What Made Maddy Run

What Made Maddy Run

The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of An All-American Teen

Book - 2017
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*Instant New York Times Bestseller*

The #1 New York Times Monthly Sports and Fitness bestseller

From noted ESPN commentator and journalist Kate Fagan, the heartbreaking and vital story of college athlete Madison Holleran, whose death by suicide rocked the University of Pennsylvania campus and whose life reveals with haunting detail and uncommon understanding the struggle of young people suffering from mental illness today.




If you scrolled through the Instagram feed of 19-year-old Maddy Holleran, you would see a perfect life: a freshman at an Ivy League school, recruited for the track team, who was also beautiful, popular, and fiercely intelligent. This was a girl who succeeded at everything she tried, and who was only getting started.

But when Maddy began her long-awaited college career, her parents noticed something changed. Previously indefatigable Maddy became withdrawn, and her thoughts centered on how she could change her life. In spite of thousands of hours of practice and study, she contemplated transferring from the school that had once been her dream. When Maddy's dad, Jim, dropped her off for the first day of spring semester, she held him a second longer than usual. That would be the last time Jim would see his daughter.

WHAT MADE MADDY RUN began as a piece that Kate Fagan, a columnist for espnW, wrote about Maddy's life. What started as a profile of a successful young athlete whose life ended in suicide became so much larger when Fagan started to hear from other college athletes also struggling with mental illness. This is the story of Maddy Holleran's life, and her struggle with depression, which also reveals the mounting pressures young people, and college athletes in particular, face to be perfect, especially in an age of relentless connectivity and social media saturation.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780316356541
Characteristics: xii, 305 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

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mko123 Jan 20, 2018

A tragic, cautionary tale for any parents and youth who dream of college and pro-sports. Maddy is any-girl-usa who meets the grim reality of college sports--where grueling practices all but take over her life, as she tries to balance grades and make new friends her freshman year. Something has t... Read More »


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CarleeMcDot
Apr 24, 2018

I don't know how, but I had never heard of this book before (and I don't even really remembering hearing about the story when it happened). After I got back from Boston I thought I'd reach for a few running books and this one appeared on a lot of the "Must Read" lists in the running realm. After reading it I can see why. Maddy was an all-American student athlete (playing soccer and running track in high school) who killed herself during her second semester of college. If you know me, you know suicide prevention has a HUGE piece of my heart (I have helped to fundraise for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for multiple years), so this story rocked me to my core. I am thankful Kate, an ESPNW columnist, along with Maddy's family had the strength to share this story. We need to change the narrative, talk about mental health and break the stigma surrounding anxiety, depression and other forms of mental illness. Suicide is not a black and white topic, so this book does not attempt to wrap this story up in a bow or try to make sense of everything, it is simply trying to get the conversation started so fewer people get caught up in the fierce swirl that can lead people to contemplate this permanent decision. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

mko123 Jan 20, 2018

A tragic, cautionary tale for any parents and youth who dream of college and pro-sports. Maddy is any-girl-usa who meets the grim reality of college sports--where grueling practices all but take over her life, as she tries to balance grades and make new friends her freshman year. Something has to give. But the sports business train cannot stop for anyone. This book begs the question of how did we as a society allow a fun game for kids to turn into an all-consuming beast.

a
annagraceiaboni
Nov 04, 2017

A very eye opening book into the world of depression and suicide. This book showed how social media is effecting our generation today. It was interesting because it showed a lot of emails from Madison and text messages she had sent...so you felt you could see into her life without actually knowing her. The book felt like a research assignment which it was.

d
danahall
Sep 26, 2017

Sobering read, and very apropos as I send my eldest child off to college. With any story where you know the ending in advance, I wanted it to end differently.

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