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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
Welcome to California: From L.A. County Jail to #1 in Sales by Sandra LA Boszko is an honest memoir as the author recounts the days when she was wrongfully incarcerated and how she got back on her feet. Sandra dreamed of breaking into Hollywood. She tried her hand at acting, appeared at many auditions, and even tried stunt work, but things never went well for her because of her bipolar disorder. In another attempt to make this work, at age 31 Sandra packed her bags once more and arrived in Hollywood with big hopes. Things went downhill when her mind went into a manic state, and she found herself in a detaining cell. No one believed her or her cries for help. Before she knew it, she was thrown in jail and was at mercy of abusive guards. Getting out and receiving medical help was welcome, but it was a little too late. Was that the end of Sandra’s dreams?
Funny yet emotional, this memoir had my attention the moment I read the blurb. Author LA Sandra Boszko went through a lot in her life. Mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder have a stigma attached to them, and the people who suffer from these illnesses have always had a hard time coping. Settling into society was tough for Sandra, but nothing could have prepared her for the war she had to fight to achieve her dreams. Her biggest enemy was the ignorance of the people around her. Isolating Sandra and keeping her away from people was the worst punishment they could give her. Sandra is a remarkable woman and not just because she lived through that nightmare but because she excelled while battling a disease that renders people depressed and unable to live a functional life. Her descriptions of life in the prison system, her emotions, and how she worked hard daily to regain control over her mind and body left me shaking. I cannot recommend Welcome to California highly enough!