I’m Not Broken: A Memoir

Vintage. Aug. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9780593466513. pap. $17. MEMOIR
Leon is an abuse survivor and has written a powerful and heartbreaking coming-of-age memoir. Born to working-class, Mexican immigrants in San Diego, Leon’s childhood was severely interrupted when he was raped by a shopkeeper at the age of 11. The encounter triggered a downward spiral into drugs, alcohol, and prostitution before graduating high school. Despite being disregarded by the systems put in place to help abuse survivors recover, Leon found a way to help himself thrive on his own with help from supportive people he met along the way. Leon’s difficult and emotional journey from childhood to Harvard graduate is filled with overcoming obstacles such as poverty, racism, drug and alcohol addiction, and sexual abuse. Leon’s journey leads to figuring out his own identity, coming to terms with his sexuality, and using his voice to help others who are suffering in similar ways.
VERDICT A raw, emotional memoir filled with highs and lows. The inspirational ending gives readers hope when Leon uses his self-will and determination to change and accept the love from those around him.
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