Saturday, February 12, 2011

Me - Ricky Martin

My friend Loana handed me this book with this ringing endorsement, "This book sucks. Read it and tell me if you agree." Given the number of books on my to-read list, I don't usually waste my time reading books that others think so poorly of, but there is just something about Ricky, I assumed it would be a quick read. Martin wrote this autobiography as a sort of coming out - while written after his annoucement that he is gay, the introduction to the book seemed to suggest that the rest of the book would be an exploration of how his ability to finally open up affected his life and reflected the experiences he had had up to that point. But, I didn't find this to be the case. Even though he kept telling the reader that it was hard to keep this secret, and that finally coming out was a huge relief, there wasn't much in the actual story that portrayed the difficulties he faced and felt. To the contrary, he spoke about being in a meaningful relationship with a woman - in such a way that it suggested that he is actually bisexual, or that his decision to finally live life as a homosexual was actually a choice instead of fundamental to who he is. Most of the story of Martin's life was incredibly boring to me. He went through his beginnings in Menudo and how difficult it was for him to be separated from his family - but again, I had a hard time actually feeling what he was talking about. Later in the book, Martin talks about his philanthropic work again human trafficking. This was the first time I felt I actually got a glimpse into who he is as a person and something that truly touched him and that he felt was worth fighting for. It seems that Martin has done tremendous work in this area and really shed light on a problem that plagues millions of women and children around the world. He also spent a couple chapters writing about his journey to fatherhood which was also endearing. Throughout, however, the writing (as expected) is terrible. He uses way too many exclamation points, and has trouble using actually anecdotes to make his point rather than just telling the reader that something was "amazing" or "life-changing". Martin is no Pulitzer Prize winner, but it does sound like he has truly gone on a person journey and is now in a space that is wholly positive and productive - particularly in comparison to the person he was. Hopefully, writing this book was therapeutic for him. But, I don't see too many people picking it up and identifying with it, or being inspired by his story. I'm not a Ricky Martin fan by any means, but I did finish this book finding him a bit more likeable as a person - I won't rush out to read anything else he might write in the future, but I probably won't change the station the next time the radio plays Livin' La Vida Loca either.

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