Brave Face

Brave Face

by Shaun David Hutchinson


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Brave Face 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Sandy5 8 months ago
I knew this book was going to be rough, I had been warned but I knew that I had to read it for these are the types of books that I enjoy. I don’t enjoy them for the struggles and the pain that the individuals go through but for a multitude of other reasons. I enjoyed this book because it made me feel, it brought my emotions up front and center. And boy, did I have plenty of emotions with this book. Most of my emotions were directed at Shaun, whether I was ready to scream at him, be scared for him, frustrated with him, or I just wished I could reach inside the book, wrap my arms around him and comfort him. This book also showed me how resilient Shaun was. As I read this book, Shaun faced a lot of crappy situations but when all is said-and-done, Shaun persisted. Shaun experienced scrapes, bruises, and scars during the process, and he’s definitely a changed person because of what he went through. That to me says a lot about a person and I enjoy reading how these individuals find their strength and courage. As I read these stories, I feel like I’m part of the story. I give them encouragement (sometimes more vocal then I should) and push for them to find hope, yet I know that I’m nothing but a voice talking to a book. This book is also one that I will not forget. I liked how Shaun warned his readers at the beginning of the book that it contains some difficult topics. Shaun is being real; this is his life and he’s not going to smooth things over to make his readers happy. This really happened according to Shaun. So, deal with it. Shaun discusses in this book growing up, discovering his sexuality, how he came out, and his depression. It’s pretty straight forward and there’s swearing, homosexuality, drugs, suicide, stealing, and some sex, so be willing to walk with Shaun as he covers what his life was like and how he survived. I thought the novel was powerful and moving. I realize the year on the calendar has changed, yet I wonder if things have really changed in how individuals are accepted. Parents, peers, friends, relatives, and siblings all have an impact during this time. I appreciate Shaun honesty and I appreciate that he shared his experience with others. Shaun never felt good enough for anyone. He’d start to get comfortable with someone and then, internally a switch would go off and he’d start waiting for the ball to drop. It was too good to be true, something bad was bound to happen. Shaun wanted to fit in with his peers. Shaun wanted to like girls but when he was with them, it just didn’t feel right. He lied to fit in but paid the price for it over and over again. He knew he was different yet he didn’t know why. Shaun had his own view and opinions and these clouded his mind and judgement. It took him a while to figure out exactly what made him different and then, he needed to figure out what to do next. A great read that will definitely leave a lasting impression. Thank you, Shaun, for sharing your story with others.
bjneary More than 1 year ago
Thank you to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing for the advance reader copy Brave Face by awesome diverse author, Shaun David Hutchinson, in exchange for an honest review. I could not put down this book; this memoir was searing; Shaun suffered so much as a teen and young adult because he did not have enough faith in himself as a guy who realizes he is gay and how to handle being gay as a teen, son, and friend. Shaun takes the reader through his self-hatred, his preconceived notions, and how depression bullied him into believing no one would ever love him. I was so glad for his best friend, Maddie and his English teacher who encouraged him to continue to write and urged him to accept himself. Even at his lowest, Shaun continued to hold out hope that he would find happiness. He is a talented YA writer; teens love his books and they will most certainly identify with his anger, insecurities, and his feeling of being overwhelmed and misunderstood. This is a must read for teens; about gender and differences, the formal and informal messages Shaun received and how they empowered him and also caused him to live/believe in a world where bullying, AIDS, and gender stereotyping made him question himself over and over again as a queer/gay teen and young man. Highly recommended.
Amanda_BetweentheShelves More than 1 year ago
Thanks to Net Galley and Simon & Schuster for an advanced copy of this to review. Shaun David Hutchinson is one of my favorite authors, and I was so excited to read his memoir. I had the chance to review The Past and Other Things that Should Stay Buried earlier this year, and Hutchinson has had a great year so far. At the core, Hutchinson's memoir is heartbreaking, peppered with his constant thoughts of not being good enough. Overall, his memoir reads a lot like a novel, supported with emails, journal entries, and stories from Hutchinson's past. I think this is the memoir that teens need. They can see someone that perhaps struggled with the same problems that they had and made it out the other side. Hutchinson's message isn't just that it gets better. It's that there's hope, and that there's going to be ups and downs, but the ups are worth it. Hutchinson also provides trigger warnings, as well as giving readers the ability to skip the section about his suicide attempt. His discussion of mental health, and talking about getting help, is important for teens that might find themselves in similar situations. An important memoir that should find its way into any and every library.