Book Review: Take the Lead by Sasha DiGiulian

 My review of Take the Lead by Sasha DiGiulian.

Title: Take the Lead

By: Sasha DiGiulian

Genre: Memoir

Pages: 278

Release Date: September 26th, 2023

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Rating: ★★★★☆


Summary from Goodreads:

World champion climber Sasha DiGiulian tells her story—from coming of age under the scrutiny of social media, navigating a male-dominated sport, and tackling her most heart-stopping climbs—and shares the power of perseverance and positivity.

At age six, Sasha DiGiulian stepped into a climbing gym for the first time and was competing within a year. Decked out in all-pink gear and with her blonde hair tied into pigtails, Sasha knew from an early age what it was like to be a girl in a traditionally male-dominated sport, vowing to never sacrifice her femininity to fit in. With a fierce love for the climb and incredible natural talent, Sasha soon won her first National Sport Climbing Championship at only seventeen, and a year later took the title of World Champion.

To her fans, it looked like Sasha was on top of the world. But under the accolades, she was just another young woman learning how to handle the intense scrutiny of social media and dealing with body dysmorphia, all while quietly facing a potentially career-ending injury. In a relatable and inspiring voice, Take the Lead reflects on the highs and lows of Sasha’s illustrious life and career for the first time, bringing readers on her remarkable journey from novice climber to Columbia University graduate, adventurer, environmentalist, and entrepreneur, and one of the most recognizable faces in climbing.

For readers of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and Megan Rapinoe’s One Life , Take the Lead ultimately emphasizes the power of perseverance, fearlessness and positivity in tackling some of the most daunting and fearsome climbs—on and off the wall.


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What an inspiring read. Not everyone can be so wholeheartedly dedicated to such a strenuous task, that they dedicate their lives to mastering it. I know from personal experience how the joy a person finds in their lives work can wholly consume their time, but bring the feeling of completeness to their lives.

The story of Sasha DiGiulian, told by her own words has a real feeling to it, raw and emotional. She laid everything out in the pages. Her struggles and joy. The good and the bad. It seemed cathartic to the author to release all the experiences that shaped her.

I gave this book a solid 4 out of 5 stars. It made me want to take up rock climbing, although I'm not sure I would be able to make my body move like that anymore. Maybe back in my ballet days... Great read. Would recommend.

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