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Publisher's Summary

The Olympic runner, actress, filmmaker and writer Alexi Pappas shares what she’s learned about confidence, self-reliance, mental health, embracing pain, and achieving your dreams.

Named One of the Best Books of the Year by Real Simple 

“Heartbreaking and hilarious.” (Mindy Kaling)

“A beautiful read.” (Ruth Reichl)

“Essential guidance to anyone dreaming big dreams.” (Shalane Flanagan)

“I couldn’t put it down.” (Adam Grant)

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

When “Renaissance runner” (New York Times) Alexi Pappas - Olympic athlete, actress, filmmaker, and writer - was four years old, her mother died by suicide, drastically altering the course of Pappas’s life and setting her on a search for female role models. When her father signed his bereaved daughter up for sports teams as a way to keep her busy, female athletes became the first women Pappas looked up to, and her Olympic dream was born. At the same time, Pappas had big creative dreams, too: She wanted to make movies, write, and act. Despite setbacks and hardships, Pappas refused to pick just one lane. She put in a tremendous amount of hard work and wouldn’t let anything stand in her way until she achieved all of her dreams, however unrelated they may seem to outsiders. In a single year, 2016, she made her Olympic debut as a distance runner and wrote, directed, and starred in her first feature film. 

But great highs are often accompanied by deep lows; with joy comes sorrow. In Bravey, Pappas fearlessly and honestly shares her battle with post-Olympic depression and describes how she emerged on the other side as a thriving and self-actualized woman. Unflinching, exuberant, and always entertaining, Bravey showcases Pappas’s signature, charming voice as she reflects upon the touchstone moments in her life and the lessons that have powered her career as both an athlete and an artist - foremost among them, how to be brave. 

Pappas’s experiences reveal how we can all overcome hardship, befriend pain, celebrate victory, relish the loyalty found in teammates, and claim joy. In short: how every one of us can become a bravey.

©2020 Alexi Pappas (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“This is not only an inspiring look inside the mind of a gifted athlete - it’s an arresting debut by a gifted writer. Alexi Pappas reveals how we can find the courage to face our fears, the grit to achieve our goals, and the resilience to bounce forward after failure and heartbreak. I couldn’t put it down.” (Adam Grant, number-one New York Times best-selling author of Originals)

“Pappas’ extraordinary tale is skillfully told and profoundly inspiring." (Publishers Weekly)

"Inspiring, yes, but more to the point: genuinely empowering. An utterly winning collection of personal essays.” (Kirkus starred review)

What listeners say about Bravey

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I now see myself differently

I have struggled with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts for several years now. This book felt uncomfortable at first when she would talk about her mother’s mental health struggles so candid. As I continued to listen, and heard Alexi’s struggles, I began to feel like I wasn’t alone. I felt uncomfortable at first because I had felt the pain she describes when related to mental health issues, but hearing it can affect successful people normalized it for me. This book may make you cry both sad and good tears, and it is well worth it!!! This book made me see my mental health struggles as only a part of my story rather than something that has to take over my whole life.

4 people found this helpful

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meh

As a runner, I really wanted to like this book, but it was only okay. There were some interesting, and very descriptive stories that I enjoyed. But I stuggled with the narration and lack of highs and lows.

3 people found this helpful

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Very Disappointing

This book is a lot like going to concert only to have them not play their hits. For a runner and Olympian she spends a surprisingly small amount of the book talking about those two things. If you’re a runner looking for a running book or inspiration, look elsewhere.

2 people found this helpful

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Best book to light that fire under ur ...

I read too much non fiction self help kind of stuff. This book is on a league of its own. Narration is superb and it is basically a delight to listen to. I love being Bravey!

2 people found this helpful

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So relatable-- yes even for non runners!

Easily one of the best books I have listened to. Although I am a runner, I do believe this book is good for anyone. Alexi doesn't get into many details of the running. so if that's not your thing, don't worry! Give this book a try. Both inspirational and motivating, yet down to earth and relatable. I think many people would benefit from listening. The insights from her life experiences were profound. You come away from every section inspired and hopeful, and as if anything in the world is possible. I simply can not encourage you to listen to this book enough!

1 person found this helpful

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Five Star

Excellent story. Exceptional writing skills. Love voiceover. It gets better and better each chapter.

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Pearls of wisdom

This book was fabulous! Thank you to Alexis for sharing the wrong moments of her life but yet the strong wisdom she gained. I have purchased a book for both of my children hoping that they will continue to follow their dreams to! Thank you for writing this book!

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amazing !

Alexi is an amazing author. her story is sad but very inspiring. I love her honesty. thank you Alexi for sharing your story.

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Another Bravey Convert!

I loved listening to Alexi share her story - I may not be an elite athlete, but I am a woman, a human and I have a story to tell. I especially related to her mental health struggles, running injuries and just growing up! Awesome performance as well, just felt like I was chatting with a friend.

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Struggle to the finish line

As a person who runs to overcome my own problems I enjoy cheering on runners like Pappas. Her story inspires and leaves me feeling hopeful.

The performance was unfortunately not very inspiring. The readers voice is pleasant enough but came across as flat and almost emotionless. It didn't quite suit the story.