elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Inside the Vortex by Justin Hernandez

When I was in New York City back in March I attended the Rainbow Book Fair and I went to some readings of authors I knew, but also to some of authors I have never heard about. This one guy, an extremely good looking guy, caught my eyes, yes, I’m aware that is not a good reason to read a book, but well, he was really handsome. I listened to his excerpt and I understood he was a former go-go dancer who, after a few years spent in Los Angeles trying to “make it”, decided his hometown New York was better for him and his future. I thought, well, he is very young, how much “life” he has seen? And then I decided to read his memoir, and he started with his youth in New York City, and he was speaking of the ’80s! Wait, the ’80s are my years, and I’m approaching 40, not so young anymore… I was intrigued, because, I have to admit, I found more interesting a memoir of someone who had the chance to experiment life, more than a young boy who thinks he is experienced.

Justin Hernandez’s youth was unfortunately not a good one, he was abused by someone he believed was family, and so someone who should protect him, not abuse him. As many boys coming from such experience, Justin had self-esteem issues, issues that brought him to not accept himself, not on an emotional or on a physical point of view. For the exterior he had a quick solution, plastic surgery was available, even if he didn’t need it; a change of name helped also detaching him even more from his past; but the scars he had inside were harder to heal. It will be a long ride for Justin to accept who he was and what it happened, a ride with multiple stops each of them marked with a wrong romance.

Justin talks a lot about romance, and I think he believes in it. He also believed that probably romance was the solution to many of his trouble, and for that reason he always jumped into relationships too soon and with too commitment. Romance is not the solution, above all when you are not really into it. On the contrary it can destroy you, your life and even the life of who is on the other side of it. What I like of this memoir is that, even if Justin sometime is a victim, he is never once disclaiming his responsibility in what was happening. He had unprotected sex with people he barely knew? Well, he could probably punch them in the nose and go away. He brought along a relationship that was clearly wrong and unhealthy? He could go and forget them. He was using and abusing his body? He had chances he didn’t pick. Justin is not trying to be a victim, he is telling you his story, and also how he decided to take again possession of his life and being faithful to himself before being able to be in a relationship with someone else.

Justin is not an hero, but everytime he did something wrong, I always saw in him the little boy who only wanted to play with dolls and maybe find the knight in shining armor. I think that boy is still there, inside him, and I wish he will be able to find his own Prince Charming.

Amazon: Inside the Vortex
Amazon Kindle: Inside the Vortex
Paperback: 148 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (June 15, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1475190468
ISBN-13: 978-1475190465

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
Tags: author: justin hernandez, genre: contemporary, length: novel, review, theme: hustlers

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