Tanner's Reviews > Always Running

Always Running by Luis J. Rodríguez
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's review
Oct 26, 11

it was amazing
Recommended for: Gang members, troubled teens, or anyone who wants a new perspective of gang culture.
Read in October, 2011 — I own a copy , read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** The book Always Running is the shocking memoir of Luis J. Rodriguez. His account of his coming of age is inspiring as it is gut wrenching. He began getting involved with gangs very early on in life. Although many of the gangs he was involved in during middle school were simply innocent clubs. Later on the local gang culture started to have a surmounting presence in his life.
Even if you took out the horrifying details of murder, rape, gang wars, riots, police brutality, and betrayal, the stating of the events that took place in L.A during this time would be enough to infuriate and activate even the most dispassionate people.
Luis started committing felonies at an astonishingly young age. He was also doing hard drugs at a young age as well including heroin and aerosol. He also began drinking at around the age of ten. He was an accomplice in several shootings, robberies and murders. He had gotten into hundreds of fights; one of the fights actually caused him to have an obstructed jaw bone. Even though he had gotten into all of this trouble, he somehow made it out of the L.A gang scene.
Even though his morals are seemingly nonexistent during his gang years, he does in fact show several occurrences where he actually has them. One of which being the time he turned down the offer to rape an unconscious girl, which was surprising to me since he had already burned down a house and had used a gun against other people. Another instance of him showing morals was when he turned down an offer to smoke angel dust, even when other gang members were pressuring him to do so. He also participated in an extracurricular activity that promoted the interests of other Latin American students in a highly segregated school.
One thing that I found interesting in his memoir was the fact that he spent time in a county jail for hard criminals when he was only about 13 years of age. I also noticed that he's been repeatedly subject to police brutality. One officer actually had the nerve to attack and arrest him for telling the police officer to stop beating up a defenseless drunk woman.
The fact that this author has gone into the gang world and back shows that he is a man of true character. He's helped thousands of troubled teenagers with there problems whether it be drug addiction, gang influence, sexual promiscuity, or even domestic violence and abuse with this novel. There are tons of things I haven't covered in this review, so you'll have to read it if you want to know more. Overall this memoir is a thrilling eye opener to how modern day gangs really operate.

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