Cover Image: Radical Love

Radical Love

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Member Reviews

As a huge fan of Zachary Levi’s work (his acting and his other endeavors - Nerd HQ especially) I was heartbroken to hear of the struggles he endured as a child and the mental health issues he’s faced as a result of that trauma. Please don’t go into this thinking “poor rich white man” because money cannot buy you out of depression and self-doubt. I read this at a time when I have been dealing with my own depression, and I think it actually helped me to see that someone I viewed as so successful and inspiring can have self esteem issues too. I appreciated Zac’s candor about mental health being a constant work in progress - he acknowledges that he has relapses and will maybe never be completely healed - but wish he had a better attitude toward meds. He acknowledges that sometimes they are necessary but expresses a hope that he will not need them forever. Some people need meds forever and that’s okay. Zac also discusses his faith and the relationship between his faith and his mental health, but it doesn’t come across as preachy.

Thank you to Net Galley and Harper Horizon for the advance copy!
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One of the best autobiographies I have ever read! 

"In hindsight, I know God was telling me that I needed to prepare myself for His blessings before He could give them to me. But bot, it didn’t feel that way at the time. At the time, it felt like nearly all the grown-ups and parents in the industry were united in a chorus of disapproval, telling me I was pathetic and worthless."

“Nearly all of our collective woes on earth can be traced back to the broken hearts and minds of people.”

Moving, poignant, painfully raw and honest, not only is it inspiring but it is also incredibly insightful and educational on all things generational trauma, mental health and success.

“The problem was that I saw it as a problem. The problem was that I felt shame, again.”

“The only way forward is to get back up, dust yourself off, and move forward again. The only way to do that is to accept yourself as less than perfect. And the only way to do that is to have grace.

*** I received an early complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own
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This is a raw and honest look at mental health written in a conversational style that makes readers feel as if the author is talking directly to them. A blend of memoir and self-help in that Levi openly discusses his mental health struggles and also seeks to guide readers who may be in similar circumstances. There is a heavy dose of God/spirituality in this book which I was not prepared for, and there were moments when I felt like Levi was veering toward anti-science (though I think, really, he was trying to be "holistic" in including spirituality AND science, with the idea that science alone is not enough). Since this book is about his personal journey, I can't fault him for telling that side of things, but it did distance me personally from the text a bit. If I had expected it more going in, I might not have felt so sideswiped by it.

Overall, a good read and fairly quick and easy. Ebook formatting was somewhat wonky, though.
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Through his honesty and vulnerability, Zachary Levi shows how human we all are in darkness. Through his novel, he shares his journey of self discovery, anxiety, and depression. Astonishing truth and reality is brought to the surface for many readers to relate to. If you are suffering, please seek help and know you matter.
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This is phenomenal!!! I loved the honesty and vunerablity Zachary laid out for us about mental health. This is such an important book for others to know they are not alone and to help someone possible walking this road on their journey. 

Zachary's quick wit and sense of humor offer levity to heavy topics. It is quick paced yet deep and poignant. It is wonderfully written and the journey is so important to where we are in our culture right now. We need to throw open the doors on the discussion of mental health and this book is a great way to start that conversation. 

I plan on buying this book for everyone I love in my life. Thank you Zachary for this raw, honest and vunerable look into your life. Thank you for sharing it with us so that others may be able to heal and recognize themselves in your story and take steps to loving themselves and others.
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Brutally honest memoir documenting the struggles of a beloved actor

Radical Love is Zachary Levi’s important journey through trauma, depression and recovery. Documenting his personal struggles with anxiety, panic attacks, suicidal thoughts and subsequent therapy, he lays it all bare for readers to see hope through their own battles. 

Personally, it was a very difficult yet important book for me to read. For I too have felt many of the same things with my battles with trauma; losing my faith in God, putting on a smile when you feel utterly lost and hopeless and trying to figure out how to be taken care of when you have been forced to do it alone for so long. Zachary places humor in the book, and some adult language, trying to keep it light and to still tell the hard stories.

Highly recommended for those that think they are alone in their struggles.
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I have known and admired Zachary Levi since I discovered him fourteen years ago in the the TV Series, Chuck, which is still one of my favorite series to this day. I have been following his career, from the end of Chuck to the wonderful movie Remember Sunday, from his hit on the Broadway Show First Date, which I would have loved to see but I was not in NYC back then, to the time he acted in the Marvel Movie, Thor. From Disney when he voiced the character of Flynn in Tangled, when he was in the Heroes Reborn series and more recently in Shazam. Yes I can say without being mistaken that Zachary Levi is an extremely talented actor who deserves more recognition. But we all know Hollywood and how difficult it is. I've also watched many interviews of him, panels too with The Nerd Marchine and I always thought he was funny, very endearing and above all always smiling. So when he posted on his social networks about his upcoming book, his biography in which he was going to tackle some difficult subjets about his life - childhood trauma, abuse, depression and more, I was extremely surprised.  And then I remembered something my mom always told me, that often, the people are the most touching, kind and smiling are most of the time adding a deepest pain.

I immediately pre-ordered my copy - even a signed copy, of Radical Love. I didn't even hesitate. Not even for a minute.  Finally, even before receiving it, I was lucky to be able to discover an advanced copy of the book and read it a few months before the official release. I will share with you today my review of the book and what I thought about it. When I started reading it, I had to idea I was going to enter this emotional roller coaster. I was not ready to read such an honest, authentic and touching story. Because those three words do indeed perfectly sum up Zachary Levi's writing here. He is not there to paint a fancy story. No, he is here to tell you about his life journey and his recovery. His fight against depression, and his traumas. While giving advices and seriously raising awareness  tothe readers on the issues we all can meet as a person but also, that our loved ones can live without us someting even noticing it.

Reading Radical Love was difficult. I was not expecting so much honesty from a person who is very famous all over the world. It's brutally honest. And this reinforces the vivacity of his writings. It's really something I loved. He is not afraid to admit his mistakes, to talk about his past and the painful moments that led him to consider taking his own life. My stomach was going into knots reading his words, I had tears in my eyes. To be honest, I had to stop my reading to be able to process what I had just read. I thought back to all the times when I had seen him on TV with a big smile on his lips whereas I was watching him on my computer or TV sceen without imagining what he was going through behind the scenes. I also started thinking about all those people in our life who can go through the same thing without us even being aware of it. That's why it's not only brave for the actor-writer to tell his story, but also necessary.

I often say that I have trouble with autobiographies and maybe that's why I really enjoyed reading Radical Love. This is not an autobiography strictly speaking, Zachary Levi tells here his journey towards healing by giving advice to each chapter in colorful inserts. He highlights his fight by illustrating his traumas and pain with stories from the past. He is not there to tell you about the actor he is, the roles he has had or his successes. He uses his professional experiences as an example but that's all. Don't expect any anecdotes from the filming of Chuck or Shazam because there won't be any.

Radical Love was for me a huge hit. You don't need to be a fan of the actor to enjoy the writer and the human being behind this book. I really hope it will be translated into many languages to allow as much people as possible to have access to his testimony. I think it will help more than one and that this only fact is a great accomplishment from Zachary Levi. He wears his heart on his sleeve and is so altruistic writing this book and sharing it while accepting to be vulnerable. This is a great proof of the incredible person he is. Thank you. Thank you for writing this book and for agreeing to let it come to life.

A huge thanks to Harper Horizon and NetGalley for this wonderful reading !

FRENCH REVIEW : Ce que j'en ai pensé

Je connais et admire Zachary Levi depuis que je l'ai découvert il y a maintenant quatorze ans dans la série Chuck qui est d'ailleurs encore à ce jour, l'une de mes séries préférées. J'ai suivi sa carrière, de la fin de Chuck à Remember Sunday, de son passage à Broadway avec First Date que j'aurais d'ailleurs adoré voir à son apparition dans Thor. De Disney lorsqu'il a prêté sa voix au personnage de Flynn dans Raiponce, à la série Heroes Reborn et plus récemment dans Shazam. Oui je peux dire sans me tromper que Zachary Levi est un acteur extrêmement talentueux qui mérite d'ailleurs plus de reconnaissance. Mais on connait tous Hollywood et la difficulté que c'est. J'ai également vu pas mal d'interviews de ce dernier, des panels aussi avec The Nerd Machine et je l'ai trouvé très drôle, très attachant et surtout toujours souriant. Autant vous dire que lorsqu'il a posté son annonce sur ses réseaux sociaux concernant la publication de son autobiographie dans laquelle il allait aborder certains sujets difficiles sur sa vie - traumatises de l'enfance, dépression en autres, j'étais extrêmement surprise sur le coup. Et puis je me suis souvenue que souvent, les personnes qui sont les plus touchantes et souriantes, cachent souvent une grande blessure. 

J'ai tout de suite pré-commandé mon exemplaire de Radical Love. Je n'ai pas hésité un seul instant. Finalement, avant même de le recevoir, j'ai eu le privilège de découvrir les épreuves de ce dernier et de le lire quelques mois avant sa publication. Je vous partage donc aujourd'hui ce que j'en ai pensé. En débutant ma lecture, je n'imaginais pas embarquer dans cette montagne russe émotive. Je n'étais pas prête à lire un récit aussi honnête, authentique et touchant. Car ces trois mots résument en effet, parfaitement l'écriture de Zachary Levi ici. Il n'est pas là pour dépeindre une histoire enjolivée. Non, il est ici pour raconter son parcours de vie et sa guérison. Son combat contre la dépression, et ses traumatismes. Tout en donnant des conseils et en sensibilisant sérieusement le lecteur sur les problèmes que nous pouvons rencontrer en tant que personne mais que nos proches peuvent vivre sans que l'on en prenne parfois conscience.

Lire Radical Love fut difficile. Je ne m'attendais pas à autant d'honnêteté de la part d'une personne qui est quand même célèbre dans le monde entier. C'est brutalement honnête. Et cela renforce la vivacité de ses écrits. C'est un élément que j'ai vraiment aimé. Il n'a pas peur d'admettre ses erreurs, de parler de son passé et des douloureux moments l'ayant conduit à envisager d'ôter sa propre vie. J'ai eu la boule au ventre en lisant ses mots, j'avais les larmes aux yeux. Pour être honnête, j'ai même dû arrêter ma lecture parfois pour encaisser ce que je venais de lire. Je repensais aux moments où j'avais vu ce dernier affichant un grand sourire aux lèvres sur l'écran de mon ordinateur ou de ma télévision sans imaginer ce qu'il vivait en coulisses. Je me suis également mise à penser à toutes ces personnes de  notre vie qui peuvent vivre la même chose sans que nous en ayons même conscience. C'est pourquoi c'est non seulement courageux de la part de l'acteur écrivain de se dévoiler mais aussi nécessaire. 

Je dis souvent que j'ai du mal avec les autobiographies et c'est peut être pour cela que j'ai beaucoup aimé lire Radical Love. Ce n'est pas une autobiographie à proprement parlé, Zachary Levi raconte ici son parcours vers la guérison en donnant des conseils à chaque chapitre dans des encarts colorés. Il met en avant son combat en illustrant ses maux par des histoires du passé. Il n'est pas là pour raconter l'acteur qu'il est, les rôles qu'il a eu ou ses succès. Il utilise ses expériences professionnelles en exemple mais c'est tout. Ne vous attendez pas à des anecdotes sur les tournages de Chuck ou Shazam car il n'y en aura pas. 

Radical Love est pour moi un coup de cœur. Vous n'avez pas besoin d'être un fan de l'acteur pour apprécier l'écrivain et l'humain derrière ce livre. J'espère qu'il sera traduit en plusieurs langues pour permettre à un plus grand nombre d'avoir accès à ce témoignage. Je pense qu'il en aidera plus d'un et c'est rien que par ce biais, une grande réussite de la part de Zachary Levi. Il a le cœur sur la main et est si altruiste écrire ce livre et le partager en acceptant de se montrer vulnérable est une belle preuve de l'incroyable personne qu'il est. Merci. Merci d'avoir écrit ce livre et d'avoir accepté de le laisser prendre vie.
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This memoir was very honest, vulnerable, and heartfelt. The focus on improving mental health and how that honestly looks in our society today is one that I think many people including my students could relate to. While we may not read this as a class, I feel that some of my students either because of their interest in movies or mental health would find this book very insightful.
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I had the pleasure of meeting Zachary Levi during a festival in Milan a few years ago when he was known as Chuck. ln that occasion I saw the man whose desire is to give people joy. Now, with this book, I got the chance to see what's behind this desire of his, I got the chance to know his personal story. 
In Radical Love, Zachary Levi shares his mental health journey in a very poignant and honest way. At the beginning of the book he says his intent has always been to write an informative, illuminating and entertaining story about hope, perseverance, acceptance and, above all, radical love. Well, in my opinion he totally did it.
I'll leave you with a quote that will make you perfectly understand how helpful Zac's story can be for anyone:
"I am not fixed. I may never be "fixed". But it's ok that I am not. I may never be able to repair all of my brokenness, but I can love myself inspite of my brokeness. "

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Thank you to Netgalley for a digital arc in exchange for my honest review. 

This is a wonderful book. Part self help, part memoir, it delves into the darkness that can be mental health. To have someone as famous as Zachary Levi, admit that he’s struggled and to have him be open and honest about something that plagues a lot of people and still gets pushed under the rug, is refreshing and inspirational.
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I love Zachary Levi and I’ve been a fan for years. I’m so glad he’s finally put out a memoir. I appreciate his honesty and vulnerability in writing this book, and I think people will get so much out of his story. Thank you so much for the opportunity to review!
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Thank you to Harper Horizon and NetGalley for providing an Advanced Readers Copy of this book. 

I've been a fan of Zachary Levi since Chuck, have gone to his Nerd HQ off-sites at Comic Con and have seen his plays on Broadway. So I was excited when I saw he was coming out with a memoir, Radical Love. He's always appeared to be bubbly and positive, but as he explains, there can be anxiety, depression and self-doubt that can be beneath the surface of any seemingly happy person. 

Radical Love is a candid and unflinching account of his mental health struggles and his attempt to reconcile his past with his outlook on the future. I think the main purpose of the book is to share his journey in the hopes of other people seeing that they are not alone in having issues and in that he succeeds.  Even though on the surface, it would appear that he is living a charmed life - successful actor, well-liked in the industry - it is touching and refreshing that he wanted to share with us that things aren't always as they seem. 

I thought it was well written. He does talk about God a lot, so if that's not your cup of tea, this book may not be for you.
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Radical love is part self-help, part memoir from Zachary Levi, the actor most well-known for portraying DC's Shazam. I discovered Zac on a TV series called Chuck in 2007 and have been a fan ever since.  I knew he'd dealt with mental health issues over the years, but I didn't know the extent and was curious to see what he had to say about what he'd been through. I had the opportunity to meet him a handful of times and he always had this big, friendly, happy-go-lucky personality. It really is true that you can't truly know a person.  I never would have known his struggle.

He's very open and honest about his childhood trauma and how it continued to follow him into adulthood. There are anecdotes that are just heartbreaking. At times, I wished I could have reached through the pages and hugged him. He wants people to know they aren't alone, and that getting help is important. There's a lot of focus on spirituality, but he also goes into what he learned when he admitted himself in a Mental Health facility, including Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and enneagram types. 

I'm very happy to know he got help, knows that mental health is something that can't be "cured", and continues to get help when needed. I love that he advocates for Mental Health on his social media and as an ambassador for the Active Minds, a non-profit, young adult mental health advocacy program. 

I think this book is a benefit to anyone who is either a fan of Zac's or thinks they are alone in their Mental Health struggle.

Thank you to Harper Collins and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This book can be rather repetitive and jump around in parts. I do commend the author with being candid about traumatic moments in their life.
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My bias lies solely in that Zac Levi, prior to the penning of this book, had already helped me navigate my mental health in some capacity. After reading his work, his words remain a constant reminder of the teaching he spoke of a few years ago.

For others who, like myself and Levi, are apprehensive about medication and healing, this may be the book you need to become self aware of the traumas that have impacted your well-being. Levi maintains throughout the book  that he is someone willing to be a loud voice in an otherwise silent battle. He is not a psychologist, psychiatrist or researcher of any kind, but his vulnerability is credibility enough.
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Radical Love is written by actor Zachary Levi. Levi shares his own personal struggles with mental health and how he came to find joy, gratitude, and purpose through his difficult journey.

I was deeply inspired by Radical Love. Levi shared his emotional journey and struggles with mental health in such an authentic way. There was a part in this book where Levi details his inner conflict for seeking help, in fears that it would get out into the media and paint him in a negative light. After reading this book, you can see how far Levi's come in dismantling the stigma behind mental health. As the reader, I felt an immediate connection because of how honest and vulnerable he was from the start. Levi details it all, from the moment he hit rock bottom, to his journey checking into a facility, to uncovering generational family traumas, and more.
I highly recommend Radical Love. Whether you’re a fan of Levi’s, a fan on memoirs, or you're on your own personal mental health journey, I believe Levi’s words will resonate and inspire you. Radical Love encourages us to talk to someone and to understand that this journey is all about loving yourself and one another. Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Horizon for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.
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An honest story of growing up with an abusive mother and his insight in dealing with mental health issues. His personal experiences are woven together with what he's learned about mental health and his frank discussion of his journey toward a healthier place (though the book is not in chronological order). I liked that he had a lot of tidbits and ideas that he's learned from professionals that he shares and it is nice that he admits that he is still on the journey of changing for the better. Some of his suggestions are more helpful than others and some parts feel a little repetitive, but overall I enjoyed his sincerity and sense of hope.
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Wow. Just wow. You see a performer like him, and that everything looks pristine. 

That illusion has more depth and layers with this book. 

The backstory and struggles in this book provide so much perspective on who Zachary Levi is and why he is a champion on mental illness. 

He didn't just 'talk the talk'. He lived it and is speaking about it. 

I'm not just a fan, but this is a really thought provoking book. Can it get repetitive at times? Yes, but if one is struggling with self-acceptance/self-love, that consistent inspirational repetiton serves a purpose. It can help 'hammer' the concept into readers minds. 

It is brutally honest, thought provoking and IMO, a must read for someone who is battling anxiety, depression or another form of mental illness.  

I think some pictures would help provide a visual backstory on his struggles.
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When I saw that Zachary Levi had a book coming out I was very excited. I enjoyed watching him in Chuck and loved him as Flynn Rider in Tangled. His memoir was a good, quick read and I really appreciated his honesty. He did not shy away from being real and open about his struggles throughout his life. I think his career and life are a great example of things looking great surface level, but it being far from perfect underneath the surface. Many people will be able to relate to his story in some way or another. I hope that the stories he shares and the insight he has from his own struggles will help others going through the same thing. It takes a lot of guts to open up about mental health struggles, especially in the movie industry where most claim their lives are perfect, and I commend him for it.
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Zach Levi is open and honest here about his struggles with mental illness. His recovery is a long process with set backs and an eventual understanding that this is a daily, chronic problem. It can be managed, but not cured.

The book meanders a bit and the language is atrocious. Where the book shines is when he is just telling the story without side commentary. I can appreciate the vulnerability it took to share his life like this, and I applaud him for doing so. The book is not linear and so it gets repetitive occasionally.

Not family friendly due to language.
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