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4.42  ·  Rating details ·  1,319 ratings  ·  211 reviews
"Renaissance runner" (New York Times) Alexi Pappas--Olympic athlete, actress, filmmaker and writer--shares what she's learned about confidence, self-reliance, mental health, embracing pain, and achieving your dreams in this revealing and inspiring memoir-in-essays.

run like a bravey
sleep like a baby
dream like a crazy
replace can't with maybe

When Alexi Pappas was four years
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published January 12th 2021
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Average rating 4.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,319 ratings  ·  211 reviews

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Jessica | JustReadingJess
I loved the honesty and emotion in Bravey. Pappas discusses her struggles with depression in an open way that is easy to relate to. She shows that even someone that appears to have everything going for her still struggles. Pappas inspires readers to chase their dreams and not to let anything get them down. Pappas describes her mother’s death by suicide and how that has affected her throughout her life. Pappas female role models growing up were friends’ moms and athletes. I like how Pappas descri ...more
Book Reviews By Tara
Sep 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When I received this advance digital copy, I had no idea who Alexi Pappas was. Therefore, I knew nothing about her story. I went into this book totally blind. But, I wanted to read it for two reasons. One, I like the cover, and two, Maya Rudolph wrote the Foreword. I like Maya and I am/was a diehard supporter of her mother the late great Minni Riperton. Although I went into this memoir without knowing much about the author. I was 100% invested within the first few pages of reading the book.

An O
I’m a track and field fan, but because Alexi Pappas ran the 10k for Greece in the Rio Olympics, she wasn’t on my radar. Instead, I saw an excerpt from this book, and knew I wanted to read it.

Alexi faced a big challenge as a little kid: When she was only 4, her mom died, and due to her mother’s mental health struggles, Alexi’s memories of her are not all good. Her dad stepped up as well as anyone could to raise two children, but it is very difficult to be a motherless girl. Alexi compensated by
Louise Peterson
Jan 24, 2021 rated it liked it
Okay I struggled with my review on this and feel more clear after debriefing with Liz...this book is a 6.9/10 for me. 3.5/5 stars.

Reasons I loved it: Alexi is funny, likeable, self-aware, and a decent story teller. Her life is both relatable and impressive. I get the sense that we’d be good friends. I appreciated her vulnerability in talking about her struggle with depression, adored her stories about her father, and laughed at some of her hilarious moments thoughout life.

Reasons I didn’t love
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: special-books
This book is as emotional, honest, straightforward as if you are having a heartfelt conversation with your best friend. It is very well written and will keep your attention from the first page until the last. The first couple of chapters that deal with the mentally ill mother sets the stage for you to pay attention to every detail, every word of this girl's journey. Don't be surprised if you want to read 'one more chapter' as there never seems to be a good place to pause. ...more
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Siehdnxleirhfndkwodu !!!

I probably cried through half of this book, and half of that time was more of a full out sob. This book might not be for everyone, but it was for me. I’ve been a longtime fan of Alexi Pappas and am even more fond of her now.
Alexi is raw, open and vulnerable about her losses, struggles, how she overcame and how she looks ahead to achieve her, literally, Olympic-sized dreams. I feel I can check all the boxes needed to get something out of this book: female: check, runner:
Jodie (Geauxgetlit)
⚜️ Happy Book Birthday ⚜️

BRAVEY 𝘾𝙝𝙖𝙨𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝘿𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙢𝙨, 𝘽𝙚𝙛𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙋𝙖𝙞𝙣, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙊𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝘽𝙞𝙜 𝙄𝙙𝙚𝙖𝙨 by @alexipappas
Published by @thedialpress Jan 12, 2021

I am usually not really big on Memoirs, but let me tell you this book is wonderful for anyone who is looking for more, strength, resilience and confidence! It is filled with so many motivational quotes! My favorites are
“𝑌𝑜𝑢 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑏𝑒 𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑑 𝑜𝑓 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑓 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑤𝑎𝑛𝑡 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑓 𝑎𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑎𝑚𝑒 𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒“
“𝑁𝑜𝑡 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑓𝑖𝑟𝑠𝑡, 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑙𝑎𝑠𝑡, 𝑒𝑛𝑗𝑜𝑦 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑛𝑜𝑤, 𝑖𝑡 𝑤𝑖
Maggie Cox
Feb 13, 2021 rated it did not like it
I had to read this book for a Female Bass Book Club. I love the idea of building community, and I think the idea for some kind of book club or support group is fabulous, but I did not enjoy this book at all.

I think that if I had read this book in high school I would have absolutely loved it.

I just had so many problems with this book. First of all, I think it has nothing really to offer. It would be one thing if this book honestly presented itself as just a memoir, but I think the combination o
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
I first came upon Alexi Pappas years ago and immediately became obsessed with her use of "bravey". This book was a sweet memoir that made me energized to run and hunker down with the things I do best. Pappas is thoughtful and generous in her sharing.

The one thing that tripped me up was the final chapter about being interested vs committed to dreams. To some extent I'll agree, but writing off circumstances as not being committed enough felt short-sighted. Chasing a dream is a real privilege. Lot
Lillian Morgan
Jan 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I have to say that Alexi Pappas did a great job of balancing heartwrenching and lighthearted. She kept it entirely raw and allowed the reader to truly begin to understand what she and her family went through. A rollercoaster of ups and downs caused me to have to put the book down but shortly, picked it right back up. It’s appreciated that a professional athlete opened up about her life and was able to relate to many of her readers in various stages of their lives. I’m so happy I was able to read ...more
Feb 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I started this book because I admire Alexi as a professional runner and Olympian, and because of the sweet poems she writes on social media. I devoured this book because it cut to the most vulnerable parts of a person and discussed family trauma, mental illness, navigating life cycles, and getting rid of "can't" and focusing on "maybe". Alexi is young but has lived so much life and has so much to share. ...more
Feb 20, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a 3.5 for me. The first half is a very open and honest memoir. Alexi Pappas has taken hardship and trauma and found ways to not just survive, but thrive. Her road to the Olympics and artistic success was paved by an inordinate amount of blood, sweat, and tears. She's incredibly inspiring.

Unfortunately, the second half of her book starts to meander and she turns to some repetitive cliches (always work hard, follow your dreams). She's so vulnerable in talking about her mother's mental hea
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021
This book was... really incredible. I don't know who Alexi is and I only gravitated towards this book due to the Maya Rudolphs opening. but like, for someone who is a creative, for someone who is struggling with being creative, listening to this was really a treat. It was nice to have to acknowldge, but also gently force you to keep moving forward. Just because you "can't today" doesn't mean you can't. set goals, keep moving.

idk this was really a treat and I wasn't expecting to really enjoy it
William (Bill) Fluke
Feb 16, 2021 rated it it was ok
Not much good to say about this book and curious to see where all the very high Goodreads ratings are coming from. I thought this was a memoir of an Olympic athlete turned film maker with a tough upbringing but it is more a series of essays that loosely fit together as a story. The book begins interesting enough with the authors stories of her Mom’s early exit by suicide at her age of 4. There are recollections from those times ( I don’t remember anything from that early age of my life) and thos ...more
Feb 22, 2021 rated it liked it
At the start of this I was floored with its insightfulness, but over time it got monotonous. It felt like a similar set of lessons on repeat that are only accessible to a high achiever or someone who has a goal. Not super accessible for someone in the in-between. Great writing though.
Tressa Rauh
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Probably a 3.5 rating. I admire Alexi Pappas and her "Bravey" movement and she's certainly an inspiration to many young runners, but this memoir, although very honest, seemed at times like a self-help book and I wanted more running stories. ...more
Feb 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. As a distance runner and writer, Alexi is seriously an inspiration to me. Her book was so full of good advice but it was written so well that it didn’t feel like a self help book. So so so good. (Also brb going to go chase some dreams haha)
Feb 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved this and could have highlighted the whole book. It was a library borrow but I’m definitely snapping this up for me. Much hit home. It was inspirational as much as it was actionable. I’ve read Brenee, Glennon, Elizabeth...all good books but this one was a true connection. I’m not sure how I only just stumbled onto Alexi, but am firmly a solid fan now, movies included. I truly hear her voice in my head and hope to keep it there for a long time. Whether you run or sit on the couch, read thi ...more
Heather Shortt
Feb 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible and inspiring story. This is not a book about running, although she touches on that journey, it’s about life lessons, growth through grit and the navigation of achieving your goals. Highly recommend.
Heather Fineisen
Aug 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Alexi Pappas is an interesting person. Interesting enough to carry her book of self help and memoir. Readers who are familiar with her role as Olympian an filmmaker will find even more joy in this book.

Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley
Feb 28, 2021 rated it liked it
This book would probably be great for 10-13-year-old girls. The writing is simple, straightforward, and repetitive, filled with "you can do it" encouragements and life lessons that these younger readers may not yet have learned. However, I, as a reasonably well-adjusted 35-year-old woman, found the writing somewhat twee and the repetition borderline insufferable. I hate having ideas that were conveyed in a single sentence mashed into my face over and over for pages on end. It's probably why I so ...more
Katie Douglas
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I cried a lot in the last 24 hours, particularly in the first half of this book. There was rawness exposed here in very frank and frightening conversations about suicide and depression. While heartbreaking, the poetic honesty was healing to me as someone who has been touched by suicide. Pappas artfully weaves the darkest corners of her life with the most triumphant ones and that is what I love about this book, the movement from tears of sadness to elation and back as she details her mother’s dea ...more
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
My favorite passage, which I thought about throughout the entire book:
"I imagine all little girls as potatoes, wondrous nuggets of raw potential just waiting to be shaped by their mom-chefs. Whether your mom tenderly styles you into a Hasselback dish, tosses you in the microwave, or is totally absent, she is going to affect you. My mother took her own life before there was much time for her to shape me into anything. I was four years old, almost five. The greatest legacy she left me was her suic
Nat Kaemmerer
Jan 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I knew I would enjoy this book, because I’ve looked up to Alexi Pappas since I was in high school. This book may not be for everyone, but it felt like it was written just for kids like me. There were so many lines that felt just right and I underlined profusely. I know that for me personally, this was a very important book and it hit in all the right places in my heart and mind. I savored it, reading it in chunks and then, when I had been leaking tears for a few consecutive chapters, putting it ...more
Feb 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Pappas' engaging, creative, and brutally honest way of telling her story made this book a joy to read. I resonated with her no-frills descriptions of her mental health battles, and how she eventually sought out help in faith that she would recover in time.

Her writing is funny, humble, and beautiful. Here is a part I liked: "all marshmallows, when squeezed, can re-inflate eventually. also, don't be afraid of being alone it's not that bad it's actually good sometimes." A great reminder of our lim
Sedona McNerney
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes it's comforting to hear another woman speak about her experiences growing up without a mother. Regardless of the differing circumstances, Pappas' words resonated deeply with me and made me feel less alone in my experiences as a daughter of a single father, a college athlete, a writer, and as someone who enjoys testing their limits and following their dreams. I love this woman and her book!! ...more
Debbie Boucher
Feb 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Alexi Pappas would not appreciate me saying this, but I'm going to say it anyway. Bravey is delightful because its author is quirky. Part memoir, part self help, it defies categories, and that is what I enjoyed about it. Alexi Pappas trained in my hometown of Mammoth Lakes as a pro runner, so she is known around town. It should be fun to discuss this book tomorrow night with my other book club, the one in which I'm the old lady, which I actually love. So fun to read different books and get diffe ...more
Feb 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
“Run like a bravey, sleep like a baby, dream like crazy, replace can’t with maybe” describes Alexi Pappas’ life view. This book is part memoir, part self healing, part inspirational, and part heavy handed lecture about life. I found it interesting, sad, self centered, and inspirational all at the same time. Similar in spirit to Jessie Diggin’s “Brave Enough” and Aly Raisman’s “Fierce”. The moral of their stories is you just don’t make it to the Olympics without a lot of hard work, sacrifice, and ...more
Feb 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A book which is brutally honest on topics that aren't normally discussed in open Social Circles like a mother's suicide, asking for help with mental health issues, self care, pursuing Olympic dreams and everyday realities. I appreciate the author's honesty about painful moments in her life as well as the successes. There are a lot of great messages for women in this book. ...more
Elizabeth Jorgensen
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I'm a runner and Alexi fan, but even if I weren't, I would have loved the book just the same. Alexi makes her lessons in sport (and outside of sport) relatable. Her stories are honest, heart-breaking, and funny. The book is brilliantly organized not by timeline, but by theme. A beautiful writer, Alexi includes small poems between sections.

I found Alexi's stories about her mental health struggles particularly compelling and heart-wrenching, but also motivating and inspiring! I also found my
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“Imagination, at the very least, brings us joy; at the very most, it empowers us to suspend disbelief and chase the impossible.” 0 likes
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