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Fierce: How Competing for Myself Changed Everything

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  2,252 ratings  ·  270 reviews
The New York Times bestseller!

Discover Aly Raisman's inspiring story of dedication, perseverance, and learning to think positive even in the toughest times on her path to gold medal success in two Olympic Games--and beyond.

Aly Raisman first stepped onto a gymnastics mat as a toddler in a "mommy & me" gymnastics class. No one could have predicted then that sixteen
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published November 14th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Jordyn Adding on to what Megan said, no, you do not. Aly makes sure to explain every aspect of gymnastics, and all the tricks she is talking about.
Abigail She mentions it briefly and talks about her realization that when she had been busy trying to make it to the Olympics, someone took advantage of her,…moreShe mentions it briefly and talks about her realization that when she had been busy trying to make it to the Olympics, someone took advantage of her, and she had never realized that what was happening wasn't normal because it happened to everyone else too. I would also like to mention that it doesn't mention any specifics of what happened or anything that would be overwhelmingly uncomfortable or unsettling for the reader. (less)

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Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports, memoir
This memoir answered a question that I have asked myself for a long time: How does an athlete become an Olympian?

Most of us watch the Olympic Games, but what we dont always see is the behind-the-scenes. How does one athlete get picked above the others to compete and why? After all, they dont magically appear at the event.

US gymnast Aly Raisman brings us back to the beginning, before she was selected to be part of the 2012 and 2016 Olympic teams. She talks about her dream of becoming an Olympian
Lauren Hopkins
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is definitely the best gymnastics memoir that has come out from gymnasts who have competed in the past 20 or so years. I was looking forward to reading this the second I heard it was coming out, and when I found out my friend and BRILLIANT gymnastics writer Blythe Lawrence was ghostwriting, I was sold. I very rarely read gymnastics memoirs anymore because they're nothing more than glorified wikipedia entries with terribly incorrect gymnastics references (in Gabby's book, her ghostwriter had ...more
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Aly Raisman is the coolest, okay, and when I saw this at Target, I decided to put all the other books I'm reading aside and binge read this. 🤷♀. ...more
Faith M:)
I have very very mixed feelings on this book. DNF at 70%.


Romance- None
Bad language- Clean for the most part
Violence- None

Content- ok ... here's where I struggle.

Aly was s*xually abused by a terrible doctor. Mentions of this, and to stay cautious! This made me uncomfortable, but is an important part of her story. Several other mentions of s*x throughout the book.

Ok, so this next part is what REALLY threw me over the edge. Aly speaks about doing a n*ked photoshoot for a magazine
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gymnastics, memoir
I always rate books on a sliding scale relative to their genre (or sub-genre, in this case), and this is definitely as good as it gets for gymnastics biographies, particularly from a gymnast without the perspective that years of retirement bring. Aly leans less heavily on a ghostwriter than other gymnasts, relying instead on journals she kept while growing up. With ghostwritten books you get platitudes about how training was hard or descriptions that betray a clear lack of knowledge of how ...more
Nikki Boisture
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Many athlete biographies, particularly those of young Olympians, are bogged down in empty platitudes about working hard and dreaming big. Not so with Aly Raismans, one of the best sports bios to come out in a long while.

While Aly does spend time taking us chronologically through her grueling schedule, and extolling the virtues of hard work, Fierce is much more than that. Days before this book was released, Aly admitted publicly that she was one of the sexual abuse victims at the hands of Larry
Chrys Fey
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book was really good. 🏅So well written that it felt as though Aly was sitting across from me telling me all about her life. Ive always wanted to know more about what it took these amazing athletes to get to the Olympics. Shes wise and yet funny. I even appreciated her description about her diet. And I loved reliving the moments I remembered seeing while watching the Olympics. I give her 5 gold medals for this book! 🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇 ...more
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-read, memoir
I read a fair amount of memoirs (This is the 20th book I've shelved under that tag and probably more out there that I've read and haven't logged). I make it a point not to read books that are rushed into publication to capitalize on the subject's current 15 minutes of fame, as they tend to be heavily ghostwritten and offer a series of platitudes and flimsy introspections. Sometimes the details of the subject's life aren't even correct (like, seriously ghostwritter, just do a quick google search ...more
Rae (RaeAnn)
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this memoir!

Let me preface this review by saying that I've been watching women's gymnastics since I was very little and still continue to love it. Aly Raisman has been a favorite of mine and this book just reaffirms that for me.

For anyone who has wondered how much work goes into becoming an Olympian, this book will tell you. It starts off by Aly recounting her early days of mommy and me gymnastics classes and how her love for gymnastics started.

Even from early on, Aly admits
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very good book had very good information
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As far as gymnast memoirs go, this is definitely one of the best. I think this is because by the time Aly wrote this book, she had a very important thing: perspective. Aly could have written a much lighter book after her first olympics and I'm sure it would have been a hit then. But to wait write her book after her second olympics and maturing not only as a gymnast and a woman made it so much better. She thoughtfully describes how she was "always fourth" and also did an excellent job with the ...more
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, amazon, memoir
The wisdom this young woman has achieved in her life! I was amazed. I felt like I was reading a much older person's life experiences. And this was so different for me having the upper hand on history and already knowing how she does in the Olympics, yet I found myself nervous and crying with excitement as she went through what emotions and such she went through experiencing it.

I dreaded the sexual assault parts but she was very encouraging to others about her own experience and gave great
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much more than I expected. Whenever the Olympics are on, I love watching and following the stories of the competing athletes, but until I read Fierce, I never truly knew what it meant to make it to the Olympics.

Aly Raismans writing is so honest that I had a hard time putting her book down. I really was shocked by the sacrifices she and other athletes had to make in order to compete on the Olympic stage. It also gave me great insight into the sport of gymnastics and a much
An amazing look at what Aly Raisman went through during her Olympic career. I especially loved the author's note at the end of the book. She also talks about her experience with the abuse from the Larry Nassar. She reminds us to be true to who we are and not to let anyone tell us how to be ourselves.
A very good read.
Apr 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars - Ive always loved womens gymnastics and it was fun learning about how Aly was able to train for two Olympic Games and the hardships she faced along the way. I did not care for the voice of the woman who recorded the audible, so that made it slightly tough. ...more
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading Aly's story. What a remarkable and compassionate young woman. I'm so happy she was able to make a comeback that was even better than her first time! And I love the messages she's spreading.
Shelby Lynne
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gymnastics memoirs are my guilty pleasure reading, but Aly took the genre to a new level. The book is geared toward younger readers (as most of these memoirs are), but her insights are valuable for all ages, and I could tell she poured a lot of time, effort, and heart into these pages. Maybe it's silly to be proud of someone I've never met, but I'm extremely proud of Aly. And more than that, she's someone I admire. 4.5 stars.
Logan Hughes
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Aly Raisman seems like a good person, and her book is a wholesome sports autobiography I would have no problem recommending to a preteens and above. Ghostwriting by Blythe Lawrence, informed by Aly's journals, is well-done, readable and suspenseful, and Aly's voice seems to come through (obviously I don't know her personally, but she has personality in this book). She describes the discipline, persistence, and grit required to meet the mental and physical and demands of Olympic training, ...more
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fierce: How Competeing for Myself Changed Everything by Aly Raisman is a well-written, emotional, and inspiring book. It tells about Alys success and how she made her way to the Olympics. Her love for gymnastics started when she was only a year at a half old at mommy-and-me class. When she got older, she and her mom watched tapes of gymnasts at their house, which started Alys dream of wanting to compete in the Olympics. She had to overcome many obstacles and along the way, she learned more about ...more
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

I know Aly didn't actually write this book, but I still really enjoyed it. Gymnastics is the one sport that I will happily watch on television, and some of the competitions she talked about in the book were ones I watched on TV in years past. It was also interesting to hear about the real life of an elite gymnast, as well as a small peek behind the scenes of DWTS, Tour of Champions and more.

She is still young, but there is much to be admired in her strength, hard work and
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love Aly, I love gymnastics, and I loved reading this book. The work she put in to make it to TWO Olympics and medal multiple times at both was absolutely awe inspiring and incredible. That she could mentally prepare for Rio while coming to grips with identifying as a survivor of sexual abuse is heartbreaking. She is fierce. She is brave. I was astounded to learn that she didn't see a proper sports nutritionist until right before her second Olympics, despite being elite for so long and a ...more
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Check out my full review at: https://thereadingsofanenglishteacher...

I just finished reading Aly Raisman's Fierce: How Competing For Myself Changed Everything. Aly Raisman is now one of the most decorated US Olympic gymnasts, first American gymnast to win a gold medal in the floor exercise, and finalist on Dancing with the Stars. While it's interesting to read all about her achievements and these amazing accomplishments, what readers really want to know is how she got to that point?

How do you go
Hannah DG
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fierce is a thoughtful, detailed account of Aly Raisman's journey to Olympic success and beyond. From Aly's hilariously juicy accounts of memorable moments with family, friends, teammates, and coaches along her gymnastics journey, to her honest and important advice about how to make the sport better for future girls, Fierce feels complete in a way many young adult memoirs do not. Each chapter is well-crafted, with nothing left unsaid. Aly's decision to string together both her original rise to ...more
Kyrie Papenfuss
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
Any Olympic medalist is super impressive, although I was actually less impressed reading this. It seemed to lack humility - I do admire her confidence in speaking out against Nassar and USAG - but she came off as braggy/ privileged. When your parents can afford the top gymnastics coaches in the nation from the time you can start walking....
I dont know. Still impressive, but I was hoping to read more about her struggles instead of her chats with Justin Bieber and Joe Jonas. I guess just because
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book made me feel like I was best friends with Aly. Her voice and candor are endearing and it was so interesting to learn about her journey as such a successful Olympic gymnast! I love that she is an advocate for women and girls to love their bodies, to speak out about abuse, to be kind to others, to work twice as hard as everyone else and to never give up. I wholeheartedly recommend it!
Jo Oehrlein
Jan 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sports
The story of Aly from when she began taking gymnastics through her 2nd Olympics.

It really emphasized how important good nutritional advice is (and that US Gymnastics/the national team doesn't provide nutritional advice -- other than one instance where she got in trouble for getting a slice of pizza off a buffet).

It did give some non-specific info on interactions with Larry Nasser and encourage people who have been abused to get help.

She also talked about working through self-doubt. It made me
Susan Bazzett-Griffith
A fairly typical, if maybe a bit better than average, gymnastics memoir by Aly Raisman, I enjoyed Fierce. Recommended only for gymnastics fans who enjoy the stories of the athletes we've watched over the years. This one was slightly more timely than most that I've read, touching briefly (but not specifically) on the Larry Nasaar scandals. Has been an interesting year to watch the teams that Aly was a part of come to terms with what has happened to them over the years. I wish them healing, peace ...more
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
A wholesome sports autobiography that I thoroughly enjoyed. Aly Raisman is a great idol for many young women - shes very compassionate, determined, and encouraging & it comes through in her writing.
Her book really made me love her even more!
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Through Aly's writing, I was able to feel the sense of determination she had and continues to have throughout her career. I gained interest learning about the making of an olympian athlete and have a better of understanding of who Aly Raisman is as a person.
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Aly Seems like a remarkable woman with a very good head on her shoulders. She worked so hard to accomplish what she has and I really enjoyed reading about her friendships with the other girls and seeing everything that has to be sacrificed to make it as far as she did. Wonderful role model for young kids.
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Alexandra Rose "Aly" Raisman (born May 25, 1994) is an American gymnast and two-time Olympian. She was a member and captain of both the 2012 "Fierce Five" and 2016 "Final Five" U.S. women's Olympic gymnastics which won their respective team competitions.

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