Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder” as Want to Read:
Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  5,196 ratings  ·  676 reviews
In a book inspired by her popular TED talk, New York Times bestselling author Reshma Saujani empowers women and girls to embrace imperfection and bravery.

Imagine if you lived without the fear of not being good enough. If you didn't care how your life looked on Instagram, or worry about what total strangers thought of you. Imagine if you could let go of the guilt, and stop
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by Currency
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Brave, Not Perfect, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Alison The author drops the F bomb a couple times. So, if that bothers you or your 10 year old daughter, maybe not. However, I do plan on encouraging my 14 y…moreThe author drops the F bomb a couple times. So, if that bothers you or your 10 year old daughter, maybe not. However, I do plan on encouraging my 14 year old daughter to read it because I feel the message is very powerful. Girls and women are conditioned to be nice, perfect girls to our detriment. The language didn't bother me.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,196 ratings  ·  676 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder
Mar 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2019
Perfect for a TED talk and just a tad bit repetitive and go-get-it-ish for a book. Having read this book, though, I realised how lucky I am because I've never been told that I ought to be perfect (or ought to be something other than just happy and content, for that matter) or, that being a girl, I'm a less something.

I grew up in the family where women would have none of this “softer gender” thing (my great-grandmother travelled across the country during the WW2 on her own with six little childre
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"No more silencing or holding ourselves back or teaching our daughters to do the same it's time to stop this paradigm in its tracks."

Brave, Not Perfect by Reshma Saujani is one of the gem of the books I've come across in my lifetime. This is an authentic take against gender discrimination and sexism which is deftly baked in our culture. It is a powerful insight which redefines bravery and makes us follow our true dreams!

This amazing read written by Reshma Saujani is is divided into three parts.
Mar 20, 2019 rated it liked it
This book has something to offer women that struggle with trying to be perfect, saying no, and reaching for their goals. Unfortunately, I do think that many women fall into at least one of these categories. Many don't value themselves enough and are afraid of being judged harshly, embarrassed, or failing. Those are the women that this book attempts to reach.

I thought it was a decent book for someone that is looking for some support in moving forward out of this type of life cycle. Unfortunately
Apr 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
I have to say this book really irked me.

The premise of this book is fantastic (in theory). The author's writing and layout...horrible. Like most Liberal female non-fiction writers, the author writes women as victims. The author omitted several facts regarding women leaders, entrepreneurs and even employees moving up the corporate ladder and/or starting their own business, which is supported by studies. The author also omitted the statistics of the rise of women as head of household or MBAs.

Feb 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: real-life
I think I would've gotten a lot more out of this if I fit Saujani's definition of a perfectionist—fixed mindset, constantly worried what others think of me, a Type-A Hermione Granger. As more of a Faramir (blessed with an awesome father instead of Denethor), I didn't quite reap the full Brave, Not Perfect experience of empowerment.

Which is not to say I didn't benefit from the read. Having Saujani's concepts and assertions to push my own experiences against allowed me to more closely define how m
Agnes Roantree
May 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
This started out as an empathetic and serious talk between close friends and plunged into a clichéd ad post on insta from someone trying to profit off feminism because it sells. I feel like if this book was shorter it would've been different. ...more
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
🍂2020 Spring Tbr Cleaning 🍂
Don't want to read it.
Reread for work -- I'd recommended it as a company read and indeed, I still really like it. Could all of it come from her TED talk? Sure, but she keeps the book short, tight, and written in a really actionable way. It's a nice reminder of the power of bravery and failure in a world that demands perfection from women.

An outstanding personal development/self-help/growth book about the ways men and women are cued to behave differently. Women, so frequently, are encouraged to be perfect and when
Tara Weiss
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Good have been a blog post or a meme... didn't need a whole book. ...more
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, wellness
Reshma Saujani is the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code. I wasn’t familiar with her, her organization, or her apparently uber-popular TED talk.

Saujani is an interesting woman. I respect her willingness to be honest in this book, especially about her own (pretty big) failures. And I admire anyone who can pick herself up after a major defeat and find a way to move forward and rise above.

Her message is simple but powerful. Women are under an enormous amount of pressure to act and be perfect—physica
Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)
Thank you to NetGalley, Currency, and Reshma Saujani for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me.

- A self help business book for woman without being overly technical or dry
- She launched Girls Who Code and ran for political office
- Gives a voice to all the things that so many women experience

- Incredibly relatable
- That bravery is a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger your bravery muscle will be
- The author’s voice/writing style: professional, authori
May 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Not that great read but it holds interesting ideas!! I didn't liked or accepted all concepts in this book but they intrigued me!

Why do women tend to overthink things! Why do they tend to think about others and their feelings more than themselves!! Why do they think more about hurting other's feelings than being honest and being forward!! Is it truly how girls are raised or is it just biology!!

Women need to be brave and move forward, raise their voices and their opinions, support other women and
Jun 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
I really loved a lot about this book. What I really disliked was the extremely heavy bend on liberal idealization. The author uses her personal political heroes to deliver the message but leaves no room for the reader to disagree with her political views and enjoy the core of what she is trying to communicate.
I really, really appreciated this book.
It’s a great summary of a lot of gender and social research around women (in the workplace, at home, and in general) as well as a gentle kick in the pants to enact change in your life.

As someone who often aims for perfection, who sometimes has a hard time balancing her life, difficulty saying no (or saying yes because I’m scared to do whatever it is), among a myriad other things referenced in the text at some point in my life, I found this book valuable.
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I didn't know who Reshma was before reading this. I wasn't sure I'd like her within the first 10 pages, but I loved her honesty, passion and commitment to living her best brave life. But what I loved the most is that she was not only a strong woman, but she supported all other women. She doesn't feel the need to put others down (mainly women) to elevate herself. So I applaud that tenfold. I also liked the research she used on how different little girls are treated than little boys.

This is one o
Shari Nagy
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
All the stars for this inspirational book! I related to everything in this story, from learning to be polite and too kind, from a young age, to saying sorry when I know I shouldn’t. This is a fantastic book to give you tips on how to become the brave person you know you can be!
A big portion of this book is accepting failure and growing from it. This is something I need to work on everyday. The author gives great personal advice on how she overcame failure (she lost a big political race) and how
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
"I'd rather be caught trying than not at all."

Yes, I'm this book's demographic: A women working in tech who doubts herself constantly.

Self-help business books are hit or miss. But after reading Brave, Not Perfect I'm now realizing why they're hit or miss: Ask yourself, "Am I this book's demographic?" If the answer is no, then the book will be a miss. Just because you're working in the corporate world, doesn't mean every pseudo-psychology/business book is meant for you. Some are written specially
Sarah DiMento
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book was written by the founder of the non-profit Girls Who Code. Girls Who Code is an organization that aims at closing the gender gap in computer science job industry by piquing girls' interest in computer science at a young age and building the confidence, sisterhood, etc to pursue the career later. As a facilitator/ teacher of a Girls Who Code after school club, I'm a huge fan of the organization so I was definitely interested in reading Reshma's book.

I listened to this on audio (narrat
Melissa Hiltbrand
May 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
While I appreciate the basic premise of this book and feel like it is a critically important message for women everywhere, I’m not interested in listening to an endless rant of an agenda nor am I impressed by the amount of foul language used by the author. If you’re an educated woman, surely you can choose more intelligent language to spread your message.
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2020
It was a little too liberal feminist for me. Way more f words than I wanted (especially in a self help book). I didn’t finish it feeling inspired or feeling like I had been given tools to change. I will stick with Brene Brown for my “bravery” boost. I think they are both arguing for the same thing, Brene just says it in a way that connects with me better.
Susan Norkus
Apr 29, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was fine for about the first 1/3-1/2, after that the author continued to interject politics. I stopped reading about 1/2 way through because it became more of a political statement than a book about bravery. I'm disappointed and wouldn't recommend it. ...more
Mar 19, 2019 rated it did not like it
The author repeated herself a million times and I felt like I was reading the same page all over again. Her entire point could have been explained in way less than 200 pages.
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: self-improvement
More like a 3.5.

Let me just start by saying I really respect Girls Who Code. I'm not a girl anymore, I'm a woman (34), but if I had a Girls Who Code program in my school things might have gone a bit differently for me. Reshma illuminates a lot of problems girls face and have faced in our society growing up. The information and anecdotal evidence wasn't new to me, it was everything I've heard before and then some, before I've lived through the circumstances she admonishes throughout Brave, Not Pe
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Having multiple daughters, this book really peaked my interest. I listened to the audiobook while I was running and at times was fairly frustrated with the book. At the same time, I had to think about what was really bothering me, was it the topic? Was it the author's political view vs mine? Was it because I was thinking from a male perspective?

Within my family, there is a lot of perfectionism happening. A lot of that comes from me and my spouse having that as a personality trait. To see it comi
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not often a fan of this genre of book. However, I feel that this is the perfect time for this book to come out. It adds to the impact of many of the female-oriented movements that are taking place right now and expands on some of the less seen and often misunderstood aspects of being female.
Well written and easy to understand I believe this book is a great read for any woman, girl, or person who has either in their life. It is great for us to understand that while every female does not feel
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-growth, feminism
I really loved this book and the author's story. As a former competitive gymnast who sole purpose for 15 years was to chase perfection, letting go of that has been difficult as an adult. I found Reshma's story refreshing and inspiring and thought the tips in the back were quite helpful. My favorite part of this book was the way she approached it and the variety of examples and stories she used. This is a book for everyone - business women, moms, students etc. ...more
Libby Cotten
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I want every woman in my life to read this book. Period. We all need a reminder that the expectations we have for ourselves are usually so far from reality or what others expect of us that it makes us exhausted, depressed {choose your own ailment}. Instead of perfection, let’s all strive to be brave in a world where we’ve been taught from the beginning that we must not only succeed but also be perfect without so much as a smudge in our makeup.
Feb 22, 2019 rated it liked it
There are a lot of great takeaways from this book. The main one, something I can't get enough reminders for, is to doubt yourself less.
It was a comfortable read that backs up anecdotes with research. Although I could have done without some of the celebrity name dropping, it doesn't detract from the message.
Nikki Robbins
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I think Saujani has a very compelling message and mission and I highly respect what she’s doing for girls and our culture. This book just seems to be written for someone who has never thought about being brave or being their own person before and it doesn’t offer a lot of depth. I’d recommend this more to younger teenage girls.
Mar 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Beginning has some interesting research into gendered upbringing, and the end has some interesting ideas about how to make bravery a daily practice.

The middle gets lost in selling bravery as a concept and even takes some irrelevant (although accurate) shots at the current government.

I liked it, but it could have been half as long.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World
  • The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence
  • Everything is Figureoutable
  • Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle
  • Untamed
  • Õnneliku inimese särk : Eesti rahvajutud
  • سلام، خداحافظ
  • Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals
  • More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)
  • Wish You Were Here
  • Notes from an Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back
  • Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance
  • Victim to Victor: How to Overcome the Victim Mentality to Live the Life You Love
  • WOLFPACK: How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power, and Change the Game
  • Didn't See That Coming: Putting Life Back Together When Your World Falls Apart
  • Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Reshma Saujani is the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like and does. With their 7-week Summer Immersion Program, 2-week specialized Campus Program, after school Clubs, and a 13-book New York Times best-selling series, they are leading the movement to inspire, educate, ...more

Related Articles

  Luvvie Ajayi Jones—author, cultural critic, digital entrepreneur—might be best described as a professional truthteller. Her crazily popular...
53 likes · 0 comments
“The desire to be perfect holds us back in so many ways. We don't speak up for ourselves, as we know deep down we should, because we don't want to be seen as pushy, bitchy, or just straight-up unlikeable. When we do speak up, many of us agonize and overthink how to express ourselves, trying to hit just the right note of assertiveness without seeming too "bossy" or aggressive. We obsessively analyze, consider, discuss, and weigh every angle before making a decision, no matter how small. And if we do, heaven forbid, make a mistake, we feel as though our world is falling apart.” 7 likes
“The work here isn't to figure out why they didn't like you, or who's right and who's wrong. It's to practice being okay with the idea that there are some people who will get you and some people who won't...and that's fine.” 6 likes
More quotes…