on Oct. 1, 2013 :
The cover is well designed. Except for the title, it gives a only a slight idea of what to expect. I like the two hearts. One on top right. The other, a broken one bottom left.
Do a cyber "flip" through the first few pages. You have the standard Title / Copyright / Dedication pages. Next up is the Table of Contents / Intro. Jess does an excellent job keeping the 5 chapter titles to one word each. Here is where your curiosity really starts to build. A brief Preface follows with a very, very beautiful quote.
One poem I want to mention here: Crystal Spring. Jess includes a photo of lying down looking at the sky. The photo includes flowers in your vision. The photo, placed at the beginning, really helps your visualization of the words. The perspective places you at that moment.
As I am reading this book, it feels like I am reading a personal journal. In other words, if you would publish a diary / journal, Gossamer Wings and Other Things would be your template. The overall them of love and life holds true through a combination of words, photos and graphics. At one point, Jess takes us through the seasons, not at random, but progressing through each one.
The last quote is something to add to your list of words to live by.
The last 2 pages are standard: A thanks for reading and "About the Author".
Jess takes us on a personal journey. Several poems tell us how much she loves someone. I really enjoyed the way she strayed from a more traditional format. Instead, Jess chose to take the personal side even farther by using a "journal" or "scrapbook" format. Reading Gossamer Wings and Other Things, you can easily tell she wants to remember these things forever.
The way this book is written and set up, I could easily relate personal experiences and found myself thinking about people I remembered.
Gossamer Wings and Other Things has a combination of rhyme / freeverse and photos / artwork. The way poems are written help us visualize them. Jess goes another step by including the photos / artwork to really take us there.
I have to point out a low point here. Honestly, the Table of Contents is not needed for reasons other than technical. By the third "page", I completely forgot about it. You find yourself going from one poem / thought to the next. Without thinking about what section it is supposed to relate to.
Gossamer Wings and Other Things is a very short book. Including the "standard" sections, I read it in about 20 minutes. 30 while writing parts of this review.
If you are looking for a short book that give you a glimpse of an author's personal side, read it! If you are looking for a book that is not traditional in wording or format, read it! If you want to take a break from the usual genres, read it! Looking for a more traditional book with expected formatting / plot / heroes / etc.? Gossamer Wings and Other Things is not what you are looking for.
(review of free book)