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Graceful (For Young Women): Letting Go of Your Try-Hard Life Paperback – September 1, 2012

4.9 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

For the prom queen, the athlete, the bookworm, and the dreamer.

For the good test taker and the strict list maker. For the rule follower, the fear wallower, the messy, and the misunderstood. For the self-critic, the silent judge, and the girl who feels invisible.

For the girl who is tired of trying and the one afraid to fail.

These words are for you.

You don't have to be perfect. But do you trust the One who is?

The God who came to save you also came to live with you, in you, today.

If you've been struggling with expectations--from your parents, your teachers, your friends, and even yourself--Graceful is for you. Are you trying hard to catch up but aren't sure what it is you're chasing? Read and be set free.


Emily P. Freeman is the author of Grace for the Good Girl. Every Sunday night, she leads a small group of high school girls at her house where they talk about real life, real love, and the God who makes a difference. Emily's husband, John, is a youth pastor and they live together in North Carolina with their twin daughters, their son, and their crazy dog, Finn. Connect with Emily online at www.ChattingAtTheSky.com.

About the Author

Emily Freeman is the author of Grace for the Good Girl and Graceful. Whether writing or speaking, Emily's words create space for souls to breathe, offering fresh perspective on the gracefulness of the everyday and the sacredness of our inner lives. She an
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (September 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800719832
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800719838
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Youth leaders, parents, and mentors can say it over and over again--"Your value comes from Christ alone!!"--but the message just doesn't click for most teenage girls. Emily, on the other hand, gets right into their world and becomes their best friend. She walks them through her own story and instead of offering syrupy flattery and a high-five, she convicts them with the hardcore Truth of Scripture. Because the Truth is: God doesn't take low self-esteem sitting down. It actually breaks His heart. He made these girls. He wants them to see themselves through His, their Maker's, eyes. And Emily will take girls to that place, where not only will they start to tear down walls of guilt, insecurity, and self-doubt, but they will also discover a deeper love for Jesus Christ, their Creator and Savior, whose hands are strong enough to carry them through every self-loathing thought.
- Sarah Nutter, youth leader
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Format: Paperback
"Graceful" is a gem. Books for teenage girls are often too casual or too intense. I should know since I was the girl in high school who read every book that I thought might make me "better." This book is written with the perfect tone and full of life-changing truths. Practical, real, funny but not frilly, and deep. And not one checklist to be found. The perfect book for good girls.

Teenage girls will find comfort in Emily's charming vulnerability, probably feeling like she's right in there the room with them. Small group leaders will find comfort in having such a strong message articulated clearly that's accompanied by a great leader guide available on the author's website. Moms will find comfort in knowing that someone is speaking truth into the lives of their daughters, truth that might have been revealed to them through Emily's first book, "Grace for the Good Girl."

This book is for young women who feel like they have DO in order to be loved, valued, and accepted. I am thrilled that girls who read this book will experience freedom from having to try so hard when they're young and not wait until they're 30 with kids. If you know a teenage girl who is doing everything right, buy this book for her. Chances are, she's about to crumble under her own pressure, and "Graceful" offers truth that brings peace and freedom that will seriously change her life.
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Format: Paperback
The premise behind Graceful: Letting Go of Your Try-Hard Life is that we all hide behind masks that affect our actions and the way we relate to others. For example, there's the Actress mask. The Actress fears that she's inadequate and feels that she must always perform well in order to be accepted. Therefore, she hides behind her good performance because that's where she finds her value.

There's also the Judge mask that hides behind rules and fears failure, and the Heroine who hides behind strength/responsibility and fears weakness. Eight different masks are covered in the book, and let me tell you, I related to each mask in one way or another.

Emily P. Freeman has tapped into a group that is often overlooked--the "good" girls. I think most devotionals don't target good girls because they assume that they have no problems. But in reality good girls do have weaknesses; they're just hidden or considered socially acceptable. Reading Emily's words, I felt like I was listening to the big sister I never had because not only did she understand me, but she'd been-there-done-that. The insights and wisdom from her experiences will help good girls to overcome their fears and try-hard mentality.

Graceful is one of those books that should be read annually to refresh, inspire, and keep you sane. It holds up a mirror that shows your every strength and frailty, and then reminds you that God loves you--all of you. We don't have to hide from Him. Instead, we can find safety hiding in His grace.

***A side note: Before reading Graceful (which is geared for teens/young women), I read Grace for the Good Girl (which is geared for adults/women). I was pleasantly surprised to find that when Emily revamped her book for a younger audience, she didn't water down the message.
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Format: Paperback
About a year ago, I reviewed Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life by Emily Freeman. Because I liked it so much, I agreed to do a review of another version of this book, only this time for young women (i.e. high school). This one is called Graceful: Letting Go of your Try-Hard Life. While it has been awhile since I've been around high school girls, I do remember my own high school experience, and think that I would have really benefited from a book like this.

Again in this book, Emily reveals the behaviors that girls hide behind, why they do it, and what Scripture has to say about the things we hide behind. The main portion of the book addresses each role, and then addresses the issue from all sides. The roles include: actress, girl next door, activist, heroine, bystander, judge, intellectual, and dreamer. I think most girls will connect with at least one, if not multiple, roles.

I was surprised by how non-youth-ish this book was. Emily gave some great stories that I think young women will connect with, and she communicated in ways that respects the readers' stage of "almost adulthood." Emily's husband is a youth pastor, and Emily leads a small group of high school girls at her house every Sunday night. I can only imagine that that small group is incredibly transformative for those girls. Emily seems to really "get" this age and stage, and can communicate truth about Scripture and identity in a clear and down-to-earth way.

If you have a high school girl in your life, this just might be a great book to get for her. I'm considering donating mine to a library so that MANY girls can take advantage of it!

Thanks, Baker Books, for providing me a review copy in exchange for an honest book review! And thanks for letting me take so much time to do it... :)
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