Cover Image: Radical Love

Radical Love

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Member Reviews

Radical Love is the blended memoir and self help journey of actor Zachary Levi known for the television Chuck and superhero film Shazam. Levi bares his struggles with mental health and his difficult childhood in an abusive household, with the laudable goal of helping others.

I came to this work as someone interested in Levi's work as an actor. While written with a great deal of bravery, honesty, and well meant intention; I frequently found myself wishing this were just a traditional memoir. (Even though Levi himself didn't feel his life had warranted one). The reader does learn a good bit of the challenges of landing a part, the amount of time and work involved in the entertainment medium and the temptations of fame. However,the focus of the book is how to take responsibility for your own care and recognize your short comings and unhelpful habits. Levi did this, often with the help of faith in God.

The narrative alternates between 2017 when he suffered a mental breakdown and formative times and experiences from Levi's life. The reader bounces between Levi detailing and explaining his mental health treatment methods and the periods of his life that led to the development of his habitats. Amidst every chapter are platitudes and affirmation phrases. Levi has used his position to advocate for mental health, importantly emphasizing that this is a lifelong struggle for many.

As with many things, the COIVD-19 pandemic delayed the publication of this work and Levi rewrote some of this book during that time. I'm left to wonder what was that earlier version?

Very raw and honest, and I'm happy to read that Levi is doing well. This work demonstrates that Levi has learned how to better manage his mental health and I wish it had been presented more informationally and less as a set of instructions. I hope the published version includes resources for those needing access to mental health support regardless of status.
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My 19 yo son, Zachary texted me from the dentist’s chair, saying he wanted to to read this book by Zachary Levi. I was like, me too! My son said, I like the guy, he’s a good actor, and I like is ideals. It’s a rare moment my son and I are interested in the same thing. He was impressed I was able to review an advanced copy before the release! Now we are both reading the same book, looking forward to buying a paper copy, and discussing some similarities between our lives and Zachary Levi’s life. There’s the common first name, the generational mental health related traumas, and the resilience. I am thankful for this book and the connection it helped foster with my son. Thank you to the author Zachary Levi for lessening the stigma related to mental health.
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I was excited to see this pop-up and even more excited to be approved. I've always enjoyed Zachary Levi and glad to see that he is the person he presents himself to be.
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I love Zachary Levi and his heart. His desire to grow and love not only himself but others is so real and raw. Parts of this book felt like a diary - so personal and honest. I’ve always respected him and his vulnerability and I hope he writes more!
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Zachary Levi addresses the role of generational trauma and his upbringing on his anxiety, and its evolution from childhood. I found his truth and authenticity hit me hard. As an adult who is still reckoning with the trauma of their childhood, and how difficult it can be to let go of the parent you seek the most validation from, Zachary Levi speaks with the empathy of an observer and  the deep emotion of an intimately intertwined participant.. Seeing the journey through his eyes, I too felt that I was accepting myself while trying to separate the identity of my parent as a parent and just looking at them as an individual. It is interesting to see how a child approaches a relationship with their parent once they no longer view them with the same lenses of a child, stripping away that veneer, Zachary Levi  asks, “Is this a person I want to continue a relationship with because they understand me an individual or because of the strong bonds of obligation between a mother and child?” By the end of the book, you, as the reader, will be wondering the same thing. Ultimately, this book demonstrates that mental health is a continual journey and those that lead you astray, by contributing to your anxiety or depression, should be left behind with the person that you once were; The person you are becoming does not need to continue to carry the burdens of old.
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I received an advanced digital copy of this book from the author, publisher and NetGalley.com. Many thanks to all for the opportunity to read and review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
This isn't a tell-all, dirty laundry all over the place kind of memoir that you usually find celebrities writing. This is a "warts and all" and very real look at someone who is living with the aftermath of generational trauma and dealing with his own mental health because of it.  Equal parts heartbreaking and funny. Mr. Levi speaks of his journey candidly, and with what feels like an intent of sharing healing and growth through therapy and his faith, how he had to learn to love himself as he loves others. Take note: there are triggering moments, as he writes of dealing with an abusive mother that could leave a reader dealing with their own trauma.
5 out of 5 stars. Highly recommended.
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I enjoyed this book. The plot was paced well and the characters were well developed. I would recommend this book to others and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
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I love Zachary Levi. He has made his career on being the nice funny guy. He's even a Disney Prince! (one of the good ones who, though stumbles at times, actually supports the princess and respects her boundaries) I don't associate any negative emotions with him. 

This memoir showcases a drastically different side of him. He mentions Hollywood and his relationships, but rather than going into the gossip he writes about his feelings and thoughts. He speculates how his thoughts have come to be through reflecting on his relationships in his life. Levi does not shy away from the harsh words he has for himself. He delves into the dark emotion. I wasn't expecting it, so if you are in a fragile state or tend to have sharp angry words for yourself in your head, be aware that Levi writes these words out, too. The darkness isn't balanced with the light every time. The beginning of this may make you spiral depending on your anxiety or depression. I appreciate the clarity. For those who never have such words for themselves would never understand the depth of that emotion or how hard it is to not believe those lies in your head. 

The book does end in a hopeful tone. He finds help and strategies that keep him going. I've learned so much more from this memoir than I was expecting.
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In this heartbreaking yet uplifting memoir, Zachary Levi chronicles his mental health journey after struggling for many years and hitting rock bottom.  This book is very relatable and shows a whole other side of this star.  He opens up about his past and family life and his continuing struggles today.  He dives into all the trauma he faced all the ways to heal from it.  At times, it was a little too spiritual for me, but the book was very relatable and really shined a light on mental health.  This is a very moving book and I recommend it.
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This was the book I was looking forward to reading the most this year. It does not disappoint. Mr Levi has a way of writing that makes it seem as if he is next you having a conversation. I found myself nodding along in many places. His openness about mental illness serves his purpose of helping to remove the stigma and isolation so many feel. While I wouldn't say the book is  religious, he does reflect on his own faith in God and how that connects to mental illness. But he doesn't do it in a way that should stop anyone who doesn't share his beliefs from reading this book. This will most likely become my go to recommendation for books on mental illness, if for no other reason than the reader will leave feeling like they aren't alone.
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Thank you to NetGalley for providing this ARC!  I was primarily interested in this book because I love Zachary Levi as an actor...  This book was part autobiography (dealing with his past trauma and ensuing mental health journey) and part self-help book, and while it was extremely interesting from a biographical standpoint, I'm not sure how successful it will be as self-help for anyone experiencing their own mental health issues.  His story of learning to love himself (and others) "radically", was made possible by many resources unattainable to the average (non-affluent) individual.  Semi-inspirational, nonetheless.
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An interesting an honest look into the actor's life, Radical Love feels like a therapy session with Zachary Levi. He talks about the ups and downs of self belief in an industry that can be very hard on a person's esteem, and he comes to terms with the long term impact of depression and anxiety on his life. I was interested in the way that this was framed: he wrote a draft, drew his conclusions, and then had to reevaluate everything through the lens of a post Covid world. I don't know that this book is necessarily groundbreaking as an actor memoir or as a mental health memoir, but it covers some valuable ground and will interest fans.
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I had the pleasure of meeting Zachary Levi in 2021, and he talked about this book he was writing. My youngest daughter was and is still having some issues of anxiety and finding purpose She heard his talk too, and really perked up. I knew that this was a book I needed to read, and to my delight, it was available to me early!

Zachary Levi details how his childhood was riddled with bullying, verbal abuse, parents not paying attention, etc. I can't imagine what that can do to a person, but he does a great job of explaining how his mental well being was affected. He gives very personal examples from childhood into adult hood of how he suffered, messed up, and sought help. 

I love that he stresses, throughout this book, that we don't have to do anything to earn or be worthy of love. Unconditional love is a gift, and I pray that those who struggle with these thoughts and anxieties would be able to hear that and feel that. Learning to love self and others is hard, but when we are intentional, we can be happy.

I highly recommend this to everyone.

Thank you Harper Horizon and NetGalley for the digital ARC. The opinions expressed are my own.
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I’ve been a fan of Zachary Levi since watching Chuck, and had the pleasure of seeing him on Broadway in First Date. What I didn’t know was that behind his happy go lucky exterior was a guy who was suffering from depression and anxiety,

In Radical Love, Levi opens up honestly about his struggles with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and his emotional traumas growing up. His journey to accepting himself and learning self love is enlightening, and I admire his courage in recounting his dark times. His plea that mental illness not be a societal stigma needs to be heard. The book itself reads as if he’s speaking directly to you (he could have toned down some of the language though).

My thanks to Harper Horizon, and to Netgalley, for providing me an ARC of this book that is an important addition to the national conversation about mental health.
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Thank you NetGalley and HarperCollins for the opportunity to read an Advanced Copy Of Zachary Levi's Radical Love.

I first saw Zachary Levi in Chuck and absolutely loved that series.  I continued to be impressed with his performances in Tangled, First Date, She Loves Me, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Shazam! and American Underdog.  This did not prepare me for how much I loved this book.  My childhood has many similarities to Zachary's and I have also struggled working through my trauma.  I think this book does a beautiful job portraying his challenges and  mental health battles. It is a raw, brutally honest memoir that gives hope to working though generational trauma.
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Ok, first, yes - I was warned (thank you to my Bookstagram bestie for the heads-up) that this is heavy, and to have something light on-tap for when I was done. Maybe today (my late BFF’s birthday) was not the right day to read it, when I’m already feeling down. But phew… this book is extremely difficult, emotionally! 

If you don’t know Zachary Levi - he was Kip Steadman on “Less Than Perfect” starring Eric Robers and Sara Rue, Chuck on “Chuck”, Flynn Ryder’s voice for Tangled (Disney), and Shazam (DC Comics).

Back in his Chuck days… I always though “I want to marry that guy.” (I loved Less Than Perfect, but of course his character was intentionally unlikeable - but I definitely noticed Zac!). Who knew what struggles he was going through! This incredible man, who is my age, has been through hell and back (several times), masked it under comedy and a smile - much like Jim Carey and Robin Williams - they say some of the funniest comedians are the most depressed people. My heart breaks learning that the actor I’ve admired so much (the most?) for 20 years has struggled so terribly, for so long, and was unable to reach out and ask for help for a long time. Hopefully, by telling his story, it will reduce the mental health stigma a little more, and some others will reach out, talk to someone, and think twice before coming to self-harm.

While this was hard to read, it is necessary. Mental health struggles need to be discussed, brought into the light, into everyday conversations - as Zac says from the opening of the book, discussed like other health issues and treated like all other regular daily health care such as brushing your teeth. Take the stigma out of it and help more people get the treatment and medication that can help stabilize their lives - and perhaps tragedies like last week’s Uvalde school won’t keep happening.

For the simple fact that everyone has something going on upstairs (whether they want to admit it or not, and whether it can be controlled with simple tricks & techniques, or needs medical intervention is not the discussion here), I highly recommend that every single person out there takes the time to read this book. If you know and love Zac as I do and also want to know his story, or if it’s just for the mental health discussion - go and pick up a copy! 

Out June 28 in ebook and Audio read by Zac himself! I will be getting the Audible so I can hear his words in his voice, you betcha!!

I received an advance copy from NetGalley and Harper Horizon, and this is my honest review and feedback.
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I am a big fan of Zachary Levi as an actor (even though I've probably only seen him in 2-3 things, lol). So when I discovered he was releasing a book, I got very excited.

I was pleasantly surprised in a few areas with the read, and disappointed in others.

Levi has been through A. Ton. in his life. _A ton._ And he doesn't shy away from that. The downside for me was the language included--especially given the faith component woven throughout the read at the same time, so one hand _language_, the other hand _faith_. That read as a bit of a jerky back-and-forth to me. (And a majority of the language was f-bombs, which got really old really fast.)

I did really appreciate how much Levi shared about the hard work he has put in to better his own mental health and encourage the reader. A few paragraphs on objective truth, in particular, were refreshing counterpoints to the subjective "your truth" so prevalent in Hollywood (and, frankly, everywhere else) today. Some elements did still read a bit New Agey, and I may not hold the same theological convictions on all fronts, but I did particularly appreciate those paragraphs, and other sections certainly gave food for thought.

My main takeaway was Levi's emphasis on mental health and that there is no shame in seeking counseling--in fact, quite the opposite. No one is less-than for seeking help through therapy, medication, etc.; that pursuit is, truly, one of the bravest things we can do.

I received an eARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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Radical Love: Learning to Accept Yourself and Others by Zachary Levi
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Before reading this memoir I was a big fan of Zachary Levi, he seemed like a cool, down to earth guy who was also an entertaining actor in Hollywood.
After reading this memoir, I am an even bigger fan. 
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Zachary takes us on his journey to better mental health. All the way from his parents upbringing to his present life, he gives us a look at how the way he was raised and his time in Hollywood has had a huge inpact on his life and who he is. 
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What I liked:
-I enjoyed learning so much about Zac’s life. I love learning more about people and understanding what they’ve had to overcome and what has shaped them.
-There were SO MANY things that I screenshot or highlighted in this book. Lots of great sentences or thoughts that just made me think or made so much sense to me and I wanted to remember for later. One part that I really want to take away from the book is where he says refusing to forgive someone is like drinking poison and hoping that the other person will die. This is so true and I actually hadn’t heard it put that way before so I want to remember that. 
-Zac actually says something about how talking about our mental health can help people relate to what you went through or are still going through and this may help them to feel a little more ok. I kept doing this through the whole book actually! 😂😂😂 
-The stories about Zac’s mom were so compelling for me, and what he was able to say about her in the last chapter was so touching and I teared up. I especially connected to this part of the story, as I kept comparing this to my not great relationship with my mom and her mental health struggles. 
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I don’t feel right giving a star rating to a non-fiction memoir but I will say I very much enjoyed this book. I think mental wellness is hugely important, and I appreciate all the honesty that Zac put into his story. 
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Thank you Netgalley for this digital copy to read. Pub Date 6/28/22.
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Radical Love is a moving story of a man learning to accept himself after years of trauma. It is his personal story of struggle and success. Mental health is an uphill continuous battle and Zac does a fantastic job of explaining that there is no cure but there is help along the way. This book is outstandingly emotional and raw. Zac wrote this from the heart and really put his all into it. I highly recommend this book.
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This book was fantastic. Zac gives such a genuine and motivational outlook to everything. I love Levi and his acting career, so hearing so many stories of his life and struggles was fantastic, I loved how stories were mixed into advice and thoughts on life. A well written memoir that should be enjoyed by all.
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