Illegal: a true story of love, revolution and crossing borders
by John Dennehy
Paperback- $10.99

2018 Da Vinci Eye winner* 2018 Notable Indie by Shelf Unbound*

A raw account of a young American abroad grasping for meaning, this pulsating ...

Overall rating:


How would you rate this book?

Member ratings

  "quick read" by LSakay (see profile) 01/27/18

This was between a 3 and a 4 star read for me. I found it an easy read for non-fiction and not too complicated to follow along. Dennehy's writing flowed well and I quickly was able to get into the story, identify with his ongoing struggles, and understand his perspective. The quote I liked the most was his definition of Nationalism..." Patriotism is pride in one's nation., I told Peter, but nationalism is the belief that your nation is better than the others and can play by different rules." I was impressed how at such a young age (early twenties), Dennehy was so emblazoned with politics. The risks he continually took left me dumbfounded and, often times, I did think he was just "dumb." Although I couldn't personally identify with his experiences, I have several family members and friends who are from Cuba and Latin America; those who have witnessed similar political struggles and daily trials as John describes he did in Ecuador. As an American, I can relate to some of Dennehy's National political thoughts and views but choose not to be so passionate about them and focus my energy on other, small changes I can employ within my community. However, it has always been clear to me that Americans are born with more privileges than those born in other countries such as Ecuador, Cuba, Syria, etc... One of those very distinct privileges is our ability to enter other Countries and/or immigrate to them. Dennehy does a good job of presenting a chronological story that describes a world foreign to most Americans and additionally intertwines a more personal journey of self-growth and awareness.
A "Thank You" to John Dennehy and to Book Movement for providing several copies of Illegal for my book club to read and discuss. I am looking forward to this discussion and the various topics it will touch.

  "Easy to read well written " by fdumont (see profile) 01/28/18

The book is easy to read . But your start wondering about his lack of judgment and not learning about the world.It seems that he lived a very sheltered life . He was able to get away with a lot of stuff because he is man . It is a self publish book and it would have been interesting to talk with him

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/30/18

  "Pointless" by castellj (see profile) 02/26/18

Firstly, I want to thank the author for making his book available as a giveaway for my book club and for my friend Lory for applying for us. I encourage you to read her review as it will be better, and less bias, than mine.

Secondly, my disclaimer. I am in line with the author's political views. I found the author to mirror some of my closest and dearest friends. Unfortunately, I am a pragmatist and I found the author, and admittedly those closest and dearest friends mentioned (and they know this), exhausting. I can't romanticize political movements. While I support the cause, I grow increasingly jaded and apathetic, so, the abundance of idealism in the story irritated me. Apologies if I can't provide a better review thank "okay" but better to be candid as to the subjectivity of my review. My internal devil's advocate was provoked as I read.

Thirdly, the brutal honesty of this personal journey is refreshing. Having spent time in Central America/Caribbean and studying Latin American politics and immigration, this is, sadly, a realistic depiction. The retelling of a drama filled first love was also admirable because many would smooth over the ugliest times with euphemisms. All and all it was well written, creative but not overly flowery. Mr. Dennehy's writing made me feel like I was right there in the scene.

Lastly, while the epilogue saved the book for me, I am left feeling frustrated with the judgemental tone. If you're a lefty, liberal, dissident, rebel, idealist, etc. I highly recommend. For an over analytical, cynic like me, it needed more anthropological reflexivity and/or self challenge. Some does come, but too late.

Good luck to the author on his current endeavors at the United Nations.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/29/20

Remember me

Now serving over 80,000 book clubs & ready to welcome yours. Join us and get the Top Book Club Picks of 2022 (so far).



Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...