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

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  686 ratings  ·  126 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…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
3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  686 ratings  ·  126 reviews

Sort order
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
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
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 something can't be done in such a way, they shouldn't bother trying. That leads, then, to not trying new things or developing their bravery muscle. Saujani offers up some of the ways that bravery can be practiced and integrated and how to break away from those preconceived ideas of perfection.

Short, succinct, and doesn'
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
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
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
"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
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
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.
Donna Hines
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Where along the way did we trade in our confidence and courage for approval and acceptance? And why?"
The girls are taught from a young age to be nice, pretty, be a young lady who is soft and perfect.
You're not allowed to speak out against injustice, you're not allowed to tell your truths, you're not allowed to be aggressive and fight for what you believe in.
"Fighting with the world" is how I was always labeled because as a young girl with three brothers I had to 'fight' for everything including
Jonathan Carter
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: The publisher has given me an E-ARC of the book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More, Live Bolder is a book every person needs in their life. Especially girls and women. The book discusses how you'll never be able to do a thing without being courageous. It's about taking chances, failing, and learning from those failures.

Reshma Saujani really did an impressive job in being an inspiration. Even myself, a guy, learned so much from a
Purva Deshpande
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I'd give it a 3.5 stars. Although I couldn't relate with all of the emotions/experiences in the book, I
did find myself exclaiming "Exactly!" or "OMG this is so me!" quite a few times as I was reading the book. It does a great job of pointing out the many small (and big) ways in which we women tend to beat ourselves up over insignificant things and also gives some good pointers for "building the bravery muscles".
The style of writing is quite informal and the addition of people's experiences/sto
Saujani ran for Congress and lost. It was the first major failure of her life. And after she picked herself up, mourned and recovery she realized that it was a gift, an opportunity to change directions and a moment that not many women allow themselves to face. She started Girls Who Code and she wants to make resilience and bravery a foundation of girls lives.

Why I started this book: I am always looking for books and reminders to be BRAVE.

Why I finished it: Short and sweet, this is a great remind
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good helpful book if your looking to break out of the cycle of how you were raised, breaking out of believing you aren’t good enough, that you have to be perfect. There are some good tips here, I found it a bit repetitive at times, but it has good sound helpful ideas. Sometimes a bit simplistic but I did find it helpful, a good starting point to jump off into further reading

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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.
Sarah Holton
This book called me out in a lot of ways and I will be thinking on it for a while.

I did have a quibble with one part where it felt pretty victim blaming when talking about the Aziz Ansari Me Too thing. I get what she was trying to say but it didn’t come off quite right. Though honestly I’m not sure how to have it come off better. I wouldn’t let this put you off of reading it though.
Nikki Betzler
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 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
A book that I will pick up over and over, to refresh and remind myself to be #BraveNotPerfect
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.
More reviews and book-ish content @ Club Book Mobile & Andrea RBK

Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder by Reshma Saujani was a book that I just needed in my life. It was a beautiful reflection on the realities of how our own aspirations can get in the way. This book focuses on reframing/eliminating perfectionist thinking. Rather than expecting that we have to have flawless execution, she really stresses that there is power and joy in learning in the journey. She talks abo
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A must read for anyone interested in culture and gender studies! Highly recommend.
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-to-read
Note that I read a copy of an uncorrected proof so the actual book may be different. I also have watched Reshma Saujani's TED talk and I felt like this book was an extension of the talk. There weren't new points for me, but then I've been reading books on topics like these for quite some time. I think women who need that push of encouragement would like this book. The only thing I found kind conflating Hillary Clinton with Barack Obama. You can't compare a woman and man without ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it
I have watched Reshma Saujani's TED talk and I feel this book is an extension of the talk. Both are such an inspiration for women who feel stuck in the loop of disappointments and tries to get everything done perfectly. I feel it is a little bit too long and I was puzzled about some examples that Reshma Saujani mentioned in the book. Overall it’s a good book and the author’s credentials add value to every word in it.
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Girls are raised to be perfect and boys are raised to be brave. 

Brave, Not Perfect is exactly what it appears to be - an extension of Reshma Saujani's motivational TED Talk. The message she sends in both the talk and the book is clear, and it's a message that sends chills up your spine when you realize how true it is. She states, "Most girls are taught to avoid risk and failure. We’re taught to smile pretty, play it safe, get all A’s. Boys, on the other hand, are taught to play rough, swing high
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a fantastic book! 4.5 stars.

Reshma Saujani's TED talk was recommended to me by several colleagues at work, so when I saw the book, I knew a little about its premise. I have two boys, and yet, I am a girl :) So it was quite interesting reading this book with both my mom filter on and as a woman myself. I've already recommended it to all the parents I know, because so much of this book is about highlighting behavior that exists in a way that feels indoctrinated. Things we don't do consciously
Faizah Aulia R
as girls, We want to be perfect before we even try.

awalnya kufollow Reshma duluan sbg founder Girls Who Code, karena kusukak sekali dengan ide dia untuk nge up girls coders, BECAUSE WHY NOT GIRLS AS CODER ? HEHEH

eh ternyata doi udah pernah ada di TEDTalk dengan ngangkat topik yang sama dan akhirnya menulis buku dengan tema yang sama, yaitu buku inii yeaaa *garing

So far banyak dijelaskan kenapa rerata kita ciwi ciwi banyak yang berguguran sbg technician padahal pas di kelas sekolah dulu jauh le
Christine Hill
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this book. I decided to review it because I like the book, but I also think there's a lot of value in it.

Quick Summary: Reshma Saujani asserts that we are raising boys to be brave and girls to be perfect. This means boys are more likely to take risks than girls. By pointing at ways in which girls hold back in their quest for perfection, Saujani suggests ways we can help girls and women shift from a quest for perfection to a quest to be brave.

I’m not a scientist, however
Feb 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Not familiar with her TED Talk but thought it would be a good read and maybe a good message to hear again, even if it's not new or unfamiliar. Sometimes you see those oh so perfect pictures on Instagram or other social media or when you catch up with an old high school classmate and you see it seems they've got everything while you're struggling to stay afloat. You've got to be perfect, right? You have to act a certain way, you need to speak a certain way, dress a certain way, etc.

Nah. Instead,
« 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 »
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
  • I Feel You: The Surprising Power of Extreme Empathy
  • Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle
  • Shouting at the Rain
  • Beta: Quiet Girls Can Run the World: There is more than one way to be the boss
  • The Rough Patch: Marriage and the Art of Living Together
  • Alek: From Sudanese Refugee to International Supermodel
  • Trip of the Tongue: Cross-Country Travels in Search of America's Languages
  • Let's Go Swimming on Doomsday
  • Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement
  • The Accidental Connoisseur: An Irreverent Journey Through the Wine World
  • Ten Steps to Nanette
  • No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work
  • Healing Children: A Surgeon's Stories from the Frontiers of Pediatric Medicine
  • Making the Impossible Possible: One Man's Blueprint for Unlocking Your Hidden Potential and Achieving the Extraordinary
  • The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate
  • Story of My Life: The Autobiography of George Sand
  • The Strength Switch: How the New Science of Strength-Based Parenting Can Help Your Child and Your Teen to Flourish
  • Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World
“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.” 2 likes
“I'm not alone in having spent my adult life only pursuing positions or projects I knew I'd ace. So many women stick to doing only the things at which they excel, rarely going beyond what makes them feel confident and comfortable.” 1 likes
More quotes…