How to be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras #BookReview #Giveaway

Title: How to Be Brave
Author: E. Katherine Kottaras
Published: November 3rd 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

An emotional contemporary YA novel about love, loss, and having the courage to chase the life you truly want.

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.


Wow so How to be Brave. I really loved what this book is about. Georgia has lost her mother recently in a very painful way to watch. Her mother writes her a letter and encourages her to be brave, Georgia uses this to compile a list of things that she wants to do in order to carry out this last decree.

I have to tell you that this is one of the best portrayals of high school I have read. Mean girls are mean but they are not following you around making your life miserable. It’s more of when you cross their paths. There is a particular dance scene that you might want to brush off and go noooooo but the answer is yessss that happens. So I just felt that part was definitely really realistic.

Chicago, I love anything set in Chicago or the burbs. This is another thing that I love is the Georgia pointing out the difference between city dwellers and suburbanites. I’m a suburbanite through and through and my husband is a city boy. He would love if we could live in the city (where he’s from) and I’m happy where we are (where I’m from). So I thought that was great and of course I love the descriptions of different things that I know!! It made me want to go to the Art Institute of course I always want to go to the Art Institute.

So besides the setting I really enjoyed the meat of the story. It really had me thinking about what I would want my own kids to do if I passed away. Georgia is dealing with grief and making the list gives her an outlet to deal with it. Something else to focus on but makes her feel like her mom is still there and a part of it. I think through the list she starts to find where her mom ends and she begins. I think we really see that with the Art.

For me the weight issues didn’t feel like a giant issue. I liked that the focus seemed to be more on losing weight for health more than image. I know Georgia is insecure but at the same time she also seemed comfortable. Maybe I’m way off. I just liked that Georgia would mention that if her mom had lost weight it would have helped with some of her medical problems.

It’s of course a book so at one point shit does hit the fan. I was kind of surprised by it actually but it helped to kind of bring things around. The ending where everything comes out and is in the open is great. I really liked the romance and the friendships.

I was good with the pacing but I could see how it might start slow for some. The middle and end are really good. Once I got sucked in, I was sucked in and couldn’t stop reading. I stayed up to finish the book. Which seems to happen less and less lately.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s definitely has its highs and lows and I felt like it was realistic. I just hope that if I’m gone my kids will brave themselves.

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About Jen S

I love books, tea/coffee(by the gallon) and sour candy. I wear my nerd badge with pride and have two children ages 5 and 3 that keep me on my toes.
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