The books I often find myself recommending the most are the empowering ones. The type of books that make us want to stand up for what we believe in and fight for what’s right. The type of books that leave us a little different from when we turned the first page. It’s these books that show us just how powerful the written word can truly be.
It’s incredible that a few letters rearranged on a page can make us laugh or cry, but what’s even more amazing are the ability for books to allow us to see the world in knew ways and gain empathy from these experiences. Books make us better people, and it’s these books that I want to share with you that have shaped who I am and have the ability to transform every reader.
These are seven of the most empowering novels.
When I heard that three of my favourite Aussie authors were working on a book together, I already knew it was going to be one of my most anticipated reads of 2017. What I didn’t know was how much it would exceed my high expectations, landing it a place on my list of the most empowering books I’ve read all year. Take Three Girls is a powerful book about cyberbullying, rumours and friendship, and it’s one of my favourite #LoveOzYA novels of the year.
Set at a private school in Melbourne, Take Three Girls is a book told from three perspectives of very different young women who all have something in common – they’re being targeted by cyberbullying and have vicious rumours about themselves spread around the school. My favourite aspect of this book was the friendship that formed between these three strong characters. While they’re all such different people and their voices are all so distinct, they share similar insecurities and fears that will feel universal to all teen readers. It’s simply a must-read.
It was so great to read about girls sticking up for girls, which sadly, isn’t the case in a lot of what we read and watch. I adore great friendships, so this book was a real treat. These three girls came together and formed such a close bond, and that shows readers, especially teens, that we should all be coming together to support one another instead of trying to tear each other down. These girls didn’t let the misogynistic cyberbullies targeting them tear them apart – they used their anger and hurt as fuel for bringing the sickening tormentors to justice. Take Three Girls is a book that every teenager should read. It’s just so, so empowering.
The Hate U Give is one of the most powerful novels I’ve read all year, and probably one of the most confronting and raw reads I’ve ever encountered. I’m honestly never going to stop talking about this book, even though it’s been at the top of the New York Times Bestseller list for months now, because it’s a novel that everyone should read. It’s heartbreakingly real and incredibly moving.
The Hate U Give is the type of book that you’ll devour in one sitting, and afterwards, you won’t quite be the same as you were before. It’s a book that will show you the sides of society that many turn away from or pretend not to see. What this incredible novel does is show readers the importance of #BlackLivesMatters, highlights that your voice matters, and makes you realise that we all have to take a stand against the injustices that are taking place in our society right now. If there’s one book you read all year, make it this one.
Finding Nevo is undoubtably the best memoir I’ve read all year. It’s about gender and sexuality and identity, but the universal messages about learning that you’re valid and that you matter are ones that all readers will be able to relate to. It’s incredibly moving and raw, and it left me feeling empowered. Finding Nevo is just so, so important. Please read it and share it with everyone you know.
When Michael Met Mina is a must-read for everyone who’s read and loved The Hate U Give, and it’s equally empowering and moving. Set in Australia, this novel felt incredibly close to home, and it was confronting to read about the racism and prejudice that exists in our neighbourhoods. When Michael Met Mina is a book that will make you angry – but in the best way. It shows readers the damaging effects of racism and stereotypes, and it was incredibly eye-opening. This is a book that every Australian must read, regardless of their political standpoint.
I didn’t know much about Clementine Form before reading Fight Light a Girl, but her book is one that will stay with me for a long time. It’s honest and empowering, and it will make you want to act. There are so many things in this book that I’d never even considered or thought about before reading it, and it’s undeniable that Fight Like a Girl left me a very different person from when I picked it up. It made me unafraid to call myself a feminist. It made me unafraid to stand up for what I believe in, and to stand up for other young women as well. Fight Like a Girl is for feminists of all ages and all identities, and it’s a book you’ll even want to gift to your sexist, patriarchy-loving uncle.
While I haven’t read Moxie yet, I already know that it will be one of the most empowering novels I read all year. I’ve heard such phenomenal things about it and I look forward to picking it up. Moxie is about an unlikely teenager who starts a feminist revolution in her town, and I feel empowered just by reading the synopsis. It’s about sexist dress codes and feminist zines and cliques, and I am definitely bumping it up to the top of my TBR pile. I need to read Moxie, and you should pick up a copy too.
I’m sure there’s hardly anyone who hasn’t heard of this book, and the incredibly brave, strong young woman named Malala. I’m constantly in awe of how she’s unafraid to speak her mind and stand up for what’s right, even when it put her life in danger. She continues to be such an incredible role model for us all, and I know that we’ll be seeing so much more from her in years to come. I Am Malala is such an empowering, inspirational novel that should be one everyone’s shelves.
Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? What are some of the most powerful books you’ve read? Do you have any recommendations? I’d love to know!
Check out the other stops on the Take Three Girls blog tour!
Thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for providing me with a copy of Take Three Girls in exchange for an honest review!