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How to Be Brave: A Novel by [Kottaras, E. Katherine]
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How to Be Brave: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Length: 282 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Age Level: 12 - 17 Grade Level: 7 - 12

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—As she begins her senior year, Georgia Askeridis is still mourning the death of her mother. On the first day back, she decides to heed the last advice her mother left her in a letter—to be brave. Georgia and her life-long best friend Liss create a "Do Everything, Be Brave List," and the protagonist sets out fulfilling her mother's wish. Over the course of the year, she develops as an artist, deals with her grief, finds a new friend, experiments with drugs, and embarks on a tentative relationship with her long-time crush. Georgia's thoughts often take the form of poems, which are interspersed within the narrative, and they give the story, and Georgia's feelings, extra depth. Kottaras's debut novel has many strengths: the friendship between Georgia and Liss and the realistic description of teen recreational drug use chief among them. Georgia is a pleasingly imperfect lead. But there is a definite problem in how her mother's death is handled. Her mother died from kidney failure, and from the title all the way to the letter she left for Georgia, the text alludes to the idea that her mother's death was tied to her weight and an inability and unwillingness to be brave and "take care of herself." This is especially problematic, since Georgia, a "size 16," feels fat and is teased for being overweight. This mixed messaging weakens Georgia's character arc and disappoints. VERDICT Recommended as a strictly additional purchase.—Angie Manfredi, Los Alamos County Library System, NM


"Georgia's realistically profane voice aptly captures her personality, carrying the novel; her traverse through grief and experimentation make for a believable and satisfying character arc. A thoughtful exploration of grief andlife." -Kirkus Reviews
"The book's strongest sections are the lyrical flashbacks that tell the story of her mother's life and death, but Georgia's struggles with weight and body image are also handled with care. A perfect book for anyone trying to figure out what they want their life to look like, and how to be brave enoughto make that life a reality." -Booklist 

"Kottaras's debut traces Georgia's struggles and triumphs as she reluctantly sets out to fulfill her mother's final wish for her to try new things and be fearless. Georgia's Greek-American heritage offers a distinctive backdrop for the novel's themes of emotional healing and self-discovery, while Georgia herself emerges as a realistically flawed and genuine protagonist." -Publisher's Weekly

"How to Be Brave is an exceptional novel that will hold the reader's rapt attention from beginning to end. Deftly crafted...will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to school and community library YA Fiction collections." -Midwest Book Review
"As a character, Georgia is a breath of fresh air. Her story is inspirational, but her insecurities are real and relatable. Kottaras' prose is gorgeous and is interwoven with moving snippets of poetry...a soulful debut." -BuzzFeed 
"How to Be Brave is not so much a story about grief as it is a story about living life... a perfect blend of the melancholy with the fun and uplifting." --Forever Literary
"Kottaras' writing kept me interested the whole time, and the plot twists made me want to laugh and cry simultaneously." --TeenReads
"A moving and surprisingly sweet novel about pushing on and discovering one's capabilities" --Paste Magazine
"Georgia's story is going to make you cry and inspire you to start your bucket list now."

Product details

  • File Size: 1201 KB
  • Print Length: 282 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (November 3, 2015)
  • Publication Date: November 3, 2015
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00W1CO8M6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #966,116 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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