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Brave Face
Shaun David Hutchinson  Nonfiction, memoir Published by Simon Pulse Published May 21st 2019 Hardcover 368 pages Goodreads

Critically acclaimed author of We Are the Ants—described as having “hints of Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five” (School Library Journal)—opens up about what led to an attempted suicide in his teens, and his path back from the experience.

“I wasn’t depressed because I was gay. I was depressed and gay.”

Shaun David Hutchinson was nineteen. Confused. Struggling to find the vocabulary to understand and accept who he was and how he fit into a community in which he couldn’t see himself. The voice of depression told him that he would never be loved or wanted, while powerful and hurtful messages from society told him that being gay meant love and happiness weren’t for him.

A million moments large and small over the years all came together to convince Shaun that he couldn’t keep going, that he had no future. And so he followed through on trying to make that a reality.

Thankfully Shaun survived, and over time, came to embrace how grateful he is and how to find self-acceptance. In this courageous and deeply honest memoir, Shaun takes readers through the journey of what brought him to the edge, and what has helped him truly believe that it does get better.


First of all, I’d like to start off by saying that I’ve just decided now to write this review, because honestly, this is my very first memoir and I don’t even know if one should write a review for a memoir, like…how do you rate it? Am I literally supposed to rate someone’s life? I have no idea.

Anyway, let’s just get to it.
I’ve read from Shaun David Hutchinson before, everything was 4-5 stars, totally surprised how much I’ve come to adore him, I don’t know why I was surprised, but I just wasn’t expecting it, since no one was like ”READ HIS BOOKS, THIS MAN’S BOOKS ARE GONNA CHANGE YOUR FREAKING LIFE!!!!!!!” But, as soon as I read We Are The Ants, I just knew that he’s an author whose books I’m gonna wanna read, like, all of the books he has ever published.

So, as I said, this was my first memoir, so I had literally zero expectations, no knowledge of how a memoir should (?) be written, or what I should expect from it, but I knew that I’d wanna read it, since I love the author, I’m interested in his life, plus I was interested in how it looked like, being a gay in that era.
And I honestly can say, that it must’ve been horrible.
I’m pretty sure the author didn’t write this so we feel sorry for him or anything, no one likes it if people feel sorry for them, but obviously I just couldn’t help myself.
We still have such a long way to go, but back then it was just so scary, I can’t even imagine it.
I couldn’t help but feel a little guilt over the fact that I had it so easy when other people were receiving so much…horribleness. Yes, we still have a long way to go, people are still getting beat up, thrown out of their houses or even getting killed for being gay, but back then it must’ve been the actual hell.

Back then in the 1990s (or before) there was no one to tell you that it’s completely OKAY to be gay, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, you won’t be without a child, you won’t die alone, you won’t go to hell.
These are the things that every LGBTQ+ person NEEDS to know when coming to terms with their sexuality.
Now we have all kinds of books/movies for that, again, I can’t stress this enough, we still have a long time to go, people are still committing suicide for being gay, but could we just take a moment to think what people must have felt back then? What must’ve they thought? It’s really, really heart-wrenching to see that these people think of themselves as bad people for being gay, because they weren’t taught otherwise, that’s why it’s so important that we have coming of age, and coming to terms with your sexuality movies/books.
Yes, I did read reviews for Simon vs The homo-sapiens agenda how straight people were saying ”it’s just a basic story, it’s gay that’s why it’s getting so much attention” and so on.
But you can’t be more wrong. Those are the books that are showing LGBTQ+ people that it’s totally okay to be gay, but some straight people don’t realize that because they were never told that they’re wrong, or shouldn’t have been born, or going to hell just for being gay.
I’m sorry for kind of going off like this, but I know I’m right. Knowing that it’s okay to not be straight is important.

Okay, that’s gonna be it from me, I still don’t know how I feel about this, reviewing someone’s life, but I’m super happy I read it, I know more about this amazing man’s life, I actually cannot be happier that I found his books this year, I still have a couple of books to read from him, I believe they’re his older ones, but I’m so excited!

Anyway, read this please, it’s an important read and amazing overall, however please do look up the trigger warnings, because there are a couple in this book.

But that’s it, thank you, see you next time!

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