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The Girl Who Lived

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  147 ratings  ·  53 reviews
The Girl Who Lived is the remarkable true story of a teenage girl's fight to find happiness.

At fifteen, Susan Berg was on a boat trip with her parents and brother when their vessel began to sink. Desperate to find help, she swam ahead, struggling through darkness and rough sea. After nearly four hours, Susan, exhausted and barely able to walk, finally made it ashore. Her f
Paperback, 277 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by AFFIRM PRESS (first published October 14th 2014)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  147 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Suzanne Flohr
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I have to admit when i first picked up this book i was oh yeh another one. But when i started it boy i could not put this down. Many long nights staying up after everyone had gone to bed to know what was happening. Loved it.

Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to win this book through Goodreads and I've said this before- I find it difficult to rate biographies. I don't want to rate someone's life and experiences especially on how much I enjoyed reading about them.

Then again, I've decided to rate this autobiography 4.5/5 stars. For a debut, it was enthralling and I read the majority of it in one sitting.

I can only imagine the kind of bravery you must have to write an autobiography, to show everyone the most intimate details of your
I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. This does not impact my review of the book in any way.

As some have said before me, it's hard to give a rating on someone's life story when they are brave enough to write an autobiography. Especially when a person has gone through a tremendous tragedy like the one Susan Berg went through when she was fifteen. Her story of surviving the boating accident is incredible and how she picked herself up from rock bottom is inspiring, there is no
Feb 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
While I went into this book thinking the focus would probably be on the boating tragedy that took the lives of Susan's parents and her brother, I was surprised to find it actually concentrated more on her life after. This is a startlingly honest memoir of the way grief takes its toll, even in forms completely unknown many years later. As well as her acting out as a teenager, Susan suffers from depression as an adult, and at one point seems on a never ending quest to replace the love she lost in ...more
Becky Wicks
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! From the very first page, Susan's story had me gripped. It's tough to imagine at first that this is her real life story because it's so incredible you can't help but think it must be fictional, but here we have one implausibly brave and strong woman who finds herself in a tragic situation yet carries on living her life and facing all other challenges head on. There are parts of this book that truly blew me away. I actually had the privilege of meeting Susan in Bali while she was writing thi ...more
Michele Pavey-laumen
On Saturday I stumbled upon a book written by a very brave and resilient woman, The Girl Who Lived by Susan Berg.

I felt privileged to be reading her brutally honest story.
I read it overnight, I just could not put it down.

Not often are we invited into someone else's really dark times but when Susan writes even the most difficult parts of her story it is as if she is trusting you the reader as if you are her closest friend.

Honest and from the heart Susan's story will grab you like she has grabbed
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Spoilers*****************************************************************************************************Wow what a read. Special to me because I live not far from where this accident happened and can remember snippets of this story. But what a wonderful story Susan Berg has written. She really put all her emotions into the book. Such a hard task to write about so much tragedy. Not only loosing her three family members but to also loose a close friend in such a tragic event. One thing that c ...more
Sep 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a powerful story that allows you a glimpse into a life engulfed by tragedy. After travelling with Susan through anger, sadness and guilt you emerge with her to a hopeful future. The book not only shares experiences that demonstrate all these emotions, but generates them in the reader. Susan has a strong voice throughout that keeps you asking "What will happen to her next?" A must read book that will leave you hoping that Susan will write a sequel... ...more
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing story of courage under great adversity. Very few people would ever befall such tragedy in their lives and be close to understanding the gravity of such loss. But what can be gained from this book is how Susan used such strength, tenacity, guts and courage to not only get over the horrible boating accident but the many obstacles that were thrown her way throughout her whole life. I would definitely recommend this book very highly.
Tony Halstead
Nov 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From start to finish this is an absolute ripper read. It is fast paced,intriguing and at times mind blowing. The courage displayed to battle Westernport Bay was only the start of a journey to continually battle adversity throughout an adventure packed life. I'm not a fast reader but I couldn't put it down. It's just a matter of time before this story gets picked up and we will be watching on the big screen. I hope Susan keeps writing so we can enjoy more of her work. ...more
Christopher Benz
This beautifully written book is a fascinating tale of survival, self discovery and ultimately redemption. It is relatable to the life of any reader, including anyone who hasn't been through experiences as intense or remarkable as the author. Susan Berg writes with bravery, intelligence and self-knowledge and it makes for a fascinating page turner. It is easy to imagine this book as a film as it evokes so many haunting and memorable images. Highly recommended. ...more
Natalie Carter
Jan 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. I think around halfway I put the book down and remembered, this all happened to one person. It is literally an open book about the life so far of Susan, and it truly does pull you in to a journey alongside where one single tragic event completely changed a young girls path. Had to read it again! Can't wait to read more from this author. ...more
Olivia Takacs
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! What an inspirational story. This book kept me hooked from the first page to the last.An amazing story of courage, hope and commitment. Loved it!!
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aww-2015
One day Susan Berg was just a normal teenage girl with two parents, two sisters and a brother. Keen to try out the boat he has recently purchased, Susan's father invites his family along for the ride. Setting out in the freezing waters near Melbourne Susan and her parents and brother are not far into their journey when disaster strikes and their boat sinks. Initially they stick together, but soon Susan becomes separated from the rest of her family. Content with the knowledge that her brother (wh ...more
Sharon Smart
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is relevant for those of us who have suffered personal tragedies in which we could not imagine getting past the early days, struggling through the weeks and years beyond. Questioned who we are without parental guidance, struggled to find herself from the teen years and beyond. Susan Berg bares all, she is candid, honest and doubts her worth, reckless behavior through the many two timing men she suffers though. Relationship dependence and elevated great times happen to her.

The end of t
♥ Marlene♥
Sep 20, 2016 marked it as couldn-t-finish  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Are all those 5 star reviews for the sad story or for the writing? I cannot believe it is the latter because it is the writing that makes me find this a very hard read.
I can't connect with the author at all and am not really caring what is going to happen although I assume she is going to use drugs and make all kind of wrong decisions in her live and I am not in the mood for it.
Perhaps because I made some poor decisions as well but I have noticed that certain books that I used to read quite a lo
Murray Williams
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“The Girl Who Lived” is one of only two books that I read all the way through in one sitting. The other was “The Firm” by John Grisham. I literally could not stop reading until it ended. From the author's harrowing tale of losing her family in a boating accident, through her tumultuous relationships, I was captivated from the beginning.

Considering all the sugar coated political correctness in the mainstream, Ms. Berg tells her story with honesty and realism. It was a breath of fresh air. Her st
Ally Scott
Dec 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am an avid reader and would normally read a book in a couple of hours. When I received Susan's book I started reading and couldn't put it down, however after reading nearly 3/4 of the book I forced myself to put it down and then read the rest over the next few days.....I wanted to savour the book and enjoy it for longer than a few hours !!! Reading this book I found myself caught up in her life and marveling how such a girl/woman could possibly survive all that she had endured, what an amazing ...more
Karen Leng
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Girl Who Lived is my very first memoir I read.

What an amazing and truly unbelievable life that Susan had lead. It shows such strength and courage to have gone through such adversity at such a young age. I was totally drawn to the book....I couldn't put it down. Each stage of her life was so intriguing and leaves you wonder, what is she going to do next?

No one should go through what Susan went through. It was heart breaking but at the same time, I love her spirit. Even though life was tough f
Ally Hamblin
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In "The Girl Who Lived" Susan Berg takes us on her journey from a secure life in the embrace of her warm family to the devastating loss of half of them in one hellish night. Her book resonates with the pain that she fought through for years before finding a kind of peace in her adulthood. Susan's childhood was effectively cut short by the accident that claimed her parents and brother as she battled survivor's guilt, sexual abuse, and the unending grief and loss that filled her fractured young wo ...more
Donna Turner
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the first sentence I was captivated,I couldn't put it down. So hard to believe Susan could experience such sorrow at a young age, and unbelievable challenges on her own and survive. As I followed her journey I felt such anger at the people that took advantage off her .You visit so many emotions as you read through this wonderful book ,and at the end your left wanting more. Sue so look forward to the next book. ...more
Dec 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read! The book jumps straight into the action from the first page with a tragedy, then there are ups and downs right through to the end. Found myself in mixed emotions throughout the story, laughing out loud at a number of stages - and sad and angry in others. You have to keep reminding yourself that it's a true story and someone has actually gone through all of this in one life time. You won't be able to put it down. ...more
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It takes a certain type of person with a certain type of strength to live the life detailed in this book. It takes a very special person with a very special type of strength to then write it down and share it with the world.
Captivating and enthralling, honest and thought-provoking. It challenged me and make me contemplate how I would have dealt with this life.
Inspiring and thoroughly recommended.
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not actually sure how this book was recommended to me as I am not usually a fan of 'true stories' or memoirs. But from start to finish I was intrigued and absorbed by Susan's life and the adversities she has faced. Sometimes I was in awe of Susan and other times I was in disbelief with some of the decisions she made - but all in all understand how the event in her childhood shaped her life going forward. Highly recommend this well written true story. ...more
Emma Vos
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
A friend recommended I read this book and I'm so glad I did. I simply couldn't put it down. Susan is of the same generation as me and I remember the tragic boating accident being reported in the media so her story really resonated with me. Life as most of us know it isn't sugar-coated and I love how Susan documents her own life, 'warts and all'. Susan is truly inspirational and I can't wait to read her next installment on her next phase of life.

Claire Bridge
Nov 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Riveting. Drags you along for the ride. A true story of survival and resilience with so many twists and turns that had me gasping, laughing, crying and not wanting to put it down. With intense honesty and vulnerability, Susan Berg reveals the strength of character which not only saved her life but gave her life back.
Jo Ford
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A thought-provoking and moving, gritty piece of writing. A raw depiction of life following a devastating family tragedy that sees Susan following an often sad and lonely path, making bad decisions en route. This books sees Susan rise and fall on the crest of everyday living, taking the reader with her, on this often eventful journey.
Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Such an inspiring story. Thank you for sharing this with the world. I absolutely loved this book. A tragic story with a light at the end of a tunnel. Susan's ability to share such an honest, personal story will bring you to tears. I truly do believe, "The Girl Who Lived" will inspire many people. i
It will grab you by the heart, let your emotions flow. Outstanding, I highly recommend this book.
Sue Illman
Nov 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the best book I have ever read. It was full of adventure, laughter, tears and excitement. I could not put it down and finished it in under 2 days. You will not be sorry once you start reading it.
Graeme Kernich
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent biographical account of tragedy at a young age and the journey that followed. Susan Berg recounts experience after experience in an honest and courageous way. Story telling at its finest. A must read.
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