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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Unconventional Memoir Reviewed

Title: Proud Pants: An Unconventional Memoir
Author: Gregory G. Allen
Genre: Memoir
ISBN: 978-0-9836049-2-1
Available for Kindle at only 99 cents.
Reviewed by Brittany Jedrzejewski, originally for Amazon
Reviewer’s Rating: 4-star

Oh, the beauty and courage of perspective, of putting yourself in someone else's shoes (or in this case, purple and yellow striped pants) to help understand another's personal struggles and choices. Gregory G. Allen's unique memoir, Proud Pants, bravely does just this.

In this quick paced snapshot into the mind of Johnny, a troubled, angry and misunderstood boy, we learn of his heartache and confusion at his absent mother and how he is derailed because of this and blind to the other love surrounding him. Proud Pants shows how fragile we are at our core and how much we all need love, acceptance, security and little things that make us feel special...unconditionally. Even though Johnny's stepmom in particular is absolutely amazing, he continues to fall all the way into a destructive path of drug addiction.

Only at the end of this book do we realize that that the book is told from the perspective of the author, Gregory himself, the half-brother of Johnny. Understanding this unique voice explains the story structure and concludes with a powerful memory of Gregory's own perspective of an encounter from the book, "When I was nine years old I picked up a lead pipe and prepared to hit my fourteen-year old half brother in case he did something to my mother."

If only all of us were lucky enough to have someone try to truly understand us by putting themselves in our shoes. While reading this, I wanted Johnny to prevail, to recover, to find his freedom. Above all, this memoir shows the power we have in being present in each other's lives and the affect we have on each other.
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