Small-Town Football and the Life and Death of an American Boy
By Reid Forgrave

Love, Zac released on September 8, 2020

In December 2015, Zac Easter, a twenty-four-year-old from small-town Iowa, decided to take his own life rather than continue his losing battle against the traumatic brain injuries he had sustained as a no-holds-barred high school football player.

For this deeply reported and powerfully moving true story, award-winning writer Reid Forgrave was given access to Zac’s own diaries and was able to speak with Zac’s family, friends, and coaches. He explores Zac’s tight-knit, football-obsessed Midwestern community; he interviews leading brain scientists, psychologists, and sports historians; and he takes a deep dive into the triumphs and sins of the sports entertainment industry.

Forgrave shows us how football mirrors America, from the fighting spirit the game has helped inscribe in our national character to the side effects of the traditional notions of manhood that it affirms. But above all, Love, Zac is a warning to parents and those entrusted with the care of our kids not to ignore concussions and warning signs of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). For parents struggling to decide whether to allow their kids to play football, this eye-opening, heart-wrenching, and ultimately inspiring story may be one of the most important books they will read.

Read the Prologue Today.

Donate to CTE Hope and Receive Your Own Copy of Love, Zac
Want to read Zac’s story and support CTE Hope’s mission at the same time? If you make a $50 donation to CTE Hope, we will send you a copy of Love, Zac and a Love, Zac decal and koozie.
Send your donation receipt and mailing address to


Books can also be purchased through Bookshop and all other major book retailers!

Love, Zac Events:
An Evening with Reid Forgrave - Author of Love, Zac: Small-Town Football and the Life and Death of An American Boy
Tuesday, September 8, 2020 (6:00 to 7:30 CT)
Join Reid Forgrave for the official launch event of Love, Zac. This virtual event will include a reading followed by a discussion hosted by Channel 13 news anchor Dave Price. Presented in partnership with the Des Moines Public Library.
Click here for more details.

CTE Hope Presents: Love, Zac 
Tuesday, September 15, 2020 (7:00 to 8:30 CT)
Join CTE Hope and author Reid Forgrave for CTE Hope's Love, Zac launch. This virtual event will include a reading and remarks by Zac’s mother, Brenda Easter, and his girlfriend, Alison Epperson, followed by an attendee Q&A!

Check out additional Love, Zac tour dates and events by downloading the tour schedule or visiting Reid Forgrave's website.

Have a Book Club?
Download the Love, Zac Book Club Kit!