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Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning
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Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,883 ratings  ·  346 reviews
Leslie Odom. Jr, burst on the scene in 2015, originating the role of Aaron Burr in the Broadway musical phenomenon Hamilton. Since then, he has performed for sold-out audiences, sung for the Obamas at the White House, and won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. But before he landed the role of a lifetime in one of the biggest musicals of all time, Odom put in ...more
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published March 27th 2018 by Feiwel & Friends
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Darlita Young I had the exact same concern (and love for the author). I just finished the book today. Go ahead and read it! You learn about his journey, which was…moreI had the exact same concern (and love for the author). I just finished the book today. Go ahead and read it! You learn about his journey, which was intriguing. (less)
Meghan It is listed on audible with an April 10th release date.

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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  1,883 ratings  ·  346 reviews

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Leona  Carstairs
Mar 11, 2018 marked it as to-read
Holy shittt, Leslie's written a book?? It's coming out this March??? HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS SOONER. I'm dying to read this.....I need this.....I want this with my whole being. Ya'll don't know how much I love Leslie Odom Jr.

Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“How do you figure out what it is that you’re really meant to do in this life? How do you find your point of entry? How do you begin?”

I asked myself these questions the day before I started reading this book. To say that Leslie Odom Jr’s book is timely for me would be a massive understatement. I’m 24, 25 in a few months, meaning I should have my life figured out by now, right?!

No, I shouldn’t. That pained me to write, but it’s TRUE.

Leslie Odom Jr’s advice to simply try has made things easier f
Lucy of House Rojas
Sep 28, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: checked
can you see the aim higher?
can you see the leslie odom jr?
can you see the "anyone can shoot, but not everybody can aim"?
can you see me crying because i miss jesper fahey so much and leslie reminds me of him?
this book will be the death to me because i love my sassy black boy with a perfect smile
i'll have to wait for it...

Scene: you’re cordoned off backstage with hundreds of people. The dressing rooms are all in use by people who need them; the green room is only so big and everyone is chatty. You’re glad you brought a book because there’s well over an hour of downtime between call and curtain for the Fourth of July spectacular you’re participating in. You’ve found a corner of the Shop where there’s a flight of stairs. You don’t sit because they’re dusty and you’re in all black, so you just lean on the inside par ...more
Laura Lou
I absolutely adore Leslie Odom Jr. I’m a huge Hamilton fan but have also liked his other work. I was so excited for this book but found myself devastated at how portly executed this book was. My favorite genre of book is memoir and this is not really it. It’s more bland mantra for success with short anecdotes.

I wish I could share a picture of this book. Every other page had a quote from the book blown up with some words in all caps. It reminded me of a magazine article but it happened in the wh
Kate Henderson
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely adored this!!!!!! Listened via audible and Leslie was the narrator which made this book even better!!

Been a huge fan of Leslie Odom Jr for a very long time and now I have even more respect for this amazing performer. Incredibly honest and insightful book! Just wish it was longer!! I want more!!!
Valerie Sherman
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. As brilliant as Mr. Odom is, he should have hired a ghost writer, or at least a better editor, who could have sewn together his narrative and advice in a more cohesive, readable way. I would have also liked him to dive deeper into the race issues that he glances over.
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-favorites
You know when you start smiling while reading the first couple of pages of a book and you never stop smiling.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
You may know Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr on the original Hamilton cast. He’s an amazing singer and actor, and now author! I listened this this on audio, and chose it because it was short (less than 4 hours), and I absolutely adore his voice.

The book primarily focused on how he navigated his professional life as an artist and he shares some valuable advice along the way. The main message is that failing helps you learn and grow and not to be afraid of it. Also to go for what you want and be you
Kasa Cotugno
The intended target for this memoir is a showbiz hopeful facing the challenges built into the nature of their dreams. Leslie Odom Jr. is generous with his remembrances and advice, addressing the reader directly, sharing not only his biographical details, but also the roles mentors have played in his eventual success. His willingness to listen, to use that advice constructively, helped him to make the wise choices that have resulted in his success. As read in his beautiful voice, this audible ver ...more
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-release
Leslie is a phenomenal writer. There was so many inspirational quotes, and his wisdom shines through his work.
Jul 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to Cathleen by: PCHH
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
I began in expectation, soon experienced disappointment, found several gems of insight and resonance, and finished with a bit of a shoulder shrug.

I'm far from a creative. In fact, you would classify me much more easily as a Burr than a Hamilton: someone who believes in doing all the homework, reducing risk by way of reconnaissance and preparation, and trusting that in the long run hard work will be rewarded - or at very least be its own reward. I've navigated enough years that I don't really nee
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tops
This book is definitely worth the time and read!! Whether you are on a bonafide path to success or stuck on the “couch...” this book is FOR YOU! It will light your path, it will brighten your day and in the end you’ll want to give it a replay just like the brilliant author’s self titled album... ALSO AMAZING!!!

So many gems, I can’t wait to read it once more 💚💚💚
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 stars.

this book, while not perfect, came to me at a perfect time, because i have always struggled with wanting to take risks and am afraid of failing, so having this book reassured me in a way.
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Where do I begin? Do you have a dream? Every dream requires a lot of moxie to bring it to pass. Leslie Odom, Jr. does an absolutely beautiful job of sharing his journey to make his dreams come true. His transparency and deep abiding love for his craft come through in every word.

I have this inspirational journal that I read each day as I work on bringing my own writing dreams to pass. I filled more than half of it up with his words of wisdom.

Leslie's life is proof that if you believe in yourself
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Failing Up by Leslie Odom Jr felt like talking to an old friend. It was a quick and easy read, but it still landed a powerful punch. Throughout the book you are taken through the highs and lows of the man the world now knows for his portrayal of Aaron Burr. We all know that making it in the entertainment industry isn't easy and everyone journey has bumps in the road, but Leslie Odom Jr shows that with enough perseverance and support from those around us, even the toughest of obstacles can be tac ...more
Apr 28, 2018 rated it liked it
A beautiful & memorable evening hearing the incredible Leslie Odom, Jr. speak and sing - and this book was a lovely souvenir from the event and I enjoyed reading his story.
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It was very well written and easy to read.
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a positive and uplifting gem of a book. I'm happy to see Odom has found his voice not only on stage but also in his writing.
The ups and downs that led him to Hamilton. Wish there were pictures.
Mar 29, 2018 marked it as to-read
i just saw leslie speak on his book tour and it was pretty awesome! i wasn't able to get a copy of the book yet, but i will eventually.
i love that his love of broadway stemmed from rent :)
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was written to inspire young creative types as a commencement speech would. This book has been a shining light of a reminder: you can acheive what you work for. And it is incredibly effective.

I am so glad I got to see him as Burr.
ryn 🌸
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
this was everything I needed 💛
Margaret Robbins
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh my heart! It's so very fitting that this book survived me walking through a torrential rain downpour from Agnes Scott College all the way back to the Decatur public lot across from Java Monkey, and without an umbrella! The front cover is only very slightly crinkled, but it's in almost mint perfect condition. It's lucky that I wore a polyester shirt that day. :) But nonetheless, this book is about being a creative soul and a survivor of the harsh rejection that inevitably hits upon anyone who ...more
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Oh sir, if only the life experiences you had that lead you to writing this book would have happened to you sooner. Having this book in my life around the time I was considering college would have drastically changed my life. As it stands, I must take these lessons to heart at a different stage in my life...but realize that it is never too late to begin again. Loved the lessons, the application, and seeing the awesomeness of embracing who you are, through your eyes. If you other right another boo ...more
erin hearon
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inspiring, as always!

I can’t decide where to begin...this book is eloquently written in such a way that it matches the message I try to deliver to my kids everyday. I have been a fan of this man since 2009 and he inspires me and my daughter in everything he does.

Read the book, use it when you can’t form the words to inspire your kids to chase their dreams. Stay Woke, and #trustthejourney.
I think Leslie Odom Jr. is so cool. When I got to see him through a local bookstore event a few months back, receiving this book in the process, he was amazing. He was charming and humble and smart and funny, and blew the entire room away when he sang a few songs to close out his time with us.

It took me a little bit to get around to reading the book finally (I always take longer to read books I own, no matter how eager or excited I am to get a copy in my hands), and - although he touched on a l
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Failure is necessary and cannot be spoken upon enough. The greatness of any artist is a resilience of spirit, through which dreams are chased, despite rejections.

I knew this would be 5 stars after 20 pages. At 30 pages, I started crying. The thing was I knew Leslie would have some great things to say in a wise, eloquent way and he’s a great inspiration of mine, so I naturally wanted to pick up the book... but little did I know how deeply and personally his story would touch mine. I saw myself i
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a book!

When I picked up this book, I didn't know it was going to bring me closer to what I want most from the world. I had no idea that my heart would find a soft spot for Leslie Odom Jr. as a mentor who doesn't know me. When I picked up this book, I was not expecting to feel the kind of hope that I feel as I type this review.

It's hard to explain this book in logical terms. There's a lot of feeling that goes with it that would be lost in logical breakdowns of the books. Of course, the book
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a nice, positive, inspirational little read. It has such a great message. This book isn't all about Hamilton (as maybe one would think) but instead his journey to where he is now. He talks about his familial ties, friends, mentors and how they had a hand in everything. He talks about his failures and struggles and encourages the reader to allow himself to fail - that we need more failure to learn and grow. In fact, to purposely try and fail, but you have to try. That message was very resoun ...more
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