A Call to Courage

Let's All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs

Release Date: July 15, 2014
Publisher: Zondervan
Pages: 208 pages
Source & Format: Bought; Kindle e-book
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Summary (from Goodreads)
Annie Downs admits she’s not exactly the bravest girl in the world. She still cries sometimes when she leaves her parents’ home in Georgia, she’s never jumped out of a plane, and she only rides roller coasters to impress boys. But Annie knows that courage resides inside each and every one of us, and she’s on a mission to triumph over her own fears while encouraging the reader to do the same.

As a single young woman, writer, speaker, and blogger, Annie Downs shares her journey toward bravery with honesty and humor. Using wonderful stories from her own life, contemporary real-life examples, and fascinating historical and biblical references, Annie encourages readers to grab hold of the brave life that they desperately desire.

How often does fear hold us back from the very things we most want to taste, touch, and experience? The call to be brave isn’t just for one person—it’s for everyone. Let’s All Be Brave is more than a book, it’s a battle cry. Annie challenges us to live boldly, she calls us to step into those places that require courage, and she gives us the help to take the next step forward—even when it’s scary.

This non-fiction, essay-driven book opens the door to many different views of courage—nudging, encouraging, and inspiring readers to be brave whenever given the chance.

Brief Thoughts on Let's All Be Brave
One of my friends from college moved to Nashville after graduation, which is how I first heard about author and speaker Annie Downs (who is active in the Nashville creative community). My friend mentioned Annie's blog (or maybe it was one of her previous books?), and I was intrigued. Annie was on my radar after that, and I knew I was going to read Let's All Be Brave when I saw this post on She Reads Truth.

In the interview, Annie responded to a question with this answer:
"I think it's important to remember that there is no shame in being full of hope. There are times when we feel shame for hoping - for believing that God could do something and move in an area of our lives that we haven't seen movement in so far... It takes guts to hope in the face of disappointment. It takes guts to hope until doors close and THEN go face to face with God about hope unfulfilled. It's easy to give up. Don't do it. Hold on to hope."
Something about her words just resonated with me so deeply. I love the way she frames bravery - that it can be as simple holding on to hope. So, I picked up Let's All Be Brave and dove right in. Annie has written a book that is both challenging and encouraging. Reading it reminded me of sitting down with a close friend, one who knows the real you, and discussing our dreams over coffee. But instead of just idly daydreaming, this friend speaks truth into your life. It's an honest moment, a scary and intimidating thing, to take a hard look at the areas where you need to be brave.

Annie talks about holding on, letting go, saying yes, and saying no. She shares how the people around you, the words and talents inside you and the places you find yourself can help you make the next move. Whether it's identifying the dreams you've buried or finally moving toward that dream, there's bravery in every single step along the way.

I loved how Annie weaves in Scripture and biblical truth. It's not about doing things in your own strength, and she absolutely makes that clear throughout Let's All Be Brave. My favorite aspect was the way Annie highlights that courage can cause a chain reaction and that "the bravest among us do not stand alone." What an encouraging reminder!

Let's All Be Brave was exactly what I needed - a bright spot of truth and joy. It's written in a memoir style and filled with stories from Annie's personal life. This aspect of the book made it occasionally choppy, and some stories resonated more than others, but I really did enjoy the book overall. If you're looking for some encouragement to chase your dreams, this might be just the thing!

So Quotable
"Maybe today is a good day to figure out who loves you. Their love will give you courage. Maybe today is a good day to tell the ones you love that you love them. Your love will give them courage, like a deposit in the bank of the heart. I don't know how it works, the science and math of it all, but I know that love given is courage gained."


  1. This is on my wish list. SO glad to hear it's good. I think we can all use a little bravery, huh? Great review.

  2. Honestly, Let's All Be Brave sounds exactly like my kind of read! I'm always on the hunt for non-fiction novels that will inspire and encourage and challenge me, and you've definitely made it sound like this will do exactly that. I'm glad you mentioned it on your blog, as I don't think I'd have heard of it otherwise! Off to Amazon to find a copy now ;)

  3. Annie Downs keeps popping up on my radar. I'm pretty sure the Universe is telling me I need to read her. Great review! (P.S.- I'm sad that you cannot be part of our book club!)


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