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Graceful (For Young Women): Letting Go of Your Try-Hard Life [Paperback]

Emily Freeman

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Book Description

Sept. 1 2012
You know her--the good girl. She's the reliable one who shows up every week at youth group wearing a purity ring and a smile. She gets good grades, makes the team, and doesn't need to be told to come home on time. But deep down she is crushed by the weight of the responsibility to be the good one, the smart one, the one who never messes up.

With the same candor and gentle spirit she showed women in Grace for the Good Girl, Emily Freeman now gives young women what they need to be free on the inside, no matter what's going on outside. Through an honest look at the roles girls play, she helps them learn to stop trying and start trusting that the Jesus who came to save them also comes to live with them, right here and now.

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Graceful (For Young Women): Letting Go of Your Try-Hard Life + Perfectly Unique: Praising God From Head To Foot
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (Sept. 1 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800719832
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800719838
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #52,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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

About the Author

Emily P. Freeman is a writer who loves to read and a speaker who would rather listen. 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, love, and serve together in North Carolina with their twin daughters, their son, and their crazy dog, Finn. The author of Grace for the Good Girl, she attended Columbia International University to study the Bible and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she earned a degree in Educational Interpreting for the Deaf. Connect with Emily online at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for teen girls (AND their youth leaders!) Sept. 4 2012
By Sarah from Dallas - Published on
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
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I had this book when I was a teenager. Sept. 4 2012
By Kendra Adachi - Published on
"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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read for high school girls (and the men and women who lead them) March 7 2013
By Tiffany Malloy - Published on
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... :)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Devotional I've EVER Read for Young Women! Nov. 27 2012
By Angela Bell - Published on
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. Instead of talking down to teens like some authors/preachers/adults tend to do, she simply exchanged a few of her stories. (Ex: She replaced stories of motherhood with stories from her high school years.) But the message remains the same, almost word for word, as the original book. I found Emily's confidence in the intelligence of teens refreshing, and hope other authors/preachers/adults will follow her example.***
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read for a teenage girl Dec 3 2012
By C. Hovey - Published on
I had read the adult version of this book, and my teenage daughter saw this title and wanted to read it. She then chose to do a book report on it, which I thought was fantastic! This book is based on the fact that (pre-teen and teenagers) base their self worth on how others perceive them,and how they themselves feel based on other's expectations etc. My daughter conveyed to me that she really enjoyed how the author kept telling the reader that they are valuable just as they are, are there was no need to create a false self, and/or wear a false mask to portray someone that you're not. My daughter doesn't have a self confidence issue, but she expressed to me that some of her friends do, and that this book would be extrememely helpful to them is showing them their self worth. The book is very good at directing the reader to focus on their identity in Christ, not on what the world thinks and expects. I was very proud of my daughter that she chose to share this book with her classmates, and I believe she made an impact with the poster she made about this book and it's message. I would recommend that parents or grandparents or youth group leaders buy this book. It would also be a great small group study book for teenage girls. I received this book from the publisher. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 :"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising".

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