Review of Hard Journey of the Heart: Jesse's Story

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Review of Hard Journey of the Heart: Jesse's Story

Post by Christieee »

[Following is an official review of "Hard Journey of the Heart: Jesse's Story" by Mark Zullo.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Self-discovery is an arduous process and is even more so when the world says that you are an abomination. As a gay man who enjoys polyamory, Jesse de Marchi’s love journey is anything but easy. The story follows Jesse’s story at different ages. At age 11, we meet Charlie, Jesse’s first brush with queerness. We also meet Dani, Jesse’s first love and protector. As a young boy, Jesse struggles with his sexuality and with “coming out.” As an adult, Jesse is trying to accept himself for who he is, but he battles jealousy, feelings of inadequacy, and a fear of abandonment. Despite having many lovers, he is still dissatisfied. Can Jesse ride the stormy waves of his heart without drowning? Hard Journey of the Heart: Jesse’s Story by Mark Zullo is the story of one man’s fears, passions, queerness, and sexual escapades.

I must first say that if you are homophobic, this book is not for you. And if you dislike erotica, you should leave this novel alone. The author narrates this story through the protagonist, Jesse. We see everything through Jesse’s eyes and connect with his experiences on a personal level. I enjoyed that Jesse was ever so human; his need for validation and love, especially when he was younger, was relatable and heart-moving. I also enjoyed the relationships the author created; Jesse and Dani’s relationship was not sexual, but the author managed to make it profound. The author also brilliantly wrote Jesse’s relationship with other characters, even the ones that I only read about once.

Jesse made trips to different locations, including Texas and Puerta Vallarta, and I enjoyed visiting those places through him. The author gave me the ranch feel of Texas, and when we went to Mexico, I felt the exotic, colorful vibes. Through the vivid descriptions of these different locations, the author showed that he is a master of imagery. The author also vividly described the sex scenes, so any reader that feels uncomfortable with sex will not like it. If you are just comfortable with reading about sex, this book may make you squirm; the author was not joking when he said in the book’s description that there is a lot of sex in it!

The only complaint I have about this book is that it threw me right into the story with no preamble or ease. The start of the story introduces us to Jesse at 23 years old; he is with Carlos. Later in the story, we meet Jesse at different ages. Jesse's stories did not blend well, and they left me in occasional confusion. For this disruption in my flow of reading, I deduct a star and rate this book 3 out of 4 stars.

The author used flashbacks and jumped back and forth in time. While this model may be perfect for a movie, it was a bit difficult to follow in the book. The editors did a wonderful job editing this book, and I found no other fault with this book, so I cannot rate it lower. Hard Journey of the Heart: Jesse’s Story is perfect for readers who love gay erotica. If you are part of the LGBTQ+ community and are still struggling to accept yourself, you will find a kindred spirit and some lessons to learn in Jesse’s story.

Hard Journey of the Heart: Jesse's Story
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Reader Chavez
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Post by Reader Chavez »

This seems like a great read full of lessons for people in the LGBTQ+ community. I'll be recommending it to my friends. Thanks for the great review!
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Post by MoeBrown »

The novel seems like a good read except for the issue that you pointed out. For that reason, I don't think I would read this novel for that reason as I prefer a more free-flowing and connective story. I will however suggest it to my peers since it does seem like a good addition to the LGBTQ+ community and overall sounds like a good story. Thanks for the review.
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Aarti Jha
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Post by Aarti Jha »

It's great that someone has written something so relatable for the LGBTQ+ community to help people see things from their point of view. If it had been free-flowing, I would have read it to learn more about this often-overlooked and abandoned community. Thank you for taking the time to share your opinion on this.
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Mayur Arjune
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Post by Mayur Arjune »

The LGBT rights are important. The review has touched upon various aspects. The book is looks good. I like love stories. I'll definitely read this one.
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Theana D
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Post by Theana D »

I think I'll be skipping this one due to the large amount of sexual content, other than that it sounds like a good story with a great message. I have friends in the LGBT community that might enjoy this one. Thank you for the excellent review. Have a lovely day.
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Kayla Baloka
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Post by Kayla Baloka »

Currently reading this book and I love it! Although I’m not part of the LGBTQ + community, I feel like there’s great lessons to learn in this book. The way Jesse mows through life and finds his confidence motivates and inspires.
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