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  • Published: 7 June 2022
  • ISBN: 9780593241370
  • Imprint: Random House US Group
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 416
  • RRP: $49.99
Categories:

Brace for Impact

A Memoir



A powerful and redemptive story of how the dazzling world of roller derby helped one young woman transform her fear and self-doubt into gutsy, big-hearted, adventurous living 

Growing up queer in a conservative Midwestern town, Gabe Montesanti never felt comfortable in her own skin. A competitive swimmer, she turned to perfectionism and self-control to create a sense of safety, only to develop an eating disorder and constantly second-guess her instincts. When she enters graduate school in St. Louis, she is determined to put the baggage of her childhood behind her. With no prior experience, she joins Arch Rival, one of the top-ranked roller derby leagues in the world. Gabe instantly falls in love with the sport’s roughness, intensity, and open embrace of people who are literally and figuratively scarred. She soon finds community and a sense of belonging, reveling in the tattoos, glitter, and campiness. 

But when Gabe suffers a catastrophic injury, she can no longer ignore the parallels between the physicality of roller derby and the unresolved trauma of her upbringing. Rendered inactive, forced to be still, Gabe realizes she needs to heal her emotional wounds as much as her physical ones; she must confront her fear and self-diminishment in order to feel truly alive.

Told with unflinching honesty and a giant dose of wonder, Brace for Impact is a tender, inspiring memoir about the everyday heroism of pursuing a life less ordinary, and the deeply human need to be at peace with who you are.

  • Published: 7 June 2022
  • ISBN: 9780593241370
  • Imprint: Random House US Group
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 416
  • RRP: $49.99
Categories:

Praise for Brace for Impact

Brace for Impact is a universal story of healing and triumph, made all the more beautiful, wild, and free by Gabe Montesanti’s fierce love for roller derby and her team, who become her family. Our world urgently needs brave, bold voices like Gabe’s, the voices of those who are figuring out how to feel, find acceptance, and become who they were to meant to be.”—Abby Wambach, Olympian, activist, and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller WolfpackBrace for Impact helped me know myself better. The way Gabe Montesanti writes about her instinct to be gentle toward others yet strict, regimented, and disciplined toward herself is beautiful, bold, and utterly relatable to me as a queer person, as a person who has struggled to love, accept, and value my body, and as a onetime serious athlete from the Midwest. Most of all, Gabe’s story made me want to join roller derby, know the people she skates with, and push myself to try new things. Reading this book is the next best thing to being out on the track.”—Cameron Esposito, bestselling author of Save Yourself

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