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Brave Face by Shaun David Hutchinson, narrated by Shaun David Hutchinson
Simon & Schuster Audio and Blackstone Audio
Publication Date: May 21, 2019
Brave Face by Shaun David Hutchinson is a memoir narrated by the author retelling his high school and college years through depression, anxiety, self-identity, and leading to his suicide attempt at nineteen years old. Hutchinson recounts his young adult years honestly including a disclaimer right at the beginning of the book “I’LL KEEP THIS SHORT. A LOT HAPPENS IN THIS MEMOIR. There’s drug use, sex in the backseat of Mustang, discussion of homosexuality, alcohol use, a smidge of profanity, and a little petty theft.”
In Brave Face, Hutchinson is brutally honest and real with the listener in all aspects of his life and holds back no punches. The raw honesty of his journey with depression, self-esteem, coming to terms with his homosexuality, family, and friends, and ultimately his attempted suicide will shake listeners’ to their core. Hutchinson narrates his story as no one else could, bringing to life his trials and tribulations. One highlight is his ability to give his inner voice of depression a dark and menacing tone that evokes feelings of darkness and despair. Hutchinson narrators the journey of what brought him to the edge and ultimately, what helped him eventually believe that things do get better.
Teens who love Hutchinsons’ work such as The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried, We are Ants, and The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley will enjoy this work on the author illustrating the beginnings of his writings. Fans of biographies Boy Erased: A Memoir by Garrard Conley, Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story by Jacob Tobia, Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Burn Journals by Brent Runyan, and Secret Anonymous by Terence Tally. For fans of films and television shows like It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Lady Bird, and Friday Night Lights will enjoy this memoir. Fans of music artists and bands such as Veruca Salt, Concrete Blonde, Pansy Division, My Bloody Valentine, Smashing Pumpkins, Natalie Merchant, and Toni Amos will identify with Hutchinson’s musical taste and journey throughout the book.
–Brittany Garcia and Danielle Jones