I recently read “One Life”, the autobiography of USWNT veteran Megan Rapinoe. I received the book as a gift and never got around to reading it, so I decided to read it for AP Lang this semester. I recommend “One Life” to anyone who is looking to better understand the experience of being a female athlete in today’s world.
Rapinoe formats the book as a chronological retelling of the most important events in her life. She begins by describing her childhood and her discovery of soccer. She discusses her relationship with her parents and siblings, specifically her twin sister Rachel and older brother Bryan and how his drug addiction affected life at home. Then Rapinoe recalls her time playing college soccer for the Portland Pilots and the major injuries she received that only furthered her love for the game. The rest of the book is about Rapinoe’s time on the US Women’s national team, from her first call to play with the team to her most recent World Cup. She also explains her experience as a gay athlete, and how this led her to become advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. Additionally, she talks about the inequality many professional female athletes face where they are payed much less than their male counterparts. Overall, “One Life” is about Rapinoe’s fight to make the world a more accepting, equal place.
Rapinoe’s writing style is casual and conversational, as if she’s having a chat with the reader. The overall tone is light and informative, but it becomes more serious at times. These various tones can be seen in lines like “The final against Japan was a nail-biter,” (97) and “…he was a real cheerleader just when I need one, and I will always be grateful to him” (99).
To sum up, if you are looking to learn more about Rapinoe’s life, the world of professional athletes, or what it’s like to be a gay female athlete and activist, this book is definitely worth the read.