How to Be Brave: A Novel by E. Katherine KottarasHow to Be Brave: A Novel by E. Katherine Kottaras

How to Be Brave: A Novel

byE. Katherine Kottaras

Hardcover | November 3, 2015

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Chosen as one of the best YA Novels of November by
A Buzzfeed YA Book To Watch
Featured on School Library Journal's Size Acceptance YA List

Georgia has always lived life on the sidelines: uncomfortable with her weight, awkward, never been kissed, terrified of failing.

Then her mom dies and her world is turned upside down. But instead of getting lost in her pain, she decides to enjoy life while she still can by truly living for the first time. She makes a list of ways to be brave-all the things she's always wanted to do but has been too afraid to try: learn to draw, try out for cheerleading, cut class, ask him out, kiss him, see what happens from there.

But she's about to discover that life doesn't always go according to plan. Sometimes friendships fall apart and love breaks your heart. But in the process, you realize you're stronger than you ever imagined...
This fearless, big-hearted, deeply moving book will make you laugh, cry, and inspire you to be brave.

E. Katherine Kottaras is at her happiest when she is either 1) at the playground with her husband and daughter and their wonderful community of friends, 2) breathing deeply in a full handstand, or 3) writing. She now lives in Los Angeles where she's hard at work on her next book.
Title:How to Be Brave: A NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.58 × 5.78 × 1.09 inPublished:November 3, 2015Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1250072808

ISBN - 13:9781250072801


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great Premise I was really looking forward to this novel because it sounded like it had a great premise. Unfortunately, the execution wasn't great.
Date published: 2017-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Honest and real In many ways, How to be Brave wasn’t what I was expecting. Despite the synopsis, the cutesie cover made me think it would be light and fluffy, so a lot of it really surprised me. It was more mature than I expected, while still managing to really capture the feeling of being a teen. It was beautiful, heartbreaking, sweet, funny, and ultimately hopeful. I really liked Georgia. She had a great voice and she was easy to connect to. She was flawed, she made mistakes, she did stupid things, and she hurt and disappointed people - including herself at times. But she also went through a lot, learned a lot of important lessons, and grew a lot. One of the things that surprised me about this book was some of the things Georgia did. There were things that shocked me, but then I was like ‘this is what life is like for a lot of teens - drinking, drugs, experimenting’. It’s stuff I haven’t seen in a lot of books, so while I know it’s happening, it’s strange to read about. That being said, I appreciated the honest portrayal and the fact the author didn’t shy away from real life stuff. Having watched a parent and grandparent/best friend die, many parts of the story really hit home for me. My dad wasn’t even fifty when he died, and he suffered so much, just like Georgia’s mother did. I can understand that feeling of wanting to do things to honour someone, do things they maybe didn’t get to do, and continuing to live even though part of you wants to just curl up and cry and scream and grieve forever. I liked the idea of the list being a way for Georgia to honour her mother, as well as getting her to try new things, keep going, and learn to be brave. She started out doing things for and because of other people and then learned to do things for herself. She learned that sometimes being brave is just living. Just getting by, surviving. It doesn’t have to be about grand gestures and occasions and milestones. It can be the quiet, everyday things that take courage. It can be realizing difficult things about yourself. Watching Georgia learn to be brave was a mixture of amusing, painful, and inspiring, and it was easy to cheer her on as she stumbled, fumbled, and succeeded. When things related to Georgia’s crush took up a few spots on her list, I was worried it would be one of those books where the guy saves the girl, but it wasn’t like that at all. The romance was actually a very small part of the plot, which I actually appreciated because it suited the story. Daniel did help Georgia, and their interactions were adorable and sweet and completely believable (the awkwardness rang so true and made me laugh because I’ve been there), but all of that was a small part of Georgia’s overall journey. Their slowly evolving relationship was actually probably more accurate and true-to-life than a lot of other portrayals of teen relationships. How to be Brave is a brave story. Kottaras took some chances, and they paid off, at least for me. This story was real and it was honest. It made me smile, laugh, and tear up. I think Georgia is a character a lot of people will be able to relate to and see themselves in. The things Georgia learned about being brave made me think and inspired me to be brave in my own life.
Date published: 2016-11-14

Editorial Reviews

"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"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...Georgia is a pleasingly imperfect lead." --School Library Journal"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.""How to Be Brave is a celebration of life, from the captivating open page to the emotional ending. Kottaras acutely and poetically depicts the painful struggle of re-finding yourself after a defining loss-and the stark effects of both success and failure along the way-in a lovely, heartfelt debut." -Dahlia Adler, author of Behind the Scenes"Just enough sass, just enough heart, and a narrator to root for. How to be Brave ushered me into another yet familiar world. Come along for the ride. You'll be glad you did." -Ron Koertge, award winning author of Coaltown Jesus"Powerful and rare, How to Be Brave is a wonderfully told story with gleams of humor and wit that will inspire readers to live their lives for real." -Robyn Schneider, bestselling author of The Beginning of Everything"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 and life." -Kirkus Reviews"How To Be Brave does a cartwheel in your heart. It artfully reminds us that bravery forges a path through fear and grief." -Courtney C. Stevens, author of Faking Normal"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." -Publishers Weekly"A perfect book for anyone trying to figure out what they want their life to look like, and how to be brave enough to make that life a reality." --Booklist"An exceptional novel that will hold the reader's rapt attention from beginning to end." - Midwest Book Review"This inventive debut novel is a strong opening for Kottaras." - VOYA