12 Young Adult Books Featuring Girl Power That You Need To Know About

12 Young Adult Books Featuring Girl Power That You Need To Know About

Because we all need more quality literature that breaks down gender stereotypes.


If you're like me, you're constantly struggling to decide what book to read next, because there are so many great choices out there, with new amazing books being published every week.

I used to work in a bookstore for 3 years and was constantly surrounded by amazing reading material that I just wanted to recommend to anyone and everyone who would listen to me. So here is my moment to do that.

I put together a list of some of my favorite go-to recommendations, and some new ones I am excited about in 2019, each celebrating girl power in all of its glory. I love books that encourage young readers, especially girls, to get involved, not be afraid to speak up, rebel, and persist in these evolving times.

These are a few amazing young adult novels that empower me, and I hope they will do the same for you.

1. "The Belles" by Dhonielle Clayton


In this masterful work of fantasy and intrigue, the main character Camellia Beauregard is a Belle, living in a city called Orléans. Here, Belles are groomed to be commodities and they control beauty, helping average people who are born gray to become beautiful. Camellia seeks to be the favorite Belle, who is chosen by the Queen to live at the royal palace as the most talented Belle in the land. But there is a dark side Cam soon uncovers. She is forced to decide which side she wants to be on, in this spell-binding romp of a fantasy story that delves deep into beauty ideals and societal pressures put on females.

2. "Girls of Paper and Fire" by Natasha Ngan


One of 2018's most anticipated release of the year, this LGBTQ+ novel features a diverse cast of characters, and a strong and cunning heroine determined to resist her oppressors. The main character Lei comes from the lowest caste in her society, the Paper Caste. She along with 8 other girls are picked to serve the King of Ikhara as his courtesans, and they are known as the "Paper Girls." But things are not as they seem to the public eye, and Lei soon finds out she has the power to fight back and demand her freedom as well as her right to true love on her terms. This adrenaline ride of a novel will not disappoint, as you will find it very hard to put this empowering book down.

3. "Sky in the Deep" by Adrienne Young


If you love the attitude of Wonder Woman and the television show "Vikings" this is the book for you! Eelyn was raised to be a warrior, and knows how to fight to survive. When a village she is staying in is raided by an enemy clan, she becomes desperate to protect her family at all costs. Eelyn is faced with having to trust and put her faith in someone else's hands, all while fighting for her family and for her neighbors. This book is packed with a vivid narration, along with a strong-willed main character fighting for her family., that makes this 2018 release impossible to forget.

4. "Furyborn" by Claire Legrand


This stunning 2018 fantasy story, the first in a trilogy, follows two fiercely independent women, Rielle and Eliana. These two women are centuries apart, yet hold the power to either save or destroy the world in their hands. They both are called to fight in a cosmic war, a thousand years apart. We follow Eliana as she joins a rebel captain to find her mother, and we follow Rielle as she has to endure elemental trials to prove her true power. Their stories intersect in a beautiful way, showcasing the power of female friendships. I am already anticipating the sequel, "Kingsbane" that will be released later this May. This is a trilogy you do not want to miss.

5. "Moxie" by Jennifer Mathieu


This next recommendation is very special to me, as I got the pleasure of meeting this brilliant author, Jennifer Mathieu, when I used to work at a bookstore. I met her on her 2017 release day of this book when she came in to our store to sign all the copies we had. She was so sweet and kind, and I truly feel like her writing is always fun and creative. "Moxie" is full of spunky characters and female empowerment. Vivian the main character uses her voice to create change in her Texas high school, as she speaks up about the sexist dress codes and harassment that goes unpunished everyday. Vivian is a true inspiration to so many women readers, young and old, and I am so glad someone is writing about these important issues still in our culture today. I highly recommend "Moxie" to anyone looking for a creative, fun, and inspiring read.

6. "The Nowhere Girls" by Amy Reed


Here is another book about young women creating social change and making waves in their high school. Three misfit girls band together to avenge the rape of a classmate of theirs. There's something so inspiring about reading a story featuring young people using their voice in a way that creates change. Stories like this one influence others to do the same. This is a story that teaches that you should never underestimate the power of a passionate voice and that we are stronger in numbers. There is never a limit to what people can do, when they care enough to speak up.

7. "Alanna: The First Adventure" by Tamora Pierce


Tamora Pierce is a legendary influence of creating strong female characters and addicting fantasy series for decades. So it is no surprise I felt inclined to include this beloved classic medieval story. This is the first book in the four book Song of the Lioness series, set in a land where all girls are forbidden to become knights. The main character Alanna of Trebond sets out to become a knight, disguising herself as a boy named Alan and risking her life for her dream. Tamora Pierce is an author I highly recommend, and "Alanna" is the perfect book to start with.

8. "Sawkill Girls" by Claire Legrand


"Sawkill Girls" is another story about the power of friendship and young women banding together, mixed with magical realism that makes this a book you don't want to miss. Marion, Zoey, and Val are all quite different, yet their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock. Here at Sawkill, mysterious things have been happening for centuries, and girls have been known to disappear by the hands of an unknown evil. No one has tried to defeat this evil, until now...

9. "Seafire" by Natalie C. Parker


A vengeful young woman sets out to defeat the enemies who killed her family. And also, she's the Captain of an all female pirate ship. What more do you need to know? In all seriousness, this is an action-packed adventure story with females at the helm this time. (no pun intended) Caledonia Styx is the captain of her own ship with a crew of women and girls who lost their families just like Caledonia did, because of a vicious and bloodthirsty army of men. Now it is their turn to fight back against Aric Athair and his army, and these ladies will not go down without a fight, as they charter the bracing waves and avenge their families.

10. "Only Ever Yours" by Louise O'Neill


In the vein of Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale," this dystopian novel packs a punch. Louise O'Neill creates a nightmare world in her novel where women are bred in schools, and there they are taught the arts of pleasing men with the hopes of one day graduating and becoming "companions." A companion's soul purpose is to live to please her husband and to give birth to as many sons as she can, until she is no longer useful. She essentially becomes a "plaything." The girls who don't graduate to become companions suffer the worst fate as concubines, with no hope for their future without a husband. This novel follows two best friends as they both are in school to be picked as companions, yet are forced to compete against each other for a husband. Their friendship gets tested and strained throughout the novel, as they both are fighting for the companion role they believe they "need" to survive, but not one they "want."

11. "Once and Future" by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta


This book is an honorable mention, as it comes out on March 28, 2019, and is on the top of my list for books to buy next. This is a feminine King Arthur retelling, with the King Arthur character being a young woman named Ari Helix. How cool is that? This book takes many aspects from the original King Arthur tale such as the sacred sword Excalibur and the wise wizard Merlin, and blends them with new aspects such as a tyrannical government and oppressive corporation. Also, Merlin is a teenager in this novel because he has aged backwards. Well as an Arthurian legend nerd, I am beyond ready to see how this female retelling is fleshed out by two up and coming female authors.

12. "Sherwood" by Meagan Spooner


Another honorable mention and new 2019 Spring release I am anticipating, is "Sherwood" by Meagan Spooner. This is a feminist Robin Hood retelling. Yes, you read that right. I am living for all of these retellings that are hitting the shelves this year. This novel follows Marian who was betrothed to marry Robin of Locksley. But, after Robin dies, Marian is struggling to find her voice and to save the people of Locksley. She is told she has to marry someone else, and to sit and watch as her people sufffer, with nothing she can do. Well, all of that changes as she puts on Robin's green cloak and his sword and bow, and becomes a masked figure of hope and justice to the people of her land. Her people need a savior to help them out of their oppression, and Marian may just be the right girl for the job.

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.


Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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10 Reasons Being A Woman Is A Blessing And A Curse

"9. Questioning our existence CONSTANTLY"


Ladies lest face it, sometimes we all hate and love being a woman! We love to be women because we do get a lot more leniency than men. But, we also have to deal with emotional and physical problems that men don't have. So sit back, relax, and learn about the good the bad and the ugly.



Alright ladies and gents, you knew it was going to come up and I made it the first topic on purpose. Women are emotional creatures, but it doesn't get any worse then when it is "mother natures" time for us. That's right... PERIODS. We are allowed to be emotional because we are are fertile and our uterus is still in check. END OF STORY

2. The need for attention


We crave for attention. Even when we say we want to be alone we are wishing that someone was with us that could comfort us in our times of need. When girls say "I'm fine" we REALLY aren't and that's coming from a girls point of view. So men, next time a girl comes up to talk to you and is engaging in a conversation either talk to them or let them down easy... we don't want to wait for nothing!

3. Getting things that we want... and fast


Whether these "things" be materialistic, emotional, or even physical. WE WANT WHAT WE WANT... AND IMMEDIATELY! We are very impatient, even though we might say we aren't. We definitely use the female card when we can, especially when it comes to free drinks, discounts, and men!

4. Falling in love fully


Women are suckers for love. We love romantic movies, simple gestures, cute caring people, and falling in love with the right person! We tend to use every part of our body when we fall for someone that we are and love for. It is very draining for us, but we overcompensate because we would rather experience this chance in life.

5. Knowing your body and emotions as you get older


I feel like your mom is always the person you went to as you grew and your body changed. She helped you shave your legs, with your period problems, cramping, heartbreaks, and love. I still to this day, at the age of 23, text or call my mom and ask her for advice about a guy or if I am thinking something is wrong with my body. They will always be there for you but, at the end of the day, you're the one who knows your best!

6. Crying... all the time


When we get periods, we are always emotional. Even when we aren't though we still cry and that's totally okay. I cry over romantic movies, dog movies, school, homework, boys, girl drama, work struggles, and everything else in my life that I am forgetting. Just except yourself for who you are. Be raw and one with yourself; never apologize for being emotional.

7. Close friendships with your girlfriends


You need those amazing girlfriends around you that hype you up and give you badass compliments! They are always going to be there for you even if you have a silly fight or decide you want to "be alone" some nights. Close friendships are a must, especially in your 20's, because we have so many emotions and s#!t happening.

8. Getting hurt easily


No woman ever wants to hear the cliche "we need to talk" or the breakup conversation. It hurts our hearts to see others in so much pain, sometimes. But, in this situation we never want the other person to be held up in something that they don't want to be in. As my mom told me, "You want be with with the other person because they make you happy, but you are not in charge of their happiness".

9. Questioning our existence CONSTANTLY


I can relate to this number more than any other, Girls are very self-conscious and are always on our own asses to be the epitome of "perfect". Girls lets face it, we always judge ourselves and will never stop, even if we are happy. "My thighs are too big, I have acne, I'm getting fat, He's too good for me". Stop thinking these things because confidence is sexy, stop questioning it!

10. Kicking the world's ass one day at a time


Although we are faced with all of these setbacks in the world we are still able to wake up in the morning and kick the world's ass. Everyday is a new days and we have the chance to impact our lives for the better. Think positively, love yourself (emotionally and physically), and to just be a bitchin' chick!

Even though being a girl is difficult we are still some of the strongest people I know. Somedays can be difficult but like I said above be grateful to be alive and healthy. Fight for who you want to be and what you think a woman deserves to be known as. Be proud to be a woman even though we have a lot of crap to take in on a daily basis. I hope this empowers you to go out into the world with a positive attitude.

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