A first for my blog, I’m reviewing an autobiography today. While the 500+ pages was intimidating at first, author Rico Lamoureux seems to have a never-ending supply of adventures from this first part of his life that I’m only surprised it wasn’t longer!
Read on for my review and if you’d like a copy of your own, followers of the author’s blog can get his book for free!
Power of the Pen by Rico Lamoureux
There’s no greater fuel for a pen than life experience, creativity, and a love for storytelling. A fact which led Rico Lamoureux to the realization that he was destined to become an author. From a childhood of abuse and poverty to overcoming life-altering health conditions. From being trained in an ancient martial art to finding his soul mate. With an artistic heart and an ambitious spirit, this diverse journey Rico takes the reader on is indeed an intriguing and unforgettable one! (Includes nearly 100 color photos)
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This is a lower rating for me and I’ll go into my reasons in more detail below but my general feeling was that while it was a really intriguing life story to follow, there were a lot of areas where I disagreed with the author. Honestly, I think this would be true with a lot of auto/biographies because you’re up close and personal with the author and you’re likely to be at issue with them in some way or another.
The author has definitely gone through quite a lot over the years and I respect that he bears it all for his readers. Growing up in poverty and with an abusive mother, his childhood was quite unstable, moving across the country and in and out of foster homes. Despite the turmoil in his family life, his ties to them remain strong though supporting his siblings often comes with consequences for himself. The author also shares his struggles with living with a disability, painting a clear picture of the difficulties he faces in his daily life though his usual perseverance shines through in these instances as well.
While it’s a very real depiction of life, and therefore not always lighthearted, the author’s optimistic nature comes through the pages, especially as he follows his passions, from his dedication to learning ninjutsu, to finding a career most suitable for him – musician, actor, filmmaker, and most notably, a writer. I really enjoyed the sections he devoted to talking about his favourite musicians. It’s clear how much he loves music and has certainly gone to extreme lengths to meet these icons in his life!
In regards to the issues I had with the book, I understand that an autobiography is going to be the author’s perspective but there were some instances where the author presents his way as the best way, mainly around issues of parenting and poverty. I understand that he has had poor experiences with both and I really can’t speak to that end of it, but in some ways I felt like the methods he was prescribing were oversimplifying things. Especially with his comments on poverty, the suggestions that people just need to follow their passion, or develop a budget, are ignoring the deeper problems in society. Getting out of poverty is not an easy fix and that burden shouldn’t be on those living in it.
My main issue however, and one that came up again and again in this book, was with the way sexuality and virginity was handled. It felt a lot like the “nice guy” narrative, as “hotties” stole opportunities from him on the basis of their attractiveness (because girls can’t be real fans?) and his inability to find a girlfriend was because they’d already been ruined by bad boys. This last part was especially disturbing, as it’s really slut-shaming. Someone’s virginity is not tied to their character; they are not ruined by having past partners, and their choice to date someone else is not immaturity or poor thinking. A lot of blame was put on women but they made their own choices, and just because these were not what the author may have wanted, this doesn’t put the women in the wrong.
I think the author’s story was certainly intriguing and he has many experiences to share, but there were many issues here that conflicted with my beliefs that I could not overlook.
About the Author: Rico Lamoureux is an author who believes in substance over cliche writing, diversity over genre. He’s a life-long lover of story, and has been a storyteller for over thirty years.
His stories of substance engage, excite, and enlighten, as reflected by the critical acclaim they have received. ‘Great storytelling isn’t easy to find. Whether it be in film, literature, music, or so on. I always feel grateful when I come upon a tale that moves me, and have made it my life’s work to create such for those seeking the same.’
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own