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Graceful (for Young Women): Letting Go of Your Try-Hard Life

4.41  ·  Rating Details ·  301 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
You know her--the good girl. She's the reliable one who shows up every week at youth group wearing a purity ring and a smile. She gets good grades, makes the team, and doesn't need to be told to come home on time. But deep down she is crushed by the weight of the responsibility to be the good one, the smart one, the one who never messes up.
With the same candor and gentle
Paperback, 171 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Fleming H. Revell Company
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Amanda Beguerie I'm sixteen, but finding this book is perfect for me. I'd say 13-14+ would be a good age, but please know that none of the mentions of sexual failures…moreI'm sixteen, but finding this book is perfect for me. I'd say 13-14+ would be a good age, but please know that none of the mentions of sexual failures or drugs are inappropriate whatsoever. It's very much more of a focus on Jesus than on "what's okay" and "what's not okay."(less)

Community Reviews

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Amanda Beguerie
Aug 14, 2016 Amanda Beguerie rated it it was amazing
I didn't know how much I needed to read this book until I read it.

Two days was all it took me. I definitely identify as a "good girl," and as Emily writes, it has a whole lot less to do with who you are on the outside and a lot more to do with what you believe on the inside.

This book was so freeing, so amazing, so true, so beautiful. I loved it so much.

Perfectionists? This book is for you. It's so right-on, and so helpful. So glad I read it.
Hannah Rodriguez
Sep 10, 2016 Hannah Rodriguez rated it it was amazing
Wow. This book really opened my eyes with the different type things. + I realized I am some of them
I loved the way it was written and it was easy to understand. There weren't hidden meaning or anything. Just the honest truth
Mar 22, 2015 Katie rated it it was amazing
Wow! This was NOT an easy book to read and yet it was… Any girl who reads this book will feel like Emily’s writing specifically to her and she is. Emily writes in a clear and truthful way. And what you read may be hard to swallow BECAUSE of the accurateness in what she writes. God did a lot of work in my life through this book. This is a book I will refer to again and again and that I wish every young girl could and would read.
As I began to read this book, I made a promise that I would be compl
Beth Peninger
Jun 30, 2014 Beth Peninger rated it really liked it
Before handing this over to my oldest to read (I hope she does) I wanted to read it and make sure it was something I should be recommending to her. And it is. In fact, even though I read the adult woman version of the book earlier this month, I also responded to this one. At the beginning of the book as Freeman is introducing herself to the teen girls she hopes read the book she says, "....most days I still feel seventeen inside. I look around and wonder when the grown-ups are going to show up a ...more
Katie Ann
Jun 03, 2015 Katie Ann rated it it was ok
Bad grammar, narrow minded topics, shallow thinking, and too much talking; not enough words.
It seemed like the whole book was geared towards one type of girl so I couldn't relate to the stories and topics. On top of that, there was far too much talking and story-telling and not enough thinking or scripture.
I will not be recommending this book to anyone.
Emily Freeman might be my favorite Christian author. Everything she writes is beautiful, golden, and God-breathed. So thankful for her words.
Emma Morris
Mar 18, 2017 Emma Morris rated it really liked it
Emily Freeman offers rich wisdom about freedom in Christ. Every "church girl" needs these truths. I highlighted so many meaningful quotes. I wish I would have heard and grasped Freeman's words as a young teenager. Though I'd recommend this primarily for 13-16 year olds, there are lots of good lessons for everyone!
Aug 08, 2012 Angeline rated it really liked it
I would like to thank NetGalley for my book of Freeman's book (which I received in return for an honest review).

This book spoke out to me and by the end of the synopsis I was hooked. Being a teenager having the mind of a child while having the expectations of an adult put down upon us. With school (don't get me started on college), crushes, and extracurricular activities it's almost impossible to have spare time unless you shorten the number of hours you sleep. While (in an ideal world) there ar
Gil Torres
Jul 24, 2015 Gil Torres rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Alert: This is not really a review. Just some impressions.)

When I find myself in times of trouble (no, don’t sing it smile emoticon ) late evening and I need a book to read I resort to whatever might be in the house. You may wonder how I (64 yrs old) came to read a girl book. Furthermore, it is about good girls. It is a book I gave to my wife a while back after she had expressed interest in the book.
What is it about a book written for young women which ended up being quite an exceptional read f
Jan 25, 2015 Amanda rated it it was amazing
I received this book as a Confirmation gift last year and finally got around to reading it this year.

I felt like it was written for me.

This book is for every girl who feels like she's not enough. For the one who needs to get good grades, to be the best, to show everyone that she's got it all together.

I'm that girl, and as I read this book, my soul was soothed. I don't have it all together; no one does! But that's the great gift: our un-loveliness and messiness is loved by God, and all we have t
Christie Hagerman
Aug 11, 2012 Christie Hagerman rated it it was amazing
It's clear that the author grew up working hard to be the good girl, and probably succeeded. I read this book thinking of its potential for my own teen girls, and as a small group study resource. But as a grown-up, former good girl, I connected with a lot of what I read and found myself in the pages.

The premise is that all of us hide behind something--rules, good grades, causes, image, responsibility--and this hiding keeps us from ever truly being known. Ms. Freeman sums this up well in the fir
Margaret Chind
Aug 27, 2012 Margaret Chind rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Margaret by: Donna Hausler
I can tell you plenty of good things about Emily's book Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life and when I heard about a review opportunity for a new book I jumped into it not even really looking at the book subject. Graceful (for Young Women): Letting Go of Your Try-Hard Life is an echo of things I remember reading in Grace for the Good Girl, but they are written for a younger audience with more mention of school and college and jobs than motherhood and marriage as in the origi ...more
Kelsey Mclaurin
This book put words to my struggles and was so needed.
Meagan Myhren-bennett
Letting Go of Your Try-hard Life
By Emily P. Freeman

Graceful is written for young woman who are trying to be what is expected of them. These expectations can take the form of a certain attitude, behavior, grades - basically any outward visible behavior. But who are you really. What matters is your heart and your relationship with God.

Emily takes us on a journey - the life journey of the Good Girl and her attempt to be everything to everybody. She gives us pointers on how to take a step ba
Abbie Riddle
Nov 29, 2012 Abbie Riddle rated it it was amazing
The author of Grace For the Good Girl (the "Big Girl" version of this book) has written a book for teen girls that will impact a generation of up and coming women to become the very best that God has for them. The message of finding your identity in Christ can be preached from the pulpit and taught in a classroom but it must become real for each young lady. In this book Emily Freeman does just that.

I enjoyed Grace for the Good Girl and this is no different. Being involved in women's ministry th
Oct 26, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
Author: Emily P. Freeman
Publisher: Revell
September 2012
ISBN: 978-0800719838
Genre: Nonfiction/youth/Christian living

This book is for the prom queen, the athlete, the bookworm, and the dreamer. It’s for the good test taker and the strict list maker. It’s for the rule follower, the fear wallflower, the messy, and the misunderstood. For the self-critic, the silent judge, and the girl who feels invisible. For the girl who is tired of trying and the one afraid to fail. These words are f
Apr 01, 2013 Megan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
This book is fantastic. I knew when I first picked it up that it was for me, with its caption "Letting go of your try-hard life". Reading the back of the book only increased that impression.

However, I realized as I read it that it really applies to a lot of girls and women (though it is mainly aimed at high school girls). Even if she doesn't consider herself a "good girl", she likely experiences some of the pressures or "voices" as the author describes them. It is also likely that this book woul
Nov 02, 2012 Wendy rated it really liked it
Don't we all really want to be known, to be loved, to be accepted,
to be searched for, to be found?
- Emily Freeman

Emily Freeman's powerful words in her book, Graceful, speak to the "good girl" in all of us. She writes to those of us who have hidden our true selves behind a mask to meet the expectations and avoid the judgement of others. She offers words of understanding, encouragement, and freedom.

This book is a love letter to young women from another who has been behind the mask and through God
Taylor Mccreary
Jul 02, 2013 Taylor Mccreary rated it it was amazing
Um, I loved it! A perfect book for those of us who try really hard to make life look easy, but in actually still struggle just like everyone else, and wonder if there's a better way.
I'm pretty sure that Emily Freeman (the author) is my new best-friend-that-I've-never-met. All of the stories she tells are engaging and relatable, and she really captures God's heart throughout the book. She reminds readers of the same truths over and over, but it doesn't seem repetitive. The book is surprisingly sh
Apr 29, 2013 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teenage girls, Bible teachers, youth workers
Shelves: jesus
This is one of those books you wish you could read 1000 times over, you want to read to and with every girl in your life, and wish you had written yourself. I read "Grace for the Good Girl" [the "adult" version of this book] and actually liked Graceful a little bit more [though perhaps that's because I work with high school girls]. Reading it feels like you and the author are getting coffee - her sweet and tender tone just flows out of every page.
Often times books for women are lame. Often time
Nov 21, 2012 IrenesBookReviews rated it it was amazing
Oh how I wish this book had been around years ago! This is an excellent book for any teen girl to read. I would say any parent or teen leader should read it too. It is written in a loving and easy to understand language. Learning to love who you are just like the Lord loves you is a valuable lesson that all teenagers need to learn.

I gave this book 5/5 stars. If you know a teenage girl please buy her this book, especially if you don’t think she needs it! You never know what is going on in the lif
May 29, 2016 Alexis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: great-ones
Read this book with a group of 12-13 year old 'good' girls and their moms. I definitely think the moms got just as much from it as the girls, if not more. We divided the book over several months and discussed 1 or 2 chapters at a time, so I feel like we pretty thoroughly explored it. The level it is written on was perfect for the girls, not above their heads but also not patronizing. When I say these are 'good' girls, I mean that they are girls who are driven and want to do well in multiple area ...more
Jun 03, 2014 Maddie rated it it was amazing
I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars. The "good girl" she was talking about is me, and the insights she gave were desperately needed.

It felt like Emily Freeman wrote this book for me. Absolutely everything applied, some of her feeling and "conversations" I had actually had myself. I mean practically word for word. I got a Kindle version, but as with every book I really like I am going to buy a print version so I can copy and paste everything to my wall. I am getting over my fear of w
Jul 17, 2015 Marissa rated it it was amazing
This book rightfully deserves 5★. It really helped me to better understand who I am as a person and as a child of God. It also helped me to draw closer to God and Jesus. Emily P. Freeman writes in a way that is very relatable. I thought this book would be hard for me to relate to, but it was the exact opposite. Emily writes in such a way that you can't help but feel like you have been long time friends. I would recommend this to any young girl who is struggling to fit in and find out who they ar ...more
Jessica Lavette
Feb 28, 2015 Jessica Lavette rated it really liked it
This book is for the goody-two-shoes; the girls who always do the right thing. The ones who follow the rules and plan out their future. This book is for the good girl. It talks about how good girls strive for perfection, approval, acceptance, etc. And it points the reader toward The One who says “Rest. It’s ok. You don’t have to prove anything for I know your heart.”This book is geared mostly for high schoolers or freshmen in college. So I didn’t get too much out of it, however given the target ...more
Dec 28, 2012 Caitlin rated it it was amazing
This was such an inspiring book! It called for the remembrance of who God has made us to be-- His beloved. Emily pointed out that too often we try to be God's "do-loved." We hide behind all sorts of false identities that are motivated by fear and lead us to listen to voice of the "good girl" who promotes actions, activities, and thoughts that undermine the true meaning of grace. We must make the choice to truly believe the voice of Jesus when He says we are beautiful, graceful, and enough in who ...more
May 29, 2014 Madison rated it liked it
I found this to be a very encouraging book; I related to the way Emily describes working rather than accepting God's love and mercy, and it was an incredible reminder of God's grace and our need to accept it instead of accepting shame for the fact that we are not good enough. Very insightful look at how "church girls" act, and a great reminder that we cannot save ourselves through our appearance of being good.
Jan 01, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it
I read this book with my daughters, and I think I benefited as much as they did. I liked it even better than the first book by Emily Freeman, Grace for the Good Girl, which I liked a lot. The one chapter that I didn't care for was about the Intellectual Girl. Something about the examples bothered me. However, I've talked to someone else who appreciated that chapter a great deal. Overall, this is a substantive, helpful, and enjoyable book to read.
Nov 27, 2012 Mackenzie rated it it was amazing
This book addressed so many issues that I am facing and struggle with as a Senior in High School. I'm so grateful for Emily and for her willingness to put her words out on paper for many people to read. I've been so blessed by her words and her guidance, pointing me to Scripture to support her points and nothing of fluff. It's all in there purposefully. I completely fit the "good-girl" mold and encourage anyone who struggles with that and believes in God to read it, it's incredible!
Dec 29, 2014 Natalie rated it it was amazing
I used this book to do a book study with high school girls. I found that it was extremely relevant to their lives and also very easy for them to read and comprehend in addition to peaking their intrest. The girls were able to take a quiz which helped indicate to them which of the "masks" they struggled with hiding behind which Ms. Freeman covers in the various chapters of her book. It was a very edifying read!
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“It isn't about what we are supposed to 'do'; it is about what we choose to 'believe'.” 9 likes
“Rather than admitting you don't know what to do next, you fake it in public and feel lost when you're alone.” 6 likes
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