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My Bloody Life: The Making of a Latin King

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  4,757 ratings  ·  590 reviews
Looking for an escape from childhood abuse, Reymundo Sanchez turned away from school and baseball to drugs, alcohol, and then sex, and was left to fend for himself before age 14. The Latin Kings, one of the largest and most notorious street gangs in America, became his refuge and his world, but its violence cost him friends, freedom, self-respect, and nearly his life. This ...more
Paperback, 299 pages
Published July 1st 2000 by Chicago Review Press (first published January 1st 2000)
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Average rating 4.24  · 
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Aug 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
The third time around, I have to say I was much more intrigued and impressed by Sanchez's story. It's a favorite among my students, and I ended up writing a 20-page response on the potential HARM of this text for a grad school class: Do the Benefits Outweigh the Harms? Here's the opening paragraph...

Every school year as I stock the shelves of my classroom library, I buy at least three copies of My Bloody Life by Reymundo Sanchez in anticipation of the never-ending student requests for more. And
Sep 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
I'm conflicted about this book. I learned a lot about gang life in Chicago, and for that alone I'd say it's an important book for people in Chicago to read. It's probably not surprising that the writing style is not great, given that the author is describing how he dropped out of school to devote himself more fully to his gangbanging lifestyle, but if the writing style were my only complaint I'd definitely have given this book another star, maybe even all five.

My biggest complaint/concern about
Apr 12, 2011 rated it liked it
It's a decent book. Impressive actually considering the author's education and background. It's certainly not going to win any literary achievements for the writing but it gets the job done. The lack of brilliant writing actually helps the book's authenticity in my opinion.

That said for me the big issue with this thing is the timeline in which events happened or how long they played out. I'd be reading and sit there wondering "How is this guy still X age?" It just seemed like too much was happen
Dec 17, 2007 rated it it was ok
This book hit close to home for me. It is a quick and disturbing view into the life of a member of the Latin Kings, one of Chicago's notorious street gangs. I grew up and attended school with several people who were just like those described in this story. ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
The book My Blood Life was about Reymundo Sanchez telling his life about being abused and living the life as a Latin King. His life was pretty much drug alchol and sex. He also killed a lot of people throughout his life. He was abused by his mom and his stepdad. And was always the one getting beat up, other then his brothers. Then he was sent to go and live with his step brother. Who didn't really care about him. His brother was a 'junkie' and his house was pretty much a home for other 'junkies' ...more
Dec 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I think this book is all right. its about a kid called King lil loco, he didn't have a good childhood. when his mom married a guy named Pedro evrything change for him and his sister. His new stepfather treated them good at first but when he had his own child with his mom he started to treat him bad. He would whip him with anything as he grew older. he joined a gang called the Latin Kings. He had to be beat up for 3 minutes. When he got in the gang, he started to drink and smoke. He fhought he ha ...more
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book discusses the life of a self proclaimed "pee-wee", and "junior" Latin king member. It was not about the life of an adult, but a teen who was addicted to sex, alcohol and drugs, which the aforementioned covered 90% of the book, literally.

I didn't find any lessons, morals, or meaning to the story. Which left me disappointed at the potential of the book.

At the halfway point, it began to drag immensely due to its repetitiveness which made the book unenjoyable.
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this book to recommend it to my students and wow. I am so saddened for all the kids who don’t have someone to believe in them and who don’t have a stable home life and find family in the wrong place. I hope this book reaches more hands and opens more minds.
Kevin Tello
Feb 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Status 3
As i finished My Bloodly life i felt that Reymundo had finally grew up and stop being a Latin King. This is said in in Pg 296 " I refused to go being known as a Latin King. I no longer was to be a COWARD." when reymundo said this i thought that finally he has some sense in him. i fe3lt as if reymundo has got out of that phase of not being wanted. He can find people who want to be his friends he never need to be a King to be accepted in life just be yourself.

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Black Carrie
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Read I give this book a loud thumbs up. 👍 so much happened in lil Loco’s life that shouldn’t have happened... drama at home 🏠 lead to him looking for love ❤️ in the streets . No child should be hurt, disrespected , abused , traumatized unwanted , or unloved. The streets , his peers , and the drugs turned him into a Monster it was so many deaths I lost count . This another book that had my emotions fired up. I recommend anyone who thinks about joining a gang to read this . It was a perfect ...more
Michael Alvero
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Seeking freedom from his childhood abuse, Reymundo Sanchez a Puerto Rican born American who lives in the south side of Chicago, separates himself from school and baseball to participate in activities including drugs, alcohol, and later on, sex. Before the age of 14 he is sent away from his parents and soon, he joins the Latin Kings, one of the biggest and most well-known street gangs in all of America. The Latin Kings becomes his haven, his new world, his family. But its onslaught costs him his ...more
Dec 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
3. Many things happened in this book . Reymundo went from being an abused kid to being the most violent gang member. Reymundo got jumped into the gang right when he returned from Puerto Rico, he turned cold-hearted and vicious. He began using cocaine and became dependent on it.

8. I was surprised when Reymundo's mom turned her back on him, and not only was the step father beating him for no reason but so was she. Reymundo really depended on her and when she started turning her back on him , thing
Samir Jones
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
My Bloody Life is a book that I like and would highly recommend it to mature readers. The reason is that some details are very graphic and can be considered disturbing. This isn't like the typical drug gang book. This is an actual detailed description about a young boy coming up in the world of drugs and gangs. What also makes this book unlike others is the fact that this is a true story. These events are disturbing; the fact that these are true details makes this even more disturbing.

The story
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This true story really put things in perspective for me , how fortunate I am and how some children get involved in gangs just for loyalty because they don't have a solid family. The narrator shows the reader that even the closest people to you , blood , will switch up in a heartbeat. It isn't always the "gang bangers" fault. In the story the narrator , at only 5 years old his innocence was stolen from him by his uncle who raped and swore to kill him if he told anyone. Since his father passed whe ...more
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing

In the book My Bloody Life by Raymundo Sanchez . The main characters are all in Humboldt park. I like it because involves and gives you the bad side of a city. It's very interesting and very different to other books. The violence and drama make you sick to the book.

My favorite character was lil loco because he was the main character. He was very reckless and I could see why he was. He reminds me of my older brothers to be honest.

Raymundo try's to explains how you could come from somewhere re
May 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Intense sex/drugs/violence memoir with a moral message: the culture of gangs kills the body and the spirit. It also chronicles the rise of the Latin Kings, as they were first conceived to protect urban Puerto Rican communities from violence inflicted by racist police forces and rival ethnic gangs. Reymundo Sanchez (a pseudonym) tells the harrowing tale of his childhood/adolesence (He joined the Latin Kings at age 13). His cautionary tale implores teens to avoid gang life at all cost. He conclude ...more
Oct 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
THIS BOOOK TALKS ABOUT A EX LATIN KING MEMBER BUT HE DIDNT WANT TO BE IN THE GANG CAUSE IT DESTROYED HIS FAMILY AND HIS LIFE AND AT THE END HE GETS OUT THE LATIN KINGS AND GOES BACK TO SCHOOL BUT WHAT HE NOTICES IS ONCE HES A KING HE ALWAYS A KING.what i think about this book is that its a great book for everyone because it teaches you that gang life is a bad trip because when your in it theres no getting out and its a game of dead or alive or even jail so i think this book would change everyone ...more
Rob Baker
A student once told me that reading this book turned his life around; he went from flunking out of school to being a hard-working A student. He said after reading "My Bloody Life", he knew he didn't want his life to be that way. I made a mental note to read it someday.

So, now, many years later, I have. I can't say I enjoyed this heart-breaking and disturbing account of a boy who, abandoned or abused by the adults in his life, becomes a gang member., but it is certainly an eye-opening look at th
Nov 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
this book was really good but nasty and weird the reson why i think its weird is because thats just shows how peole from the beginning get involve with gangs. when a person has a really bad life they can resort to that type of thing. now cops and other people cn relize how they get involved in the first place. its because people dnt have the perfect life that everyone else has htey really struggle and thats y i think this book is a great one
Bridgette Davis
I am really glad that I read this book. I can see why so many students really like it. It's interesting because it definitely is very explicit, but also warns of all of the dangers of gang and drug life. I also was fascinated by the Chicago history and description of the neighborhoods as they were during Reymundo's time. I recommend reading this book. ...more
Shyane Griffith
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sean Riggs
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really like this book! The book really relates to a lot of events, not only my life, but others as well. This book is full of imagery, and is full of details so you can pictures in your mind what is happening.This book in my opinion is very inspiring to troubled youth . This book delivers a message, and should be read by others
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My bloody life has two great elements such as Moral and Man Vs. Man. The author also gives spectacular and clear visuals on where and how things were in Reymundo's life.Alos such as how he does his first his when he was 14.Another great part in this book is when Reymundo's mom would let her boyfriend's physically and emotionally abuse him. ...more
Apr 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is deep!!!!! I can relate to lil loco in so many ways. He just had so many problems growing up and that helps you to understand why he did some of the things he did. This is one of the best books I ever read.
Mary Ford
Gut-wrenching! I often had to stop the book and recount just how old this boy was when was in the Latin King's gang. Sometimes very difficult to read. More often knowing the heartbreak is real and happening everyday in our society...... ...more
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. It was definitely more explicit and violent than I thought it would be, I’m glad I read it later in life.

“ You have to learn to hurt people before they have a chance to hurt you. “ 73

Denise Prado
This book is really great I liked it and got so addicted to reading the book and wanting more of it.
Itasca Community Library
Nick says:
My Bloody Life is a memoir of the author's experience growing up in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago and joining the Latin Kings street gang. It was a fast-paced read that had my attention the whole time. The writing isn't very polished or conventional, but that can be excused because the author is not a professional. The only aspect that disappointed me was how over-the-top and embellished some of the stories were. It made me wonder how much of the account was real. I would r
May 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I read My Bloody Life The Making Of A Latin King by Reymuldo Sanchez, it was about a kid nicknamed Lil Loco he had a hard life growing up & he joined the Latin Kings after he tried some drugs and started to hang out with gang members of different gangs. He also learned a lot from his experience Lil Loco- independent, cautious, he reminded me of my dad
Morena- intelligent she reminds me of myself because we are both independent and caring. Love-everyone should love themselves and we should stop
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