My Book


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Julia Torres Barden survived a violent New York City childhood as a Puerto Rican girl from the South Bronx. Despite being a survivor of childhood rape, forced adoption, 9/11, corporate discrimination and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Barden is an award-winning reporter, former corporate executive and passionate political advocate.  She is proudest of being a non-violent parent and an advocate for Puerto Rico and her people.


73 Responses to “My Book”

  1. Olga Brunner November 25, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    I applaud your recovery from the past. I too hail from the South Bronx and a very violent past. Although I too have done a lot to recover from childhood pain, I have survived bad times, have educated myself and my daughter, and now own a business in South Florida. Congratulations my sister!

  2. Elayne September 3, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    Julia— I was very impressed to read how you made the proverbial “lemonade from the lemons” life has dealt you!–I am a 1969 graduate of Emerson as well— I have many stories to tell from back then-but never found the “voice”—–but currently I am a singer and have a different kind of voice—I live in southern Fla and have many stories from this community! I live in a WAY OVER 55 community and cannot begin to describe the scenes that rival SNL on a daily basis– IF ONLY I COULD write!!! KUDOS to u–I will have to order your book!

  3. Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa September 15, 2013 at 8:19 am #

    Julia, I was at your reading last night and am sorry I had commitments before and after the reading, so I couldn’t really wait until you were done with your signings. I just wanted to congratulate you on your book. I’m sure the journey to writing it was not easy so this was quite an achievement. Good luck with the rest of your journey. Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa

    • New Yorican Girl September 15, 2013 at 11:16 am #

      Thank you, Dahlma! I’m grateful for your attendance last night and hope we’ll have a chance to meet in the future. Please let me know what you think of the book after you’ve read it. Take care and peace be with you. Julia

  4. Danielle September 15, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    Ms. Torres, I finished reading your book and honestly I am overwhelmed, in the best and worst ways. You handle such serious topics with such beautiful frankness. I don’t feel as though I’ve read something, as much as I feel that I sat down and spoke with you. I love the insights you gave us to your profound, loud, and brave inner voice – and I love how calmly you translate that voice to the world. I am inclined to say that I am sorry that you had so much to draw on for this book – but I don’t think thats what you want to hear. I think you set an amazing example for what can be done by people, not regardless of where they come from; but because of it. Thank you for such a beautiful book.

    • New Yorican Girl September 16, 2013 at 2:00 am #

      Dearest Danielle, your kind words are invaluable to me and please know how grateful I am to receive your feedback regarding my book. As, you know now, I declare within it’s contents that I wrote the book in an effort to help just one other person heal. Thank you for acknowledging my effort in this endeavor. Many thanks to you for your inspiring and validating message. Peace be with you. Julia

  5. Salif Soumahoro October 1, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    Hey Julia, I just recently finished reading your book in my class and I just wanted to say that I like that you aspire to be something more than what people think. Beating all odds that usually people succumb to and overcoming your challenges with people, how they think, and even yourself. You are also proud of your heritage and brave enough to step out of the boundaries of a Puerto Rican stereotype and indubitably show that just because you are from the “hood” you can be what you strive to be. Your strength to persevere through your traumas is something to admire. I myself enjoyed your novel and it is a great read. It enticed me to try harder and not fall into the stereotype of my ethnicity. So Julia keep doing what you are doing and I hope for the best for you and your family. Stay strong!

    • New Yorican Girl October 8, 2013 at 8:47 am #

      Dear Salif,

      Thank you for reading my book and for the very meaningful and positive feedback! I’m glad it inspired you to defy the stereotypical definition of what you’re supposed to be so that you can concentrate more on investing in the kind of person you want to be! Peace.

  6. Richard Jung October 1, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    Dear Mrs. Julia Torres,
    I wanted to say that I just finished reading your book, newyoricangirl, in AP English class and I loved it. I think that your story was inspiring with all that you went through and how the relationship with your mom wasn`t the best, but you still tried to be a good daughter. I wanted to compliment you on not using drugs or alcohol and having a positive outlook towards everything despite the circumstances you were in. Congratulations on the book.

    • New Yorican Girl October 8, 2013 at 8:43 am #

      Dear Richard,

      Thank you for reading my book and for the positive feedback. I’m glad you found my story inspirational and that you related to how honorably I tried to be a good family member, while also working hard to never resort to using drugs or alcohol. Ultimately, I was able to do this because I relied on my optimism to get me through those tough times; believing that a better life was possible. Peace. Julia

  7. Ezra Cubero October 1, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    Dear Mrs. Julia Torres,

    I just finished reading newyoricangirl in my AP English class over the past week and I absolutely loved it. Your writing style is terrific, I was always invested in the story, and it was incredibly relatable. It’s a fantastic book that was fascinating to read.

    I was particularly impressed by chapter 14, “Adios Madre.” This chapter really hit me emotionally. I rarely get emotional while reading a book, but I was in tears reading this chapter. As someone who has lost close relatives without notice, this reminded me of the pain I was in. This chapter captured that perfectly. I look forward to recommending this wonderful book to everyone I know.

    • New Yorican Girl October 8, 2013 at 8:38 am #

      Dear Ezra,

      Thank you for reading my book and sharing your very positive feedback regarding my writing style! I am especially grateful that you would specifically reference how the chapter I wrote about losing my mother impacted you. I am sorry for your loss and hope our shared human experience brought you comfort in some way. Peace be with you. Julia

  8. Leslie October 1, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    Dear Julia, I’m a senior at Legacy School For Integrated Studies where I recently just finished reading your book in my AP English class. I’ve never read anything like it or even imagined to be as empowering as it was. It felt as if I was part of your experience and shared the same feelings and emotions. One thing in particular that I like was the nicknames you used to describe your fellow family members, especially your parents. What made you use these nicknames instead of their real names? I also loved the way you narrated the story. Not specifically in a chronological way, but as you remembered things which help me understand it easily. Your courage and hard work have inspired me to achieve my goals and overcome the obstacles along the way, which I am thankful for. Achieving such a high strength must have been difficult for you. How do you feel having your “White Knight” and kids there for you? Overall, I love how you stuck with your Puerto Rican heritage, stood up for what your beliefs and made it possible, making your dreams come true. I am sorry about your experience and I wish you the very best in life.

    • New Yorican Girl October 8, 2013 at 8:34 am #

      Dear Leslie,

      It means so much to me to know that you enjoyed reading my book and that it left you feeling empowered! I truly wanted to share my story to inspire our youth and so, your feedback is especially meaningful to me. I used nicknames in my book because I didn’t want to shame or upset my family. Rather, I simply felt the need to share my truth because I believe “the truth will set you free.” Further, I feel incredibly blessed to have my “White Knight” and three amazing sons in my life because they all inspire me to continue building a bright future which helps me to bury my traumatic past. Every day, I feel grateful to have reclaimed my Puerto Rican heritage and my authentic self. May all of your dreams come true! Peace. Julia

  9. ashley altamirano October 1, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    i recently finish reading your book in my english class and this is what i think
    dear julia torres
    i cant express how breath taking and astonishing your book is. with just reading the first page of the book i knew it would be hard to put down. yes i have read similiar stories, but nothing compared to how sincere and relatable your book is. your book is very inspirational to young readers like myself, and in the latino cummunity because someone can relate to your story. you make us feel like we are not alone, and despite the bad things that happen to us we can overcome the bad and seek success at the end. i really like how open and blunt you were with your story especially knowing it was your personal experience. this comes to show that there is nothing bad in seeking help and by sharing your personal experience to help others.i also like how you always went back to your roots and where you came from and never forgot. always wanting to keep your heratiage alive by helping your people. thank you for sharing your story and making us latinos not feel alone. knowing we have a voice and we should speak up for our rights.

    • New Yorican Girl October 8, 2013 at 8:25 am #

      Dear Ashley,

      Thank you so much for letting me know how meaningful my book was to you. I wrote it for young people, just like you, hoping to inspire and embolden our Latino community. Thus, I am very happy to read your comments that let me know my story can be useful to our future generations. Most importantly, you are absolutely right to state that returning to my roots and keeping my heritage alive kept me going. We must continue to advocate in the best interest of our people and our rights. Peace. Julia

  10. john briones October 1, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    Dear Julia,
    My english class has recently just finished reading your book and i think it was great. It has inspired me to keep going and never lose hope even in the most difficult times. I am grateful to have read your book in class because it not has taught me to never give up, it also taught me to not let anyone put me down or get in the way of my hopes and dreams. The way you overcame those horrific and traumatizing events gave me hope. You most importantly taught me that theres always light at the end of the tunnel.
    I am deaply sorry for what you went through as a child and even as an adult. You are a very strong and independent woman who inspired me along with many others. You are a great author am i am glad you have escaped the cruel and violent life and have started a new and fresh one. I wish you the best and thank you for an amazing book and sharing your feelings with us. I look up to you and give you my greatest respects and deepest condolences.

    • New Yorican Girl October 8, 2013 at 8:15 am #

      Dear John,

      Thank you for being such a thoughtful gentleman in your written response to my book. I’m glad it has inspired you to stay strong even when times are tough. Yes, there is always light at the end of the tunnel and, to be able to envision a better life for yourself is the most important motivator. Always try to see the positive – even in negative situations – and learn to hang on until you are able to change your circumstances for the better. Peace be with you. Julia

  11. Damon M October 1, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    Dear Julia Torres I recently finished Newyoricangirl and it was good. This inspired many people to overcome obstaclesd. For example your mother was making mistakes, but you still forgave her in the end. You have great hiope in god and your abuela. You are a strong person to overcome so many things. This is extraordinary that you can do what many people couldn’t do.

    The book was good because you stayed strong. Both of your parents were isolated, but you stayed calm. I am happy you got to see your father shortly before his passing. You are continuing to help other people who went through similar situations today as you have leadership lessons,amongst the national sexual assault hotline. You now have a good husband with two kids who love you very much.

    I am sorry about the rape. I am sorry your folks did not see what was wrong that day. Continue to stay strong and don’t think about you past too much. It was a bad experience.I wish you many blessings. sincerly yours, Damon Maree

    • New Yorican Girl October 8, 2013 at 8:08 am #

      Dear Damon,

      Thank you for acknowledging all the tough things I went through and for acknowledging that I am a survivor of many traumatic events. I also appreciate you mentioning that how I decided to forgive my mother was the most loving and honorable thing I could do for myself and my family. Never forget that there truly is power in forgiveness because it will set you free to become all that you can be. Peace be with you. Julia

  12. timothy lord October 1, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    Hi mrs. Torres i would like to thank you for donating your novel Newyoricangirl to my Ap class at the Legacy School For Integrated studies. i enjoyed reading this novel with my class, i admired that you stayed true to who you are despite what you went through. reading about the many hurtful events that occured in you life made me feel for what you were going through. for instance when you wrote that your mother, and stepfather would get high and drunk on a daily basis. when i read this i felt a sense of fear for how that might have been. there are many people who fall victim to their surroundings which in most cases are drugs, and gangs. i realyl appreciate you and i am happy that you’ve grown as a person.

    • New Yorican Girl October 8, 2013 at 8:01 am #

      Dear Timothy,

      Thank you for relating to my story while reading my book. I had to work extremely hard to reject the negative environment I was raised in; believing that there was a better way. The journey was tough but so worth it. Always do the best you can for yourself and others around you and I am sure good things will follow. Peace. Julia

  13. Michelle Gutierrez October 1, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    Dear Julia, There aren’t enough words to describe how astounding your book was honestly. NewYoricanGirl has to be by far the most inspirational, comprehensive and relatable book my classmates and I have ever read. You are truly an inspiration to the youth of today because many have gone through or are going through similar situations, but with your book it shows that there is sunlight on the other side of the mountain and that success is possible after so much suffering. I also admire so much that you’re proud of where you came from and your heritage of being a Latina! Thank you for showing your readers that change is possible, that one doesn’t have to fall into the wrong steps. Que dios te bendiga.

    • New Yorican Girl October 8, 2013 at 7:55 am #

      Dear Michelle,

      May God be with you too, always. Thank you for letting me know how my book and life’s journey affected you for the good. I care very deeply about our youth and worry that they need more support than they often get. That is why it is so meaningful to know that my book has inspired you. Pursue your dreams, make good choices and always stand tall as a Latina! Peace. Julia

  14. Dauris Martinez October 1, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    Julia Torres, I would like to thank you a million for having the courage to write “Newyoricangirl”. Your story has touched my heart in many ways. From reading the first to the last page i found myself relating to many of the things you went through, besides when you went to college and became an amazing business woman. Although i have not yet been at that stage of my life some of the situations and emotions you felt i can also relate to. I was born in the Dominican Republic and to know that a woman from the very close neighbor, Puerto Rico, is able to go through so much and have the strength to write it all down on paper and have so many people read it is very inspiring.

    I hope to some day become a writer along with a visual artist and many other things. You have showed me that anything is possible as long as you work hard for it. Your words give me strength. They show me that there is hope for me, someone who grew up on the country side where i walked barefoot and lived off the land.

    I am grateful that you showed me and my class mates what it really means to live. You showed us that life wont always give you lemons to make lemonade with, but that it can give you lemon juice that rubs against your cuts and wounds. I admire your emotional and physical strength. You have endured so much . Newyoricangirl you have showed me what it means to work hard and live hard. you give me hope to stand up for the younger generations that is falling in the arms of technology, spending way too much money, and to low self esteem. I would like to be an advocate of self expression and not giving a fuck about what others think of you. To know what it means to grow up with very little, no hot water(unless put on the oven), and having no restrictions to the forest behind my old wood house back in D.R has made me very humble. I am proud to say that to me you are the definition of humble. Thank you so much once again for sharing your life with me and for having it on display for anyone to pick it up and be moved and inspired by your amazing experiences.

    Peace and harmony to you 🙂

    • New Yorican Girl October 8, 2013 at 7:49 am #

      Dear Dauris,

      Thank you for your very inspiring response to my book. It warms my heart to know that my words and story are helping you. You are strong and brave. Continue to make a better life for yourself taking just one day at a time and always be proud of where you come from. Peace be with you. Julia

  15. Greg Medina-Kinsman October 16, 2013 at 10:31 am #


    Unlike most comments here, mine is not illuminated by the afterflow of having read your book (you), but rather from the brief video on Huffington Post where you engaged a gaggle of self-anointed experts of the contemporary “hispanic” or “latino” Titanic deck-chair scramble.

    I thank for your comments on that video…they were very insightful and informed. As an asde, I used to engage in the HP blogs of “Latino Voices” but apparently not all “La Tino” voices are welcome there and I have been banned from commenting…no doubt the reflection of the HP knee-jerk response to anyone writing on any “La Tino” experience or perspective that doesn’t embrace well-accepted stereo-types, pinata-hugging and the well-worn caricatures of victimhood in sweet ghettoes of the mind.

    I too grew up in NYC and have hundreds of stories of what life was like for a Spanish-speaking white Puerto Rican boy going to school in Chinatown, speaking Chinese by the age of 10 and then being jettisoned to middle-class suburbia filled with Irish, Italian and Jewish kids who shared none of my experience. And it was there that I finally learned English.

    I have gone very far away from those roots and experiences to Midwestern gulags, to Ivy League cocoons and even Amish farm-fields, but my memories have gone with me around the world also…to Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Canada…and so I enjoyed gleaning insights into your journey too.

    Thank you again for your comments on the HP video. I will pick-up your book and look forward to sharing my thoughts with you…for now…

  16. Brandon Abreu March 28, 2014 at 9:23 am #

    Dear Ms. Torres ,

    I just finished reading your book NewYoricanGirl and I just wanted to say that I like that you aspired to be something more than what people think . Overcoming what you’ve been through that usually some people wouldn’t overcome . You are also proud of your heritage and brave enough to step out of the boundaries of a Puerto Rican stereotype to show that just because you are from the “hood” you can be what you want to be.

    Your strength to overcome your traumas is something I praise. I myself enjoyed your Memoir and it’s a great book. It helped me to try harder and not fall into the stereotype of my ethnicity and work hard for what i want to become. Ms .Torres, keep doing what you are doing and I hope the best for you and your family.

    Love, Brandon ❤

    • New Yorican Girl April 2, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

      Dear Brandon, thank you for your praise. I’m glad to know that reading my book encouraged you to also surpass the low expectations assigned to our minority citizens. Each and every one of us has the potential to overcome the negative stereotypes about who we are and what our potential is. Don’t let anyone define you! Always strive to be your best! Take care. Julia

  17. Nicole Chenet March 28, 2014 at 9:26 am #

    Dear Julia Torres,

    Hey, I am a 17 year old girl in the 11th grade and i have just finished reading your book. i gotta tell you that I liked it; I really did. You really went through a lot as a kid. Actually, it didnt even seem like you were even a kid. Taking care of your siblings all your life and the things that happened to you, got no support. No one should have gone through the things that you went through. You’ve gone through them,despite the obstacles trying to stop you.
    Like I wrote above, I did enjoy reading your book, but there were some parts that angered me. What angered me was when you kept quiet. When you didn’t speak your mind, told how you felt. You should have spoken your mind about how you felt to your mother, instead of letting her take over your whole life. But hey, I understand how you didn’t want to be disrespectful because that’s not how your abuela raised/ taught you. Hey, you got to control your life after your mother passed, which was good, but R.I.P to your mother.
    I would recommend your book to other people to read, it was good.

    • New Yorican Girl April 2, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

      Dear Nicole, thank you so much for your very honest feedback about my book. I really appreciated you sharing that you were angered by how I rarely spoke up until after my mother died. I agree with you that I should have spoken up sooner and that’s exactly why I wrote the book – to help others find the courage to speak their mind! Thank you also for the R.I.P. for my Mom. As I wrote in the book, I learned to forgive her and now understand she did the best she could. I miss her and hope to see her in Heaven one day. Take care. Julia

  18. Stephanie Perry March 28, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    Dear Julia Torres,
    Your memoir “Newyoricangirl” for me has been by far the most inspiring piece I’ve ever read. It’s not a book I would normally find in my school’s library and I’m glad. I especially like the fact that you don’t hold back from telling what it is we teenagers go through that seems like no one understands. We go through family situations where our inner problems aren’t shown but they’re there and it isn’t easy to express what we may go through because our parents or family members lack communication with us.

    What shocked me the most was, finding out about how taking the Prednisone caused your brain to go haywire and you had to experience every traumatic event all over again. I myself, would have taken that flight because to have to relive every traumatic event in my life would have been extremely too much for me to handle and I commend you for fighting through it all with the very little support by your side. If I can, I would like to say, your father lost out on getting to know a wonderful person. His actions of not informing you sooner of his medical situation angered me because he took away the availablility of at least the chance of avoiding the pain and sufferage you encountered.

    I’m glad to know that you are doing very much better though. I’m also surprised at how much you went through and still NEVER gave up your fight for your people of gaining the Puerto Rican right of having the chance to vote for US presidencies.

    I do question if any of your family members apologized or were angered by your memoir.

    Sincerely, a fellow newyoricangirl!

    • New Yorican Girl April 2, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

      Dear Stephanie, how wonderful to know that you are a fellow Boricua! This makes me know that you fully understand why I’m fighting for our people. I’m also so honored to read that you believe my book was inspiring to you. i took some heat from my publishers and yes, from family members, for being so blunt and honest about my true life story. I truly didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or destroy anybody. Instead, I got to the point where I felt like helping to save others was more important to me than continuing to feel like I was emotionally being held hostage by members of my extended family. As you mention, my biological father is a coward and has never once protected me. At first, I tried to tolerate this because his mental health was worse than mine. But then, as I was going through counseling and recovery I realized that he was taking the easy way out and that made me lose respect for him. As you know, when we Puerto Ricans lose respect for someone, well then, we often walk away! Thank you for your well wishes regarding my recovery. I am most grateful to be doing well so that I can continue my advocacy work for Puerto Rico. I am going there next month and will be delivering my petition to the Governor. I’ve met him and I want him to know that I am his ally in securing a better future for our people. Take care and Viva Puerto Rico!

      • Stephanie Perry April 3, 2014 at 10:59 pm #

        It’s so inspiring to be informed that you, still till this day, are visiting Puerto Rico and its Governor and your fight for your petition is still in effect! I wish you nothing but the best and would like to know if there’s anything you might need to future your petition for our people. I’m sure to have a group of fellow students of mine take any action necessary because we too are here for you Mrs. Julia Torres and to better our future along with you!

        Safe travels & stay blessed

  19. Justin March 28, 2014 at 9:32 am #

    Dear Julia Torres,
    I recently finished Newyorican Girl and it was a great experience.It touched me to learn what you were going through growing up in the south bronx. My favorite chapter in your Memoir is “Commanding My Space. ” You are very ambitous and competitive. I love how you overcame all of these Traumatic experiences and played a great role model as a mother. This peice of literature made a impact to my life because it taught me to never think its to late to do what you want.
    I also grew up in the south bronx i was born and raised in East Tremont by Crontona Park, I know the troubles that people have especially as children growing up around such a negative enviorment. I will deffinetly recommend this book to my peers and suggest they read it.

    • New Yorican Girl April 2, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

      Dear Justin, it’s interesting to know that you were also raised in the South Bronx because that tells me that you could really visualize what I was describing in my book. We’re survivors and both know how tough it is to rise up the negative influences all around us. Every single day, Justin, YOU decide how to live your life and what choices you’ll make. Your future is truly in your own hands. You are correct about me being very ambitious and competitive. I believe I’m lucky to be wired this way because it forced me to strive to be the best. However, I also want to uplift people along with me and that’s why I wrote the book. Always remember, it’s never too late to fully live up to your potential. Take care and good luck in your future. Julia

  20. Jonathan Miranda March 28, 2014 at 9:33 am #

    Dear Julia,
    I’ve just recently finished reading your book and I honestly loved it. When I first began reading your book, I couldn’t relate to it and thought that this would be a waste of my time; but, I was wrong. As I continued to progress through the book I pictured going through your situations and realized what strong person you are – mentally and physically. To be able to withstand all that you have gone through, whether on your own or with your family, it must have taken extraordinary strength. I’m more than certain any other human being would have given up and let their struggle/situations take over and certainly beat them. I personally not experienced your emotional traumas but I can identify with your pride in your heritage. All the things you went through to preserve your cultural identity and take pride in it are just amazing. You resisted the negative forces, and because of that you were able to be happy with inner self. I wish I could be as strong-willed and courageous as you. Thank you for teaching me that I shouldn’t give up no matter what adversity lies out there. Good luck with your future endeavors!

    – Jonathan

    • New Yorican Girl April 2, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

      Dear Jonathan, you sound awesome! I appreciate your honesty in letting me know that you weren’t sure my book would interest you. Thank you for sticking with it and I’m glad you got so much out of it. I’m glad you identified with my pride in my heritage. Everyone should feel safe to be happy with the culture they were born into. Although I felt persecuted about being Puerto Rican, I have achieved great healing in continuing to advocate for my people. Your thoughtful feedback makes me believe that you are just as determined and brave as I you believe I am. I wish you a wonderful future being comfortable in your own skin. Take care. Julia

  21. Shanet March 28, 2014 at 9:34 am #

    Dear Ms.Torres,

    I have finished reading your memoir Newyoricangirl. I am truly sorry for everything you have been through; that’s a lot to go through while being young. You are a very strong person and a good example for other people that are going through or went through the same as you, what makes you even stronger is that you were be able to get through all those traumatic situations without committing suicide because another person that could have been weak minded would have taken their own life.
    This memoir makes people be cautious with situations like that because what I think is, people should speak up so people can help, not keep it to yourself, your’e making it worse for yourself, putting yourself down to save other people or afraid, but there will always be people around that would look out for you or care about you.
    Keep being strong. I admire you for going through everything and still living life the way you should because you have been through enough.The least you can do is live to the fullest. Even though you have PSTD that will remind you of all the tragic things, but you are strong physically and emotionally, and a beautiful lady that still has many more years to live.

    Shanet Alavardo

    • New Yorican Girl April 2, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

      Dear Shanet, you are incredibly empathetic and kind in your note to me. Thank you so much. I agree with you that we should all work harder are learning to speak about when we need help or support. I feel very fortunate that, somehow, I was able to avoid hurting myself further. Too many people do suffer in silence and it is essential that we do more to save lives. I am a very lucky survivor and work hard every day to not let my PTSD keep me from living the best life I can have now, right here in the present. My future and potential seems infinite – just like I’m certain you can achieve for yourself as well! Remain a thoughtful and sensitive person and the world will be luckier because you are in it. Take care. Julia

  22. Melody March 28, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    Dear Ms. Torres,

    I would like to start off by saying you are a very strong willed woman. Your story is one i will never forget. Since a young age you have seen and gone through so much and i applaud your recovery. I’m sure the journey you have gone through to write this book was not easy. You overcame traumatic experiences and have become a great author. If there was one thing you wish your mother did differently, what would it be? Hope all is well with your family.

    • New Yorican Girl April 2, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

      Dear Melody, thank you so much for your very kind words and support for my recovery. You are very intuitive in mentioning how difficult it was to write my book. Reliving all of my traumas was a painful process but I forged ahead so that I could help others. Your question about my mother fascinates me and I really appreciate you asking it. I guess I’d say that if I could change one thing about the choices she made, it would be that she’d not married my evil step-father who abused her in his own way. I’ll always wish that my mother had not panicked about being alone after the break-up of her affair with Mr. CEO because she was on the rebound when she re-married and that one decision ruined her life and injured mine. My family is doing the best it can with all of the wounds we carry. I wish you the very best future and encourage you to take as much time as you need whenever making life-altering choices. Take care. Julia

  23. Angel Roman March 28, 2014 at 9:48 am #

    Dear Julia,

    I recently finished Newyoricangirl. I think it was a moving story about your childhood and has made a major impact on my life. I admire that even after all your bad experiences you fought through them and overcame your fears and pain. I’m 17 years old and I’m planing on going to college. I read your chapter ”My College Daze” with great interest. You clearly explained the feelings an individual person goes through during that time in their life.

    Reading that chapter also helped me get over my fear of being a minority going to college. Overall, your book has inspired me and has made the process of deciding to go to college easier. Thank you and keep up the good work. I loved the book.

    • New Yorican Girl April 2, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

      Dear Angel, I am honored to know that reading my book has made a positive impact on your life. I’m especially happy to read that my chapter about being a minority in college was useful to you. Always be proud of who you are and work to change the negative stereotypes out there about who we minorities are. Prove them wrong and reach for the stars! I hope all your dreams come true! Take care. Julia

  24. adrian March 28, 2014 at 9:51 am #

    Dear Ms. Torres,

    I have read your book and it seems to me that you had a tough childhood. The thing that i like most about the book is that you overcame fear and stood up for yourself. I noticed by reading your book that you love your Puerto Rican heritage. At the end of the book I could see you have a loving family and I am happy for you. Do you still feel the traumatic event of the rape and the abandonment of your father?

    I admire you for overcaming all of these tragic events and becoming a successful woman.

    • New Yorican Girl April 2, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

      Dear Adrian, thank you for reading my book and affirming that I did, indeed, have a tough childhood. As you note, I have come a long way in overcoming my fears, but the road is long and I’ll always have to work at that. Yes, I do continue to suffer with the aftermath of the traumatic events in my life. That’s one of the very damaging aspects of suffering through frightening experiences – you’re never going to be able to forget them completely. Sometimes, I’ll be listening to the news or watch a movie that triggers my trauma and I have to consciously decide to monitor what I allow myself to be exposed to so I can minimize the reaction. Thank you for your admiration and the feedback regarding my book. I wish you a very happy and productive life. Take care. Julia

  25. Brandon Ramirez May 14, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

    Dear Ms.Torres,
    I think your memoir is one of the best memoirs I’ve read. I love how you’re so honest and don’t hold anything back in your story. You have gone through so much and for you to write about it is really inspiring. It inspires me and probably others to keep moving forward and never hold anything back. Although the situations you went through, like abuse and neglect, were cruel, you still managed not to allow them make who you are.
    Although I didn’t like reading about what you went through, since the experiences were cruel and tough, I did like that you always fought back with words of encouragement. Those words of encouragement were not only for you, but possibly to many other people out there who need it in their lives. Going through the struggles of family conflicts and emotional trauma and overcoming them is what makes you strong. You being able to write about how you won’t be like your mother or your family, and making your own better family, and actually making it in life is what makes you an inspiring newyoricangirl.

    • New Yorican Girl May 26, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

      Dear Brandon, thank you so much for your supportive feedback after reading my book. I am really humbled that you would describe it as one of the best you’ve ever read. I believe the truth will set you free and so yes, I didn’t hold anything back because I truly wanted to help others. I wish you all the best for a very bright future! Take care. Julia

  26. Humberto Gorgonio May 14, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    Dear Julia.

    I have read your book and i have to say the way you just held on to so many bad experiences and how you just never let so many problems bring you down was very inspirational. One thing that i love and noticed about you was that you really are proud of your culture and heritage and everything that has to do with Puerto Rico, that made me think about my heritage and culture also and it also made me think that i should not be ashamed of where i came from. You really inspired me in the way you never gave up on your big dreams.You always saw your way out to find a new goal that was just much bigger than the one before. Well, i also thank you for writing this book, it will change many people’s ways of thinking about themselves and how they see their future and how they shouldn’t let those obstacles come and stop them.

    Humberto Gorgonio

    • New Yorican Girl May 26, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

      Hola Humberto! Thank you for reading my book and I’m inspired that YOU were inspired while reading it! Whatever your culture, BE PROUD! Take care. Julia

  27. Kyiah May 14, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    Dear Ms.Torres,
    I have read your heartbreaking memoir for my English class in my last year of high school. I understand what you went through and I was deeply touched by your life story. I went through the same experience with being raped except my mom did noticed something was wrong and I went through the same rape experience. I know we won’t forget what has happened in the past but I believe you can be strong for yourself and your family. You are a strong woman Julia and the experiences you’ve faced with your family such as the relationship between her mom and her father. I admire your bravery and struggle in your lifetime. Thank you so much.

    • New Yorican Girl May 26, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

      Dearest Kyiah, I am so sorry to hear that you are a fellow victim. You are brave to share this with me and please know that I admire your bravery, especially in opening up to your Mom about what happened to you. I’m glad she was there for you. Be well and be at peace. Take care. Julia

  28. aaron brown May 14, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

    Dear Torres,
    I think that this book explains your deepest thoughts very clearly. I think that it is brave to tell the public what you went through and I like the fact that you explain how you got where you are today in order,from when you were young. You kept my attention in the whole book showing your views on things such as life, family,dating and traumatizing events that have happened in your life.You let us as readers understand your thought process. You state the good and the bad things in your life,from being raped to being promoted at Time Warner; Progression and failures. I appreciate this and i do not read too much so this got me in to reading again just like when I used to read a lot as a kid. What I like the most is that through every problem you overcome.

    • New Yorican Girl May 26, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

      Dear Aaron, I really appreciate you reading my book and telling me that it got you back into reading! It means a lot to me when you said that my book kept your attention. Thank you for your kind words and I wish you a very bright future! Keep reading!! Take care. Julia

  29. cliff May 14, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

    Dear Ms Torres,
    I was deeply touched about your story.Seriously you are a very strong woman throughout life some people have happen to go through it more then others. I haven’t been in a situation where i hear about someone who went through so much trauma and held firm to continue to even write about the past nightmares,that took place in your life Even if i didnt really go though a lot in my life but you really inspired me to keep on with the battle we call life. Seriously i’m also looking foward to reading another book you promote.You are really helping people.Thank you so very much.God bless you.

    • New Yorican Girl May 26, 2014 at 10:15 pm #

      Dear Cliff, thank you for reading my book. I especially appreciate that you think my story will help others. That is exactly why I wrote it. I do want to help others in similar positions to figure out how to rise above the trauma to become even stronger people. I wish you all the best in the future. Take care. Julia

  30. Robert brown May 14, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    Dear Julia,

    I have read your novel Newyoricangirl and I must say you have had a very hard experience. I can tell that it was a tough time with all of those traumatic events stacking on and on. I know that feeling of not feeling loved. You are really strong to be able to fight all odds each and everyday. Not many people can live to tell the tales of there experiences. I’m glad that you were able to find that person who could stay with you knowing your history. It saddened me that your father wasn’t there in your childhood and he gave you up. Neighborhood to neighborhood you moved. Growing up with little to no friends I can feel the pain you must of endured trying to feel like you had a place or roll in society. Then there was the lost of your Spanish name, a lot of major conflicts there. You really cared for your Spanish side only for it to be taken away and thrown to the curb by your “Current” step father who happened to be Jewish. I can’t imagine the major feelings inside you went through when you were slowly converting from what you truly were to something you aren’t. How you manage through your childhood is absolutely amazing. As I previously stated you are a strong woman. You are a icon and a role model to people. You show that no matter how tough the odds are, when you put your mind to work you overcome the odds. When the times were tough you didn’t give in. Dealing with PTSD, School, and being anti-social dealing all of those are enough to put someone over the edge. But not you, you found your ways to cope with it and not be driven to insanity. Thank you for setting an example of true courage and bravery. Wish you all the best in life. Stay strong!

    • New Yorican Girl May 26, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

      Dear Robert, thank you so much for your very thoughtful feedback after reading my book. I wish you all the best in life as well and can tell that you are a young man with a very bright future ahead! Take care and YOU stay strong too! 🙂 Julia

  31. Yeidy May 14, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    Dear Ms. Torres
    I really enjoyed reading your memoir. I’m deeply touched to hear about all your traumatic events you lived through, it must of been very tough back than and still know. I admire how you’re very bold with what you write not holding back, letting us in on your life. Even though I myself haven’t known anyone who’s been through any of this you’re a strong women. You give others hope and faith to move on with life, learn from past experience and not let it affect you. Keep being strong best wishes to you and loved ones.

    • New Yorican Girl May 26, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

      Dear Yeidy, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about my book. I’m glad you enjoyed it and I appreciate your admiration. I wrote my life story down and published it exactly for the reason you state – which was that I wanted to give others hope and faith to move on with life. I wish you all the best in your very bright future. Take care. Julia

  32. Joel Pirela May 23, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    Dear Mrs. Julia Torres
    Hello Julia, I am a 12th grader at Legacy. I would like to start off by saying your book is very vivid. It gave off a lot of imagery which I found myself in each chapter, feeling like I was in the story. Your dialect was very strong and creative as well. I’ve finished reading your book along with my English class which was a beautiful experience, since we could all relate to it and be able to have a load of questions to discuss about your book. You’ve battled with a lot of emotional/traumatic things at very young age and I would like to say that you are a very strong women. Not a lot of people could overcome their negative experiences and they end up taking their lives away. I too, deal with stressful moments in life and is today, still trying to overcome them.

    I was very sympathetic about a lot of things you have experienced for instance, your experience with rape, abandonment by your dad, being ignored by your family, etc. I’m glad you dealt with your problems in the right way and at that, being so determined to do better for yourself. It took a lot of guts to forgive your mom, R.I.P to her. Lastly, a huge upset that I had with the book was chapter “Goodbye Hermit”, where your dad was going to replace you by adopting a baby. I don’t appreciate why your father didn’t adopt you in chapter “The Death of My Spanish Name” and decided to adopt another child instead in “Goodbye Hermit”. Some of the events in your life I really can relate to like for instance, not speaking up when I need to. I could go on & on but I would like to end it on a note by saying, Peace and love to you and your family and keep inspiring others to do better in life.

    Joel Pirela 

    • New Yorican Girl May 26, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

      Dear Joel, thank you SO much for your very meaningful and thoughtful feedback. It is clear to me that you are an outstanding student at Legacy. I wish you the best and brightest future possible upon your graduation and encourage you speak up whenever you need to! Take care. Julia

  33. jalaha foggie May 23, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    Dear Mrs. Torres:

    I am a 11th grader at legacy high school I just got finished reading your book newyoricangirl in my English class. Over the past week I absolutely loved it. I love the way you use nicknames to describe your family. Your writing style is wonderful.

    In chapter 19 “Goodbye Hermit” I was getting emotional and started to feel your pain when your father was trying to adopt a baby to replace you while he was living in California. That made me really mad at him even though he wasn’t my father. I just want you to know that I look up to you as a strong Puerto Rican woman because whatever you have been through you never let it affect your future.

    Jalaha Foggie

    • New Yorican Girl May 26, 2014 at 10:39 pm #

      Dear Jalaha, thank you so much for your very empathetic feedback after reading my book. I really appreciate your support regarding my “Goodbye Hermit” chapter. Speaking of the future, I hope you have a great summer vacation and then return to school in the Fall to do your best work as a senior! Take care. Julia

  34. taira May 23, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    Dear Ms.Torres

    i just completed your book Newyoricangirl and i wanted to tell you it was great. The stories you shared in this book were very deeply moving. I am very sorry that you had to experience those horrible moments in your life. The chapter that bothered me the most is “Raped Of My Innocence.” I was shocked when you walked into the room and your parents did’nt notice that something terrible had happend to you. But you are a strong woman because you were able to overcome those obstacles and be successful. You should be proud of yourself.Take care!


    • New Yorican Girl May 26, 2014 at 10:43 pm #

      Dear Taira, thank you so much for your very kind words of support after reading my book. I’m glad you enjoyed reading my story and I appreciate you noting my strength. I wish you a very bright and happy future! Take care. Julia

  35. Sarah Gonzalez May 30, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    Dear Julia!

    I read your book in one sitting and loved it. Thank you for sharing your story. I was fortunate enough to meet you in person and attend your book launch and reading at La Casa Azul bookstore in NYC. Listening to you speak after having read the book gave me chills and I found myself completely engulfed and mesmerized as if I lived it. Your mom’s story of falling in love with Mr. CEO and your personal stories with alcoholism hit too close to home. I almost wish I read your book in my teenage years so i would find solace and comfort through my struggles. You’re incredibly brave and an inspiration for nuestra latinas. Not just for serving as a true Boricua author, but also for your positive message that will help those who have gone through similar trials and tribulations. I’ve recommended your book to all my friends and look forward to seeing your inspiration grow. I salute you as a true Boricua and for your accomplishment of achieving the 2,800 signatures needed for the 28th amendment to give Puerto Ricans the right to vote in a presidential election. Congratulations! Abrazos

    Love, Sarah Gonzalez

    • New Yorican Girl May 30, 2014 at 11:53 pm #

      Dearest Sarah, your support and empathy mean the world to me! I wrote my book hoping to connect with my fellow Boricua sisters – of which, I consider you one. I am so glad we met and it’d be great to have a book discussion over lunch when I return to NYC in August. I look forward to it! Take care. Julia

  36. Aileen Morales Henry November 23, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    Dear Julia my P.R. Sister,

    I read your book and it was heartbreaking to hear about all that you went through. You are an inspiration. I admire your strength in confronting those that have hurt you. I also admire your drive and passion to stand up for the injustice that has for so long been done to our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters. Your book is engaging and it is because of your book that I want to learn more about the politics and history of Puerto Rico. I identified with losing a job in a high position due to a very similar situation as the one you describe in your book and I found myself suffering from depression and PTSD because of it. Congratulations on your book y Pa’lante in all your heart’s desires!

    Aileen Morales Henry

    • New Yorican Girl November 23, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

      Aileen, my dearest Boricua sister, your kind words mean the world to me. I am most inspired to know that my book has made you want to learn more about our island’s history. Together, we will uplift our people. Love, Julia

  37. Zulma February 7, 2016 at 3:13 pm #

    So inspiring! Thank you..

  38. Lou Mal September 9, 2016 at 9:42 pm #

    I was just reading some of your articles (October 21, 2015) and I must say, it was inte resting. I like it, I will continue to lookyou.

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