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

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3.86  ·  Rating details ·  3,089 ratings  ·  422 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
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Hardcover, 208 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by Currency
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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)

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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  3,089 ratings  ·  422 reviews


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Netta
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
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MANVI NARANG
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.
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Morgan
May 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was so excited to read this book when I initially got it. The title hooked me, and the summary was right up my ally. This book was a spectacular disappointment and I'm so sad. First things first this book claims to talk about how young women are trained to be perfect and not brave-it does that- but it does so without addressing socioeconomic status, race, and a myriad of other issues that impact the ways in which the desire to be perfect manifests. For example-as a black women I already know ...more
Kristie
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.
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Kim
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
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Naomi
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.

This
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Kelly
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
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Agnes
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.
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.
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.

Like:
- 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

Love:
- 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,
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Asma
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
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Lorilin
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wellness, arc
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—
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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
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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
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Donna
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
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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.
Jennifer
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.
Heart1lly
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
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MundiNova
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
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Anne-Marie
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.
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Michael
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
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Tash
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
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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.
Lauren
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.
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.
Sarah
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audible
Highly recommend! Perfectionism is insidious for woman in our society and the author provides real life examples to illustrate as well as shares simple strategies to become more brave in areas that are meaningful to you. Great gift for young woman!
Jason M Waltz
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nf-advice
Watch the TED talk, skip the book.
Terrific premise, I embrace the concept, the desire, the message. This is an obviously overly padded book that works harder at hitting 180 pages than it does making its point. Well, I mean, it works so hard at both it repeats its point over and over and over. Like a high school term paper, it shuffles words around yet says the same thing, even on the same page, alternating with cliches. And when it's not doing that, it's citing every Democratic slice-of-life
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Pretty Little Bibliophile
Brave, Not Perfect was a fundamental read that I picked up and it surely was an impactful one. It talks about the unexplainable need for perfectionism, which is prevalent in all of us, albeit a bit more obsessively in girls.
The need to be perfect hounds us all and it is also cause for validation – not being the best one, or the perfect one, is cause enough to lower our self-esteems and self-confidence; as if not being the best one immediately implies that you are the worst.
This also makes sure
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Meredith
Sep 08, 2019 marked it as abandoned
While I'm a little cautious about some of these enthusiastic go-girl books, I thought I would give this one a try since the person who wrote it started Girls Who Code, and I thought it would be fun to read a book like this by a writer from a more technical field/background (instead of from the more general "business" perspective). However, it turns out the author just started Girls Who Code when she was running for political office and noticed there weren't as many girls in STEM classrooms - but ...more
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
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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
“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.” 3 likes
“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.” 2 likes
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