4 out of 4 stars
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Closet Full of Coke by Indra Sena is the true story of a teenage girl whose situation forced her to grow up too fast. This book chronicles Sena's journey from high school student to landing on the DEA's most-wanted list in the late 1980s. Limited parental involvement and too much free time resulted in excessive alcohol and drug use mixed with getting caught up running with the wrong crowd.
I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about this read when I first chose it. Many reviews claimed it was incredibly engaging, so I decided to give it a shot, and I'm happy I did. I give this book 4 out of 4 stars. It was an incredibly quick and well-edited read, and as many others have said, it was tough to put down. At times I felt I was watching a train wreck in slow motion, and I couldn't stop myself. This book exposed me to an entirely different lifestyle, and it read more like a drama than a re-telling of someone's childhood.
My favorite part of this story was understanding what drives someone to lead this type of lifestyle. Sena is extremely driven by money, at one point saying, "Money killed pain faster than any drug I knew." And she certainly had plenty of it. It was interesting to follow Sena's rise as she moved from a small-time middle school pill dealer to moving huge loads of cocaine daily.
My least favorite part of this story was Sena's relationship with Armando, her boyfriend and dealer. There were so many times where I was practically yelling at the pages telling her to walk away from him and never look back. The end of the book was the straw that broke the camel's back, and I was disappointed to see the negative impact Armando ended up having on the entire family.
As a woman, I also struggled with the throwaway attitude towards women in this book. While Sena certainly brought on certain bad situations herself, the general attitude towards women is that they hold little value and are almost immediately replaceable. Given the crowd in this story, though, I guess I shouldn't have expected any different.
This book is not for the faint of heart. I would not recommend it to anyone that cannot handle casual conversations surrounding drugs, sexual encounters, criminal acts, or foul language. But if you can get past the rough edges, it's an exciting and fascinating tale of the dark side of life that very few of us will ever get to experience.
Closet Full of Coke
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