Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx pdf free download – Book reviews


Author(s): Adrian Nicole LeBlancDownload  


In her extraordinary bestseller, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc immerses readers in the intricacies of the ghetto, revealing the true sagas lurking behind the headlines of gangsta glamour, gold-drenched drug dealers, and street-corner society. Focusing on two romances – Jessica’s dizzying infatuation with a hugely successful young heroin dealer, Boy George, and Coco’s first love with Jessica’s little brother, Cesar – Random Family is the story of young people trying to outrun their destinies. Jessica and Boy George ride the wild adventure between riches and ruin, while Coco and Cesar stick closer to the street, all four caught in a precarious dance between survival and death. Friends get murdered; the DEA and FBI investigate Boy George; Cesar becomes a fugitive; Jessica and Coco endure homelessness, betrayal, the heartbreaking separation of prison, and, throughout it all, the insidious damage of poverty.Charting the tumultuous cycle of the generations – as girls become mothers, boys become criminals, and hope struggles against deprivation – LeBlanc slips behind the cold statistics and sensationalism and comes back with a riveting, haunting, and true story.

Some Reviews: 1389 in Goodreads.com

Sabrina Rutter

Sabrina Rutter rated it      

The author started this project intending to write about Boy George who had been arrested at the age of 23 after becoming a millionare by dealing heroin. Along the way she ran into Jessica one of his girlfriends and decided she wanted to write about her life instead. LeBlanc followed Jessica and her extended family for twelve years mainly focusing on Jessica and her sister in law Coco.
If you don’t know poverty then after reading this book you will. This book gives you a better understanding of how generation after generation remains in abject poverty. Dreams usually never open their sleepy eyes in the ghetto. Don’t understand what I mean by that? Read this book and you will.
I’m actually really impressed that an author wrote about regular struggles of the poor in the US. Not only did she tell Jessica, and Coco’s stories, but in telling them she told of so many other young mothers stories in ghettos big and small all across the US.
I personally know what it is to live in the big city ghetto, and in a small town ghetto. I know a lot of the struggles these people go through on a very personal level. Still I found myself willing these people to make other choices such as , get on birth control, take that apartment, and get that education. I saw so many people I know in these two womens stories that this book will stay with me for a very long time.
This book just goes to show you that everyones life is a story, and it was really interesting to follow the lives of these two young women for so many years.

Robyn Brady

Robyn Brady rated it      

This book is haunting. It has haunted me since I put it down and I don’t foresee a time when I will not think about it or the people in it and wonder where they are and how they are doing. I so want the author to write an update but I am also so afraid of what I will read.

This is a 10 year long look into an extended family living in the South Bronx. I read this because it was recommended in one of the articles I read about Orange is the New Black. The family lives in the web of extreme poverty and while I can’t say that this book gave any insight into how to change things (which I loved about it), it definitely allowed you to feel what it really is to be stuck in that world and how simple solutions are ridiculous.

While I wanted to scream sometimes about the choices that characters made, my heart also broke for them. I especially loved Coco and wanted so badly to dive into the book and help Mercedes. This book gave so much humanity to these people and I loved that.

I don’t think people should read this because it is so well done and interesting, although it is. Everyone should read this because this is reality. We should all know about it and ask ourselves how we can change the world, even just a little bit. I know I will host a fresh air fund child next summer but I really want to do so much more as well.


Pete rated it      

on par with “common ground” as one of the best works of narrative non-fiction i’ve ever read. leblanc’s craft is sneaky — what reads at first as a style of no style at all slowly reveals itself as a mode of profound documentation. the mundane blocking of everyday life, down to the gesture, became poignant by the end of this. i will never think of microwave chicken wings without thinking of cesar in the prison visit room. also was not prepared for stone cold steve austin to be deployed as a signifier of oddly-shaped familial love.

this eschews Big Sweeping Arguments in favor of a huge mosiac made out of the lives shaped by want and poverty and slipping through cracks. where season 4 of the wire makes a similar appeal based on bleeding raw sentiment this works through a thousand little pinpricks (and a few chunks of bleeding raw sentiment). this starts as more of a crime/justice saga, but then sprawls out into essentially a family saga with two main poles — jessica and coco and their extended, connected families. man. i’m glad to be through this book because it was getting unbearably sad, but the ending is just hopeful enough that i’m not like actually crying. but i miss the characters already and i just stopped reading 15 mins ago. highest possible recommendation.


Katierogers rated it     

This was a very different sort of book, that I originally thought was fiction. Some of the reviews criticize the author’s lack of presence in the story, but I thought that was just fine. It is an excellent insight into the lives of these Puerto Rican-Americans in the Bronx, what their lives were like, and I believe that what it most proved is that we mostly live the lives that were modeled to us by our parents and relatives. There seemed to be different ideals than the ones I grew up with, such as the girls wanting to have babies as a way to get and keep their boyfriends and me doing everything I could not to be stuck with an unwanted pregnancy, and the boys with prison as a logical path as the result of a life of crime. I always thought of this stuff as sad, and in most ways it is, like with Coco’s family being overrun with cockroaches and Jessica struggling to provide a birthday party for her daughter’s sweet sixteen. But I have to say it was an eye opener how they for a large part, managed to be happy despite their setbacks and sorrows, working hard to solidify their families, just as I did.


Erin rated it      

Informative, moving, heartbreaking, amazing. I can’t say enough about this book. LeBlanc puts you squarely inside the lives of Jessica, Coco, Cesar and George, their children, relatives and friends in this unflinching portrait of life in the inner-city – the drugs, the horrible schools, the prisons that so many of the residents eventually call home. Even if you think you know poverty, you’ve never read anything like this. I’m dying to find out what happened to all these people whom I came to care about. I can heartily recommend this book to everyone.


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Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx 9781439124895, 9780743254434, 0743254430, 0684863871.pdf – 2 Mb


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