Graceful (for Young Women), by Emily P. Freeman

Graceful (for Young Women): Letting Go of Your Try-Hard Life
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

BOOK DESCRIPTION: 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.

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 

MY THOUGHTS:   It's clear that the author grew up working hard to be the good girl, and probably succeeded.  I read this book thinking of its potential for my own teen girls, and as a small group study resource.  But as a grown-up, former good girl, I connected with a lot of what I read and found myself in the pages.  

The premise is that all of us hide behind something--rules, good grades, causes, image, responsibility--and this hiding keeps us from ever truly being known.  Ms. Freeman sums this up well in the first chapter:
We have grown so comfortable in our girl-made hiding places that we forget the most important part of hide-and-seek: the best part of hiding is being found.  If no one is looking for you, what's the point of hiding?  Don't we all really want to be known, to be loved, to be accepted, to be searched for, to be found?
Each chapter elaborates on a different way we hide, full of examples from lives of teens the author has worked with, as well as from her own life.  At the end of each chapter we find truths from God's Word about who He is and who He expects us to be, with practical applications of these truths.  

It would seem that the girls falling into these traps would be those with a good reputation, those you'd never consider rebellious.  But the book also speaks to girls who have done "bad things" and wouldn't necessarily call themselves good girls, since all WANT to be loved and accepted.  

This book is one that would definitely minister to young ladies who find themselves working so hard to live up to the expectations of others that they don't even know what God expects of them.  Keep an eye on the author's website for soon-to-come resources for study groups.

Buy the book in paperback or ebook format here.

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, courtesy of


  1. I have five grown daughter and several granddaughters. My girls should have had this book when they were young women. I sure it would be good for all of them. Thanks for the review! Sounds like a good book.


I'd love to hear from you!