Title & Author: How to Be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras
Genre: Young Adult- Contemporary
Release Date: November 3rd 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Source: ARC via the publisher
Description: Reeling from her mother’s death, Georgia has a choice: become lost in her own pain, or enjoy life right now, while she still can. She decides to start really living for the first time and makes a list of fifteen ways to be brave – all the things she’s wanted to do but never had the courage to try. As she begins doing the things she’s always been afraid to do – including pursuing her secret crush, she discovers that life doesn’t always go according to plan. Sometimes friendships fall apart and love breaks your heart. But once in a while, the right person shows up just when you need them most – and you learn that you’re stronger and braver than you ever imagined.
I received a free advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are strictly my own.
WHAT I LIKED
Georgia is a big girl. Literally and I loved it. She keeps her exact weight a secret but there are mentions of plus sized clothing and size 16 skirts. With all these skinny healthy main characters it’s nice to see some size diversity. I’m not going to sit here and say being overweight is good or bad but what I will say is its ALWAYS good to have a character people can relate to. Especially girls when most of the beauty industry is hounding us with unrealistic ideals.
Georgia has flaws. She’s shy and extremely self conscious and I instantly related to her. She also struggles with guilt over her size and how she judged her mother for being obese but at the same time loved her so much. Imagine being embarrassed by your role model, then that role model dies. Even if they didn’t know you were embarrassed you still feel that weight baring down on you. She’s also not afraid of taking chances. When Georgia decided to try out for the cheerleading team I was so floored!
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
The “list” seemed so cliché to me. It seems like a lot of YA books lately are about bucket lists or “things you need to do before you grow up” lists. It might just be a coincidence that I just read a book with list but I have a feeling its more than that. The writing style was also hard to follow. It was like poems then chapters then dialogue then more poems. It was also a really slow paced book. When I read contemporary I was it to be fun and exciting but this one just dragged on and on. That paired with the odd mix of writing styles this book did not hold my attention for long.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK?
Up to you. Honestly I ultimately did not finish this book simply because I put it down one day since it was not holding my attention and never got the urge to finish it. It still has really good qualities that I think other people would enjoy but this was ultimately not for me. I might go back and finish it someday, I have heard a lot of mixed reviews though. I did give this 3 Stars on Goodreads because of the elements and size diversity in this book and I’m really glad more authors are branching out and including things like that but it just didn’t hold my attention.