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Brave Face

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  68 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Critically acclaimed author of We Are the Ants—described as having “hints of Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five” (School Library Journal)—opens up about what led to an attempted suicide in his teens, and his path back from the experience.

“I wasn’t depressed because I was gay. I was depressed and gay.”

Shaun David Hutchinson was nineteen. Confused. Struggling to find the vocabul
Published May 21st 2019 by Simon Pulse
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4.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  68 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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January 25th, 2019:

Wowowowowowwowowowow is this book important.

It was pretty surreal reading so in depth about Shaun's life considering he's my favorite author of all time and I can now consider him a friend.

I always have a hard time reviewing memoirs because it's someone's life, but I will say that while it is an important read, it could also me incredibly triggering. I plan to mark in this review where the specific things are mentioned in the book, soon, but just know that this goes into gre
Sam Miller
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So. F*cking. Good.
The thing I appreciate about books dealing with any challenging aspects of growing up or being a person in the world -- and in Shaun's case, being gay and having depression -- is when they don't end on a happy note, but end on the fact that being OKAY is the goal. That finding a space to be OKAY is the challenge and the work done to manage life on realistic terms. This book does that.

There are trigger warnings throughout, as this book delves into life with depression, suicide ideation and an att
May 23, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt
when amazon fucked up your preorder once again

I wanna read this more than do my thesis.

I know it shouldn't have been easy to write this book and more because is his own memoir book, so I wanna say: Thank you so much Shaun for writing. I don't have words to describe how much you have help me with your books.
Sep 20, 2018 marked it as to-read
I wanna read this more than do my thesis.

I know it shouldn't have been easy to write this book and more because is his own memoir book, so I wanna say: Thank you so much Shaun for writing. I don't have words to describe how much you have help me with your books.


O M G!



I don't even have words to express how I feel...

Dear Shaun David:
Caleb Roehrig
😭💔😭❤😭💔😭❤😭 ...more
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don’t really know how to write a review for a memoir other to say it was a lot of things very important for me to hear. I grew up in a younger generation, one who had more access to the internet, to media and in general gay content. I cried when he described his feelings while going to see Beautiful Thing, the fear the worry he would be seen by someone he knows as I experienced the same thing with Love, Simon. I ached as he described suicidal ideation and self harm, because I’ve been there too ...more
Sabrien Abdelrahman
Nov 05, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: most-wanted
I needed this book yesterday. Shaun David Hutchinson is definitely one of my favorite authors and this must have been extremely difficult to write. I just. . . I'm so grateful that he's sharing his experience with us and I can't. . .
Eliza Rapsodia
Sep 20, 2018 marked it as wishlist




May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A resounding message of IT GETS BETTER. I so appreciate Shaun sharing his experiences.
Feb 07, 2019 marked it as to-read
"I wasn't depressed because I was gay. I was depressed and gay."

I don't know what about you guys, but that quote gave me goosebumps.
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, favorites
I read this book in one day and I haven't stopped crying. Everyone please please please read this book.
Phil Stamper
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I want to say "full review to come" but ... I'm not sure how to put my feelings for this into words. And I'm an author.

It's so beautiful, so honest, and this book is so necessary. <3
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
Thank you to Simon and Schuster and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an ARC of this book. I have read and admired much of Shaun David Hutchinson’s fiction. This memoir was everything I expected it to be: raw, real, and compelling. Despite the difficulty of the subject matter, the author has such a compelling and honest voice that the book was hard to put down (I read it in a day). I was particularly struck by the frankness with which Mr. Hutchinson speaks about his experiences with depressi ...more
Parker Jensen
Jul 10, 2018 marked it as to-read
This book is going to be so powerful and beautiful. I cannot wait.
Jan 16, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer
i love shaun so much.
Roof Beam Reader (Adam)
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
As Mary Poppins so aptly said, "practically perfect in every way."

More thoughts to come on the blog? Maybe...
The Artisan Geek
I can't wait to read this one!
Emily Knosher
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could go back in time and give high school Shaun David Hutchinson a hug. I love love loved this memoir. Even while reading Shaun David Hutchinson's fiction it feels deeply personal, so the experience reading his memoir was next-level personal. His willingness to share so much about his experiences for the purpose of helping others is admirable and I'm glad for it. Also I know I'm technically not supposed to quote because it's an ARC but some are just so good so I'm gonna put them in thi ...more
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book gutted me. Shaun came of age just on the fringes of the digital age, when LGBTQ+ folks lacked any positive representation in media, were still expected to hide themselves if they wanted to serve their country, and had no legal protections for their relationships. He was discovering he was gay in a time when he had no way envision what that might mean for him-- and no way of looking at his future that gave him any hope. He also struggled with depression throughout his adolescence-- and ...more
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Received Advance Reading Copy Through NetGalley:

I don’t read a lot of nonfiction -and I read a lot fewer autobiographies, but this one is a definite standout piece for me. It might be one of the most personally meaningful and impactful pieces of nonfiction that I’ve ever read.

Hutchinson grew up in Florida at a time when being gay was actively denigrated in laws and policies like the Defense of Marriage Act or Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Moreover, there was actual violence being committed against indiv
Van (Short & Sweet Reviews)
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Disclosure: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

4 1/2 stars.

I’ve never been a fan of non-fiction, and a lesser fan of biographies. But my goal this year was to expand my reading and read books out of my comfort zone. So, when Brave Face was offered for review, I thought, what perfect timing! Brave Face is a memoir written by popular Young Adult author, Shawn Hutchinson who mainly pens contemporaries. Those of which I haven’t had the pleasure of reading…yet
Review originally published on my blog,Books and Big Ideas. Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Netgalley.

I've really enjoyed Shaun David Hutchinson's books We are the Ants and The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried, and hope to read more in the future. After I read We Are the Ants a couple of years ago, I watched his keynote speech where he touches on his past with depression and suicide (and rewatching that now, a lot of those stor
Amanda Shepard (Between-the-Shelves)
Read my full review at!

Thanks to Net Galley and Simon & Schuster for an advanced copy of this to review. Shaun David Hutchinson is one of my favorite authors, and I was so excited to read his memoir. I had the chance to review The Past and Other Things that Should Stay Buried earlier this year, and Hutchinson has had a great year so far.

At the core, Hutchinson's memoir is heartbreaking, peppered with his constant thoughts of not being good enough. Overall, his memoir
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was loaned this book by Simon and Schuster by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wow. I was impressed by this memoir, from its sensitive handling of difficult subjects, its frankness, its nostalgia, and how many times I felt seen. As a composition instructor, I like to have books on hand that tangentially relate to the theme of the class or just for my students to peruse. This will be one of them. I’m already working out a way to get my students to read this, even if I don’t work in
Thank you to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing for the advance reader copy Brave Face by awesome diverse author, Shaun David Hutchinson, in exchange for an honest review. I could not put down this book; this memoir was searing; Shaun suffered so much as a teen and young adult because he did not have enough faith in himself as a guy who realizes he is gay and how to handle being gay as a teen, son, and friend. Shaun takes the reader through his self-hatred, his preconceived n ...more
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have loved every single SDH book that I've read. His characters are strikingly intimate portraits that jump off the page with stunning realism. After absorbing his memoir, I now understand why. They're him. Between his struggles with coming out in the gay-hating 90s to his battles with mental illness, SDH takes the raw and unpleasant parts of his youth and lays them bare on the page like a wound. He takes the concept of "it gets better" and smacks it with a dose of "yeah, eventually, and in ph ...more
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The first Shaun David Hutchinson book I read was The Death Day Letter and I wasn’t the biggest fan. Fast forward to 2017 I read We Are the Ants off Riveted for free and it blew my mind. I loved it! And then I read another and another and when I saw that I’d been approved for an advanced copy of Brave Face I couldn’t read anything else until I finished this.
I’m glad that the beginning started with a warning of the contents seeing as the contents cover some heavy topics. He also said it’s ok to t
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs, ebooks, non-fiction
I got this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have greatly enjoyed every one of Shaun David Hutchinson's books that I have read so far and am sure that I will enjoy the ones that I haven't, once I get to them. So, I was very happy to read his memoir.

This was not always an easy book to read, but I see it as a really important one. It is unflinchingly honest and talks about some really important topics.

I think that this is an important book for people to read. I am really gl
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Shaun is a major geek and all about nerdy shenanigans. He is the author of many queer books for young adults. Find out more information at He currently lives in Seattle and watches way too much Doctor Who.
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