Brimming with Rippon’s signature sass, Beautiful is an entertaining, unfiltered look at the path to becoming an elite athlete — and it’s not all fun and (Olympic) games ... he shines brightest as he theatrically recounts the times his life was like 'a raging dumpster fire.' To be clear: Rippon is funny. He lands a joke like it’s a triple axel, with eyebrow-raising, hilarious passages that demand to be read out loud to whomever is nearby ... breezy and chatty, as though Rippon is massaging the script for one of his Instagram stories. He’s a pro at well-placed pop culture references and, where some elite athletes seem otherworldly — made from different stuff — he comes across as the relatable Olympian next door ... Rippon might have gone home from the athletic world’s largest stage with a bronze medal in tow. But this memoir? It’s pure comedic gold.
Even though this book is entertaining, Rippon addresses many difficult life experiences ... His stories will interest anyone looking to learn more about the sport, including the amount of training that takes place, especially at an early age. Rippon’s strength is apparent, and it’s easy to see why he is an inspiration to many. From the first line, the writing is conversational and relatable and will engage readers throughout ... Recommended for all readers, especially those familiar with Rippon and who would like to learn more about his life and career. Highly recommended.
Rippon reminds us that gay doesn’t just mean homosexual, but it can also mean cheerful, light-hearted, playful, and exuberant ... Rippon is such a gifted and vibrant raconteur that he’s continually cracking jokes ... Of course, being a good storyteller is not quite the same thing as being a good writer, and one wishes that Rippon’s editor had paid more attention to grammar. In particular, verbs tend to float between tenses for no discernible reason. Still, Rippon’s style is so vibrant and conversational that few people other than English teachers are going to notice, let alone be distracted ... The real value in Rippon’s book lies in his descriptions of how he trained and how he crafted his career. Beautiful on the Outside is a fascinating study in motivation, concentration, and discipline, and one that has lessons for anyone in pursuit of excellence. The fact that it is so full of laughs only makes it that much better.
Rippon’s personal story is as moving as the account of his success on the ice: he was the first openly gay American man to qualify for the Winter Olympics, and the poise he demonstrated in dealing with his haters—to whom he dedicates this book —will prove inspirational for other young athletes. This is a no-holds-barred, coming-of age sports memoir. Rippon may have started his career as an underdog, but he prevailed, thanks to his resilience, laser-focused work ethic, and acerbic sense of humor.
... delightful ... The tone is breezy and cheeky, but Rippon is clear that becoming an Olympian takes serious work and focus ... Some of the most intriguing sections come at the end of the book, where Rippon discusses becoming the first openly gay man to make the U.S. Winter Olympic Team, publicly criticizing Mike Pence during the games for not supporting gay people, and, of course, securing his triumphant bronze medal win. This fun, inspirational memoir will appeal to ice-skating fans who enjoy personality-driven narratives.