Current Reading Mood: Urban Fantasy
Quote of the day: “I’d have been dead a long time ago if not for my friends, one of whom had just jumped off the cliff after me.
I’d have been a lot more appreciative if he hadn’t pushed me first." Cassandra Palmer ― Hunt the Moon by Karen Chance

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Review: Harley Loco: A Memoir of Hard Living, Hair, and Post-Punk, from the Middle East to the Lower East Side by Rayya Elias

Pages: 320
Published: April 4th, 2013
Genre: Memoir, Non-fiction

“It is my honor to introduce these pages—so gravelly, so straggly, so hopeful, bright, and true.”  —Elizabeth Gilbert 

When she was seven, Rayya Elias and her family fled the political conflict in their native Syria, settling in Detroit. Bullied in school and caught between the world of her traditional family and her tough American classmates, she rebelled early.

Elias moved to New York City to become a musician and kept herself afloat with an uncommon talent for cutting hair. At the height of the punk movement, life on the Lower East Side was full of adventure, creative inspiration, and temptation. Eventually, Elias’s passionate affairs with lovers of both sexes went awry, her (more than) occasional drug use turned to addiction, and she found herself living on the streets—between her visits to jail.

This debut memoir charts four decades of a life lived in the moment, a path from harrowing loss and darkness to a place of peace and redemption. Elias’s wit and lack of self-pity in the face of her extreme highs and lows make Harley Loco a powerful read that’s sure to appeal to fans of Patti Smith, Augusten Burroughs, and Eleanor Henderson.

When I was first asked to review HARLEY LOCO, I wasn't sure how I would fancy it since it's a bit out of my ordinary reading zone. However, I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the writing style and over all story. It's a different voice than I'm used to and I'm glad I've had the chance to read it.

 Rayya is a natural storyteller, with a voice that reels you in. She takes us on a ride through her life as a "rough diamond", (as quoted by her friend Elizabeth Gilbert) where she experienced the highs and definitely the lows in her life. She didn't hold back anything, from her childhood, drug addiction, sexuality or dreams. She truly lived the life of a rock star.

 I have to admit, it's not an easy read, with such devastation and heartbreak. Nevertheless, it's inspiring story of a woman that finds her way through the dark, and comes out into the light. I was especially engrossed in the story come the last few chapters. Her overwhelming emotion and strength is uplifting and I congratulate her on being clean since 1997. She truly is a strong, inspirational woman and I highly recommend this read, whether you read memoirs or not. You won't be disappointed. 

My Rating:
 This book is one you don't want to miss!


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