I grew up loving to read and I came across a couple great book series that I thought were life changing at the time. While over the years some have gotten their share of attention and love, I still think most of them were overlooked and definitely underrated. Here are a few picks that I believe to be important for young girls to read!
The Clique, Lisi Harrison
These books were my absolute favorites growing up! The series has 14 books, a 5-part summer collection, a "cliquetionary", and a prequel. I used to be able to list all of the 14 in order without hesitation and could see the pattern from the front cover and know which novel it belonged to. They made the first book into a subpar movie back in 2008.
Massie Block is the queen bee in a group of four rich, private school teens. Alicia Rivera, Dylan Marvil, and Kristen Gregory make up the rest of the Pretty Committee, and they pretty much rule their school. A Block family friend moves from Orlando, Florida, into the guesthouse with his family including a daughter the girls' age, but Massie and her friends are less than thrilled. The series details how the dynamics of the group change as a multitude of events occur in Westchester, New York.
Find a full list of the books here.
To All the Boys I've Loved Before, Jenny Han
It's not really fair anymore to say that these books got overlooked since they were picked up as a Netflix film and are currently working on the sequel. I haven't re-read them in a bit, but from what I remember the storyline was followed pretty closely for the movie adaptation.
Lara Jean Covey writes love letters, but not to send. They are a way for her to express her emotions without actually having to talk to the focus of her crush. One day, the letters are accidentally sent out to the five boys for whom they were written, and Lara Jean thinks her life is over–especially since one of them was addressed to her older sister's now ex-boyfriend. What better way to confront the situation than to ignore it completely? The first novel follows Lara Jean as she navigates her love life following the letter leak, especially when it comes to one recipient, Peter Kavinsky.
Find the list of books here.
Gallagher Girls, Ally Carter (Sarah Leigh Fogleman)
Ally Carter was my favorite author for a while because I could not get enough of these books. I loved the fact that it was highly relatable while also being far out of reach in the storyline. While the main character was going to school to train as a spy, she also had time to be a teenager and have boy problems and keep secrets from her mother.
The first installment, I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You, follows the life of Cameron Morgan, a girl who attends a boarding school in Virginia. But it's not just any regular boarding school...it's for spies. Specifically, teenage girl spies–Exceptional Young Women. The Gallagher Academy is in plain sight for the surrounding town, but they all just assume it is a school for snobby rich girls since they never really see anyone go in or out anyway. On a field trip into town, Cammie runs into a teenage boy and it all goes downhill from there.
Find the first book here.
Hundred Oaks, Miranda Kenneally
Still honestly one of my favorite authors and book series, the Hundred Oaks by Miranda Kenneally are quite the read. My favorite part is probably that the storyline is essentially the same in every book with a few minor changes. The only thing connecting book one to book five (for example) is the town that it is set in, the high school that everyone goes to, and a few minor characters being upgraded to the main cast.
The first book–the one that got me hooked–is called Catching Jordan and is about Jordan Woods, a girl who is just fine being "one of the boys." As a member of her high school football team, not to mention the quarterback and team captain, she just wants to play and get a scholarship to a good school. She was never too much concerned about having a relationship with any of the guys until a new boy moves into town and is set on taking her place as QB. The other books all follow a similar course of events: the girl whose life is consumed by a certain activity or sport and then she meets a guy who changes her life in various ways, either good or bad.
Find Kenneally's books here.
Uglies, Scott Westerfeld
I loved this series so much that I never finished it. While there are only four books while reading the last one I couldn't bring myself to continue because that meant it would be over. I know that doesn't really make much sense...but it did to me, at the time. Several years later I decided to finish the series, but that meant I had to start all over as a refresher. Last summer I read the first two and after a very long break, I have recently begun the third.
Focusing on a young girl named Tally, the Uglies series shows a dystopian society where on your 16th birthday you receive plastic surgery and are given a lavish life in New Pretty Town as "Pretties." Before that, everyone is referred to as an "Ugly." After her best friend became a pretty and left her alone, Tally befriended a girl named Shay who would change her entire outlook on the future. After Shay skips town ahead of their shared birthday–and their operation day–Tally is caught at a crossroads. She either helps Special Circumstances find Shay and the rebellion settlement she ran away to, or she'll never get to become a Pretty. The following novels explore Tally's journey through the different phases: first Uglies, then Pretties, Specials, and Extras.
Find the books listed here.