as a slave to slave parents on the Davies Plantation in Tennessee writes about how it was like to live as an African-American in the 1860s. The next letter is from her daughter Isabelle who talks about what life was like in the 1920s. The following letters explore the lives of Lisa, Jessica, and lastly Amari, who is reading the letters. As a whole the letters and the stories in them “presents the life of African-Americans throughout history” and looks at how each generation has dealt with racial inequities.

The storyline is unique and had me gripped from the start, however I did find the story a bit slow to start with and hard to get into. It took me a while to get used to the authors style of writing and the story being told via letters, but once I did I was hooked. I definitely recommend sticking with the book although it’s not an easy read. The author obviously is very knowledgeable and at times the history facts do get in the way of the natural flow of the story however, her descriptive narrative really brings the settings and characters to life. It is the characters and their individual stories that kept me turning the pages eager to learn about their lives. I like how the story ends as it begins with Amari talking about his memories of his grandma. A historical note from the author would have been interesting at the end maybe. This engaging and touching novel took me on a journey along with Amari and his ancestors and it also took me on an emotional rollercoaster. Although not an epic in pages it is an epic in storytelling and I recommend that everyone read it and learn about African-American history.

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Manifested Dreams by Dr. Yvonne Johnson – Review by Chrissy Spulak

Manifested DreamsManifested Dreams by Yvonne Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Manifested Dreams by Dr. Yvonne Johnson is a book I recommend to EVERYONE. It is a quick read; it is not even 50 pages in length and took me less than an hour to devour.
I am intrigued by American History and appreciate all the historical connections that each character’s letters entailed. I found myself taking notes to further educate myself on each and every event that was mentioned. If I was still teaching American Literature, I would definitely be seeking the author’s permission to use this book as a supplemental tool alongside works such as To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Each letter is from a first person perspective that pulls the reader directly into the characters’ heads, making these stories an experience, rather than lecture. Having these specific personal accounts makes the past come alive and points out how racism and inequality is ABSOLUTELY still an issue in this country, even if it is swept under the rug and denied. Manifested Dreams follows an American family’s journey from the Civil War era to the present. As a fan of Alex Haley’s Roots, I practically inhaled this short book and was left wanting so much more. I have a profound appreciation and respect for this author and will be purchasing more copies for others. I highly recommend this book with 5 stars.

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Manifested Dreams by Dr. Yvonne Johnson – Review by Kerry Baker

Manifested DreamsManifested Dreams by Yvonne Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Manifested Dreams by Yvonne Johnson is an emotional book about family and their views of what it is like to live in this world. I thought it was so easy to connect with these different people. You could feel the different emotions and experiences with each new letter.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I started reading this book but I was moved by each of the journeys. This is a new author to me and I am so glad that I have found her work. This was well written and beautiful to read end I am really looking forward to discovering more by this author.

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Manifested Dreams by Dr. Yvonne Johnson – Review by Piper Foster

Manifested DreamsManifested Dreams by Yvonne Johnson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Very slow and bit enough story for me to actually get it uforutunely. However I do think it has potential if expanded upon. I do think some of this is sad and unfair in how some race are treated differently than others which should not be done.

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Beginnings and Endings: A Selection of Short Stories by Jane Suen – Review by Heather Lovelace

Beginnings and Endings: A Selection of Short StoriesBeginnings and Endings: A Selection of Short Stories by Jane Suen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These three short stories are jam packed with detail and will immediately grab your attention. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened his book but was so very pleased with what I encountered. Great detail and story development. A fast and enjoyable read. You will love every moment you spend in these tales and be left wanting to read more.

Reviewed by @heatherlovelace
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Manifested Dreams by Dr. Yvonne Johnson – Review by Kayla Bullock

Manifested DreamsManifested Dreams by Yvonne Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Manifested Dreams tells the family story from the 1800’s until present. The story is presented through a series of letters, each written by a different generation. Focusing on an African-American family that started in slavery, the story progresses through Emancipation, the civil rights movement, and more.

I enjoyed this book. It makes the reader think long and hard about their life and their role in preventing discrimination. It was definitely an interesting look at the lives of African-Americans in this county. It left me wanting more–I wanted to know more about the characters and their lives. Great book that I would recommend to everyone!

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Beginnings and Endings: A Selection of Short Stories by Jane Suen – Review by Bethany Rucker

Beginnings and Endings: A Selection of Short StoriesBeginnings and Endings: A Selection of Short Stories by Jane Suen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book has the perfect name. All the stories were heartfelt and interesting. My favorite story was The End of Summer; however, they were all amazing. The author did an amazing with all the short stories because it left me wanting more from all of them. I’d love to read more from this author!

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Beginnings and Endings: A Selection of Short Stories by Jane Suen – Review by Rayne East

Beginnings and Endings: A Selection of Short StoriesBeginnings and Endings: A Selection of Short Stories by Jane Suen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Soulful and insightful
This little collection of well-written stories will get you thinking. Every story is different but draws you in and takes you on a little trip. I connected with each of the characters and felt their emotions shine through from happiness to heartbreak and everything in between. Even though each story is short it still felt complete. Highly recommend.

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Manifested Dreams by Dr. Yvonne Johnson – Review by Donna Dawkin

Manifested DreamsManifested Dreams by Yvonne Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is the generational stories that keep the spirit alive and truly tell the tale of how history affected real people. In this short story by Dr Yvonne Johnson, we hear young voices tell the story of several generations of an African-American family. Through their combined history, told through the from the point of view of daughters who become mothers, we feel their both their frustration and elation.
With a good balance of historical fact and familial history, we see the dreams of a people manifest within the lineage of one family. The only thing I wished it had more of was pages!! Looking forward to this authors next work.

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