Hello fellow bookworms 💕 In honor of Women’s History Month I wanted to share some recommendations with you! It was so hard to figure out what books I wanted to highlight and decided to sort them into three categories: books discussing feminism and sexism, books with strong female friendships and books with complex female lead characters 💖 There were so many more books I could have chosen, but these are among my favorites! I also did another post last year all about Female Character Love that you can check out for additional recommendations 🥰
The Nowhere Girls (Amy Reed) ➽ This book challenges rape culture and talks a lot about consent and sexuality. I really appreciated that it incorporated discussions between girls of different backgrounds and experiences.. There are so many important discussions – about female rivalry and sexuality – taking place that need to be read because they are important and impactful. It also shows how authority figures dismiss and try to silence those speaking out. It’s a very heavy book but I highly recommend it, as I think it provides a good starting point in talking about sexual assault!
Going Off Script (Jen Wilde) ➽ I adore Jen Wilde’s books and choose to highlight this book for its discussion of privilege and discrimination in the Media. Throughout the book we see the toxic side of the media industry, which caters to those that are in charge: predominately straight white men. The book really talks about all the horrible treatment the main character has to endure to having her script stolen and being afraid to speak out because there is a warped power dynamic. In the end, the book touches upon the erasure of queer characters and the also sexism that is very much prevalent in the industry.
Am I Normal Yet? (Holly Bourne) ➽ I love Holly Bourne’s books and have a soft spot for The Spinster Club Trilogy about three girls who each have their own book 💗 The first one is from the perspective of Evie, a girl who has OCD and generalized anxiety disorder. She’s got a feminism club with her best friends and I think this book provides a good starting point to learn about feminism. I have to say that this isn’t the most intersectional series, but I love the focus on friendship and the discussions the girls have about their own experiences. That’s why I think it’s a good book to start with, to then move on to other books about feminism!
Today Tonight Tomorrow (Rachel Lynn Solomon) ➽ I just recently read and loved this book! It’s a rivals to lovers romance set in the last day of high school and completely stole my heart 🥰 What I appreciated about Today Tonight Tomorrow was how it discussed the merit of romance books, as the main character is passionate about them and wants to become a romance author herself. She’s very much aware of the stigma surrounding the genre and has some great discussions about the double standards and unfairness of this treatment!
The Poet X (Elizabeth Acevedo) ➽ The author has some great books written in verse and this one is my favorite by far! ❤ It follows a Dominican-American girl called Xiomara who discovers her love for writing. We see her first love with a boy and how growing up as a curvy girl influenced her attitude towards her own sexuality. Being constantly harassed for her body and shamed by her mother has shaped Xiomara and shown her the unfairness of the world. I love how she expresses all these difficult feelings through her poems!
His Fair Assassin series (Robin LaFevers) ➽ This is a fantastic historical fantasy series about three assassins, who were sired by a Death God and now serve him and his convent. Each book focuses on the story of a different girl and I love how different Ismae, Sybella and Annith are! There’s also an underlying bond of friendship and sisterhood between the girls, they are very supportive of each other and that was so great to see 🥰
Saints and Misfits (S.K. Ali) ➽ I adored this book in general and would highly recommend it, as it really touched me. Furthermore, there were so many amazing female friendships in Saints and Misfits 💗 The main character Janna has a lot of great friends that each shone in their own way and were very well-fleshed out! They really impressed me with their complexity and it was great to see the main character have such a strong support network, especially as she is coming to terms with her own sexual harassment.
We Used to be Friends (Amy Spalding) ➽ This is a more heartbreaking book as it’s about the friendship breakup between two girls called James and Kat, told in dual POV and timelines. I always appreciate books that shine a light on how devastating it can be to lose a friend and We Used to be Friends did such a good job detailing the slow deterioration of the girl’s friendship 💔 There is no clear side and the story shows how both parties contributed to what happened in different ways, even though you might be able to relate to one of them more!
Loveless (Alice Oseman) ➽ This book is about the experiences of an aroace main character and I love that there’s a huge emphasis on friendship as these are very much important for her! One of her best friends is going to college with her and it was refreshing to see a friendship bond that’s so strong and endured a change of scenery as well as some conflicts. I also especially loved Georgia’s growing friendship with her new roommate, who is very different but tried to look out for the other one. In general, there were a lot of girls supporting girls. Furthermore, by the end of the book we have such a strong, found family 💕
Code Name Verity (Elizabeth Wein) ➽ This has one of my favorite friendships!! It’s set during World War 2 and follows ‘Verity’, a spy for England as well as her best friend and pilot Maddie. The bond between Verity and Maddie was so strong and complex, it was great seeing their friendship develop and such different girls finding their way to each other! ❤ That being said, the book is also sad and very heavy, but throughout all the tragedy and trauma, you can see how much both girls care for each other. In the second book in the series there is also a huge emphasis on female friendships, though the books always break my heart 😭
Sadie (Courtney Summers) ➽ I just recently reread this book on audio and was reminded how much I love the story and its complicated, flawed characters! It’s a mystery centered on sisterhood, missing girls, and how far Sadie will go to make sure her abuser never hurts someone else again. Sadie is such a complex character who had to endure so much abuse in her life 🥺 Growing up in a toxic environment where she had to be the primary caretaker of her younger sister made her grow up fast. There is so much love for her sister and determination to see things though, but we also see her more flawed sides and how difficult it is to go through life with her own trauma.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Taylor Jenkins Reid) ➽ I couldn’t not mention Evelyn Hugo, who is one of the most well-written female characters that I have encountered! 🥰 As she retells her story we see Evelyn’s ambition, passion and cunning, making her such an interesting character to follow. I loved how unapologetically herself she was and how she took things for herself because she knew no one would hand them to her! Evelyn’s life wasn’t easy – dealing with loss, heartbreak, sexism and homophobia – and she dealt with it as best she could.
If It Makes You Happy (Claire Kann) ➽ I haven’t heard too much hype for this book, but I adored If It Makes You Happy when I read it!! ❤ Winnie is such a great main character who is dealing with so much, be it the fatphobia she faces or the emotional abuse and expectations of her grandmother. I was really invested in her story and also liked seeing the strong queerplatonic relationship she had with her best friend, as I rarely have seen it explored like this before! There’s also so much focus on family, Winnie’s love for the diner and the small-town of Misty Haven she spends her summers in.
On the Come Up (Angie Thomas) ➽ Thomas writes such great main characters and Bri was no exception! She’s determined to become a rapper even with the odds stacked against her from all sides! 💕 Bri’s struggles with emerging fame, the legacy of her dead father and her difficult relationship with her mother sometimes prompt her to make mistakes, but she was so raw as a character. I loved seeing her flaws, as you could always tell what motivated her and how she ended up in these difficult situations!
The Gilded Wolves (Roshani Chokshi) ➽ I had to mention Roshani Chokshi in this post as well, because she writes such amazing female main characters. Be it Maya from The Star-Touched Queen or Gauri from A Crown of Wishes! However, I decided to mention Laila and Zofia from the Gilded Wolves as I love them both so much and also adore their friendship!! 💖 Laila is burdened with such a dark secret, yet stays kind and loyal to her friends, while Zofia struggles with how she fits into the world and was so relatable to me!
What’s are your favorite books written by women? I’d love to hear your recommendations 💕