This post may contain affiliate links. To learn more, please read Lavish Bookshelf's disclosure policy.
Book summary: Christian Hosoi - Skateboarder, Junkie, Inmate, Pastor
Great quote: "They called him Christ, and legions of disciples would follow him anywhere." (Opening sentence of Hosoi)
My thoughts: Do you know that Prodigal Son story in the Bible? The one where the cocky and arrogant son wants his father's inheritance RIGHT NOW and he gets it. Then he takes off to see the world, spends all of the money and finds himself starving as a slave in a foreign land? But then, when the son hits rock-bottom, he is humbled. He doesn't feel he is worthy enough to be called the son of his father, but that is where he was so very wrong. After returning to the father, the son learns that he is forgiven and the father is overjoyed that the son's heart is finally true and just.
Well, that's pretty much the life that Christian Hosoi has lived.
And the new book, Hosoi by Christian Hosoi, explains it all.
The subtitle of Hosoi is "My Life as a Skateboarder Junkie Inmate Pastor" which describes the book brilliantly.
As a Skateboarder, Hosoi literally had it all. Christian Hosoi was one of the first super-elite rock-star skateboarders EVER. With endorsement deals that were unheard of at the time, Hosoi lived a Hollywood life, even setting up a huge skate ramp behind his rented house that was once owned by W.C. Fields. He traveled the world, hobnobbed with A-list celebrities and was mobbed by fans wherever he went.
As a Junkie, his life slowly spiraled out of control. Hosoi smoked his first joint at 8 years old. His father gave it to him. From there he slowly escalated the drug use, embracing the party culture along the way. Hosoi got high with Hollywood but shortly found himself sleeping in a stolen van. The drug life came to a pinnacle when he strapped $65,000 worth of meth to his body and boarded a plane to Hawaii. Police and prison were waiting in Hawaii for him.
As an Inmate, Hosoi had a huge reality check. At first, he just couldn't believe he had been caught. After all, he was Christian Hosoi, awesomeness personified. Others in prison didn't see it that way. In prison, Hosoi learned humility and patience and, most importantly, he learned of the power of God's redeeming grace over a life lived in a very less than perfect way.
As a Pastor, life has been radically changed for Hosoi and his family. After being released from prison, Hosoi settled into married life as a father of four boys. His wife began their church journey via the Calvary Chapel, but these days Hosoi is an associate pastor at a church called The Sanctuary, located in Huntington Beach, California. And quite miraculously, he also led his mother and father to Jesus.
The book itself is engaging and a very interesting look behind the scenes for those of us who were around in the 1980s. Christian Hosoi is not a genius author, so the writing technique of this book is very clunky at times, switching between past and present tense at random. Hosoi is an incredibly honest story, though, which can be difficult to read, especially the chapters where Hosoi spiraled out of control.
Christian Hosoi has lived the life that legends are made of and doesn't show signs of stopping. As a pastor, Hosoi is sharing the gospel (he even briefly mentions demon possession in this book). He is also entering and winning skating competitions again.
As a life that has been lived out very much in the public eye, Hosoi's story is one that readers might feel they already know. But Hosoi's story isn't one that focuses strictly on the facts surrounding skating and winning. Christian Hosoi deeply expresses the joy of riding high, the depths of drug abuse and the glory of God's grace.
Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Year originally published: 2012
You might want to know: You can follow Christian Hosoi on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChristianHosoiPage
Source: I received this book complimentary from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review but the opinion in this review is all mine. Check out what others are saying about this book during TLC's Hosoi blog tour.
Purchase on Amazon: Hosoi by Christian Hosoi
(This section of this blog post is in no way endorsed by Christian Hosoi, Hosoi's publishers and agents or TLC Book Tours. It is strictly my personal note.)
I grew up in Southern California in the early 1980s. I saw the rise of skate legends with my own eyes. It was probably back in 1981 or so when some of the skate kids in my high school built a HUGE ramp in someone's backyard. I could see the ramp from my bedroom window. I saw those kids practicing over and over at all hours of the night. It seemed dangerous, sexy and enticing all at the same time. This group of kids truly embraced all that was California skater culture at the time.
And they paid the price.
My first hint at the madness behind their skating world was when several of the kids were expelled for drugs. Next came high school graduation and some skating friends weren't there. Then slowly the news became more and more grim. Overdoses, suicides, lost lives.
Skating as a sport obviously wasn't to blame, but the entire skating culture?
Well, that's something parents didn't know about.
Recently I watched a dear friend learn about skating culture first hand. She nearly lost her son. Oh, it started out innocently enough. A small skate ramp was even installed in her backyard. Then the evil madness began to creep into their lives. Items began to show up missing, her son's friends became more and more unsavory, stashes of drugs were beginning to be found, run-ins with the law, her son ran away. They found him days later...completely strung out...at a drug house near the US/Mexican border...and the son was barely recognizable.
Help came to my friend's family through intensive out-patient rehab. It was a lot of work, but her son graduated from high school a few days ago! It was a dream come true for a mom that thought she might lose her son forever to the nightmare that drugs can create.
Hope is back.
Drugs can be beat, one day at a time.
Parents, believe that hope can return.
Christian Hosoi's book is a shining example of the power of God's redeeming grace and POWER.
And my friend's son's counselor has written a book about his experiences with teen addiction called Bring Your Teen Back From the Brink.
Help is out there and hope can return.
If drugs are part of your nightmare right now, may God bless you and your family.