And just like that, it’s a new year! If you are anything like us, you have been binging a ton of TV, including the new Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That . . . ! HBO Max has revived one of our favorite female friend groups. Carrie, Charlotte, and Miranda are still trendsetters after all these years, but more important, they remind us about the power of female friendship. Marvel superheroes have nothing on a strong circle of female friends who help each other overcome any struggle that comes their way. If you love a story with inspirational women, loyalty, sisterhood, and a dash of romance sprinkled in, look no further than our list of books on the power of female friendships.
Does My Body Offend You? by Mayra Cuevas and Marie Marquardt
A collaboration between two gifted authors writing from alternating perspectives, this compelling novel shines with authenticity, courage, and humor. Does My Body Offend You? is the timely story of two teenagers who discover the power of friendship, feminism, and standing up for what you believe in, no matter where you come from. Our two protagonists are Malena Rosario and Ruby McAllister. The girls will have to face their own insecurities, biases, and privileges, and the ups and downs in their newfound friendship and––ultimately––for themselves. An empowering read that will inspire you to tackle any obstacle that comes your way this year.
Great or Nothing by Joy McCullough, Caroline Tung Richmond, Tess Sharpe, and Jessica Spotswood
What screams friendship and sisterhood better than a reimagining of the beloved March sisters of Little Women? In the winter of 1942, the United States is still reeling from the attack on Pearl Harbor. While the US starts sending troops to the front, the March family of Concord, Massachusetts, grieves their own enormous loss: the death of their beloved Beth. Under the strain of their grief, Beth’s remaining sisters fracture, each going their own way. Each March sister’s point of view is written by a separate author—Meg, Jo, and Amy in prose and Beth in verse. Woven together, these threads tell a story of finding one’s way in a world undergoing catastrophic change. Filled with the nostalgia for our favorite iconic characters and infused with an innovative storytelling structure, reading this riveting tale will feel like getting reacquainted with an old friend as you rediscover a literary classic.
Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman by Kristen R. Lee
A striking debut novel about racism on elite college campuses. Savannah Howard sacrificed her high school social life to make sure she got into a top college. Her sights were set on an HBCU, but when she was accepted into the Ivy-covered walls of Wooddale University on a full ride, how could she say no? Wooddale is far from the perfectly manicured community it sells in its brochures, though. Savannah has barely unpacked before she comes face to face with microaggressions stemming from racism and elitism. Soon she is unearthing secrets of Wooddale’s racist history. But what’s the price for standing up for what is right? And will telling the truth about Wooddale’s past cost Savannah her own future? A stunning, challenging, and timely debut about racism and privilege on college campuses. This contemporary novel, about the disturbing history of an elite university, will inspire you to always take action in the face of injustice in your own community.
Year on Fire by Julie Buxbaum
Year on Fire is a page-turner that you will not be able to put down. It explores the tight grip of family secrets, the magic of first love, and the grounding beauty of friendship. It also dives deep into the blinding power of the lies we tell others and those we tell ourselves. What secrets will people keep—or reveal—to protect those they love? This novel, set against the frightening backdrop of an encroaching fire season, sparks reflection about friendship, the allure of romantic love, and loyalty to family. Start the year with a thought-provoking novel that will have you guessing until the last page.
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