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In his compelling memoir, The Westcoast Kid: My Redemption, Waters chronicles the events that led up to taking a very different path in life—away from college and into the dangerous world of drug smuggling for Pablo ...
In his compelling memoir, The Westcoast Kid: My Redemption, Waters chronicles the events that led up to taking a very different path in life—away from college and into the dangerous world of drug smuggling for Pablo Escobar’s cartel. As he became immersed in the lure of fast money and faster women, his life began spiraling downhill. Eventually, he was arrested and convicted of drug smuggling, forcing him to enter the turbulent prison system. Life behind the prison walls became a struggle to survive when fellow inmates found out his high school rival was NFL star Deion Sanders. Waters shares how he found the determination to rebuild his life after being released.
Waters tells the inspiring story of his struggle to find his place in life, hoping to encourage young adults to shun bad choices, opt for the right path, and follow their dreams.
Posted December 15, 2012
I am a reading teacher working with older high school students (from the same high school Travis Waters attended). Many of my students are considered at-risk and most of them "hate" to read.....that is, until they pick up this book. I've had so many students tell me that this is the very first book that they actually read--from cover to cover. Travis Waters tells his story, one that is real, graphic at times, but most importantly, he shares the reality that awaits so many teens. He had it all. Waters was a sports star with a bright future. For my students, they can't imagine a kid like him could end up losing it all. Readers gain insight to how quick the fall can be and how serious the consequences are--and if students think prison is no big deal, or not a possibility, The Westcoast Kid provides a reality check. So many teens are unaware of the risks and consequences. I highly recommend this book for the reluctant reader. It may be just the hook to get them into reading, and the opportunity to consider the choices they have with the paths they are offered.
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Posted March 12, 2014
Travis Waters has written a page turning autobiography, that reads like a James Patterson fiction novel. In “Westcoast Kid: My Redemption” the reader is vividly launched into the real world of drug smuggling, drug use, & sex. It’s about living the high life, the crashing fall back to reality and the consequences of it all. I immediately thought “Westcoast Kid: My Redemption” was a cross between “Scarface” and “Shawshank Redemption.” Although, filled will very adult language, this book is a must-read for teens as well as adults; as a deterrent to drug use or as a catapult for a second chance at life. I anxiously look forward to the motion picture.
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Posted March 15, 2014
As a teacher, I recommend this book highly to all my students! I grew up in Naples, and know the author, as a fellow student. The message it sends to kids is invaluable, and shows how a few wrong choices can destroy your life. But it also encourages them, because even though the author made some wrong choices, his life is now remarkable. Travis Waters now travels the country speaking to kids to let them know how easy it is to fall in with the wrong people, he encourages them, and is an inspiration to them, and I encourage all of my students to read it!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 31, 2014
I finished the last of this..remarkable book and I just couldn't get enough. Every time I would put down the book I had to pick right back
up where I left off. The Westcoast Kid was a story like no other. A story of a true inspirational survivor. Reading this book bought me
anger for what torture you had to deal with, sadness for the things your couldn't control in those hell holes or with the loss of your child,
and most importantly happiness that your life has turned out to be everything and more. Many people don't believe in god but as you
said many times before, faith is what got you through prison. Faith is all you had when everything else was taken from you. I have
never been a drug or alcohol abuser but reading this was like picturing every single vivid detail you described. I truly hope that every
teenage child, good or bad crosses this inspiring story and somehow I hope it hits home for them. While reading The Westcoast Kid
I had SOOO many questions like how are you alive? How did you stay "sane?" Will you ever be normal again? Travis, this book was
one of the BEST decisions you have ever made when changing other people opinions on drugs and prison. Your wife is one lucky
woman and you are one lucky man to have crossed paths; a true work of faith. Your beautiful children with forever experience what
you lost as a teenager and I bet they are so proud of all that you have become and all that you teach them day and night. One things
for sure, I will never ever take my life, my husbands life, or my children's lives for granted. I believe in living in the present because its a
gift from god. not the past.
Plattsburgh New York
Posted January 21, 2014
What a inspirational book! I went to school with Travis and also grew up in the same neighborhood. I can't explain the emotions I went through reading this biography, it's a book that all teens should read. Travis tells his story like it is and doesn't hold anything back. Truly a prime example of what can happen when you mess with drugs. I'm a very lucky girl that my life did not go down the same path as Travis and I thank God everyday for that. Had I read this book when I was a teen I may not have done the things I did. Travis you are a gold star in my book and a true mentor for our children today! I can't imagine how hard it was for you to write this book but I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story with our children.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 27, 2013
After working in an alternative high school, with at risk kids for many years, this is a book that kids can relate to, it's raw, terrifying and sad all at the same time. The in your face way the author tells his story makes the reader feel they are right there next to him on this roller coaster ride called The West Coast Kid!! From the beginning to the end it is a book you can not put down. I loved it!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 17, 2013
Hey Travis. My name is Taylor. You came to speak to me and the group I was with
when I was in rehab a few years ago at Inspirations in Fort Lauderdale, FL. I
have read your book more than once because it is such a powerful book. I want to
thank you so much for the impact you have made on my life. I still struggle with
getting clean but I will bet that this book has saved my life more than once.
There have been situations that I have kept myself out of and I would like to
think that it is because of your story. Thank you again.
Posted June 6, 2013
First off I would like to thank coach Travis for sharing his story. It took a lot of courage and heart to share such a turmoil part of his life with us all. This is an amazing book and I highly recommend. I am sure we all have a family member that had great talents and wasted it away because they went down the wrong path. As a young parent of 3 boys, I allowed my oldest to read it. I know the peer pressure out there now and no matter how good of a parent you are, we need to educate our children on real life situations. My son was shock to know this part of coach's life. He commends him on his courage for sharing and respects all the encouragement he get from coach. Coach Travis is a huge inspiration through this book and in real life. He has encouraged my son to be the best at everything he does. Our family admire such a BRAVE man. Thanks again coach for being a huge part of my son's life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 15, 2013
I am a teacher of students with “special needs” at Lely High School in Naples, FL. The students in my class have various emotional and behavioral disorders to go along with assorted learning disabilities. They tend to have problems making good decisions and behaving within normal classroom standards. I used Travis and his story to help my students see what impact their decisions, made every day, can have upon their future. By the time Travis came to talk with them, my kids had seen a short documentary and some had read his book “The West Coast Kid”. The opportunity to see a real example of what can happen to someone they can relate to (a former student at Lely) as a result of choosing the wrong path in life was eye-opening and, I hope, life changing for my students. I only hope that I can get him to come back again this year.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 25, 2013
I am a high school teacher at a small private school, where most of my students have difficulty in traditional classroom environments and show very little interest in reading, other than what has been assigned. Imagine my surprise when one of my most disinterested readers showed excitement about reading, "The Westcoast Kid", and became completely engrossed in the book. As a teacher, it is an amazing experience to see this kind of an impact on one of my students. To hear him talk about the book with other students because he has made a personal connection with the writer, is simply amazing. I truly believe that the book will have a lasting impression on these students by not only providing them with a platform in which to examine their own personal issues but also to establish a love of reading.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 20, 2013
Raw + Riveting + Real = Redemption.
This book proves that God truly is a God of second chances.
Strong language and parental guidance for young readers recommended but every human being should read
this book. To learn how one man and his one choice changes everything in his "once in a lifetime" moment.
Choose wisely. Choose this book. Let Travis' mess...be the message that helps you choose better for your life.
Posted January 19, 2013
Couldn't Put it Down : Movie Script
Wow!! This book is really an amazing story from the beginning to the end . When I read some of these parts I would have to shake my head and wonder how this young man was able to pull through all this even with the beatings his mom went through and when his mom shot his abusive alcoholic father 6 times when he was a child and seen it this with his own eyes. I can understand how sports helped him deal with all this and took him away from this tragedy. You start feeling for this guy and pulling for him through this whole book with all the hell he went through with the Smugglers,Feds, and the prison gang beatings because of his talent. Fellow inmates thought they were being cheated because NFL star Deion Sanders was his high school rival. He definitely received his punshiment for making one bad choice in his short life. Glad to see he has turned his life around and is completing his dream of coaching, sponsoring teams and giving back to the kids in his community. I hope someone in Hollywood is already writng the script for this book.
Posted January 15, 2013
Great book well written I love the way the author let's you feel you are reliving these events with him. After I read this book in two days I couldn't get this book out of my head I thought a lot about what his life would of been if he played sports instead of making that one wrong choice . I believe this book will help many teens make better choices in life when they are getting influenced from friends doing drugs. I agree with the other reviews this book should be in all schools so teens can see if all this fun and money is worth throwing your dreams away for a life in the end is not worth it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 14, 2013
Definitely Movie Material : I live in LA and a friend told about this book. I bought it online Started reading it and could not put it down. I recomend this book to all teens that are messing with drugs. Once you read this and you are still involed with drugs you can't say you weren't warned about what will happen to you in prison. The book describes everything you need to know to stay away from drugs. Can't wait to see this story on the big screen.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 11, 2013
Highly Recommend for all teens. This book let's you know what you will face when you think drugs are cool. The authors style of writing let's you feel like you are living this life as you are reading. He details the emotions and the smells of what prison life is all about. He doesn't hold back letting the reader feel his pain. This book should be a mandatory read at all high schools schools, Drug treatment centers, youth ranches around the country especially now with the drug problems schools are having.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 11, 2013
MUST READ FOR ALL TEENS I'm a student in High school. I picked up this book and couldn't it down. This book made me realize the decisions we make will decide our future. When I finished this book I turned my life around and started hanging around positive friends and made the honor roll for the first time in school. Thank you for sharing your story Travis it changed my life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 10, 2013
ALL HIGH SCHOOLS SHOULD READ
I believe this is a must read for all young adults today. If you read this book and STILL choose to go down the wrong path and keep making bad decisions sit down and reread it again. It is heart wrenching to know what he went through during his nightmare at such a young age. Life does not always give you second chances but take it when you get it such as Travis has done. Turning something good out a horrible situation is the best outcome for anyone.
Posted January 10, 2013
Movie Material : In reading this book one can feel the raw emotion that Travis is experiencing through his tragic events. Especially his struggle to survive in prison because of his athletic ability. I recommend that young adults who are contemplating with the idea of going down the wrong path, to read and understand Travis' story. This book should be put in every high school and college library across the nation. And in the future it would be great to see his story made into a movie.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 23, 2012
When I received the book The Westcoast Kid, My Redemption, my intention was to leaf through It a little and then read it the following day. As I began reading the first part, my interest was captured, and I could not put it down. The more I read, the more intrigued I became. I finished the book at 4:30 am. This author has a way of writing that makes the reader feel as though they are actually there watching what is happening. I literally found myself in tears several times as I felt my heart breaking because of the things he endured. He was so young and in so much trouble. As a mother, I felt the panic and terror that his mother must have felt. This is one of the best true-life books that I have read in a very long time. I highly recommend it – especially to anyone who has children. The book is not “sugar coated”, the language is rough, but so is the lifestyle that he fell into because of his choices. It is real life –and real consequences and he tells it like it is. He was living in another world that most people do not even know exists. I give this book 5 stars without hesitation and will be ordering more as gifts for my friends.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 18, 2012
This BOOK deserves 5 stars and more--to describe the content of this memoir in one word would be "extraordinary!" The West Coast Kid novel is a compelling biography that will drawn you in from page one, taking you on a wild, fast pace ride through the life of a young man who had the world at his fingertips, and a promising future, however, in a flash of an eye it all vanished, because of peer pressure, the enticement of power and bad choices, he inevitably went from an enriched life to his HOME BEHIND BARS...what a spine tingling reality.
I encourage everyone to purchase this gripping story for your teenagers, or someone else's child, whether he or she is on a path of destruction, or not, your gift of this book will surely save, not one, but many from the gritty life of drugs, or the possibility of the horrific life behind bars! When you hold this book in your hands, after reading a few paragraphs, you sit back and it hits you hard, as you soon realize the shocking events translated from the man himself whose life turned on a dime, could in fact happen to anyone; your sons, and daughters, friends, or the kid next door...or even to YOU!
Travis Waters of Naples, Florida was raised by one the most devoted and loving mothers. He witnessed his mother, who she, herself overcame the odds of domestic abuse, raising her son with the guidance of a tender hand, tenacity, hope and honor. Travis was the boy next door to many, with a twist. Throughout his life his popularity amongst his peers and authoritative figures were off the charts. However, life has no boundaries, with the turn of events he began paving the road to hell and was forced to face the consequences of his choices.
For those you read this biography and if have never been on the inside a penitentiary the details written in this book, will, or should scare the piss and vinegar (pardon the expression) out of anyone, whereas setting them straight.
Travis Waters shares his life story, pointedly, unveiling to the world his days of a drug smuggler; a lifestyle that appears to be glamorous, adrenaline pumping and profitable, however, the caveat with certainty will lead to a dead end road and the loss of freedom. This is the message Travis paints so well, as he recalls so vividly his life behind bars. His story is a must read.
This book will haunt you how our justice system, for the lack of a better word is "Slavery In America." The way prisons are sanctioned, I find criminal and deplorable. Unfortunately, there is no difference between many of the officials and the criminals, just the uniforms. Sad, but true! Punishments do NOT always fit the crimes...and the phraseology "Do the crime pay the time," falls short, because committing a crime and paying for it does not free you or clean the slate, as it should; at least this is not the case in our country. Once you commit a crime of any measure you are locked in a system, no pun intended, that never allows you to wipe your record clean, despite that you have served your time! This is an issue that should be changed in our country, which I find ironic, because our country is so called, the land of freedom.
Please understand that my disposition on our prison system comes from real facts of knowing. I have scene with my own eyes the injustice and most people have no idea how our prisons are run on the inside. Allow me to say, I, myself have never been in trouble, not as much as a speeding ticket in my life of over forty years, however, the clean record I have maintained will not served me justice, in the event, if I were to commit a crime of ANY measure here in Florida. My life, your life and your children's lives will be in the hands of some very crook people, especially, if you are not, able or fortunate enough to paid $$$$ your way out. Therefore, I am an advocate of rehabilitation, and impassioned to stop unjust treatment in our prisons. Please, understand I know for a fact, that in many European countries, they actually rehabilitate their criminals, and treat them like humans while incarcerated and when the crime is paid for your record is wiped clean! Many, not all, but many prisons in America are worst then some of the dog breeding grounds, and the animal cruelty we have all been exposed to on the evening news. However, no one is exposing the deplorable living conditions behind bars, and when it's displayed in a fictional manner in a blockbuster movie, what has anyone done to stop the cruelty of human beings, other than watching it for entertainment? This is a real problem! And despite the kind of crime committed from a misdemeanor to a white-collar crime, and so on, all convicts are abused behind bars! I cannot thank Travis Waters enough for sharing his experience!
Warning do not miss out! This memoir is a raw depiction and not meant for those who want to bury their heads in the sand! it is an intense read, for those who want to know the truth and what's on the other side of high-walls, steel doors and bob-wire fences--it's call prison. This biography reveals the anguish of what Travis endured in prison, essentially, hell on earth, which is spelled out and felt on each page. Behind prison walls equates to surviving life in a third world county, where anything goes and worst. Travis is very specified about the blood, guts and the fury the intimates go though just to survive. It's unimaginable in this century. Don't be fool, your freedom is not a given in this country, but earned by good behavior and living a clean life. I feel this book should be in all rehab centers, juvenile detention centers, jails and schools. It is certainly a great tool for the prevention of crime.
I am proud to have had the pleasure of meeting the author and real-life character of this book, and whom, I consider to be a great friend. I met Travis and his lovely mother through a mutual friend, in 1997 I believe, if my memory serves me correct, it was right before he was released from prison. Obviously, I knew that he was incarcerated, prior to our introduction. However, this did not matter to me, for it was never my place to judge him. To err is human, to shun a soul that God created, is inhuman. Upon meeting Travis I immediately felt an energy that surges within him to be very rare. My first impression of him was WHY was he ever put behind bars? Travis never revealed an attitude that you would expect from someone who had just served hard time, or that the world owns him restitution. He never behaved with a disgruntled or blamed others for his crimes, nor did he display any resentment for the life that he had lived behind the prison walls. On the contrary, Travis possessed an attitude of gratefulness, humbleness and an appreciation towards his family that was clearly beholden. I found his personality such a contradiction of a drug dealer, or as I said what you would imagine a hard-core drug dealer to be like. At the time Travis never shared with me the details of his life behind bars, his concern was with moving forward.
I used to tease Travis and tell him that he reminded me of Elvis Presley. LOL This made him laugh. When I think of Travis the one thing that stands out the most is that he always had a congenial character and a smile to offer his friends. Speaking of Travis's smile, if you ever have the pleasure of meeting him you will see for yourself the kindness that radiates in him that words can't describe. There's something truly special about Travis Waters. I am thankful, as I am sure many others would agree that serving time did not damage the core of who he was meant to become. And, that he found the support of his family, friends and meeting the love of his Michelle and was fortunate to gain back his life, dreams and freedom that he could have been lost forever.
In summary always remember, as I have learned bad things can happen to good people, and I am honored to know the man who wrote this memoir of his life and ver