15 Books Every Girl Should Read In Their Lifetime

Here are 15 books every girl should read. These essential books are must reads for women. These feminist books are empowering and beautiful stories.

Literature is a wonderful way of engaging in new stories.  There are books that are funny, sad, romantic, and so many more.  These stories can open new windows in the mind of the reader that allow them to analyze situations in different, more enhanced ways.  Here are 15 books every girl should read.

1. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat, Pray, Love is the story of a woman who suffers through a tough break up.  After realizing that she did not want to go through life in her depressed, heartbroken state, she embarked on a journey that took her across the world and she redefined herself.  This book is perfect for any girl who has experienced heartbreak and needs a comforting story to remind them that it will get better.

2. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood writes about a totalitarian society where women have the sole purpose of having children.  In this futuristic setting, women no longer have any rights—they cannot read, have their own jobs, or have their own relationships. The Handmaid’s Tale shows the current life of one of these women, as well as the reflections she has on her old life.  This is a great book to read because it shows how a government that oppresses women will fail.  Many parts of this book are relatable to struggles faced by women in today’s world.

3. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorn

This classic novel follows Hester Prynne, a woman who is forced into public humiliation due to adultery.  She is forced to wear a scarlet “A” on her chest wherever she goes as a sign of her unfaithfulness.  Hester has every opportunity to leave the town and save herself from this punishment, but instead she stays and bears it.  This story is empowering because she doesn’t suppress her past and ignore her sin; she accepts it.  The scarlet “A” turns into a symbol of her determination.

4. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

The main character of this book, Anna, is a senior who is shipped off from an American high school to a boarding school in Paris.  Her whole world changes, and Anna must adjust to this new life with new friends and, more importantly, new boys.  She begins to fall for a boy named Étienne, even though he already has a girlfriend.  This young adult book will make you laugh out loud and bawl your eyes out in the span of five minutes.  It’s a great coming-of-age novel about moving and adjusting to new lifestyles.

5. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Since You’ve Been Gone is about a girl named Emily whose best friend suddenly disappears, leaving behind a list of 13 challenges for her.  These challenges are to push Emily out of her comfort zone to experience new adventures.  This is a great book about friendship and exploration that will show you the true meaning of the words “best friend.”

6. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

In this story, a high school freshman named Melinda is isolated by her peers and has no one to turn to after a traumatizing event. Speak follows Melinda’s road to recovery and her fight to raise awareness about sexual assault.  It is a book every girl should read because it shows how hard it is to speak up about assault, yet how important awareness is.

7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights is a timeless love story about a young girl named Catherine falling in love with her adopted brother, Heathcliff.  It is arguably one of the most passionate novels of all time, full of love and hate.  This story will take you on an emotional journey that will leave your heart melting.  It is perfect for any girl who loves romance novels and wants to experience one of the greatest romances in literature.

8. Bossypants by Tina Fey

Bossypants is Tina Fey’s autobiography about her rise to fame.  It is a hilarious book full of great anecdotes that will leave you bursting into laughter.  As a leading woman in comedy, Fey’s story is a great read because it shows her struggle for success in a field dominated by men.

9. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

This book by Virginia Woolf shows the struggles faced by women in the early 1900’s.  Women in this time were not allowed to reach their full potential due to the limitations set by men.  This book analyzes society during this time.  It is important for women to read this to understand the difficulties faced by women in this time and reflect on the struggles women still face today.

10. Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

In this novel, a young man named Dash finds a journal in a library that leads him on an adventure to find love.  This book is passed back and forth from Dash to Lily without them meeting.  Their communication is limited to notes written in this journal.  A romance begins between the two as they discover their similarities and form a strong connection.  Girls should read this because it proves that two people don’t need a conventional relationship to fall in love.

11. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings focuses on the tough childhood of Maya Angelou and how she overcame her struggles to become a strong, powerful woman.  Maya dealt with racism, assault, and many other difficulties as a child, but she never let that hold her down.  This is a book of empowerment that will show any woman that obstacles can be overcome.

12. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

This story takes place after the Civil War and shows the hardships of women in this time.  It follows four sisters who grow up in a society where women are oppressed.  Women today experience similar situations to these women and can relate deeply to this classic novel.

13. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume

Vix and Caitlin are two girls who grew up spending their summers together.  Over time, however, they drifted apart.  Before they knew it, they were living their own lives.  Part of them still wanted to be best friends, though.  This book highlights the differences between children’s and adults’ friendships and show that friendships may change, but they don’t have to end.  It is the perfect book for people who may be experiencing trouble with their friends, or just for girls who want a cute story about friendship.

14. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

Girl, Interrupted follows Kaysen at 18 years old who is kept in a psychiatric hospital.  She tells her story and those of her fellow patients and analyzes the concepts of sane and insane.  This book gives insight into mental illnesses and patients’ recovery.  Girls should read this to learn more about the effects of mental illnesses and see the inner thoughts of a young woman who suffers from one.

15. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

This book of essays shows the effects of race and culture on women through time.  This book is a key for understanding feminism today.  It shows that our culture sometimes gives us false ideas about what is right and wrong.  This is a crucial book for women because it shows the struggles of gender inequality throughout time. It’s no wonder this is one of the books every girl should read.

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