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Beautiful on the Outside

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Former Olympic figure skater and self-professed America's Sweetheart Adam Rippon shares his underdog journey from beautiful mess to outrageous success in this hilarious, big-hearted memoir that the Washington Post calls "comedic gold." Your mom probably told you it's what on the inside that counts. Well, then she was never a competitive figure skater. Olympic medalist Adam Former Olympic figure skater and self-professed America's Sweetheart Adam Rippon shares his underdog journey from beautiful mess to outrageous success in this hilarious, big-hearted memoir that the Washington Post calls "comedic gold." Your mom probably told you it's what on the inside that counts. Well, then she was never a competitive figure skater. Olympic medalist Adam Rippon has been making it pretty for the judges even when, just below the surface, everything was an absolute mess. From traveling to practices on the Greyhound bus next to ex convicts to being so poor he could only afford to eat the free apples at his gym, Rippon got through the toughest times with a smile on his face, a glint in his eye, and quip ready for anyone listening. Beautiful on the Outside looks at his journey from a homeschooled kid in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to a self-professed American sweetheart on the world stage and all the disasters and self-delusions it took to get him there. Yeah, it may be what's on the inside that counts, but life is so much better when it's beautiful on the outside.


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Former Olympic figure skater and self-professed America's Sweetheart Adam Rippon shares his underdog journey from beautiful mess to outrageous success in this hilarious, big-hearted memoir that the Washington Post calls "comedic gold." Your mom probably told you it's what on the inside that counts. Well, then she was never a competitive figure skater. Olympic medalist Adam Former Olympic figure skater and self-professed America's Sweetheart Adam Rippon shares his underdog journey from beautiful mess to outrageous success in this hilarious, big-hearted memoir that the Washington Post calls "comedic gold." Your mom probably told you it's what on the inside that counts. Well, then she was never a competitive figure skater. Olympic medalist Adam Rippon has been making it pretty for the judges even when, just below the surface, everything was an absolute mess. From traveling to practices on the Greyhound bus next to ex convicts to being so poor he could only afford to eat the free apples at his gym, Rippon got through the toughest times with a smile on his face, a glint in his eye, and quip ready for anyone listening. Beautiful on the Outside looks at his journey from a homeschooled kid in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to a self-professed American sweetheart on the world stage and all the disasters and self-delusions it took to get him there. Yeah, it may be what's on the inside that counts, but life is so much better when it's beautiful on the outside.

30 review for Beautiful on the Outside

  1. 4 out of 5

    andrea caro

    It's official - this was my favorite book of 2019! Probably wrong to rate a book based on a 30 page sampler, but I love Adam Rippon and have preordered a signed copy of this book, an unsigned copy, and the audiobook, so you can't stop me. What I can tell you based on those 30 pages - his voice really shines through in stories about Victorian women ice skating on popcorn tins, anxiety attacks on the way to school, a skating party hosted by a girl named Anastasia Davenport who is mysteriously not of It's official - this was my favorite book of 2019! Probably wrong to rate a book based on a 30 page sampler, but I love Adam Rippon and have preordered a signed copy of this book, an unsigned copy, and the audiobook, so you can't stop me. What I can tell you based on those 30 pages - his voice really shines through in stories about Victorian women ice skating on popcorn tins, anxiety attacks on the way to school, a skating party hosted by a girl named Anastasia Davenport who is mysteriously not of the House of Davenport, how to get out of team sports with flair, and his mother who, I can only surmise is an honest-to-god superhero. Can't wait to read this book in full. RTC. -- READ. -- Yeah, starting to read this for a second time. -- Hi, yeah I finished my second read and I may go again. I love Adam Rippon. I was introduced to who he was during the 2018 Olympics and have been following him pretty closely ever since. I think he's absolutely hysterical, doesn't take shit from anybody, and seeing him on the world's biggest stage as an out, proud, unapologetic gay man really spoke to me as a queer woman who grew up never seeing ANY representation for me at all. I honestly had no idea the amount of money, work, and mettle went into becoming a professional skater. This book details Adam's journey growing up, the ups and downs with his skating, and learning about who he is and his sexuality. I'm not kidding when I tell you that I was laughing throughout this whole book (especially during the two stories detailing the times he shit himself - hysterical), experiencing a ton of anxiety (as he detailed qualifying for the Olympics), and cried my friggin eyes out. One day, I want to do a full review for this book because I just loved it so much it hurts. I love who he is. I love that this book really imbued me with how to keep on fighting and working hard, I love that each time I've read this book, I've come out the other side feeling more confident and capable. This is a self-help book hidden in an autobio. If the rink is Adam's therapeutic place, this book is mine. Here's a couple of his INCREDIBLE programs that he talked about in the book (one day I'll do page numbers and link to each performance as he talks about them): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ka53A... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Hvo-... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj92v... And a couple of personal favorite exhibition skates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIq-E... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW5bj...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lost in a Book

    I love Adam Rippon SOOOOO hard. Listening to him narrate this story was fabulous and had me LOLing throughout. Definitely recommended.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    We all know its what's on the inside that counts! Yet sometimes that mess on the outside is equally outstanding and worthy of the gold! In this case both situations are true! You'd be correct in saying Adam wasn't born with a silver spoon. You'd also be correct in noting his mom was like many single moms struggling to survive. Yet, the story graciously builds upon his humble roots in Scranton Pa to his glorious & albeit closely monitored life in California. So many focused upon the highest prize We all know its what's on the inside that counts! Yet sometimes that mess on the outside is equally outstanding and worthy of the gold! In this case both situations are true! You'd be correct in saying Adam wasn't born with a silver spoon. You'd also be correct in noting his mom was like many single moms struggling to survive. Yet, the story graciously builds upon his humble roots in Scranton Pa to his glorious & albeit closely monitored life in California. So many focused upon the highest prize -- Getting Gold! Yet for Adam it wasn't about the medal it was about the process of getting there that won the fans. You see Adam is unique in the fact he had no prior experience in figure skating when he went to Montage Mountain here in Northeastern Pennsylvania ( a place I've called home my entire 46 yrs). He moved up in the world when he found the Ice Box in Pittston which was like jumping from a box car to the Steamtown Train Excursion. What he noted in his work was how difficult everything was along the way. From securing those glam and glitzy pieces for events to the housing costs to the event expenses and everything in between. The coaches were an entirely different issue as finding a good fit is often not easy. The female coach from Russia was one such experience he'd probably rather forget. However, life goes on and is in constant motion. Always turning on its axis. Much like Frank in doing things, "My Way" Adam was simply doing them," His way." No, Frank Sinatra probably wasn't his cup of tea but in Adam you can find heart, compassion, empathy, and authenticity and that's what builds character and enforces tenacity. I have shed more than a few tears when he spoke of his teen years and the transgression of becoming a young adult. That need to want to be on your own yet seeking boundaries from afar. Oh, you know what I mean, for us single parents...When your child needs a vehicle, a job, a college and or career. The worries, the fear, the trepidations and mental anguish of wondering will my child fly away or fall flat on his or her face. The struggle is real. I'm so glad he opened up not solely about his sexual orientation but rather his life experiences. Where does he go from here? How does he build upon winning the Gold in 2018 at the Winter Olympics in Pyang Chang? What does his family life and personal life look like now? Well I would tell you this he's not one to cherry coat and I admire that trait! Keeping it real he tells his audience, " I felt like I had wasted my life chasing a kingdom that doesn't even exist." Yet he's one to admire and behold for it's not the glitz and glam but the person that truly is inspiring! A hometown proud individual who is showing us all that hard work involves more than just getting it done.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lorrie Kim

    Yes, you will probably laugh out loud reading Adam Rippon’s Beautiful on the Outside. (That happened to me five times, twice in public.) If you’re hoping for a sassy gay voice with this book, you’re in luck. Double luck if you were also hoping for gems of skate-mom wisdom from Kelly Rippon. There is a smattering of inside dirt, all the more delightful because it is meticulously worded and beyond reproach. I don’t know if you’ll cry, but I did. Once when Rippon paid tribute to Johnny Weir and Yes, you will probably laugh out loud reading Adam Rippon’s Beautiful on the Outside. (That happened to me five times, twice in public.) If you’re hoping for a sassy gay voice with this book, you’re in luck. Double luck if you were also hoping for gems of skate-mom wisdom from Kelly Rippon. There is a smattering of inside dirt, all the more delightful because it is meticulously worded and beyond reproach. I don’t know if you’ll cry, but I did. Once when Rippon paid tribute to Johnny Weir and Rudy Galindo for how they contributed to the sport before him as out gay men, and once when a story about Rafael Arutyunyan showed that Rippon had earned this coach’s respect and affection. Most of all, this book gives you a close-up view of how this Olympic medalist’s mind works. He acknowledges that he’s not “a normal human, but then going to the Olympics is not something normal humans do.” More than any other skating memoir I’ve read, this one demonstrates that championship skating requires just as much mental strength as physical training. Rippon’s mental discipline is phenomenal, as is his ability to reframe setbacks and learn from them. The structure of the book is beautiful, like Rippon’s cheekbones. It starts off with a profanity in the first sentence, to keep things humble. His painful 2014 U.S. Nationals, when he didn’t qualify for the Olympic team, comes at the exact midpoint of the book. From that point, the humor revs up until, by the end, I guarantee that you will laugh. It all started in childhood, of course, when tiny Adam dreamed of being like a woman he saw pictured on a popcorn tin, skating outdoors in a long black coat, a bonnet, and a white muff: “The muff would obviously be the key to my success.” Enter Kelly Rippon, mother of six: “’We’re not going to get a muff,’ my mom said. ‘You don’t need a muff. Where do you even buy a muff?’” Even as a small child, Rippon had elaborate plans for family talent shows, but they were often foiled because “there was always at least one Rippon child having some sort of meltdown—maybe my brother was crying or my sister shit her pants.” I raised my eyebrows at that. Wouldn’t his sister feel singled out, with a sentence like that? I needn’t have worried; I soon encountered a major recurring theme of this book. Suffice to say that nobody need feel singled out. Everything you suspected about Kelly Rippon’s Olympic-level parenting is true. With six kids, she made it to every child’s school play or recital. I can’t even do that with two kids. She once caught Adam engaging in rink gossip and cured him by making him watch a four-hour documentary on the Salem witch trials. She insisted on dinner as a family every night. Then I read about how she reduced her son’s commute as a young teen and saved money: using connections she’d developed on her own, Kelly Rippon found more paying students for Rippon’s coach at their local rink, then started a hockey program at that rink, booked “a ton of rooms at a local hotel” for that program, and got that hotel to reward her with a free room once a week. Then she was able to get Rippon’s coach to travel to them and stay there, at times, instead of him always taking the bus to train with her. Give that woman a medal. Adam was her equal, though. He was in sixth grade when she told him she couldn’t drive him to the rink in the mornings because she had to feed and clothe his five siblings and send them to school with their lunches. He got them up early, fed and clothed them himself, packed their lunches, dressed his preschool sister’s hair in “a crown of braids,” then woke his mother and informed her she could drive him to the rink. He did this every morning until he moved out. This prepared him well for a boss move in his final training year: he singlehandedly changed coach Rafael Arutyunyan’s haphazard scheduling structure. He coordinated schedule information from every other student, made a master plan for the season, presented it to this formidable coach, then held his breath. Arutyunyan adopted it whole. This seems, to me, as grand an achievement as a quad lutz. This kind of story gives insight into the degree of organization it takes to be an Olympic-level athlete. No wonder Rippon was able to sustain a near-superhuman public appearance schedule during his first professional year. “I would watch old interviews the hosts had done, and I would see who their favorite guests were. I would write four or five jokes for each appearance and try to get at least two of them into the conversation. I didn’t want it to look too obvious, like I was straining to get to the punch line, but I wanted to have material prepared. See? That was another thing I learned from competing—to do the hard work in the dark so I could shine in the light.” Figure skating’s emphasis on technical elements, transitions, flow and glide translated well to his post-skating career, as it often does. One striking passage involves a life lesson from legendary choreographer David Wilson. Rippon demonstrated Wilson’s choreography with a flawless skate that had a single stepout, and this tiny mistake bothered him so much that he broke character in frustration. This brought on a rant from Wilson, who was furious about the disrespect it showed to the work and the audience. It was painful, but it helped Rippon mature past the trap of perfectionism, an enormously empowering move. But enough about hard work. Don’t worry, there’s drama, too. If you’re wondering if former coach Nikolai Morozov appears in this book, the answer is yes. From alcohol overuse, to dating of students, to evidence that Morozov was often behind on his rent, the mentions are restrained, but choice. Yes, Rippon was desperately broke and hungry. Interviews have mentioned that he used to live on free apples from his gym, but I didn’t know until now that he’s actually allergic to apples. Yes, Rippon did have a chaste romance with Yuna Kim for a while; they were compatible in many ways. Normally, as an Asian woman, I wouldn’t appreciate a white man claiming, “I, too, am a shy, beautiful, timid Asian girl,” but in Rippon’s case…well, fair enough. Yes, Rippon discusses his coming out process. He mentions an entire network of support behind him, including officials and staff from U.S. Figure Skating, such as the fiercely supportive Barb Reichert, director of external relations. He thanks choreographer Cindy Stuart, friend and fellow world junior champion Derrick Delmore, and Randy Gardner’s husband Jay Gendron, as well. This kind of network is not new, but the support from USFS is a more recent phenomenon. Rippon’s memoir, in conjunction with earlier memoirs from Johnny Weir and Rudy Galindo, chronicle this development in the sport’s U.S. history. He also discusses a few relationships with men, with a generosity toward his younger self that is absolutely beautiful. If there is anything that young LGBTQ+ folks take from Rippon as a role model, let that gentleness be part of it. On the other hand, Rippon can be wickedly funny, as well. Kudos to him for writing about an unpleasant ex in a way that is thoroughly satisfying (he deserved it!) without being actually vengeful at all. Yes, there’s diva humor. He recounts being pleased that when he broke his ankle, at least he had had a pedicure the day before, so he looked good for the X-rays. And then when he left the rink to heal the injury, he cleaned out his locker and left conspicuous vacuum tracings around it because “I wanted it to look like someone had died.” Rippon doesn’t focus so much on medals. He barely mentions winning Nationals; it’s not about winning. He discusses the process, instead, especially the mental aspect. He recovered from his injury at the Olympic Training Center, where there are countdown clocks to the Olympics everywhere, but he took their ubiquity as incentive to time his recovery, not as a source of stress. The entire book conveys a tone of authenticity, but it’s not artless. Nor is it performative, although it is conscious of performance. Rippon’s authenticity, instead, comes across as an intentional strategy: hard-won, mindful. After so long in the sport, he has learned that being inauthentic—skating to please others rather than the self, skating to convey a false image, skating while hiding secrets—can only hold the skater back. You can see the proof of this strategy when you watch his rock-solid Olympic programs. He stays mentally present for every moment. He paces himself; he does not rush; he breathes. This is phenomenal. Rippon mentions saucily, several times, that his birthday is coming up: November 11, to be exact. What would make a good gift for someone who’s made so many of his skating dreams come true? Can somebody get Adam Rippon a really nice muff? Girlfriend deserves one. (Review originally posted to figureskatersonline.com.)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    I loved this memoir! You have to read this and should not be missed! This book was well written that got me from laughing to crying to laughing again on this juicy memoir full of raw honesty and an absolute page turner. Rippon's journey and passion to becoming an Olympic athlete was detailed so beautifully. Watching the Winter Olympics Figure skating was always a family affair and was never missed. So when this memoir came out, I knew I had to read it. I enjoyed it so much for the fun, humorous, I loved this memoir! You have to read this and should not be missed! This book was well written that got me from laughing to crying to laughing again on this juicy memoir full of raw honesty and an absolute page turner. Rippon's journey and passion to becoming an Olympic athlete was detailed so beautifully. Watching the Winter Olympics Figure skating was always a family affair and was never missed. So when this memoir came out, I knew I had to read it. I enjoyed it so much for the fun, humorous, witty and charming read into his life and vulnerabilities. I wouldn't miss this read at all. It is truly a fun read and absolutely amazing story that is inspirational and heartwarming. I highly recommend this memoir. 5 stars!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Schultz

    Read if you: Want a fun, funny, but also sweet memoir about someone who beat the odds.. If you've been a longtime figure skating fan, Adam Rippon is no overnight media sensation. However, that's what he became at the 2018 Winter Games. Not only did his beautiful skating attract new admirers, but his witty personality and outspokenness also endeared him to many. I knew the basics of Rippon's story--oldest of six children, parental divorce when he was young, a rocky post-juniors skating career, Read if you: Want a fun, funny, but also sweet memoir about someone who beat the odds.. If you've been a longtime figure skating fan, Adam Rippon is no overnight media sensation. However, that's what he became at the 2018 Winter Games. Not only did his beautiful skating attract new admirers, but his witty personality and outspokenness also endeared him to many. I knew the basics of Rippon's story--oldest of six children, parental divorce when he was young, a rocky post-juniors skating career, financial struggles in his twenties, coming out in a United States Figure Skating official magazine, a catastrophic injury, and a nervewracking 2018 Nationals--but I definitely didn't know the intimate details of such.. He is remarkably honest (and mature) about the very difficult relationships he has had with his parents (all much better now), which I definitely didn't know about. This is a chatty, warm, funny, and inspiring memoir. It is not an explosive or bitchy tell-all. He is obviously protective of his loved ones and acquaintances, save for a possessive ex-boyfriend and a mean girl from elementary school (who frankly, both deserve it). . Even if you're not a skating fan or have closely followed his career, Rippon's story is an inspirational one without being too sentimental or hokey. Many thanks to Grand Central Publishing and Netgalley for a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Dowling

    what a treat.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ...

    What makes a good celebrity memoir? For me it must be open and a bit voyeuristic, chatty and a bit gossipy, sweet, funny, warm and positive. It must read like a lengthy storytelling one-on-one chat over coffee. It must feel like I know the person. Adam Rippon's new memoir, Beautiful on the Outside is all of these things. His book will teach you a bit more about figure skating. It will make you laugh out loud. But mostly it will make you feel like you are one of his intimate friends; like he just What makes a good celebrity memoir? For me it must be open and a bit voyeuristic, chatty and a bit gossipy, sweet, funny, warm and positive. It must read like a lengthy storytelling one-on-one chat over coffee. It must feel like I know the person. Adam Rippon's new memoir, Beautiful on the Outside is all of these things. His book will teach you a bit more about figure skating. It will make you laugh out loud. But mostly it will make you feel like you are one of his intimate friends; like he just spilled all his secrets to you. I came away from the book admiring him even more than I did before.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I think I’m going with , rounded up. It was a delightful celebrity memoir. Can’t say it’s anything revolutionary but it was a fun treat to read. His humor comes through the page, which is what makes it so fun. The writing itself is just OK and that’s probably the only criticism I have. I bet this would be a super fun audiobook! Thanks to the publisher for providing me a free copy in exchange for an honest review! I think I’m going with ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫, rounded up. It was a delightful celebrity memoir. Can’t say it’s anything revolutionary but it was a fun treat to read. His humor comes through the page, which is what makes it so fun. The writing itself is just OK and that’s probably the only criticism I have. I bet this would be a super fun audiobook! Thanks to the publisher for providing me a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    Like a long Instagram story from our boy. I enjoyed it!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    *I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review* There was no way I wasn't going to enjoy this on some level, Adam is from my area of the world and following him in the Olympics and then onto everything he's been doing since has been great. What comes across strongest here is his voice and his force of personality. It's present from start to end, page after page. I also enjoyed getting a more comprehensive picture of his journey - some of it I knew but a lot of it I *I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review* There was no way I wasn't going to enjoy this on some level, Adam is from my area of the world and following him in the Olympics and then onto everything he's been doing since has been great. What comes across strongest here is his voice and his force of personality. It's present from start to end, page after page. I also enjoyed getting a more comprehensive picture of his journey - some of it I knew but a lot of it I didn't. Towards the end of the book I felt like the editing slipped a bit and I kept getting a bit confused as I was jostled between past and present tense. Overall though, a fun read—especially on the cusp of an Olympic year (yes, I know it's summer games, but still!).

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shane

    This started out slow for me, but I am so glad I stuck with it. I got fucking hooked and I HAD TO KNOW IF HE MAKES IT (except of course I did know that he made it??) to the olympics and have apparently finished it in a single day. The power of a good narrative! I was prepping for the end of grad school when the last winter Olympics happened, so honestly I had no idea who Adam Rippon was, but I am intensely charmed. I'm now going down a rabbit hole of watching all his youtube content. Listen to This started out slow for me, but I am so glad I stuck with it. I got fucking hooked and I HAD TO KNOW IF HE MAKES IT (except of course I did know that he made it??) to the olympics and have apparently finished it in a single day. The power of a good narrative! I was prepping for the end of grad school when the last winter Olympics happened, so honestly I had no idea who Adam Rippon was, but I am intensely charmed. I'm now going down a rabbit hole of watching all his youtube content. Listen to the audiobook, natch.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elena

    I just dragged myself out of an hour YouTube Time Suck in which I rewatchd many of Adam Rippon's routines. GAH he was so freaking good. I distinctly remember watching several live and just being absolutely absorbed into his skating. I really enjoyed this book. I think he has great perspective over the things that got him here, his mistakes and what he did to correct those mistakes going forward. There was drama and his usual brand of honestly but I also really enjoyed hearing about what EXACTLY I just dragged myself out of an hour YouTube Time Suck in which I rewatchd many of Adam Rippon's routines. GAH he was so freaking good. I distinctly remember watching several live and just being absolutely absorbed into his skating. I really enjoyed this book. I think he has great perspective over the things that got him here, his mistakes and what he did to correct those mistakes going forward. There was drama and his usual brand of honestly but I also really enjoyed hearing about what EXACTLY he was doing to improve his skating. My only regret is that I wasn't able to listen to this on audio. Maybe someday.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    Figure skating Olympic medalist Adam Rippon delivers a gold medal-worthy memoir that is both laugh-out-loud funny and inspiring. Rippon's sassy, outspoken personality and his skating skills made him a star of the 2018 Winter Olympics. At age 28, he was a decade older than his teammates. He had missed out on two previous Olympics and had broken his foot a year before he finally made the team. But he was also skating at his best. "I think people really connected with all that," he writes. "And I Figure skating Olympic medalist Adam Rippon delivers a gold medal-worthy memoir that is both laugh-out-loud funny and inspiring. Rippon's sassy, outspoken personality and his skating skills made him a star of the 2018 Winter Olympics. At age 28, he was a decade older than his teammates. He had missed out on two previous Olympics and had broken his foot a year before he finally made the team. But he was also skating at his best. "I think people really connected with all that," he writes. "And I was doing Invisalign, so my teeth were straight and perfect." At age five, Rippon begged his parents to take him ice skating after he saw an image on a popcorn tin of people skating. He was really more interested in getting a white muff like one held by a female skater in the illustration. Over the next decade, Rippon began competing and winning medals at local, national and international skating competitions. Despite fears that it might keep him off an Olympic team, Rippon publicly came out as gay a year before he finally made the team. He became the first openly gay U.S. athlete to win a medal at any Winter Olympics. Months after his win, his popularity exploded when he attended the Academy Awards wearing a leather harness, began training for Stars on Ice, and signed on for a season of Dancing with the Stars (and won). Rippon's winning personality shines through on every page. Jaunty and thoughtful, Beautiful on the Outside is the feel-good memoir of the season. Cheeky figure skating Olympian Adam Rippon's rollicking and inspiring memoir is a gold medal delight even for non-sports fans.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Bartos

    ***I received a free eARC of this book from Grand Central Publishing through Netgalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.*** *4.5 Stars Adam Rippon has such a strong, entertaining voice that he could've been writing about nearly anything, and I would've been captivated. Luckily, the story of his journey to and a little bit past the Olympics is an entertaining ride on its own as well. This is really a story of hard work and passion and perseverance, ***I received a free eARC of this book from Grand Central Publishing through Netgalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.*** *4.5 Stars Adam Rippon has such a strong, entertaining voice that he could've been writing about nearly anything, and I would've been captivated. Luckily, the story of his journey to and a little bit past the Olympics is an entertaining ride on its own as well. This is really a story of hard work and passion and perseverance, but I think this memoir really shines when Adam is talking about his relationships: romantic relationships, friendships, relationships with his coaches, with his family, etc. He has a keen eye for how he has grown from each and an empathy to understand both how each affected him but also how he may have affected them. I can't wait to see where Adam goes from here, and I think near the end of the book, you can feel his excitement for the future blasting through the page as well. I highly recommend the audiobook because Adam truly knows how to deliver.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kelly 💜☕️

    Such a fun memoir that was phenomenal as an audiobook. This was an easy listen that helped me get chores done around the house with a smile on my face. Thanks to San Diego County Library for the digital audio version via Libby app. [Audio: 8 hours, 20 minutes]

  17. 4 out of 5

    patricia baldwin

    Wow. Just wow. Thank you Adam. This old lady figure skater follower is now more educated in the finer points of skating and competition. I love your mom. Your book did it for me. Drug testing had me crying and laughing at the same time. Please follow up with more writing as you embark on new ventures.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Erin Schaick

    Adam Rippon is a national treasure.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Juliette

    I’m going to be that judge and deduct a star for technical merit. Rippon writes a hilarious and compelling memoir, and his book is like a message from a friend. “But Juliette,” you say, “isn’t Rippon 29-years-old? What could experience he possibly have had to write about?” He’s an Olympian. He writes about the early mornings, the weeks away from his family as a young boy, his physical difficulties (including his eating disorder), competitions ... everything that you would expect. And he writes I’m going to be that judge and deduct a star for technical merit. Rippon writes a hilarious and compelling memoir, and his book is like a message from a friend. “But Juliette,” you say, “isn’t Rippon 29-years-old? What could experience he possibly have had to write about?” He’s an Olympian. He writes about the early mornings, the weeks away from his family as a young boy, his physical difficulties (including his eating disorder), competitions ... everything that you would expect. And he writes with his usual humor and flair. I was laughing in the train, which is always a good thing. I love how he puts a positive spin on everything he attempts. I love that he encourages his readers to just go for it (which is, btw, what he told me when I said I was scared to skate as an adult). He’s a great human being. So, about that star deduction.... Sometimes, I struggled with the timeline of events. He would talk about an event, then share stories that may or may not have happened in the past, and then go back to the first story, I think. I wish the transitions were clearer. That’s my only complaint with the book. Nothing that should detract from the book itself.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Allana

    I did not know how much I needed this book until I started reading it. If you don't know who Adam Rippon is, you need to take a good hard look at your life and re-evaluate your entire existence. Then you purchase this book. For one thing, Adam Rippon is delightfully sassy and blunt. The tone of his voice really shines through in this memoir and there are a ton of laugh-out-loud moments that take you by complete surprise. But let me tell you, the audio book gives me life. I can't recommend enough I did not know how much I needed this book until I started reading it. If you don't know who Adam Rippon is, you need to take a good hard look at your life and re-evaluate your entire existence. Then you purchase this book. For one thing, Adam Rippon is delightfully sassy and blunt. The tone of his voice really shines through in this memoir and there are a ton of laugh-out-loud moments that take you by complete surprise. But let me tell you, the audio book gives me life. I can't recommend enough how great it is to listen to the audio book. In fact, 70% of this book I spent listening rather than actually reading. The audio book is narrated by Adam Rippon himself, so the sass hits you sevenfold. And it is great. There were so many moments that took me by surprise and made me laugh aloud in public (really embarrassing). I can only imagine the confounded faces of the poor souls who sat next to me on the bus or walked past me down the street as my face phased through at least a thousand different emotions. Or just giggled like a madman under my breath as I stare out into space. As many hilarious moments as there were in this memoir, there was also a great balance between these and more serious topics. Adam talks about getting bullied in his childhood, his coming out experience and his early fears of isolation, poverty and supporting himself in the world, fears of failure, injuries, an eating disorder, overworking himself, and never feeling like what he did was ever enough. I found so many relatable things in this memoir and there were so many moments that I had to close the book or pause the audio so I could soak in some of the things he talks about and reflect on some things in my own life. What I love most about this memoir is how much Adam devotes to presenting us what he used to think before a defining moment in his life, how that mindset affected him, what he did to evolve past it, and what he thinks now. Children, teens, young adults, and adults all think differently, and the values, experiences, and mindsets of the past definitely change as we grow older, wiser, and more open to change. There were plenty of quotes that I had to mark down because I could relate in so many ways to what Adam was sharing. Sometimes I can't help but think that my failures reflect on me as a person and illuminate this notion that I just haven't worked hard enough to achieve success. The way that Adam shared the evolution of his mindset with his life story hit really hard, and I find I have to take down some notes to remind myself that failures are opportunities to take a step back and analyze where you are, where you want to be, and how to get there. Thank you, Adam Rippon, for reminding us that we shouldn't dwell on the disappointments and setbacks in life. "I learned to take the bad situations and realize they weren't just bad- they were the starting line to get to somewhere else." "In my starting pose, so many thoughts were going through my head at the same time...I remembered that disastrous nationals when I didn't make the Olympics in 2014; I remembered forging out on my own and being so poor I couldn't eat; I remembered coming out of the closet personally and professionally and what a struggle and triumph it was. I thought about every competition I won and every competition I lost. I thought about all that led me to this one moment where I needed all the tools I had acquired on this journey to give the performance of a lifetime." "I've had disappointments and setbacks, and I've been upset by them, but I had to learn not to dwell on them. If you think of every mistake as falling into a hole, then you need to climb out of that hole to get to where you were before. If you keep falling in holes and getting back up, you're just living on a plateau. I think of every mistake as a launching pad. It's going to lead me somewhere else, somewhere higher, someplace I might not have been able to see before."

  21. 5 out of 5

    Melyssa

    This was a fun book. I could just imagine Adam Rippon saying the words as I read. He’s funny throughout but you also see how hard he worked to get to the Olympics and how much he and his mom sacrificed to make that possible. He’s an inspiring person.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jeanie

    Adam Rippon is as beautiful on the inside as he is on the outside. Auto biography of Olympic metal winning skater will keep you laughing for days. Much respect to his Mother for raising 5 kids, with what must be the most fantastic time management ever!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Maya

    I cry-laughed reading this more times than I thought humanly possible. I also kept having anxiety moments of 'omg is Adam going to make it to the Olympics? Is he going to skate clean at the Olympics?' when I literally watched the '18 Olympics for you, Adam, and saw you be perfect. This was easily my favorite book of the year and I don't even care for memoirs, which I think is proof Adam should write all things I don't usually care to read because then I would like them all.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Judith

    Short, highly readable memoir by one of my favorite skaters. Rippon tells the tale of his rise from his first time on the ice (hated it) to Olympic glory at the ripe age of 27. He reveals his embarrassing moments in somewhat grim detail, from boyhood to adult (some things never change). And he does it all with a sense of humor that seems to come naturally. Rippon made headlines when he came out shortly before the Olympics in 2018. It isn't unusual, of course, for skaters to be gay, but most do Short, highly readable memoir by one of my favorite skaters. Rippon tells the tale of his rise from his first time on the ice (hated it) to Olympic glory at the ripe age of 27. He reveals his embarrassing moments in somewhat grim detail, from boyhood to adult (some things never change). And he does it all with a sense of humor that seems to come naturally. Rippon made headlines when he came out shortly before the Olympics in 2018. It isn't unusual, of course, for skaters to be gay, but most do not come out, or at least didn't. For Rippon, coming out was the least of the issues he had to deal with growing up. His parents were divided on his skating obsession, with his mother moving heaven and earth to make it happen and his father thinking it wasn't worth the trouble. Adam himself had to take long bus rides to rinks, live with coaches and relatives, and move to different cities over the years. His mother found work at the first rink, managed to work her way up to management positions, and managed Adam's arrangements as well. Until he rebelled at the tender age of 22. When he finally took on adulthood, he had some very grim times, just finding enough food to eat, and may have developed some unhealthy relationships with food. He also had to move from coach to coach, depending on where he was in his development, and some were more helpful and inspiring than others. Rather belatedly, Adam learned how to make and keep friends, as he had been home-schooled for a long time. He found that outgoing part of himself, relying in large part on humor but also on a natural compassion for others. Through the hard times and the good, he didn't give in to despair. There were times when a disappointing loss had him hiding in his room, watching television, but it never lasted long. It also seemed that help came at the right times to pull him out. Rippon was lucky to have good people in his life, including his mother, his siblings, his friends, his coaches. But he was especially lucky in having a drive that kept him going, kept him picking himself up and moving on, and learning from his bad choices. It's fun to read and an interesting tour of the life of a skater ("skate years are like dog years"). Having a grandson who is a figure skater gives me some insight into that world, but every skater's life is different. I enjoyed Adam's story because I like him as a skater and as a person and this book reveals that he is most certainly beautiful both inside and out.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gay Old Fart

    This was an unexpected delightful read. There was a conversational tone to it, punctuated by occasional "breaking the fourth wall" remarks, which made me chuckle. The brief passage relating Rippon meeting Gus Kenworthy was very emotional for me. All in all, I enjoyed it very much.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Linda Quinn

    As a big Adam Rippon fan I knew I’d love this book and after realizing he narrated the audio book I got that instead. He’s funny, he’s sassy, he tells it like it is and I have to say I admire him more after listening to his story. I also admire his mom very much because as he will be the first to tell you, he wouldn’t have gotten very far without her. He struggled, he failed some, he fell one very important time yet managed to get up and come back stronger to fulfill his dreams of an Olympic As a big Adam Rippon fan I knew I’d love this book and after realizing he narrated the audio book I got that instead. He’s funny, he’s sassy, he tells it like it is and I have to say I admire him more after listening to his story. I also admire his mom very much because as he will be the first to tell you, he wouldn’t have gotten very far without her. He struggled, he failed some, he fell one very important time yet managed to get up and come back stronger to fulfill his dreams of an Olympic performance.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Smith

    So many lessons! I really did not know what to expect but I really enjoyed this book. There are many lessons to learn from this book, hard work pays off, be who you truly are, take chances, etc. What is also evident is that this is a caring young man with what I find to be a hilarious sense of humor.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I have read my share of celebrity memoirs and reviewed a number of them. I do believe this is among the very few I have enjoyed most and rated the highest. It is witty and clever and endearing. It feels honest and open and real. I have already recommended it to others, including persons I care about who are trying to figure out their own life paths. Adam describes his life from young child, unaware of the stresses and sacrifices his dream put upon his parents, through the challenges of finding I have read my share of celebrity memoirs and reviewed a number of them. I do believe this is among the very few I have enjoyed most and rated the highest. It is witty and clever and endearing. It feels honest and open and real. I have already recommended it to others, including persons I care about who are trying to figure out their own life paths. Adam describes his life from young child, unaware of the stresses and sacrifices his dream put upon his parents, through the challenges of finding the proper coach at the proper time, and dealing with youthful hormonal urges. He comes clean about struggling with claiming independence over his own life and figuring out whom he can trust and believe in. His path was not perfect. His choices were not always the best, but he overcame obstacles, had to decide over and over again that he wanted his chosen path as not only a figure skater but an award winning skater. Sacrifices were made by his family and friends as well as by Adam. As he reaches his goal, he is honest about needing to make new choices and begin on a new path. I am glad he wrote this book to inspire, not only a new generation, but also, ANYONE who has a dream. I look forward to watching where life takes him next, knowing that should he stumble. he will recover and figure it out. This book was inspirational as well as fun to read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Hilarious. I'm in the business and I don't read many skating books (I like to separate work and my personal life!) but I made a point to read this one. Highly recommend if you know of Adam and want a good laugh.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rosanne

    I thought I knew the kind of drive it takes to be a top athlete, but I was mistaken. This book tells in a very honest way how difficult it is to reach the level of Olympian - the sacrifice, the pain, the insecurity, the effort and so much more. It also provides an important lesson in how psychology can inhibit or enhance performance. However, this is also a witty, fun read due to the author's lively and amusing writing. Very enjoyable.

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