Life Long Book Review
Like so many Americans before him, he travels through unfamiliar territory with no clear way of knowing who will help and who will harm him. And he may well find himself on the wrong side of the border with a mind that has no borders.
About Life Long
Ray Lopez is on the run with a duffel bag full of cash. Both drug dealers and the police are after him. But Ray is not a criminal. His last brush with the law was over traffic tickets. Recently released from the hospital with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, he is haunted by voices, auditory hallucinations, that frighten him and cause him to question his every move.
Ray’s journey from California to Laredo is perilous. Like so many Americans before him, he travels through unfamiliar territory with no clear way of knowing who will help and who will harm him. And he may well find himself on the wrong side of the border with a mind that has no borders.
Life Long is an emotionally charged, thought-provoking novel. Our main character, Ray, suffers with schizophrenia. I found this left him open to people who would use him, hurt him and prey upon his fears and worries. Ray was at the heart of things a truly kind and warm individual who wanted to help others. His mental illness caused him to act and say things he normally wouldn’t at times. It also caused him to live in fear and do things he probably shouldn’t but because he couldn’t process things the way others may, people took advantage of this. My heart broke for Ray at so many times throughout this story.
Ray was used by a person that was close to him and who should never have treated him the way he did. He was taken advantage of and this left him caught in the middle between drug dealers and the police. Because of the way he processes situations, he felt that his only option was to run. Which is what he did. We quickly see just how unprepared he is to move out into the world when he has been so sheltered for so long.
He finds himself on a journey that he was so unprepared for – including not having enough of his medication to help keep the voices caused by the schizophrenia at bay. He feels he has no other option but to cross the border into Mexico to look for medical help. His trusting and nervous nature makes him a quick target.
Life Long is an intimate look into the struggles of a young man dealing with a mental health condition. He is unprepared and unsure of the world around him – as he is always second guessing his decisions, is it the voices or is this a good decision? My heart broke so many times throughout this novel at the unfairness that he was dealt with and how resilient he was. Life Long is a definite must read novel for young adults.
About the Author
Born and raised in Fresno California – Educated at St. Mary´s College California, University of California Berkeley, University of San Francisco – Practiced law from !966 to 2003 as a Deputy District Attorney, a criminal defense attorney, and a Deputy Public Defender – Appointed to the California Agriculture Labor Relations Board by Governor Jerry Brown in 1974 and later served as the District Attorney of Santa Cruz County California.
Ronald L. Ruiz has published 5 novels and a memoir. Happy Birthday Jesus (1994), Giuseppe Rocco (1998), The Big Bear (2003), A Lawyer (2012), Jesusita(2015). and Life Long (2017).
Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.